Pet responsibility after kids

Mary - posted on 07/13/2011 ( 53 moms have responded )

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As many of you know, I am an avid animal lover who feels passionately about animal rescue. When I was pregnant, I can't begin to count the number of people who told me, "Oh, just wait until the baby comes! You won't care nearly a much about those dogs, and you'll barely find the time to even feed them."

I dismissed them all; I could see no reason why having a baby would lessen my love for my dogs, nor did I think my obligation to care for them should be impacted by her arrival. I'm happy to say that all of those naysayers were wrong. I still loved them just as much as before, and I did my very best to still meet their needs and those of my newborn.

In the very beginning, it was hard. I wasn't the skilled baby-wearer I am today, so walking them was a bit of challenge. I had to wait until either my husband was home, or ask my mom to watch the baby for a bit (or push the stroller) so I could still walk them a mile or so. I made it a point to snuggle and play with them whenever I could. I did whatever I could to make them not feel jealous, or slighted since I had brought this new little being into their world. In short, I think I treated them the same way that I imagine most parents do any older kids they have when they also have a newborn. Some days it was a struggle, but I just didn't see how having a baby suddenly meant I had less of an obligation to my animals.

However, I have to say that I find myself the odd one out in this philosophy. I see so many dogs surrendered at my local shelter because "we just don't have time for him/her since the baby". I have more than a few neighbors and acquaintances who have told me they have either gotten rid of their pets, or pretty much ignore them since having kids. I have to be honest - I don't get this mindset. I can't see where continuing to care for a pet after a baby is any different than continuing to care for any prior children you may have (except, really, the pet is usually easier).

Do you think that animals are just an easily dispensable part of the household after kids, or are they an integral part of your family?

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Sherri - posted on 06/09/2012

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Well I hope then that your kids never get excited then if company pulls in your driveway or friends walk by your house.

I hope that you don't get too busy to play with your kids, or they don't get to rambunctious and hurt each other or they just get too be too much work you may give them up too.

Seems to me that you just don't want to do it. Sadly it isn't your husbands dog, you are a family it is the families pet. You just don't want to play with the dog. If you have a backyard it doesn't need to be walked as long as it could go out and play and be petted and loved. I have 4 kids, do home daycare with at least 2 more kids on any given day. I also manage to take care of my boxer. Yup he occasionally barks, and always barks if someone walks by our house. Yup he knocks the kids on their butts all the time or whips them with his tail oh well they get up and brush it off.

Mary - posted on 06/09/2012

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Wow - this is an old post!

Laura, I can't speak for others, but for me, it's not the act of re-homing that I find objectionable. By all means - if you are unable to provide a suitable environment for any pet, the only responsible course of action is to surrender them to someone who will.

That's not really what I was talking about though. It's more about those who are unwilling to give their animals the time and attention they deserve, and who think that having a child somehow makes their apathy towards a previously cherished pet excusable or acceptable. They stop caring for that dog not because they are unable, but because they don't want to take the time and energy to do it anymore. They casually discard that responsibility in the same manner that a new mother gives up weekly manicures, or regular late nights out with the girls.

To me, a pet is a lifetime commitment. I absolutely get that there are things that can make one unable to fulfill that commitment; a serious illness in the family, loss of a home or job. However, just deciding "Hey, now that I have a kid, I really don't like animals anymore"? Nope, that's not an attitude I find admirable.

I am always glad that these types of people surrender their animals to a shelter or re-home them - the animal deserves better. There is no question that doing so is the right thing. That doesn't mean that I don't think less of them for the attitude and disregard that made that surrender necessary. For me, it shows a lack of character, responsibility and reliability that I find unappealing.

Merry - posted on 06/09/2012

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Finding a dog a home where it gets the time attention training and exercise it needs is NOT something to be attacked for.
Yeah you'd hope that the dog still has what it needs after babies come into the mix but if it doesn't then finding it a better home is the best choice!

If I couldn't give my child what they needed I wouldn't have had children. And I wouldn't go out and buy a dog if I knew I couldn't give them what they needed either! But some of us have/had dogs that came to us before kids and I made it work before I had kids,but once I did have them I realized I wasn't a dog person! I loved her ebcause she was like my child but I'm not fond of the dog nature! So, I gave her to my sister who loves her and gives her what she deserves.

