the pet conundrum

Twitter followers and Facebook friends may have already noted that sadly we lost our pet rabbit Charlie last week – he had to be put down owing to an abscess which was not responding to treatment and would cause a great deal of suffering in the long run.  Charlie, as long time blog readers will know, was quite a character, with plenty of ‘bunnitude’ – he even had his own moment of fame over at Disapproving Rabbits!

On Saturday I dismantled his hutch – no small feat, and scrubbed it down thoroughly before storing it (with all the other related bits) in the garage.

Will you get another rabbit?  People ask.  Honestly, it’s unlikely.  Although I have to confess to being tempted to have a couple more guinea pigs.  But not just yet.

I always feel, when owning an animal, that I want to give it the best life possible – with plenty of space, comfort, companionship and medical care when required.  When for whatever reason all these needs can’t be met, I feel dissatisfied.  I don’t like to think of a creature under my care not being happy.

That’s the pet conundrum, really.  Pets are very therapeutic for us, but I do believe we have a responsibility to look after them well.  And if through the busyness of life or other responsibilities we simply can’t commit to doing so, perhaps we should not have them.

Any thoughts?

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10 thoughts on “the pet conundrum

  1. Well, agreed for the most part! As you know, we have 5 animals (3 cats, 2 dogs). I love them all more than I thought possible and they are no doubt very therapeutic for me! However, I agree – if people don’t have the time to care for them, then maybe it’s best not to get them. Some people don’t seem to understand that any pet isn’t just a temporary thing – it’s a lifelong thing (well, the pet’s life anyhow!). However, there are SO many animals in shelters who will be put down if no one steps up to take them, and so many of these animals are loving, wonderful animals. Perhaps even your lack of time is better than them living in a shelter and/or being put down because of overpopulation? Just my thoughts! I’ve become quite passionate about the animal rescue/adoption issue, having fostered dogs. Love you Lucy! Miss talking to you all the time!

  2. My condolences on your loss – when a pet dies it is a very real bereavement which people who’ve never kept a pet find hard to understand. We have not replaced our dog who died some years ago. We miss having a dog, but not the amount of work involved or the complications of arranging for holidays, days out etc when a dog can’t come too.

  3. Lucy, I’m really sorry to hear about Charlie. I know you will miss him. And you did give him a good life and a good home.

    A few years ago, both of our cats and our dog died within a few months of each other. For a while, we enjoyed the “freedom,” although our rabbit Mr Bunny came to live with us somewhere in the middle of all that. What ended up happening was that a cat adopted us! Neighbors had rescued her from a bad situation, but they had two large dogs and a territorial cat already, and this cat basically just moved into our house. So there it was.

    In the end, I decided that the work was worth it. Both Bunny and Kitty were rescued from bad situations and we were glad to be able to give them loving homes. And love them we do.

    My best to you as you mourn the loss of Charlie.

  4. Arh so sad – we had the same happen to my rabbit Disney (looks very similar). Apparently has something to do with being a lop-eared and the cross breeding. He was in a lot of pain and we haven’t had a rabbit since. A few years later we got a cat – who is a bit of a nervous wreck.

    1. …which raises questions about how humans breed animals for their own purposes. Reminds me of the RSPCA removing itself from Crufts, etc., because of the suffering caused by selective breeding.

      I had a dog who was a nervous wreck once. She was so lovely though! She thought she was a lap dog, which was interesting, as she was a labrador. Still, there’s something comforting about a clumsy but loving dog clambering over you. Alas am allergic to cats!

  5. So sorry to hear about your rabbit, Lucy. Losing a pet hurts and leaves a big hole. We had cats for over 30 years, but when the last one died about7 years ago, just before I moved parishes, we decided no more pets until we stopped moving around and could care for them consistently. Even after 7 years, I still miss having a cat about the place and will have one again some day.

  6. So sorry to hear about your Charlie. It is so hard to lose our beloved pets.

    I certainly agree with your thoughts on owning pets and caring for them properly. I think it is the same as having four-legged, furry children in terms of our responsibility for their welfare.

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