Pet Grief Support
What does it mean to be a truly loving and responsible animal owner? Exactly what's involved in responsible pet care? Much like the fox, in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's world-famous novella, The Little Prince; we believe responsible pet ownership involves taking full responsibility for the guardianship of those creatures–the dogs, cats, or other living beings–we bring into our lives. In his confrontation with the prince, the fox told him, "Men have forgotten this truth...But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." Yes, the responsibility can sometimes weigh heavily on our shoulders, but most animal lovers wouldn't change a thing in their relationship with their animal companion(s).
The American Kennel Club, in the online article "Be a Responsible Dog Owner", makes it very clear: "Owning a dog is not just a privilege---it's a responsibility. These animals depend on us for, at a minimum, food and shelter, and deserve much more." The author offers readers a list of "some of the essential ways" a person "can be the best dog owner you can be" (and much of what they say applies to the responsible care of cats and other domesticated beings).
While it may be more complicated to understand what's involved in responsible pet ownership, most of us are very much aware of what it means to bean inattentive, unaware animal owner (usually because of tragic news stories of animal abuse or an obvious act of thoughtlessness on someone else's part).
In fact, in the article "Tips for Responsible Pet Ownership", the website for the city of Lubbock, Texas offers this very visual portrayal of irresponsible pet ownership: "How many times have you gone outside and a dog goes running by without a care in the world? What about the neighbor who lets their animal outside to use everyone's property as their personal restroom?"
Yes, we've all seen similar acts of thoughtlessness; enough to know irresponsible animal care when we see it. But, let's get specific about what's really involved in responsible pet care: attentive and watchful care, a loving, giving nature, and a willingness to play; to have fun alongside your pet. According to the authors of "Tips for Responsible Pet Ownership", this attitude of responsibility and accountability leads responsible pet owners to take the following steps in caring for their animal companion:
For more information on pet nutrition, speak to your veterinarian or visit the Pet Nutrition Alliance, where you'll find resources for responsible pet owners like nutritional and food safety guidelines, information on pet food regulations and deciphering pet food labels, feeding guidelines for dogs and cats, and weight management tips.
Returning to the novella, The Little Prince for our close to this conversation about responsible pet care, we want to share fox's farewell to the Little Prince. "'Goodbye'," said the fox. 'And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.'"
Seeing our animal companions through our heart's loving filter allows us to become the best pet owner we can possibly be; it's where responsible pet care begins and ends. When it comes time to say "goodbye" to your beloved animal companion, it's essential to see the situation "rightly" (as fox would say). Your heart will tell you the importance of making the correct end-of-life decisions on their behalf, and may lead you to pick up the phone to call us at (956) 484-1415 to speak with us about our pet loss support services. No matter the time of day, know that we will see ourselves as deeply privileged to serve you and your beloved animal companion.
American Kennel Club, "Be a Responsible Dog Owner" and "Responsible Breeding Steps", both accessed 2014