When I would see a posting on Facebook or Craigslist for a “free pet to a good home” I would silently think to myself what other people would post in response…
“You should have thought about the expenses of a pet before bringing it home!”
“Pets are like family; you don’t just get one for the heck of it then dump it on someone else!”
“Too far of a move to take your pet? You’re just making excuses to get rid of it! How dare you!”
“You should have gotten a kid friendly dog! The dog was there before the kid, anyway!”
These advertisements for pets dramatically increase during PCS season. They are loyal and loving and are now being deserted by selfish owners.
In response, there are usually pictures of adorable pets who have been abandoned asking what they did wrong to be given away or pictures showing pets with a family saying that you are their whole life.
It’s true; pets are a loving commitment and financial responsibility. They quickly become part of the family and become attached to their people. When they are given away so quickly, so hastily, for some excuse, you just can’t help but feel terrible for the pet and anger toward the owners.
I used to be like you.
You Judgey McJudgerson you.
I have proudly adopted every animal I have welcomed into my life. I really cannot imagine my life without my fur-kids…2 dogs and a cat. The cat has always been on her own program, but when she does decide to snuggle it’s so sweet. And the dogs are always so happy when I come home! They truly bring so much joy to my life – just like my baby!
The dogs are 6; the kid is 6 months. They had my undivided attention for 5 years, then this crying little thing came along and took all of my attention. My husband would come from work and the dogs would practically trample him begging to go outside. “Have you taken the dogs outside today?” Nope.
“Free to good home. Cannot take care of properly due to having a baby.”
I used to judge you. Now I get it.
We didn’t have a fenced in yard at the house we were renting. I had to leash up the dogs and walk them around the yard until their business was done. When you have a crying newborn, leaving it alone in the house for who knows how long is the last thing you want to do. The poor dogs would just watch me with the baby all day and give me sad looks. Now that the kid is a little older, she is starting to grab and pull at the dogs. One does great while the other makes me a little nervous. He clearly just tolerates the kid, but if the dog makes a move at her it’ll be gone faster than you can blink!
How was I to know 6 years ago that the military would send us halfway across the country? That the ONLY house we would find to rent that allowed dogs would not have a fenced yard? That I would go from not wanting a kid to I-want-a-kid-now? Could I have predicted that one dog may not do well with a kid?
We do not have control over where the military sends us or what new rules the military comes out with. We already had our dogs, one is mixed with Pit and the other Shepherd, when the Marine Corps decided to ban “dangerous breeds” from base housing. Can’t say I’m too upset that we can’t live on base, but it does make renting challenging. We have no way of predicting what will come our way as a military family. Should that mean that we can’t make life a little more joyful by bringing a pet into the picture?
Regardless of why a family can’t keep a pet, the ultimate goal of those advertisements is to make sure the pet ends up with a loving family. This also happens to be what you keep preaching about, Judgey McJudgerson.
So quit leaving guilt-filled comments and instead be constructive and find that pet a home!