And I'm not ashamed of it. I did right by my dog and she's better off because of it.

Krista - posted on 07/13/2011

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I think that if you take an animal into your home, you have made yourself responsible for that animal's life, and you need to take that responsibility seriously.



You wouldn't give away your eldest kid if you had twins, and could no longer spend as much time with your eldest, right?



You deal with it, and you make it work.



The only situation in which I can countenance giving away an animal when kids come along is if aggression takes place, and all methods to deal with it have failed. And even then, I think that it is still the owner's responsibility to find a loving, non-kid home for the dog, preferably with people who will give you updates as to how the dog is doing.



Edited to add: or, like in Lisa's case, if the animal truly IS better off being re-homed.

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Denikka - posted on 06/09/2012

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We desperately want a dog. Hubby and I both grew up with at least one dog at a time in our house hold, along with other animals. We want our kids to grow up with the same experiences that we had.
But, living where we are, it's not fair to have a dog right now. Or any animal. There's a great chance that we would have to rehome just based on living arrangements. We rent. And most landlords, whether it be a home, duplex, apartment, whatever, do not allow animals. Or only allow something like a small aquarium or small, caged animals. There is also a fairly reasonable chance that there will be multiple moves over the next couple of years, and moving is a stress that I would rather not put an animal through if I don't have to.
So as much as it pains us, we wait. We intend on waiting until we own a home of our own. Neither of us like small dogs, we would love to have a very large dog (Bernese Mountain Dog is our top choice although that may not happen, but that gives the idea of the size :P) and so not only do we need to wait until the living arrangements are settled and pets are *allowed*, but we also want to make sure we have everything in place to give our dog (or dogs, as we would like multiples) the best life possible. Lots of room to run, financially stable, emotionally stable. And part of the reason is to wait until our oldest children (now 3 and 1) are a little older and better to understand what a dog (or any animal) needs.

I agree that animals should be a commitment. Not a convenience.

Sherri - posted on 06/09/2012

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Beautifully worded Mary and exactly to the letter how I feel as well.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/09/2012

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Christina---It drives me nuts that my husband expects me to take care of his 2 children AND give his dog all of the attention she needs. So I think you should consider everyone's life situations before being so brash.

Wow, it is your husbands dog and "his" kids! Way to put everything on your husband. It would be nice to see people own their responsibilities and take care of what they have!!

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/09/2012

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I have not read any other posts.



I LOVE my dog. She was here before my son came along. She is most definitely NOT easily dispensed. She is a very important part of our family.



We walk her just as much as we take our son for a walk. Everyday, if it is not freezing and/or pouring out. We play with her in the back yard, while we paly with my son. Even when he was first born, we still took her for her walks. We have not missed a beat with her, she is still attended to just as much and actually more, than before. Simply because she now has my son to love her too. He LOVES her. He kisses her, hugs her, pets her, plays with her and chases her. She enjoys it, sometimes I think she is telling him to take a `flying leap` but he doesn't care. LOL



I agree with you Mary. Our animals are important to a family and anyone that dismisses their family member (even if it is four legged) after having a baby, really should not have been an owner to begin with.

Christina - posted on 06/09/2012

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My dog has always been a huge PITA. She's my husbands dog, and he's been working midnights for the last 3 years, so he never walks her, or pays any attention to her. So she barks like a crazy dog everytime a car pulls in our driveway, or if people walk by our house. We now have 2 children, and there is no way I can walk her AND keep hold of 2 kids, she pulls like crazy.

My In-laws have found her a wonderful home. A family with 2 kids ages 10 and 12 who will play with her and give her all of the attention she needs. That makes me feel fantastic about our decision to give her up.

After having 2 kids and pretty much taking care of them on my own, the dog took a backseat. I don't have time to walk her, and when my son is trying to play in the backyard, she knocks him flat on his ass several times.

It drives me nuts that my husband expects me to take care of his 2 children AND give his dog all of the attention she needs. So I think you should consider everyone's life situations before being so brash.

Charlie - posted on 07/14/2011

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It's all behavioural though and something that can be worked on even if training and reassurement doesnt work as effectively I know one friend had to go as far as get doggy Prozac and it has helped their dogs a lot !

