8 Replies Latest reply on Mar 4, 2014 1:06 PM by JerryD

    Love of pets

    MyR Community Manager

      recent story by the Associated Press revealed that boomers' love of pets could change as both age.

      Do you have a pet that is an important part of your life?  Share your story with the rest of us.

        • Re: Love of pets
          JerryD
          Had a dog and more at home as a kid. A cat person now. They are so much more capable of existing without lots of attention and follow up. My profile pictures show my current "most interesting cat" I ever knew. She's a challenge to live with but has "personality" that adds joy to our lives.
          • Re: Love of pets
            PInky
            A few years ago my husband became disabled and retired.  He was very depressed at the time and was home alone all day.  Friends suggested we get a pet - a cat.  I was against it because I had never had a cat and had a distrust of them - they sort of scared me.  Then a friend of ours was going away for 10 days and needed someone to care for her cat.  She wanted to bring her to our house.  We said yes and fell in love with Bijoux over the 10-day period.  That convinced me to get a cat and we started looking for a cat to adopt.  We looked for a long time and were getting frustrated. The staff at the Humane Society assured us we would know when the right one chose us.  We gave up looking for awhile, and then one day my husband called and said he had found our cat.  I promised to go to the Humane Society immediately after work and look at her.  There was "Eunice" waiting to meet me - an adorable 3-year-old calico with a healing, very short tail.  Apparently, she had been in an altercation at her foster home where she was staying  until her littler of kittens was weaned, her tail was broken and infected and needed to be amputated when she returned to the Humane Society.  She immediately was loving and purring and let me hold her.  She had such a sweet face.  I told them to wrap her up and I would take her home.
            Well, Eunice immediately became Cali-girl and we have had her for five years.  We can't believe how much we love her and how much she has hanged our lives.  Her little waggy tail makes us laugh, and it keeps her from jumping to high around the house because of a loss of balance.  She is a very mellow and loving cat who is with us most of he time whatever room of the house we are in.  She is so sweet.  Neither of us had ever had a cat, but we have been smitten and I've accumulated a lot of "cat stuff" over the years.  I can't imagine our lives without her.  Now that I am retired, we have to figure out how we are going to be able to travel with her!  Any suggestions?
              • Re: Love of pets
                JerryD
                We used to always travel with our 2 cats. The one I described just loved it, but the older one just could not take any kind of curves and hills which are plentiful where we go for short trips. We had to keep her in a cage to prevent accidents. Funny thing that as a younger cat she did pretty well sometimes on much longer trips. Try a few trips with the cat to see which type she is. 
                 
                One thing we always did when traveling was to have a collar and a leash on the cats. They don't take too well for a walk to do their thing. The leash gives you a chance of getting close enough to at least step on it and hold them.  Guess my advice would be to feed them very little or nothing for enough time before you leave and then nothing on the road. A cat is comfortable with not eating for many hours. Feed them when you stop.
              • Re: Love of pets
                gwamma
                We had dogs for our son when he was growing.  When the dog passed away at the age of 18, the entire family was heartbroken and decided that the commitment required for a new dog was too much.  So we had a period of 10 years sans pets.  Then we "inherited" 2 cats from my son's inlaws because they did NOT like Christmas trees.  Those cats were wonderful until they passed away as well.  Then we were out for a walk and came upon a Bichon Frise with his owner and fell in love with the breed.  We went out and purchased one shortly thereafter.  We had Odin for about 7 months and decided he needed a companion and adopted Atlas, a terrier mix breed, from the shelter.  Odin was alpha dog and Atlas was the little brother in every sense of the word.  We took them both with us on trips, staying only at Hotels which accepted dogs.  Then Odie suddenly passed away from a brain aneurism at the age of 2.5 years.  He was OK one minute and gone the next!  All 3 of us went into mourning.  Eventually Atlas realized he was sole pet and totally changed into an extremely intelligent, loving, tolerant little "person" !  As hubby's health declines, he often tells me how very glad he is that we adopted our little shelter Atlas.  I highly recommend dogs for seniors.  They require walking which keeps seniors active.  Trips to a dog park also allows making new friends.  And nothing can beat a little dog's greeting or having one sleeping at your side or nuzzling for an ear or tummy scratch!
                • Re: Love of pets
                  highland158
                  I couldn't imagine a life without my golden retrievers (we have 3.) We plan to get a RV where we can take them with us.  Have always had dogs my whole life and in married life, always more than one.  They are our family.
                  • Re: Love of pets
                    seadog53
                    I am 60 YO, my wife just a few years behind me.  We have always had at least one dog, and sometimes several in the house while raising 3 kids.  Pets help make it a home, and our kids all now have their own pets.  We used to buy pedigreed dogs from breeders (boxers, boston terriers, great danes), but now we take in rescues.  My advice is to adopt if possible; there are so many good animals out there in the shelters and the rescue agencies.  If you are a first timer or locked in on a particular breed, this may not work for you, but if you are a seasoned pet owner looking for a good companion, please rescue an animal.  It's a win-win; you won't regret it.  
                      • Re: Love of pets
                        memew
                        Adopted pets are the best!  We took in a stray cat from the street and she was wonderful.  We had her for 16 1/2 years and was approximately 17 1/2 (maybe older) when she died.  My husband, who never liked animals, said that it was because of her that he now loves them!  5 1/2 years ago we adopted a dog that we found on www.Petfinder.com . There are almost 400,000 homeless animals on that website and you can find anything you want (dog, cat, pig, horse, etc. etc.). It is comprised of rescue groups and shelters. There are many breed specific groups that have pure bred animals which people have to give up.  Our dog was a "Puppy Mill" reject. For those of you who do not know what a "Puppy Mill" is, it is a terrible breeding facility where the dogs are treated terribly.  They are only interested in breeding more and more puppies that they sell to pet stores.  NEVER buy from a pet store because over 95% of the animals they sell are from these facilities, no matter where they tell you they are from.  Do not believe them.  Look at the dog's papers.  These horrible facilities are mostly in the Midwest and the Amish Country of PA.  My dog was rejected because he is a little too big to be a pure Maltese and is not pure white.  They were going to either kill him or sell him for medical experiments because they could not pass him off as a pure breed.  He is the sweetest dog ever!  My mother-in-law is 98 and in an assisted-living facility and everyone loves him there - and he loves everyone, too!  Also, consider an older pet.  They are much calmer and much less work!  Rescued animals will always appreciate what you have done for them.  I highly recommend it!
                          • Re: Love of pets
                            JerryD
                            My spouse had heard an owl outside for a couple of nights and the oldest cat kept jumping up on the window sill at night to look. Our son came home the next evening and spotted something under the porch chairs that looked like a dust pile. Turned out it was a little female kitty that was very skinny and she had an infected eye. We figured that the owl had scattered the litter and this little kitty got separated from her mother. After a little care by his girlfriend who had some experience, she turned out to be healthy.
                             
                            She turned out to be the absolutely most interesting cat I have ever known. She has her Mardi Gras beads that she will bring to me and if you shake the red ones she will hear all the way down the steps and come up looking for them - cats have amazing sight, smell and hearing. She does like to "play" rough, but we love her. We kid about how lucky that owl was that it didn't tangle with her. Of course, she would have lost, but she doesn't know that. Her picture when she climbed into a table display of flowers is my avatar. There are several more "interesting" photos of her in my profile under the title "Everything I Learned from Ma Chatte ("My Cat" in French??)".