If You’re Drunk You Cannot Buy a Puppy
I recently heard this amusing song by clever, comedic singer-songwriter Christine Lavin. It’s based on a sign she once saw in a Greenwich Village Pet Shop. The song continues on to outline other things you can’t (or shouldn’t) do if you’re drunk. It started me thinking. Not so much about drinking but about responsible pet ownership. Buying a puppy while you’re drunk amounts to an impulse buy. Choosing to bring a companion animal into your home should never be done on spur of the moment basis.“Dad can we keep him?” “Oh, mom, look how cute!”. “She looks so sad, let’s take her home.”“I promise I’ll take care of it.” “You’ve always said I could have a pet.” I’ve heard these plea bargains in many a pet store. Yes, I do often “lurk” around pet stores to see: 1) how well the animals are cared for, 2) How knowledgeable the staff is, 3) to see if the store is complying with the law, 4) To see how the public reacts to animals and makes choices. It’s usually an eye-opening investigation. It always leads to me wanting to shout out, “Choosing to bring a companion animal into your home should never be done on a spur of the moment basis!” (or something similar using much less and shorter words).
I’ve shared my thoughts and statistics about responsible pet ownership in some of my previous posts. Remember that you need to budget $300-500 per year for any kind of companion animal.
This includes, the proper diet, environment, housing, fresh water, routine veterinary care, and love, attention and regular exercise. Choosing to share your life with an animal is a commitment. This can range from a 1 year commitment to share your home with a mouse, 9-15 years for a dog, 12-18 years for a cat, 20-30 years for a horse, 30-50 years for a parrot, and 70-150 years for a tortoise. Now multiply those years by the average annual animal care cost above and that cute little kitten in a box in front of Shop-Rite is going to cost you a potential minimum of $6,000 dollars over its lifespan. No animal is ever free. Choosing to bring a companion animal into your home should never be done on a spur of the moment basis.
So what if you’re not drunk and want to buy a puppy? Do your research. There’s lots of information on line: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/choosing-puppy-litter, https://www.akc.org/future_dog_owner/find_breed.cfm, there are even breed match sites to help you select a good breed for your family: http://www.animalplanet.com/breed-selector/dog-breeds.html. Be sure to ask your veterinarian and her staff for recommendations. Visit your local shelters but take time to get to know an animal before adoption. Work out your family budget beforehand. Make sure you can make the commitment both in time and financially to provide everything your new companion animal needs. And remember, if you’re drunk you cannot buy a puppy. Choosing to bring a companion animal into your home should never be done on a spur of the moment basis.