Merry - posted on 07/14/2011

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India is ridiculously anxious too. She has to be right with me all day and night, we can't let her outside alone or she barks endlessly. And if we go outside without her she will bark the entire time she can see us. We can't put her in a room if we have company over so I can't host playdates. And I've had her since she was weaned.
So my guess is some dogs are simply high needs clingy dogs. Wether it's their first home or 5th. Obviously unsuitability would worsen it but some dogs can have separation anxiety even from their first home.

Sal - posted on 07/14/2011

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that is awful feen, i got my sisters cat in the exact same way, she went over seas for 6 months and when they got home her husband refused to have him back, and yes if i didn't keep him he was off the the pound or the vet....it made me cross as i already had a cat and a dog, and i didn;t really need anymore, but they knew i'd keep him...

Charlie - posted on 07/14/2011

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Pets are for life IMO, they are family ....My dog Oscar adopted us , his owner went away for a month ....then another month and then another month and so on until it was 6 months later and he refused to go home , we have had him for three years now I would never dream of giving him up or forgetting about him , my son is two and a half and has just started to enjoy taking him for walks ( I walked him previously).



Honestly my boy Oscar now has issues stemming from being left behind by his ex owner , he suffers seperation anxiety fairly badly now but with lots of love and reassurance I can tell he feels safer although he doesnt like to be left alone or out of sight from us ( which is quite different to his previous behaviour before his ex owners went away)



I actually got angry at the owners when they got back because they said they were leaving in two weeks for somewhere else I told them they cant do that to their dog and explained what was happening ........The response " oh well maybe we will have to put him down" I was fucking FURIOUS.



He is a very happy spoiled dog now and his little lady friend just had his pups we might be getting one too .

Sal - posted on 07/14/2011

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the one thing i think is important is to get a dog that suits your family, a big dog that needs walking twice a day just doens;t work for everyone, we have a large dog (he was my parents and they were traveling and my husband wanted a guard dog) but we have a huge yard, so he is happy not to be walked, and we have a poodle, again a big yard, but does have a walk occationally, (and when summer hits i can see it really increasing) i think people really need to get a dog that fits thier lifestyle, and i think this is where people go wrong, they live in a small place with little or no yard, no kids the dog can rule to roost, they have loads of time and energy to walk and wash and play, baby come along and the family dinamics change and what was once fun isn;t anymore, if they had a smaller dog, more suited to their lifesyle and home environment the same issues wouldn;t be there...like the girl who had the poor many times abandned boxer, any body with a brain knows a boxer needs walking and lots of exercise, so why get it if thats not for you...

Merry - posted on 07/14/2011

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Too true Jen, our cats taught Eric to be nice quite fast, if he was rough with them they would leave hum, so he figured out if he wanted the cats to stay by him he had to be gentle :) now they're best buds.

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I have 5 cats now. when my son was born, I had 2. We had to have one put down right after he was born because he swallowed a string (I still miss him) and i lost the other to cancer but at that point I was living with my mother and she had 2. I paid a lot of attention to them because I'm a cat person. I am not however a dog person and I think I'd be hard pressed to care for a dog and a baby. Cats are easier. Plus they teach children pretty quickly how to be nice ;)

Sherri - posted on 07/14/2011

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I agree with you Mary. I have seen the damage of having to rehome dogs, I am now the owner of a 2yr old boxer who we were his 5th owner by the time he was 5mo's old. He has huge separation anxiety because even after 2yrs he is terrified we won't come back.

I feel that dogs get just as traumatized as kids do when given up for adoption or taken from their parents as older babies/toddlers. Their is irreparable damage that is done.

It makes me steaming mad when people adopt pets, don't realize what they have gotten themselves into and get rid of the poor pet like they are a piece of furniture. Not a living, breathing creature with feeling, attachments and emotions.

Minnie - posted on 07/14/2011

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We don't consider our animals dispensable...I mean I was in tears last August when Toni swallowed a mylar craft pom pom and got a bowel obstruction. She nearly died. I just couldn't imagine things without her, and how Zander would be utterly miserable without her.

