Grandma & Grandpa's Farm

Monday, June 16, 2008

If You Go Into the Woods Today...

What Pet Would You Want to Bring Home?

There are many reasons to pick a pet. Now I have had a few - while living with Mom and Dad - and they included a handful of types of critters though the ones I had longest and have fondest memories of were our dogs. True they were family pets, but I considered at least two of them "mine" even while they were also Mom's and Dad's and Sis's*.

I did have 3... or 4 hamsters, 3 gerbils, a small painted turtle, calico gold fish, comet goldfish, three wild salamanders, a rabbit, and 4 dogs. I was pre-adolescent for most of them except the gerbils and two of the dogs. I think I had two of the hamsters when I was a young teen. I loved the early Habitrail sets almost like having a train set expanding my layouts of tube and cages.

Still I was closer to our last two dogs - the relationship I had with them felt a bit more like a family one. I did care for the other pets but it was different with these two.

We did go to a breeder for our last dog, my Sister was looking for a small poodle cross - maltese-poodle or maltepoo - and wanted a puppy and she found one at a nearby breeder who mostly bred pure bred miniature poodles. We ended up bringing home a pure bred miniature poodle that day, though had no interest in a show dog. Previously we had a golden lab that I am not sure where my Dad got from, a corgi that was a stray, and a Pekinese-chihuahua cross that Dad got from a business acquaintance.

I've watched a lot of the pet segments on the Noon News Hour on Global TV seeing all the cats, dogs, rabbits and even a few other critters they bring in from the SPCA. A lot of them are older animals which are well trained and behaved and some have a few health problems and might need special care.

I am not sure about when or if I'll get a dog while I am single and living on my own, but if I were to, I would consider getting one from the SPCA rather than a breeder. I think I would still like a younger dog, but... I likely would want to bring them all home with me. That is one reason I don't want to volunteer at an animal shelter.

I can understand some reasons for wanting pure bred dogs and other animals. One of the biggest has to do with knowing some idea of how large the dog will grow and having some idea of temperament. Some breeds are naturally more energetic and that has to be planned for and others really need to be put to work or some sorts of tasks or they will drive you batty while they try to herd you, the children and the furniture around the house. Some breeds are also better at coping with strangers coming and going or with children while others are one family or one person dogs. Some breeds also do not shed and have nearly no oder at all. Their coat has less oder to it than human hair does. These things are important if you have to worry about allergies or if you want a dog but are worried about "doggy oder". Some of these things can be harder to predict with a mixed breed dog - especially of unknown or very mixed parentage.

But there can be a lot of love in a three legged terrier cross or a shepherd-lab cross from the SPCA, other humane society or Animal Rescue group. There are even some rescue groups that specialize in certain breeds.

There are many dogs for adoption at the SPCA and for that matter many cats, rabbits and other animals. They are a bit careful about who they adopt to. They want to make sure that the animal will be taken care of and not be coming back due to lack of commitment or because the strata-complex or apartment manager does not allow pets. Pets are long term commitments after all which is why the term "adoption" is used. It might seem a bit more work than you expect and they do charge a fee for adopting animals, but they do have to in part support themselves and also figure that if you can not afford the adoption fee, perhaps you can not really afford the actual expenses behind owning a pet.

I think I might for the near future be contenting myself with my 4 dracaena-dragon trees. Perhaps they don't return a lot of love, but they don't require a lot of love and they have survived in my care for over a dozen years and move while living in my living room.

~ Darrell.

*Miss Grammar lifts her graceful head and must interject - normally I would figure that to make a word ending with "s" possessive you would place the apostrophe "'" after the "s" so it would be "Sis'" - isn't "Sis" a conctraction of "Sister" and should actually already be written as "Sis'" with an apostrophe? So you would create the possessive as if it ended in "er". Well at least that is my take on 'er from my wee experience in writing.


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