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S/o (sort of) Pet Ownership is Becoming Elitist.


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My grandmother used to drown the kittens.  Put them in a nylon stocking in a bucket of water with a lid on top.  I remember digging in the garden and dug them up once when i was kid. 

 

Mine used the exhaust pipe of the car.

 

I know, terrible.  I can't imagine doing something like that.  Then again if they'd starve that wouldn't be so nice either.

 

But then see it is like we've gone from one extreme to another extreme. 

Edited by SparklyUnicorn
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There is a woman on the street who was forced out of her home because of siblings who didn't care that she didn't have somewhere to go and wanted their share of the money after their parent died. They gave her none of it claiming they had to spend her share on fixing up the house. That's the short version.

 

Anyhow, she was pretty much homeless. Someone on the street let her stay with them until she could work something out. She had no job. I saw her turn into skin and bones. She goes around the neighborhood taking in trash cans, and doing odd landscaping type stuff for no money. It's just something she does to keep busy. People on the street gave her money here or there and sometimes food. She'd take the money she was given to help out stray cats with medical care. Sorry, I think that's just nuts. Honestly, I avoided giving her money because of this. I gave her food instead. (She is also the same person who used our small shed to house a pack of stray cats and kittens in the dead of winter (without asking us and we found many of them dead).

 

At least she is doing better these days. She got a job that pays something and she no longer looks like skin and bones. Of course I know she cares a lot and she is a good person, but her priorities are rather strange to me.

She sounds like someone suffering severe mental illness and thus not thinking rationally, regardless of priorities.

 

But also, geez. No wonder she'd rather feed stray cats than herself. It's not like loving humans have valued her much more than a stray cat either. 😟

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Not saying you should put your cat on prozac, but last time I checked (years ago) human prozac was on the $4 list at Target and Walmart and the like, which would put it at $48/year. Does cat prozac cost more than human prozac?

 

Our landlord spent tens of thousands of dollars on cancer treatment for an elderly dog (which died soon thereafter anyway). I probably wouldn't even spend tens of thousands of dollars on myself as a 90-something year old for cancer treatment (pain relief, etc, yes, but no aggressive "extend life as much as possible" kind of treatment unless I was one of those rare people who are 90 going on 50).

 

When we were living in Texas I saw people selling puppies (so cute!) for $20 or so out of the bed of a truck in a Walmart parking lot more than once, so yeah, you can still get them for cheap. And I've seen people in the projects with a dog on a chain, so they obviously manage to keep a dog alive despite a less-than-ideal income level.

Well, this is one thing I think differs enormously with region and political climate. I have not seen the puppies-in-the-truckbed type of pet offering for many decades. I think, but cannot verify this, the local papers and classifieds stopped offering dogs and cats for sale or free.

 

I am looking at the local paper right now: in the category of Pets & Livestock, there are only three enteries: one offer of Barn Cats, which is a recurring ad put out by a no-kill shelter; someone off-loading some hens that probably lay infrequently now (3-4 years old); a parakeet free to good home. There is no longer a "Free" category in this paper.

 

I think the frowned-upon notion of having some free or cheap unintentional puppies or kittens makes it such that people around here would be unlikely, even if it isn't prohibitted, to off-load mixed parentage pets for free or cheap. It's like you're trying to get ahold of some Cuban cigars if you want to find someone with kittens or puppies that were unintentionally bred.

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She sounds like someone suffering severe mental illness and thus not thinking rationally, regardless of priorities.

 

But also, geez. No wonder she'd rather feed stray cats than herself. It's not like loving humans have valued her much more than a stray cat either. 😟

 

Yeah I do think she has some mental health issues.  She is super hardworking.  She never stops working (for no money), but for the longest time she would not get a job. I really do not know why.  She once mentioned not wanting people telling her what to do.  Yet it's so weird because really she was obviously willing to work hard.  There are plenty of jobs like that around here.  They don't pay enough, but it's certainly better than no money at all. 

