When I was 15 I fell hard for a Rottweiler/Aussie puppy born at the summer camp I was at. I spent the entire summer reading dog care and training books and writing home to state my case as to why it was the best idea in the world to let me take her home. When my dad came to pick me up at the end of my stay he simply grunted, “Put her in the car,” and that was that. I was lucky my mom was in Europe at the time, unable to be the overly logical parent.
My parents, for the most part, were adamant that Lulu was my responsibility and therefor I was expected to wake up early in the mornings and come home straight from school to walk her. When it was time for me to go to college, I had to find housing that would accommodate my now 60 lbs. dog, which meant missing out on the whole dorm experience. That was a-ok with me since I had my best furiend with me, and soon after I would meet my best friend and roommate, Sarah Han!
It’s because of this experience and the decisions I made, which at the time were hard since I was young and expected the world to accommodate me, that I find signs like these infuriating. I saw this ad at my local pet store and my heart broke for poor Riley, and then I got mad at Riley’s “grandparents” for allowing their daughter to dump her responsibility on them, just so they could dump him on someone else.
Allowing your child to be a pet owner is an amazing and important experience. It can teach unconditional love, responsibility, and selflessness. But all those amazing qualities can only be taught if pet ownership is done right. Allowing you child to adopt (or buy – eek!) and then dump only teaches disposability.
Am I being too harsh?