When I was young, some 45 plus years ago, yes add a few years to make me a wee one. We had pets. Or rather we had dogs and cats running around the farm. Our cats lived in the barn, their diet was whatever little vermin they could catch. By day you would see them coursing about between the house and barn. By night they would huddle together somewhere in the loft keeping each other warm.
Our dogs had their own house outside, better known as a dog house. Since money was tight and dog store bought dog food expensive, the dog's diet typically was the same diet as ours. If we had soup that night, the bowls were scrapped into the dog bowl, one scoop of dry food and presto. That what the dogs were eating. When it was time to butcher. Well that was treat time for the dogs. Bones and left over meat was boiled, frozen and saved for later. Yep, ready made dog food.
I know some of you are completely horrified by this. And yes, at this time of my life I would never think about cleaning my plate off into Kiki's bowl every night and expecting her to live off that. Ugh!, just the thought makes me want to yark. But, that is how may of us were raised.
As a kid I wanted to take those little kittens in side and put them to bed. I wanted my dog at the foot of my bed. Oh, that was so not aloud. Animals were meant to be outside! And that is how we lived.
Then we became adults. Yep, we tried to follow what we were taught. Until we saw those puppy dog eyes, looking inside that warm house. OK, its cold outside tonight, come on in, we relented. So started a revolution of how dogs went from living in dog houses owning our house.
Today we spend an insane amount of our budget each year making sure our pets are happy, healthy but most important making them feel like they are apart of our family. We go to the pet store, spending a half hour arguing over what food it the best to buy. it competing on which get priority, the dog or the mortgage. When Kiki first become a member of our family I know we spent over $100 in one month buying just toys. That was addiction that had to stop, or at least toned down.
Our cats, well they have their own habits we contend with and twist too. Today we feed our cats according to what they prefer. One point we had three cats. Each had their own preferred food. Zoe could not eat the preferred wet feed. It took us six months to figure out what food to feed her. Her favorite was tuna or salmon from the human packs. Samson likes the fishy wet food and TT came with her favorite food. Making a list for the pet sitter was like writing a book.
Gone are the cave men days of how we love our pets. We talk about them like they are our children. because in most cases our children are grown and gone. As we roll into our senior years we take the time to spoil and love our pets the same way we love our children. I guess since our kids are not around as much we have to spoil someone.
My daughter says, she wants to come back in her next life as one of our pets. So with that, I'm off to play with my dog. She's bored and I feel the need to entertain her. Maybe her entertainment is my entertainment...lol!
If your getting a new pet this holiday, remember they don't come with instructions. Love is not enough and dogs don't come ready made perfect pets. They take energy, time training, loving and lots of money. If you don't have enough of any of the above, then wait a little longer. When you do have all of the above, you will make a great pet parent.