But I do believe that in special circumstances it IS in the animal's best interest to find it a new home. Definitely not dumped off on the street but in a loving family that can provide for its physical and emotional needs. I believe in certain situations it would be more cruel to keep the animal.

Merry - posted on 07/14/2011

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Yeah unfortunately India was never properly trained, right after we got her my mom got cancer and life got complicated. After my mom died we were just trying to survive so India wasn't a priority although she was a dear friend to us. She's a good dog, just needs some work.

Mary - posted on 07/14/2011

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See, you're talking about the difficulties of walking one dog to the girl who walked two large dogs, a toddler, and my friend's one y/o 3/4 a mile this am. The one y/o was in my ergo, my two and half y/o walked independently, and the boys were on their double leash. As for weather extremes - I've bundled up the girl in a snowsuit, popped her in the ergo, and walked her & the boys over a mile the day after we received over two feet of snow. To me, one dog seems easy. Of course, I had spent a good deal of time training my dogs to be well-behaved on a leash long before I ever I though about adding a baby to the mix. They needed to walk, and their combined weight is more than mine. Having them pull and lunge every time we saw another dog, or a squirrel darted in front of us was simply unacceptable.

And yes, I agree that re-homing your dog is in her best interests. I guess I'm trying to say that it is a decision I will never be able to understand. I could no more part with my dogs willingly than I could cut off my arm.

Merry - posted on 07/14/2011

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In fact partly why we adopted the second cat was for India! Lol gabey always wanted to play and he would try to get India to play with him but just ended up scratching her face and she would get upset at him and growl at him to stop. So we got Mikey and now the cats play together and don't bother India :)

Merry - posted on 07/14/2011

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Well honestly it's not really rehoming, it's my sister. And India was a family pet. Bethany, my sister went to college and I got married and had an apartment so I kept India. Now Bethany has an apartment and three roommates all who want a dog so since we were having issues with managing India here we set up for them to have her.
So, it's not really like Im rehoming her. Also we got India when I was 15 so I didn't exactly adopt her myself,ididnt think of her as my sole responsibility, nor was I the one to pay for her etc.
So that's different as well.
No I would never give India to someone I didn't know and trust. We would keep her and make it work unless a good option came up like with my sister. I do love India and that's why I'm giving her to my sister. India deserves to be walked daily and trained properly. And I cannot offer her that care so Bethany will be able to give her what I can not.
So yes I'll benefit from Bethany taking her, but India will benefit even more. She will get four college girls adoring her and her alone, giving her all the attention and exercise and discipline she needs. She's a good dog but she needs things I cant give her.
Now I'm sure you will say why can't you?
Well last summer I walked her almost daily as I could put Eric in the stroller and walk. Once winter came I couldn't keep Eric outside for a walk so India didn't get any walks in winter. Matt isnt home enough as it is and when he's home he wants to spend time with me and Eric.
Now this spring Fierna was born and I'd love to take India for was again but unless I buy a double stroller I cant, I use a sling with Fia alot but India is not trustworthy on walks and she will lunge at wildlife and other people and dogs, in a friendly excitable way, so it's not safe for me to walk her with a sling.
So if she isn't getting walks that makes her life so much worse. She deserves better and she will get it with my sister!
I see nothing at all wrong with what we are doing.
And we did adopt a cat with the foreknowledge that we were giving India to my sister this fall, the humane society knew we were doing this and they allowed us to adopt the cat.

Mary - posted on 07/14/2011

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"Eric is my priority so my day revolves around him, not the dog."



Laura, I'm sorry, and I really don't mean to pick on you personally, but this statement is an example of what really bugs me as an animal advocate. I just don't see how having a child negates the ability to continue caring for the animal (unless that animal is irrationally aggressive).



I have 2 large dogs, and I love them pretty much unconditionally. Obviously, things changed for them a little after I had Molly. What did not change was my love for them. I had to struggle a bit in the beginning to find a balance between them and her, but it simply never occurred to me that not doing so was even an option. I had made an commitment to them when I chose to adopt them, and to me, it was no less binding than the one I made to my husband on our wedding day.



Are there days when I am just so flipping tired that I don't feel like walking them, or when they just flat out annoy and exasperate me? Absolutely! However, I could say the same about my toddler, and I would never dream of giving her up to another family just because she was too much work, tracked mud in the house, or peed on my carpet.



