Should You Get a Pet?

So you and/or kids want a Pet eh?

I am asked about this fairly often, usually when we go for walks and it looks like this, with 2 kids in the mix as well:

THEM: “So… did YOU end up with two cats, a dog AND 2 kids under 3?”

ME: “I have no fucking clue! It just happened that way!”

Pets can be wonderful, yet expensive additions to a family – if you know what you are getting yourself into. My current pets “found me” and have been wonderful additions to our family but we had them BEFORE kids.

The kids love them and since we had them first, we have sort of been able to adjust accordingly. Everyone has a spot in the Pecking order and of course the kids come first.

My kitchen floors are usually spotless because the dog acts like a vacuum. It’s so intense, sometimes I’ll be at someone’s house and if food gets dropped, I am waiting for a dog to come Hoover it up.

Our cats kill all the mice and other unattractive rodents. They have become “neighbourhood” cats and even sleepover at my next door neighbours sometimes.

We don’t know how they get inside but my neighbours love them so whatever.

These are unusual situations though: most animals that are part of families don’t get the same type of life.

Our dog comes with us EVERYWHERE because Mommy needs him otherwise her anxiety levels skyrocket. He is our vacuum, Alarm System, 1st Child, etc. I couldn’t imagine life without him.

Our cats are self sufficient and again, the neighbours help out when we do go away. When they want cuddles, they come inside and snuggle up for a bit but then it’s back outside for some more hunting.

The dead bodies of mice, rats and other vermin scare the crap out of my daughter but because our cats are providing a public service, they are treated like gold by our neighbours.

One even said for the first time in 3 years, he doesn’t find mice poop in his kitchen pantry any more! WINNING.

So you still think you want a pet?

Look around your life a bit, read these two stories, then ask yourself again:

Should we get a dog or cat?”

10 Questions:

  1. Do you have the extra money to feed said pets?
  2. Do you have emergency funds for any accidents, illness, etc?
  3. Do you have $500 to spay or neuter your pet?
  4. Have you had a pet before? Do you know how much it costs to vaccinate them and make sure they don’t get heart worm, fleas, ticks, etc.?
  5. Do you find adult dogs and cats as cute as puppy’s and kittens?
  6. Are you “ok” with your favourite shoes or couch getting ripped to shreds?
  7. Do you have $500-$1000 laying around for dog training, buying a crate and/or the time to walk/train the dog?
  8. Where do you live? An apartment? A house? Do you have the physical space for a pet?
  9. Do you like to travel to places other than cottages by car?
  10. Do you actually know what it’s like to own a pet? Like have you had one before?


My dad was an old-school, Dutch, son of a farmer, who believed animals belonged outside and served for any other purpose aside from companionship.

When I was really young, like 5, my mom decided she wanted a cat. We went to a pet store and picked out a beautiful black kitten.

I wanted to name her Jennifer after our next door neighbour but we compromised on calling her “Jenny.”

It was around Father’s Day 1989; we got this little kitten from the Store and my mom told me to bring her inside and give her to my dad as a “Gift” for Father’s Day.

I think her train of thought included the notion he wouldn’t say no to his little, blonde angel daughter holding up this little animal.She was right – he didn’t say no.

He begrudgingly accepted his gift and so that is how I got my first pet. We had her for several years until she got hit by a car in 1996 and that was so upsetting.

My First Dog

A cat was one thing but a dog was quite another, my Dad was not going to budge on that one.

He was a realist: my mom had 3 kids and adding a dog to the family was just unrealistic; another mouth to feed, another body to bathe and entertain.

Who would walk the dog?

Who would ensure the dog wouldn’t track dirt through the house?

Of course when he died, one of the first things she did was get a dog: a Golden Retriever named Jessie.

It was her first big move of independence I guess….

Too bad my Dad was right, even from 6 feet under:

Our dog was so high maintenance. He loved to chew up countless pairs of shoes, books, toys, whatever and get into the garbage and just….ya….destroy everything.

My mom had no time to walk him so our Live-In Nanny walked him quite a bit.

