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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pet power

    It seems that there are a number of books being written about the human-pet connection.  Most books talk about the connection having many of the same aspects as our relationships with other people.

     For the past dozen or so years our household has included two toy poodles.  This was not by choice of either myself or my wife.  It is an old story of children leaving their pets with their parents when they move out.  That wasn't the agreement when the pets were purchased.  Their personalities couldn't be any different.  One is shy and the other thinks everyone is his friend.  Can you guess which is which in the photo above?

     This past year has been a story of many visits to the vet's as both of the dogs are becoming senior citizens.  Unfortunately there is no Medicare or Obamacare for dogs.  I would be an early sign up if there was.  We have discovered that there is probably a vet speciality for every dog condition as there is for any human condition.  We have seen an vet orthopedist, ophthalmologist, neurologist and a surgeon.  All in addition to visits to the regular vet.  I don't know how the old country vets had to handle everything but it is a sign of how pets are treated as members of the family in a way that is different from the past.
     This relationship has been especially difficult for my Mother this past year.  She lost my Father a couple of years ago but still had a cat that was just like her child.  A month ago she had to have the cat put to sleep and the adjustment to a house without another person or pet has been especially hard.  She misses the greeting she received when she came downstairs in the morning and when she came back to the house.  Now there is a sadness that has replaced the animal greeting at those times.  She is taking some time to see if she wants to get another cat.
     The human-animal connection has been shown in organizations that bring animals to people who no longer are able to have a pet. Howard County has a program called Paws 4 Comfort that has regular screenings for pets at the Bain Center on a regular basis. The Animal Advocates of Howard County try to find new homes for animals. The National Therapy Dogs Association holds some trainings in our County.

When was the last time you were greeted like this.  This is what it is like at our house when we come back from vacation.

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