Three Yorkies – Chardonnay, Tasia, Kaiah, and Sophie, the cat, count on us to care for them. Every day. Their worlds are very small. When we leave, their stress levels rise. When we return, we are welcomed home as if returning from a years-long absence. Except for Sophie. She cannot, will not, admit she is glad we returned. It violates the cat code of people interactions. Whether we are welcomed or ignored, pets are a commitment.
Chardonnay lives with a seizure disorder. I don’t say she suffers from a seizure disorder because between seizures, Chardonnay enjoys life. She turned 9 years old in January. Her first seizure was in January of last year. Currently, Chardonnay is on three seizure medications, and her vet says it is not uncommon for dogs with seizures to be on four medications. Chardonnay can count on us to care for her until her body gives out. Caring for animals with chronic health conditions is a commitment.
For now, we plan time away around Chardonnay’s medication times. More often than not, one of us stays home while the other runs errands. Fortunately, COVID changed my work environment. Now, I work from home. I’m not sure what we would have done otherwise. But scheduling time away and administering medications are part of our commitment.
Did I envision the financial commitment beyond occasional vet visits and vaccines when I first laid eyes on the little fur ball? No, honestly I don’t think many of us fully consider the financial commitment. That is one of the main reasons people surrender their pets to shelters – the financial burden can be daunting. I choose to feed our Yorkies organic chicken or beef and vegetables mixed with their kibble. Sometimes I throw in a hard-boiled egg. It’s not cheap, and overall I think they eat better than we do! Pets are an expensive financial commitment.
Despite the costs, chronic health concerns, and separation anxieties, our fur babies give us so much more than we give them. Pets love unconditionally, trust unconditionally, forgive unconditionally, and are unconditionally loyal to a fault. On my bedside stand sit three containers with the ashes of fur babies who crossed over into eternity. One day we will join them. Until then, we are committed to loving and caring for those who are still with us. Commitment is not just a word…..