Pets, just like people

Published 6:40 pm Friday, May 29, 2009

You can tell a happy pet owner: they beam with pride over their pets’ appearance, discuss their behavior (good or bad) at length with their coworkers and friends and mourn their passing as they would a human loved one.

In the same ways, you can tell when a pet is happy: You can almost see them smiling at you as you approach them, they show fondness, empathy and loyalty toward their human caretakers and just like humans, they show preferences for where they sleep and what they eat.

Very few dogs are born with a bad disposition, hence the maxim, “Dogs are Man’s Best Friend.” While cats have independent streaks, can be skittish, and sometimes appear to have no concern about humans’ activities, they—like dogs and other domestic pets—have feelings too and need affection from their caretakers.

Email newsletter signup

The case of “Cookie,” a badly neglected dog someone abandoned at the Bainbridge Animal Shelter this past Monday, underscores why it’s important to show the same level of concern and respect for our pets as we would for our human loved ones.

While dogs and cats shed their fur, they need their hair cut or groomed, their claws clipped back when they get too long and whether they stay indoors or outdoors and they need to be given baths on a regular basis.

Pets are just like small children; they can’t do those things by themselves.

Regardless of who they belong to, if you provide food, water or shelter for a dog, then it’s your responsibility to make sure they are taken care of, that that they are spayed and neutered and given basic vaccinations.

If you’re not sure how to care for them, call a vet, call the Humane Society, or ask a friend who likes animals.

If you would nurture your children, wouldn’t you also do it for your animals?