18 November 2016

Animal advocacy.... It's not just for Sarah McLaughlin.....

I'm going to go off into left field for a bit, I need to have a vent.  Pardon my frustration and anger, but this needs to be said.

If you are going to take on the responsibility of a pet, that should be a lifetime commitment for the duration of the pet's life unless there's something seriously wrong with YOU health-wise or a devastating blow to your living situation.  To be fair, I've witnessed situations where people've gone through divorces or job loss, or severe allergy development where they've had no choice BUT to rehome their beloved pet.

But, that's a valid reason to rehome an animal.

Then there's the no-way-whatsoever reason to rehome an animal:  The newness has worn off.  Or, you're bored and don't want the responsibility anymore.

Those are total bullshit reasons, and I've ZERO respect for you if you go that route.

I've also ZERO respect for ANYONE who takes on the responsibility of an animal but refuses to take proper care of it - hygeine and otherwise.  Not just taking care of bathing or flea meds, I'm talking about picking up after it, cleaning up its mess when you walk it outside or cleaning out the litter box(es).

There's ZERO reason why these things cannot be done.  Z E R O.

I have a dog and three cats, it's no secret.  It's also no secret how I feel about my pets.  They are not just pets, not just animals to me.  They are my furry children who walk on all fours and don't speak clearly, but they do communicate their needs in other ways to me.  My dog, she'll let me know she needs to go out by coming and putting her paws on my leg and wagging her tail, trying to get my attention.  Sometimes, yes, I've missed her signal until I found a puddle or a pile and I've regretted not "listening" to her plea of "Hey, I need a walk!"  Usually when she does this, she wants attention, so sometimes - though VERY rare - I misinterpret what she's trying to tell me.  When we're laying in bed, she'll let me know by excessively licking my face to wake me up.

My cats, they let me know their needs in a similar way.  Since they use litter boxes, I'm a staunch believer in taking care of the litter every day, and if not EVERY day, then at least every couple days.  I mean, three cats.  C'mon.  It's just common sense!

My animals ALWAYS have a stockpile of food on hand.  They get fed twice a day.  They get fed right after my dog's first walk of the day, and their water gets changed right after I'm done putting their food out for the morning feeding.  If I happen to be puttering around the house throughout the day, I make it a point to check their water bowl to make sure there's no hair (I have a Maine Coon, so that means there's a constant fight with hair being shed), or other debris in the water (one of my cats likes to move the bowl around with his paw, not sure why?).  If there is, I make sure to change it immediately.  Why??  Because it's not like they can do it themselves, for one, and for two, they are animals, and they need access to fresh water AT ALL TIMES.  At least three times a week, their bowl gets a good scrubdown inside and out, rinsed thoroughly, and then they get fresh water put out for them.  At dinner, they get their wet food, and then again, more fresh water.

I refuse to allow my animals to live in a hovel.  I take care of my home, I make sure there's no trash about, no clutter, I sweep at least three to four times a week, I mop as often, I vaccuum at least three times a week.  I may not have a home with floors you can eat off of, but my home is clean and tidy.  It doesn't reek of cat box, it doesn't reek of dog pee or feces.  Why?  Again, because I TAKE CARE OF MY PETS.  Garbage gets taken out when the trash can is full.  There are no flies, no roaches, and I use meds to stave off fleas and other nasties from my pets' skin.

I may not be able to give them a mansion to live in, but I guarantee you, I make sure EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF EVERY SINGLE DAY they have a clean, sanitary environment where they can thrive and be happy.

I am a very big stickler about hygeine.  Not just for my body, but for my home.  I hate walking in the door and having the air be stale or smell terrible.  There's always a scented wax in my warmer, there's always an incense stick in the bathroom.  The entire apartment smells like a home, not the back of a garbage truck!

Animals who are taken on as pets deserve to be just as comfortable as we humans are.  It's right, it's fair, and why in the hell wouldn't you want to live in a clean, sanitary environment, with or without pets around, anyway?  I mean, what the hell is wrong with keeping your home tidy?

