Too Old for a Pet?
One of the saddest things I’ve overheard lately was a woman who had just lost her very senior cat. She had loved that cat for years and would have made a great owner for another one from the local shelter.
But she hesitated, afraid she would die before the cat did, and then the cat would go to the shelter and possibly be put down.
I hope there aren’t many of you who feel that way. Shelters are full of cats and dogs that need love, and seniors can be the best pet owners around.
Consider what a cat or dog can do for you. If you have a dog, it needs to be walked at least once a day. That’s exercise for you, and often it can lead to more social interaction as you meet others doing the same thing. Maybe a pet-walking group
will form in the neighborhood.
Any pet needs regular meals and water, and maybe even medication if you adopt one with special needs. That keeps us on track with a daily schedule. Cats and dogs can be comical, making you laugh, and just having a pet around is shown to reduce stress. Cats need to be brushed every day and generally love that bonding time. Dogs love to go to the groomer if you can’t do it yourself.
If you hesitate to have a pet now because you might not outlive it, make arrangements in advance. Put your wishes in writing, notify your children or attorney that the document exists, put an “In case of emergency” note on the inside of your door, and then take a stroll through the local animal shelter. Look for a wagging tail or the eyes that meet yours.