Getting home a pet is not like getting home a piece of furniture, or a stuffed toy. It is a living being, with its own set of needs, likes, dislikes and most important , its feelings. Your children will grow up into independent adults, who won't be needing your attention after a particular age. But, with pets, it is a different story altogether. Pets are babies, who never 'grow'. They remain babies all their lives, depending on their masters for every single thing: their food, health and well being. And, it is this fact that people fail to take into consideration.
I read gory tales of families getting home pets because the children took a fancy to those cute- looking creatures in the pet shops. But, after the initial enthusiasm wore off, they got tired of the continuous care taking, and decided that they had had enough. So, off went the pet, either discarded on the mean streets to fend for itself, or at the dog shelter, to live a life of misery, away from its family. Do you have any idea how heartbreaking that is for those innocent creatures? Just because they don't speak their minds, we can't be taking them for granted, can we?
It breaks my heart when I read such tales of ill-treatment towards animals, especially pet animals. Getting home a pet must be done only if one wants to have a pet, and not because one has to have a pet. The difference between 'want to' and 'have to' makes all the difference to that life that comes to depend on you, trust you, love you! Just giving in to children's demands and getting them whatever
And, once you get home a pet, then taking good care of its health must be made a way of living- a matter as paramount, as the well being of your child. Feeding the pet anything and everything because it is an animal will only land you in trouble in the later years, when your pet grows old. One just needs to remember the adage, "As you sow, so shall you reap."
A balanced diet, ample exercise, annual vaccination, regular deworming and daily grooming, and training should become a part of life, for the pet as well as for you. Taking him/her for a walk is actually what bonds the two of you for life! I have seen some families sending their pets for a walk with the building watchman or somebody appointed for the job. Do you know how that person treats your pet behind your back? Would you entrust your child's responsibility into someone you know nothing about? If you can't find time to take your pet for a walk, please, do not even think of getting home anything other than a rock for a pet.
Leaving your pet home alone is another issue that needs to be worked upon. And, with a lot of time and patience, this, too, can be achieved. Dogs are pack animals, for whom the pack is their universe. Therefore, the most important thing to remember here is that you are their family, their pack. And, if you were to abandon them, imagine the heartache they would suffer from!
To sum up my rant (if you would like to call it that!), bringing home a pet needs to be done only after a lot of deliberation. You need to remember that it's a matter of a life. A life that could in turn shower you with its unconditional love and affection and unwavering faith for as long as it stays with you in your world.