Reviews | Your pandemic pup wasn’t a mistake

Now there is a new series of stories of places like Chicago and New York– and even Portland, Maine — where the housing crisis has hit particularly hard. When there aren’t enough places to live, finding a pet-friendly apartment is even harder. And when prices skyrocket, people already living on the edge may not be able to afford the cost of a pet. It’s no wonder that shelter managers are facing a new round of animal abandonment: In a New York City pet shelter system, redemptions increased by nearly 25% compared to last year.

Opinion talk
What will work and life look like after the pandemic?

But it’s important to consider these numbers in the context of a mind-boggling economy of scale. The number of pet adoptions and abandonments fluctuates all the time, and for many reasons. Millions of pets have ended up in shelters every year before the pandemic, and millions more will end up in shelters even after the economy recovers.

It’s true that a family’s situation can change, sometimes tragically, but it’s also true that too many people bring home a pet with no idea what responsible pet ownership entails. . Too many others see animals not as members of the family, but as disposable lifestyle accessories – Vox even included dogs in an article on Pandemic impulse buys that people now regret. This is why adopting from a rescue organization often involves an arduous application process: the hope is that careful matching of people and pets will limit traumatic abandonment.

Even with ample resources, living with an animal of another species has never been without problems. Our family dogs chewed on our shoes and furniture, peed on our carpets, barked furiously at the people we love, threw them in our cars, and ate all kinds of things that would have killed them if we hadn’t taken them to the vet. on time. They dug trenches in our yard, galloped through our house with the irreplaceable love of a child clenched between their teeth, left muddy paw prints on our white sheets. For decades, we’ve walked the world with dog hair on every black pair of pants we own.

Everything is worth it.

I’m not even talking about well-studied health benefits, even if the health benefits are extravagant. A beloved dog will lower a person’s blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, calm anxiety and even make it easier to interact with other human beings. You may think this rambunctious, voracious, apartment-destroying pup will be your death, but adopting a dog actually lowers your risk of death. And that’s because dogs will love you until the day they die.

After our Millie died last year, it took months before I felt ready to look for another dog, and by then I had learned that I needed major surgery. . The unexpected health setback didn’t dismay me as much as the need to call off the search for our next family member.

Comments are closed.