Pets for summer

I’m remembering a summer from a year or two ago.  A family up the street had given their kids a puppy.  Something to keep them busy while the parents worked.  The kids ranged in ages from six to twelve.  None of them knew anything about dogs.  The younger ones treated it like a stuffed animal.  I don’t know how the pre-teen acted toward the dog.  

My daughter was hanging around them that summer.  She loved that dog.  Sarah loves all animals.  She’d bring home a giraffe if she could find one.  Why not?  She brought home a snake in her pocket once.  Anyway, she came home upset one day; they weren’t treating the dog like they should.  They put it on a lead, in the yard, in ninety degree heat and left it there.  They weren’t house training the dog. It was made to sleep outside.  

One day–a couple of weeks after they got the dog–the pre-teen came to my door asking if I could help.  He had heard that I volunteer for the local Humane Society.  Could I do something because they had to get rid of the dog.  

I agreed to take the puppy.  I had to, it was the right thing for the dog.  

If I could tell people something, it would be this:  DON’T GET A PET FOR YOUR KIDS FOR THE SUMMER!  They’re not toys.  They’re not hobbies that can be shoved in a basement and forgotten when you’re bored with them.  Getting a pet for the summer doesn’t teach them responsibility.  It teaches them that life is cheap.  That they don’t have to take their obligations seriously.  

Okay, rant over.  

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