pets and owners

Wellness, last updated 12th, May 2017, Rana Atheya

Here, I wish to talk about elderly people adopting pets from rescue shelters. This is based in direct reference to what I saw one of our neighbours do.
This lady almost 70 yrs old, lives alone in her apartment. As is natural, she felt quite lonely, and one day, decided to go adopt a dog.
I met her the day after she had adopted a female dog, 1.5 yrs old, just had a litter, and had been spayed before being put up for adoption,, as per rules of the shelter.
The dog was very sweet, slightly, nervous,and unsure of her new surroundings,and owner. Frisky, as usual, was very effusive in welcoming her. The dog was named Speckles, for the little brown spots on her otherwise white coat,
I calmed Frisky, and went to her, holding out treats,and approaching her cautiously, while the owner was telling me how she had adopted her
She had not eaten in 2 days. Probably due to change of environment.
She ate treats from my hand, when she saw Frisky eating them too. A dog who had not eten in 2 days, finally ate from my hand.
then the owner took her back to see if she would eat at home.
The next time, i saw the lady, probably after a week,she was alone. On enquiring about Speckles, I was told that she had returned the dog back to the shelter.
She said she wasn't able to tak care of her. Waking up in the mornings, walking, her, etc. On our first meeting iyself, she was talking aboout, how Speckles had made a big mess on the carpet etc.
I applaud her action, in a way. Instead of letting the dog be with her, and not take care of her properly, walking her etc. she atleast returned her to the shelter. So that the dog may havew a second chance with some one else able to take care of her. However, this lady went back the next week, to see Speckles again. Apparently, Speckles was very happy to see her, clung on to her legs,and did not want to let this lady go. That just makes it all the more heart rending, doesn't it?
It makes me wonder, why not join a senior center or volunteer somewhere.
Old people are lonely, and they desire company. When they themselves are at the age where they need medical attentrion and help themselves, they should refrain from taking on the resposibiltiy of another life, unless they are in pretty good health, and can shoulder the physical and financial responsibility of having a pet.
Don;'t get me wrong. I am not advocating sending old people to old age homes. In US, senior centers are places where the elderly, whose children have grown up and ,moved etc, to meet with other people of their age group. They have a library,book clubs, play cards, and other forms of entertainment. They are still able to be independent. So need for company can be met by meeting people, instead of taking on an animal, that no doubt, needs a lot of time, attention, and love.

About the Author


I have a Golden Retriever called Bella. I have always lived with pets since I was born. My father was a professor in veterinary sciences. I write to share my experience of pet keeping.

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