Who Is Mistral Dawn?
Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Thursday, September 3, 2015
Today I've decided to write about something that is near and dear to my heart, so please forgive me if I get a bit preachy. ;-) Something I've noticed over the years is that around about the beginning to middle of September the number of stray cats and dogs seems to go up significantly. I don't know if this is because kids are going back to school and parents decide the family pet is too much trouble with their busier schedule, or if it's because people are making a last push to move before winter and they don't want to take the trouble to find pet-friendly housing, or what the reason is. All I know is that right about now more pitiful faces will start showing up at my door.
I'd just like to remind everyone that animals are not inanimate objects. They are living, breathing, thinking, feeling creatures. They may not be human, but they can feel hungry, cold, pain, fear, loneliness, and every other emotion that you and I are capable of experiencing. Please, please, please, for mercy's sake THINK before you decide to get rid of a pet. And then, once you've thought, if you still want to dump the little furry person who depends on you, think some more.
If you aren't able or inclined to care for an animal for 10-20 years, don't get a cat or a dog!! It's that simple. There are any number of toys and games available to simulate the experience of having a pet, and none of them have feelings. None of them can die. If all you want is a few months' entertainment, go to Toys R Us and have a ball. But if you bring home a pet, it really should be for the rest of that animal's life.
If you want to spend time with cats and dogs, but don't feel ready to commit, I guarantee you that somewhere not far from you is an animal shelter full of lonely furry companions who would just love to hang out with you for a little while. Instead of becoming part of the problem, why not be part of the solution and volunteer? While you're there, you just might meet "the one." ;-)
If you have a pet but are having trouble, have you checked into the local resources available near where you live? If your furry friend is having behavior issues, there may be trainers and/or animal behaviorists who can help you. A lot of good information can also be found on the internet pages of most animal rescue/welfare agencies. If you can't find what you're looking for, give them a call and ask for information. If you're having trouble affording vet bills, check and see if there are any groups who might help you. Some groups will lend money to pay for vet bills, others will (sometimes) give it to you. But you'll never know if you don't ask. If things are so tight you're having trouble affording pet food, there are pet food banks as well as human ones. Contact your local animal shelter(s) and ask if there's such a program in your area. My point is, giving up a pet should be a last resort, not the first solution. Call around and see if the help you need is out there waiting for you.
I've moved a lot in the last fifteen years. Different states, different cities, different apartments. I've moved from one US coast to the other and then back again. One thing I'm well aware of is that it can be challenging at times to find pet-friendly housing. But it is out there. It might take some effort to find it, but it's there. If you have a pet, please make sure you take the trouble to find a place where they can live with you. Something to consider, if tenants refuse to rent anyplace where all of their family members aren't welcome, maybe landlords will reconsider antipet policies.
I almost always try to keep this blog positive, but I really thought that this was something that needed to be said. Yes, there are times when giving up a pet is absolutely unavoidable. There are also times when giving up a human child is absolutely unavoidable. But in both cases those times are few and far between. Just remember, if you decide to "get rid of" your Fluffy or Fido, they may very well end up dead. If you at least act with a modicum of responsibility and take them to a shelter, they may be put to sleep. But at least that would be a humane death. If you just kick them out of your home or "drop them in the country" they could starve to death, be hit by a car, or end up in the hands of someone who will do the unthinkable to them. Something to consider when you are making your decision.
And remember, pet overpopulation is an ongoing part of this problem. Please spay or neuter your pet to help reduce the number of furry babies in need of homes! :-)
So, sorry for the downer today, but I needed to get that off my chest. I promise tomorrow's post will be happier. I hope you all have a safe and productive Thursday!