I am sick to death of hearing about animals being abused, and yes, allowing your animal to live in an environment where you can't be arsed to clean its toilet or pick up after it when walking outside, that is a form of abuse.  Just ask any intelligent person who understands how the real world works, and they will tell you that yes, it is most definitely abuse.

And that's just the immediate!  What about the gross health issues that most certainly and assuredly WILL befall your pets, and you, yourselves, if you don't bother to keep your pet well?  Let's see, there's Toxoplasmosis, that's actually a thing that doesn't just affect pregnant women who mess about with litter boxes, that is a thing that can - and does - affect ANY one who doesn't bother to keep a clean litter box on hand.  And not to mention what it'll do to the animal:  urinary tract infections, kidney issues, liver issues, oh, I could go on and on and on.  Not cleaning up after your dog outside?  Let's see, there's Parvo Virus, there's health issues that affect humans, not to mention it's against the fucking law not to pick up after your dog, anyway.

And then there's my personal favourite (and yes, that's sarcasm):  Taking the pet in until the newness and the cuteness wears off or you don't think that the pet "loves" you anymore.  Let me tell you something, asshole:  That pet will NEVER wake up one morning and say, "Yeah, that Sally, man, she was alright at first, our relationship was pretty ace for the first few months, but... I mean... Girlfriend has shit taste in movies and friends, I just...... Nah, I think I'm done.  Our friendship's run its course.  It's time for me to pack my shit and go."  No.  That is how HUMANS treat each other, that is NOT how an animal treats a human!

That pet, when you take him or her in, the world changes for that animal.  They think they've fucking won the lottery of all lotteries.  You have NO idea the UNCONDITIONAL LOVE you clearly DON'T deserve because all you're doing is doing this for YOURSELF and NOT for the animal in question.

I've had my dog for just a little over 5 years.  My cats, I've had my Maine Coon for 3 1/2 years, my one domestic short hair for 2 1/2 years, and my most recent adoption, he's been part of my life since late June, and officially became ours in July this year (2016).  When I got my dog, I was in a pretty dire situation, but somehow, I managed to make it work.  I almost had her stolen from me by my evil ex, but Heaven had other plans and I was able to keep her.  For two years, I struggled, HARD, to maintain a good life for her, but it's worked out.  Never, EVER ONCE, did I have to consider rehoming her.  In 2013, I was fortunate enough to adopt my Maine Coon.  Again, somehow by Heaven, I was able to maintain a good life for him.  My domestic shorthair that I've had for 2 1/2 years, he came to me because he needed someone to love him and take care of him.  He was in a pretty bad spot, and I initially had said no when asked, but when I enquired as to his situation, when I learnt how dire his situation was, I said BRING HIM TO ME.  Forget that I initially had said no, I will MAKE this work.  It took some serious sacrificing on my part, but I don't regret it one bit.  And again, never once have I ever, EVER had to consider rehoming him.  Same with the newest addition from this summer.  I may not be able to shower them all with treats and all the things money can buy for them, but I have managed to make this work quite well for many years now, and I'm not EVER going to rehome my babies.  They have a good life.  It's not one of wealth, but it IS one of warmth, comfort, and sanitary conditions.

I cannot, in any way, respect someone who can't be arsed to be a responsible person regarding their pets.  It's more than just making sure they have food and water.  It's more than just giving them a roof over their heads and exercise and toys.  It's keeping their lives and health in mind EVERY day.

Seriously, There's at least a handful of people I cannot, nor will I ever, respect again because I am abundantly aware of their nature.  It's disgusting how these individuals dare to be kind to other humans, but when it comes to a helpless creature, they don't seem to care.

To those individuals, I say this:  Don't come crying to me when one day those animals you claim to "love" and "care" so fucking much about, get sick, or worse.  Because mark my words, you fucktards, it will happen.  And you've only yourselves to blame.

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