Animals do require additional effort, there is no question about it. But, I don't think you day needs to revolve around her to meet her needs. She just needs to be included in your to-do list, the same way that Eric is still a priority even though you have a newborn. After all, I'm pretty sure that at his age, he is going to get dirt, mud, paint,snot or whatever on the baby at some point. He is most likely going to cry or yell at times when she is napping, and he is also going to try and steal her food/toys/books at some point as well.



I really am sorry for coming across as so judgmental. I freely admit that I am probably utilizing this opportunity to say to you all of the things I wish I could say to the people who surrender perfectly "good" dogs to my shelter for the same reasons that you are getting rid of you dog. I can tell you this; if you came to my shelter 5 years from now, and were honest about re-homing your first dog just because she was too much effort (and there were no glaring behavioral issues other than her just being a dog), your application would be denied.

Merry - posted on 07/14/2011

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Our cats fit in perfectly when Eric was born, we never had an issue with the cats. I think we are actually much more of cat people then dog people. Our agreement is we will get another dog when our youngest is 5. But even then we don't want another big shedding dog, we're thinking a wire haired dachshund....until then just ourccats, maybe a guinea pig when the kids ask for a pet.

Sal - posted on 07/14/2011

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i got my dogs after my kids so this was never really an issue for me,my poor old silky died last week, he was 15, and never an inside dog, i am not a "dog" person though so my dogs are primarily outside, and sleep outside, we love the, play with them and walk them but i don;t treat them like a child, it just donsn't work for me,
we have a puppy at the moment and he is inside a fair bit due to the weather and he has to travel with us at the moment and i do find it a pian, luckily as he is a poodle he doens;t shed much so the smell and hair aren;t really annoying me too much, (i do tell him he's my fav baby.....because i can lock him in the shed and leave him at home when i go for coffee-lol)

Tammy - posted on 07/13/2011

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We have cats (Siamese, Ragdoll & Abyssinian). When I was pregnant, I was appalled at how many people asked me if I am going to get rid of them when the baby is born. I was so shocked to hear such a question, that at times I would just burst out crying. I love my cats and they are part of my family. My husband and I share in their feeding and sandbox cleaning and each cat has random playtime with us each day. At night they share sleeping on our bed. We have cat furniture all over our house that blends with our own furniture and decor.

Our daughter is now 3 years old and she loves our cats just as much as my husband and I do. In matter of fact her first word was "cat!"

Merry - posted on 07/13/2011

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My dog was my only friend, but when my kids were born yes I changed how. Saw her. If sh brought in muddy paws it was upsetting to me because I fdidnt want my baby getting mud on him, if she barked she would wake him from naps, she would steal his food, rip up garbage.
It's not her fault, she needs attention and exercise and I have no energy to give it to her. Eric is my priority so my day revolves around him, not the dog.
My sister is taking the dog in a month and we are happy that we won't have a dog, and even more we are happy India will be well cared for and adored again.
Yes having kids changed it all. They are my life, India is in my life but she is not my life anymore.

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When i first got my dog i was living in a house that i could have him inside with me most of the time but since i moved into the house i'm in now i can't have him inside anywhere near as much as i used to. I only rent so the owners can tell me what to do to some extent. So my dog does get somewhat ignored more then before but only due to circumstances. If i were to move to a house that i could have him inside again i would in a heartbeat but those houses are few and far between.
Children are not whats caused the dog to be ignored more. They love him and often let him in when he shouldn't be.

Sherri - posted on 07/13/2011

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No once you adopt an animal in my book it is for LIFE. The are just as important in our family as my husband or my children. There would be NO reason I would give my animals up.

Lady Heather - posted on 07/13/2011

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Haha. My older dog once tore out a nice stalk of corn (yeah, we grew corn in freaking Prince George and she ruined one) and two of my best cauliflower plants. She managed to nose under the fence and grab them. omg.

At least somebody got to eat them?

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My dog ate all our home grown pea pods straight off the plant today (the little *%$£&**)... anyone want him?

