How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?

​Owning a pet may not be as easy as it seems. Beneath all the fluffiness, these little fur balls (or not) require a lot of our time and attention.

I’ve never seen myself as one who would own a pet for the simple fact that I lack the time. I leave the house bright and early and come home just around bedtime. And by the time I get home, I’m almost always too worn out to do anything else than shower and hop into bed. For that reason, I came to a conclusion that I do not want to own a pet because I did not want to be bound by the responsibilities that came with owning a one.

I’ve seen countless people , merely fascinated with the cuteness of a puppy and the idea of owning one, buy or adopt them only to realise that they could not handle the responsibilities that came with the pet. And then, these people, as if the little lives of animals do not matter, gather that it is OKAY to set their pet free on the streets and leave them to fend for themselves.

NO, IT IS NOT OKAY.

It is not okay, when a dog which had been kept within a gated compound for years, suddenly be let free to roam the streets. Dogs are very affectionate animals, and their first instinct will almost always be to find their way back home. However, never being out on its own before, the poor guy may not know its way back. And in his search for his owner, he may stray even further away from home and come in contact with other stray dogs. 

Thus, the attacking and fighting begins, and the poor dog who has only known his way around the house compound all these years, has to fight his way through albeit not knowing how to. It’s his lucky day though. He narrowly escapes and continues to walk on in search of his home, but starts to feel weak and tired, probably because he hasn’t had anything to eat in 3 days. Before this, food was brought to him. There was never a need to look or hunt for food or water. It was always there. Now he needs some water to cool down in the heat, but doesn’t know that he can drink from the nearby drain. 

He walks on and passes a food stall. The familiar smell of roasted chicken is almost too tempting as he turns in and starts wandering around the tables, in hopes that someone will throw him a bone or two. Some look at him in disgust, because of the wounds on his body. A little child starts screaming in fear. She doesn’t want the dog near her. Her dad stands up and kicks the dog and shouts “Get lost!” 

I turn around to see a dog whimpering from fear. Seems like a good breed, but the look in its eyes tells a story of dispiritedness. I wonder where it came from. It must have had a home before this. In an instant, I feel slightly infuriated at such harebrained people, who had the decency to adopt a pet only to throw it back again into a life worst off than the one it had back at the shelter or pet shop! 

And this is why, every time I see someone I know having thoughts of owning a pet, I ask them if they are positively confident of handling the responsibilities that comes with a pet. Very often they stop to think twice, or even thrice.

Just because I used a pet dog as an example here, does not mean it doesn’t apply to other animals. All animal lives matter, regardless of whether they are wild or tame, and we should all take a little responsibility for the decisions we make. If we decide to own a pet, then we MUST be responsible enough to care for it. Never, in a spur-of-the-moment have some fancy idea of owning a pet and within a few months decide that you are not cut out for it. If, unfortunately you come to the realization that you are really incapable of caring for it, at least have the decency to look for a better home for it. You owe it that much, because you took it away from the home it had before you.

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