Once she moved out, my mom sold our house in the Suburbs and moved us out to the “Country,” so it all worked out and he loved it.

He lived to be 14 but he was really fat, lazy and ate everything in sight.

We were also horrible dog owners in many ways!

He once ate a 3lb bag of chocolate chips meant for Christmas Baking and spent 2 days near death. Crayons were another favourite of his for some reason so there would be neon dog poop all over our lawn.

He was a great dog and we loved him but again, we didn’t really have time to take care of him so he just existed. Thankfully he existed in a rural setting which is great for dogs.

We had an electric, invisible fence but he didn’t give a shit. Even though he would be shocked by his collar if he “passed the line,” nothing stopped him and he too, got hit by a car and my mom spent like $6000 replacing his hip.

Another time when he was still a Pup, he had cut open his paw outside and it was like an artery or a tendon so he needed emergency surgery.

That was another few thousand but still, she paid it.

That dog ended up costing us thousands but he was a “member of the family.”

Sadly – this isn’t always the case for many people who get pets. Those ones often get ditched.

Cats, Dogs & “Real” Babies: What Happens Then?

Some people have the most unusual conceptions about what it means to have a pet……I was friends with someone like that.

She would always get kittens, had a puppy and then one day; they would be gone. Once the animal grew up, they were ditched.

A lot of people don’t realize cats can live to be 20 (I had one live until she was 18) and dogs are also a long-term commitment.

I’ve met a lot of people who love their dogs and cats as much as I do and would never consider letting them go when they get married and start a family but unfortunately I’ve met too many people who do the opposite.

The dog is usually the first to go because of nothing other than stupid excuses or laziness.

Unless a dog is aggressive, known to attack or there is a severe allergy; there are no other reasons I can think of that make any sense to give them away but it happens all the time.

What people don’t realize; that is so fucking mean and confusing for your poor dog especially if they are older.

That is something I’ll never understand.

Brady has played an important role in my life but also in my daughters. My 3 year old helps me feed him every night, tells me if he doesn’t have water and makes sure to give him hugs and kisses.

My baby walking her “doggy:” a 100lb pit bull mix. This has garnered some serious reactions in our neighbourhood because of his breed and size. We are never worried but with all kids and pets, you must always keep a watchful eye.

If people look at their pets as burdens when they have kids, they never should have had an animal to begin with. They don’t deserve the experience and what that animal has to offer.

The love he has given to me and now “us,” makes me want to cry for all the animals given away because their idea of “family” doesn’t include their once loved pet.

The ONLY time I wanted to give him up was in 2015:

Thank god for baby wipes.

It was NOT a good day; he had a horrible bout of colitis which usually lasts a few days. I thought the worst was over until he literally SHIT all over my backseat while sitting next to my precious 8 month old daughter.

The three of us, driving in my car on the highway, when I suddenly smell this intoxicating stench.

He literally shat liquid poop all over my car and my perfect, innocent kid. I was so mad; usually he is very good at telling me when he is going to “explode” but this time he just turned his butt around and let it rip everywhere.

Thank god for those baby wipes and washable car seats. That was probably the worst thing he ever did but it’s all forgiven now. Although it did take forever to clean the car and get the smell out.

There will always be circumstances in life where maybe you do have to give an animal away but it should be done thoughtfully and not:

“Let’s just take it to the Shelter, someone will adopt him!”

NO: It really doesn’t work that way – they FEEL everything, believe me. It took years to get him to where he is today.

Sorry, that is one of my BIGGEST PET PEEVES and it makes my blood boil.

If you are like me and see the benefit of having a pet and how it teach your children responsibility and love for animals, I want to thank you.

After reading all of this and you still want a Pet:

Please adopt, don’t shop ❤️😇

2 thoughts on “Should You Get a Pet?

  1. L Young says:

    I have two cats. Couldn’t imagine my life without them. They are as precious to me as my kids. I got one at the shelter and on off the streets. Once we lost one for a few hours and my kids were bawling running up and down the streets asking neighbors but the cat was asleep in our basement the whole time!

    Liked by 1 person

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