Elfrieda - posted on 07/13/2011

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Our cat got quite a shock when the baby was born. She was de-throned from being at the centre of our attention with quite a bump. I always thought that I wouldn't change in my affection for her, but now I get very frustrated with her when she meows in front of the baby's door or right now when she's shedding like crazy and I have to spend so much time sweeping. I still appreciate her, and I think it's good for the baby to grow up with an animal, but we won't be getting any more pets until we're done having kids. I want a dog, but I couldn't deal with that right now. We'll wait until our youngest is at least 6 months old, that's what I hope.

Amie - posted on 07/13/2011

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For some people they are easily dispensable. We have our one (Sasha) because friends of friends didn't want her anymore, they were pregnant. Well ok, that seems an oddball reason to me but we took her and she's happy with us. She has 4 kids to play with, lots of love and even her own room with Hooch (our other dog). Hooch we picked up after Sasha, he's been with us 7 months and is just as much loved and cared for.

The dogs ARE easier than the kids to take care of. LOL Their needs are simple and they don't whine nearly as much as the kids. They listen better too. haha!

We also have 5 cats (2 of which were given to us by a family member because they were getting complaints in the city by neighbours) and 2 turtles.

They are as much a part of our family as are the kids. The only real difference is that we picked our pets, we just had kids. LOL

Lindsey - posted on 07/13/2011

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I am an animal lover to the extreme. I had two dogs (a yellow lab and a boxer) and a cat before I had my son. Shortly after our son was born, our beautiful boxer Maddy lunged at my 6 year old nephew for no reason. Luckily he wasn't hurt, but it scared me to death. She had never been aggressive with people before (but had sometimes attacked our lab for no reason), but after that incident I knew that the only responsible thing to do would be to find a new home for her. We gave her to friends, and unfortunately, after only being in their home for a few days, she went after their 8 year old daughter. They ended up surrendering her to the SPCA. I was devastated of course. I have never thought of my pets as expendable, I've always cared for them like they were my children (even after my son was born), and I believe that if you take on the responsibility of owning an animal, it should be for life. So, I believe that while there are situations (such as mine) where surrendering the animal is the only option, giving up an animal simply because they don't fit into your new schedule isn't a good enough reason. We still have our lab and our cat, and have also adopted a lovely little chiweenie (chihuahua / daschund cross) and they are the best playmates my son could ever have.

Lady Heather - posted on 07/13/2011

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I guess I just figure that my mum is my family too, but I don't live with her because it's not what is best for either of us. That doesn't mean I don't love her and she doesn't love me and that doesn't mean we don't still see each other. I also won't keep my kids at home when they are grown because that's not what's best for them. I simply won't keep an animal if I don't think I am the best place for them. Fortunately this is the first time that's ever come up. Generally I won't take an animal if I don't think I'll be the best for them either, but sometimes it's really hard to know exactly how things will go when you get home and aren't at the shelter anymore.

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This is a question that can only be answered case by case I think. I grew up with animals in our home..cats, dogs, ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, iguana, hamsters..ive cried and loved more animals than any boy :). Hehe. But I respect people who do say I cant take care of an animal and find it a better home. This is where awareness needs to be made greatly known what animals require. I heard on the radio where "they"(animal organization)are trying to get people to quit saying pet and use animal companion.

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This is a question that can only be answered case by case I think. I grew up with animals in our home..cats, dogs, ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, iguana, hamsters..ive cried and loved more animals than any boy :). Hehe. But I respect people who do say I cant take care of an animal and find it a better home. This is where awareness needs to be made greatly known what animals require. I heard on the radio where "they"(animal organization)are trying to get people to quit saying pet and use animal companion.

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Pets ARE family. I did have to choose my kids over my cat when my son was born and let my ex take him cuz the only place I knew I could get in to doesn't allow pets. It was an easy decision at the time, but 3 years later and I still miss my cat.

Lady Heather - posted on 07/13/2011

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I think it can be just a matter of figuring shit out, unless you have a bizarrely exceptional animal. I have to say, I have never encountered another dog like mine. I've had dogs, my husband has had dogs. Between us we've probably had 10 dogs over our lives and never had an issue that couldn't be sorted before now. He's just...insane.

