Here's a place to talk about the relationships in your life whenever you want.
This is Murdoc. Yes, named after the Gorillaz frontman (front cartoon?). My kids named him. His original name was "Deuce," but because my six-year-old has recently lost some teeth that aid in word pronunciation, we opted to change his name because it was awkward hearing her call him " DOUCHE" all the time.
We have always had cats. We have three cats at present: Godzilla, Megatron and The Stig. I love the cats. They are all supermodel cats, beautiful, aloof, prone to puking on the floor at any given moment.
When I turned 41 (I'm 41), I decided I really, really wanted a dog. I wanted a puppy, an English bulldog who I could love and hug and use as a baby substitute because at my advanced age, coupled with the fact I have a mess ' o kids all ready, I'm done breeding human babies.
But English bulldogs are expensive. From a reputable breeder, they cost as much as two mortgages. They are prone to health problems. And when you go to your local animal shelter and find an older one, they suggest he is "not the right fit for your family because you have young children."
But they are still really, really, really cute dogs. I just couldn't bring myself to drop a pile of bills on a dog from a breeder when there are so many dogs out there looking for new homes.
And I'm not sure wanting a dog because I was done droppin' chillrin' was the best reason to get a dog. Dogs are not babies. Dogs are actually more work than babies. Puppies, especially. So, I gave up on that puppy dream.
I treated my decision to get a dog like a full-time job. I read everything I could. I called my sister, who works at a Humane Society, at all hours asking questions about breeds and care, and getting her opinion about whether we were ready to handle adding a dog to our family. For the next six months, we spent the majority of our free time at our local shelters meeting dogs.
We walked dogs, played with dogs, hugged dogs, discussed dogs, debated dogs. We met many wonderful dogs, and I fell in love eleventy gazillion times, but we never found the one that felt right for our family. It's a BIGASS decision, adding a dog to your family.
And then someone suggested we try Craigslist. Craigslist is the website Emily suggested you use when you are broke and want to touch a penis for profit. In addition to peni, you can also find animals that need a home, usually before someone drops them off at a shelter.
You need to use your common sense, of course. Anyone that places an ad asking for a large rehoming fee ($100+) could be a " backyard breeder." These people are the scum of the earth, avoid at all costs. There are wonderful breeders out there who take excellent care of their dogs, who work with rescue groups, who care about the breed. Any breeder who won't let you see where their animals are kept, let you check references and answer any questions you have is probably evil.
It's also a good idea to get current vet records or speak to the owner's vet before adopting, or else you could end up with a pet with pre-existing medical conditions. If you are OK with this, that's great, just be prepared to spend a lot on medication/veterinary bills.
Meet with the animal you are considering adopting, ideally more than once. Look at their temperament. Are they lazy? Hyper? Shy? Aloof? Ask a ton of questions. Ask yourself and anyone who resides in your house a ton of questions. Do you have the extra money to care for a pet? Where will you keep the pet if you go on vacation? Do you have the time to walk a dog, groom a cat, change aquarium water?
Please considering adopting an older dog or cat. I know puppies and kittens are adorable but they don't stay babies forever and there are so many older animals that need loving homes.
And always, this is NONNEGOTIABLE, spay or neuter. I believe one of the cruelest things a pet owner can do is let their animal get knocked up, and unless you are a gazillionaire with a gigantic home and 24/7 to devote to caring for your pets, then you belong on animal hoarders.
For all of you who work with rescues, donate your time or money, who adopt homeless pets, I love you. I think that people who work with animals are some of the most noble, admirable, kickass humans around. I know you guys have more tips and stories and advice to share, let's all get sloppy on some pet love up in here!