Can you afford the expense?
I read at the weekend that pet owners spend an incredible £4 billion every year replacing or repairing the destruction caused by pets. On average it’s around £200 per year with cats proving £47 million more costly than dogs. Phew! This is from them either eating, shredding or staining furniture, carpets or belongings. So little – I am astounded? I thought it would be so much more.
Is it worth it you may ask yourself?
It’s a question I have muttered under my breath, sometimes shouted – along with profanities when Harry, my springer spaniel, has eaten yet another shoe, pen, sock or another bed (his own not mine). Oh my, is he a bed shredder. I’ve lost count of the number of dog beds he has destroyed and at the moment I’m contemplating whether I really should buy him another one or give it a miss. Will he grow out of this habit – and when? It starts with a little nibble at the corners and quickly declines into foams of white bedding scattered all over the house or lawn. And beds are not the only thing. He has eaten shoes, socks – which he digests until they arrive, still intact, on my lawn. Should I wash them? I have been tempted!
And then there’s the skirting board…and the paper…and the toys that the grandkids leave behind. No matter how many chews I provide it’s just not good enough. And he cannot distinguish between paper in the wastebasket and the ten and twenty-pound notes that my husband once left on the table. Happily, the treasury provided a replacement for the scraps we could assemble. I quite enjoyed filling in the form – especially when it came to the location of the remnants.
As if that’s not enough to contend with there are the muddy streaks along the utility room wall when he comes in from a run. Then there are the scratches on the paint as he leaps to look through the window when he wants to come in.
So, is it worth it?
At the risk of sounding like a scene from When Harry met Sally – yes, yes, yes.
I can be stressed to hell but when I pull on my boots and take Harry out onto the common and watch him race off down the pathways I cannot think of anything more calming. I know I could walk very well without having ownership of a dog but it is not the same. I’ve tried it. Dogs live in the moment; just watching him leap joyously through the gorse and heather makes me smile, makes me slow down and take in my surroundings. Dogs can teach us a lot about mindfulness – they are experts.
The guilty culprits
George was a rescue dog. He didn’t eat too much that he shouldn’t have. We surmised that food had been scarce at one time because when we gave him biscuits he would hide them about the house, saving them for harder times – which happily never came. He soon learned that there were plenty more doggy chews available.
Then along came Millie. Millie was a connoisseur – very fond of Mont Blanc pens, high heel shoes, and furniture.
And Harry? He’s excelled himself on the destruction stakes but I always forgive him. He flops by my feet when I work, and I love him, and he is worth every penny – and every shredded tenner.
Life without dogs? Unthinkable.