I have never seen a dog with that kind of energy. He eats like a horse and runs around so much that we can't keep any weight on him. I think he's just a natural born athlete. Plus he's a hunting dog and he's not being used for that either. We had no idea when we brought him home that he could do that stuff. He points. And when he's pointing there is nothing that will break his concentration. You could probably put on a fireworks show right in front of his face and he'd keep on pointing. Just totally weird. I know there is someone who will want that in a dog and have the time to foster all his god-given abilities. One day I fully expect to see him on the Iams superdog circuit. I wish I could do that with him, I really do.

Minnie - posted on 07/13/2011

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Yeah, she was beginning to chew her feathers. It was so sad. So we searched high and low and grilled people interested in taking her. She ended up going to a home that had several other parrots and no little children.

Rosie - posted on 07/13/2011

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well, i never got pets until AFTER i had kids, for the most part it was FOR my kids. scooby is grants second birthday present. we only have added a cat after that, and he's MINE. i got lonely after having my husband work nights so long i wanted a snuggle with something, lol. my dog is waaay to big and smelly for that, so i wanted a cat.

i do feel that after having MORE kids, the dog doesn't get as much attention as before. however i dont' feel he's expendable. i would not give him up. it's kinda like grant, lol. he doesn't get as much attention now that there are 3 children, doesn't mean i love him any less or want to give him up to make more time for my other 2.

pets are dispensable in some circumstances IMO. if i don't have the money to shell out on surgeries and whatever if it ever comes down to that, i may put the dog under. i obviously wouldn't do that with one of my children.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/13/2011

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Pets are not just a responsibility, they are a member of the family. It can be difficult to juggle a newborn and pets, but once you get the hang of it, it is like anything else in life.

I would prefer that people surrender their pets to a shelter or another home though, if they felt they could not offer the pet the life they deserve. That is better than neglect...or abuse.

Lady Heather - posted on 07/13/2011

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I do consider my animals to be a part of my family, but at the same time - I need to make sure the animals are in the right home. I would NEVER send one of my pets to a shelter. We are in the process of re-homing one of our dogs though. Try as I might, I can't seem to create a home or daily schedule in which I don't require him to at least be outside for five minutes in the yard to pee by himself (well, with the other dog). He jumps the 6 foot fence. We have tried an invisible fence and he's decided he doesn't care about the shock either. Yesterday he left the yard after being out there for two minutes. He does it to chase squirrels. He has even jumped the fence when we've been in the yard playing with him. He just sees something interesting and he goes for it.

I think his problem is that we simply don't have the time to be active enough for him. He is not a dog that is satisfied by having a couple walks a day and a yard to run around in. I think he needs a "job". So right now we are trying to find someone on the local dog agility scene to take him. I think that would work really well for him. 20 years from now I'd have found myself a new hobby, but realistic me knows that is not going to happen right now. My husband is gone at 5am and is only home for a couple of hours at the end of the day. I have the kid and another on the way. I think our lives are only going to get busier as time goes by and I don't want him waiting in the wings or worse - getting hit by a car because he jumped the fence - while we experiment.

I don't think that's the same as dumping a loved animal at the shelter though. I fully intend on still seeing him after he is re-homed and certainly we have spent a good year trying everything we could to make it work.

JL - posted on 07/13/2011

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I have two dogs. I can't imagine giving them away. My oldest dog I have had in my life longer than my kids. He came before my children and is my first baby. My youngest dog is my kids little guard dog. He's an Australian Shepard and he literally herds the kids. He circles around them keeps them close by and will growl at anyone trying to get into his herd near the kids if he doesn't know them. Our dogs are in integral part of our life and family. The kids love them dearly and help take care of them.

I do think that there are some cases when the animals are too aggressive or high maintenance and that finding them a new home is better for the family and the pet.

Amber - posted on 07/13/2011

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I have two large dogs that we adopted as puppies right before we got pregnant.
I do find myself struggling to keep up with them like we did before we had a child, but I always make time to do it. It's just that instead of getting brushed multiple times a week and getting a bath every 2 weeks, they get brushed once a week and baths happen a little less frequently.

I am finding that as my son gets older, it's getting easier. He likes to help brush them and bathe them. So, instead of waiting for nap/bed time, I can just enlist his help instead.

We almost did have to get rid of them when our son was about 1 yr old. He was having allergy problems and the doctors thought he was getting asthma. It ended up being a food allergy that he grew out of. But if he had been allergic to them, I would have had to re-home them.

