Over the last year many of us have adopted a new family member in the form of a pet. And why not? With all the extra time that lots of us have spent at home, a pet can help to keep us company and to support our mental wellbeing. However, with the potential slow lifting of lockdown this year, it’s important to remember that a pet is not ‘just for lockdown.’
Having a pet is a lifetime commitment, not your life, unless you get something like an elephant of course, but theirs. Animals have such short little lives and we have a duty to make those lives good ones.
April is National Pet Month, and its purpose is to promote the benefits and rewards of having a pet, while also encouraging responsibility. One of the most important things to do before getting a pet is to do your research. For example, its all well and good wanting a fluffy creature to share your sofa with of an evening, but if you live in a one bedroom flat on the 10th floor of an apartment block, then a Great Dane may not be the one for you. In direct opposition, if you like to go on long hikes with your furry friend, but don’t the like the sound of chewing the middle of the night, maybe avoid hamsters.
If you just can’t decide, can’t commit or don’t have the means to get a pet, then don’t do it, as it’ll only end in heartache for you and them. There are many other options that are available instead. You could adopt an animal at Tiggywinkles, which is the world’s leading wildlife hospital, situated in Haddenham. You could sponsor an animal at The Bucks Goat Centre in Stoke Mandeville, or you could look into fostering a dog from Blackberry Farm RSPCA Centre in Quainton. Hey, you can even come and take my dog for a walk if you don’t mind being dragged through mud for an hour, and possibly falling flat on your face.
Mud aside, animals are great and they give so much more to us than we can ever give back. If I could, I’d have a menagerie of creatures in my house. Dogs on the sofa, goats in the garden, ducks in the bath… You get the drift.
Now I just need work out where I can put the elephant.
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