Ella - posted on 07/13/2011

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my animals dont seem like extra chores to me because I'm just used to it, but some other people may think its a lot of work to feed 8 animals. I mop, vaccum and sweep more because I have the animals, but just makes my house cleaner so doesn't bother me. I love my animals to bits and would never part with them even though they don't get an much attention as they should have. We still walk them with the kids every other weekend and stil have them sleep in our room or our kids room at night time

[deleted account]

Being pregnant would make me want to care for them more.That's just me.

I grew up in a home were they were all animal lovers and rescued countless animals.Spending a lot to save many, which they did without hesitation.Our new puppy 9 weeks is a part of our home already.We got a puppy called aj when my second was 4mths and sadly he died a week later.We were so happy to have been able to provide him a warm safe home.Were we cared for them right up to the end.I have to say he was more work than my baby but it didn't matter.We adore our new puppy and hes fit and healthy.So here's to many years of fun to be had as a family, hes so part of the family.We won't get fed up of him.



I think many do get fed up not just when a baby comes but many people just get fed up and get rid of them when they see how much work etc they can be.

It depends you can still manage to have time for your dog, maybe in time a bit more but to many use it as an excuse to get rid of them.Not all but there are some who do.

Mary - posted on 07/13/2011

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Lisa, I fully agree where there are times that it is in the best interest of all to re-home a pet. I'm really talking about the (many) new parents that just don't see it as necessary to even try to maintain some level of care and attention for their animals, and feel that it is justified because of a new baby. Obviously, my dogs were not receiving the same level of my undivided attention once I had my daughter. But, they received no less attention than an older sibling would have. I'm sure, that for the odd animal, this may not be enough. However, most animals to happily adjust when their owners do put forth the effort to still walk, play, or snuggle with them as much as they can. I just don't get the owners that think some additional effort on their part is going to be required, and justify almost completely ignoring the needs of their previously cherished pet because they now have child.

[deleted account]

Lisa- after reading your reply I have to reconsider my position. I agree with you- high maintanence birds and other pets may not mix well with babies, and rehoming for the animal's benefit is kinder than dumping the animal. I guess my thoughts were focused on dogs/cats that seem to be left loose without considering other creatures. African greys are beautiful and very much in need of stimulation and attention. It was the right thing for the animal.

Minnie - posted on 07/13/2011

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Well, we had an African Grey we had to give to another family. I've changed in my philosophy on keeping birds. Parrots should be left to their own kind- it is SO HARD to give them what they need, emotionally. We certainly couldn't do it after we had our first. Finding her a new home was for her own good- she was becoming neurotic not having her favorite person (me) at her every beck and call. And it really bothered her having the new baby around.

[deleted account]

Sad to say that in so many cases, animals are disposable. In my area in Arizona, animals are left free to roam the desert and become strays, roadkill, or prey. It is beyond disgusting sometimes regarding the irresponsibility of pet owners to bow out of the care of their pet.

MY 2 cats were here prior to my son, and the dog adopted us when my son was 18 months. Yes, I was worried and concerned about the cats and the "myths" I read about. But I wouldn;t dream of relinquishing my cats! I would try harder to find a solution. Fortunately, the curiosity faded after a week.

I also struggle to find the rationale of "not having time". It doesn;t take a lot of time to romp, hug, snuggle-family walk with the dog. It's a cop-out and an excuse. And dare I even say pretty darned shallow and obviously not an animal lover to begin with. Make time! Seriously-you can't find 15 minutes for an early morning or late evening walk? Can't use a baby sling/stroller and walk the dog? Can't incorporate on the floor baby + dog time? As exhausted as I get coming home from work, I get greeted by the unconditional love and tail wags. I may not be able to walk the dog at that instant, but I could never imagine ditching the dog just cause I have a baby. Animals KNOW when they are being ignored and can sense a lack of interest or love.

Ella - posted on 07/13/2011

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I found it harder to look after my animals after we had kids, before we had kids our dogs had a beautiful area in the paito for play, beds, toys play mats and were very very well looked after, now they arekind of just left to play with each other and we don't have as much time to baby them. But they are still loved and we definately would never get rid of any of our animals

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