 

I generally don't care what people do with money I give them.  No strings attached.  I don't even care if they want to buy booze.  Whatever.  But geesh that was just so bizarre to me.  She'd take them to a vet and the animals would die shortly after anyway.  They couldn't hack the environment in winter around here so it was really not doing them any favors.  Maybe she just didn't quite get that.  I don't know.

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Well, this is one thing I think differs enormously with region and political climate. I have not seen the puppies-in-the-truckbed type of pet offering for many decades. I think, but cannot verify this, the local papers and classifieds stopped offering dogs and cats for sale or free.

 

FWIW, the puppies-in-the-truckbed people weren't supposed to be there, and Walmart would chase them away, but, I've seen them more than once. I haven't seen any since moving to NY, but, I also rarely go to Walmart here (this Walmart doesn't know how to stock - they're always out of multiple things I need), so it's not a fair comparison. I also don't think I've seen any in Plano in Texas - only in Sherman and/or Denison (don't recall). Not saying Walmart parking lots have a monopoly on truckbed puppy sellers - I just don't think I've ever seen them anywhere else.

 

Not that you should buy puppies from a truckbed. And I'm allergic to anything with fur or feathers anyway. The only 'pet' we have is a 'wild' rabbit that lives under our shed that seems to be eating my bean plants. And I haven't read a local newspaper in many years, so I have no idea what they do or don't put in those, lol.

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I heard a report on NPR about dogs in Sarajevo during the war. So many people were displaced, thousands were killed, there was inadequate food, bombing was frequent, and yet there were people caring for dogs and feeding dogs with what food they had. One woman interviewed said that for her this made her feel human. Taking care of vulnerable dog and sharing her food with it was a way for her to feel faith in her own humanity.

 

That really touched my heart. I'm not someone who would pay thousands of dollars for chemo on an old dog, but I do believe that humans domesticated dogs, that we depend on dogs, and then when you take a dog into your home the dog is your responsibility. Sometimes that responsibility includes choosing to let a sick dog go. Sometimes it means rehoming the dog when necessary. But choosing to not provide basic medical care for a dog when you are able to eat well, travel, have cable and eat out does not sit right with me. Not taking the time to learn how to train a dog and then training it (the basics to be able to be safe and to know how to deal with others), not providing adequate exercise and company ... I just don't understand that. I think dogs were one of Gods very best ideas and i value that.

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How do you keep fish without a basic filter or even air pump?

Even Bettas need filtration and would be much better off for no more than the cost of running a lamp.

 

[/quote name=Arcadia" post="7101109" timestamp="1468376306]

 

I was thinking of getting a bearded dragon. The cost of food and the electric bill for heating makes me think twice. We have fishes without air pump or filter so only the cost of fish food which is okay. Water is already included in our HOA payment.

Edited by jeninok
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Side note: the filtration in fish tanks is not really for cleaning the water in a conventional way.

 

The filter media grows and maintains a bacterial colony that removes ammonia from the water. Constant water changes are needed without one unless you have a very heavily planted tank that was well established prior to adding fish.

 

Even bettas deserve at least a gallon or more. But putting them in 3-5 gallons really makes dramatic changes in their activity levels and life span.

 

3-5 gallon full setups can be bought for 10-30 dollars brand new, even less on Craigslist.

Edited by jeninok
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Side question: I need some good resources to counteract Cesar Milan's craziness. Someone I know watched that show and buys into the dominance theory with his dog. I think it's the wrong approach. Are there any easily accessible shows or resources I could pass along to give another perspective, or outright counteract the Cesar influence?

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How do you keep fish without a basic filter or even air pump?

Even Bettas need filtration and would be much better off for no more than the cost of running a lamp.

No they don't. Bettas don't need pumps or filters. I have had betas that lived for nearly a decade without either. After all, their natural habitats weren't much better than mud puddles. Bettas are meat eaters though. So while flakes can sustain them, it's really better to feed brine or bloodworms to keep them healthy. But it's still about the same cost. You can buy it frozen and pinch off an itty bit a day and the one small package will last a month or more. The pump and filter does more to make the tank easier to clean and more pleasing to view than as a necessity for the betta.

 

Some fish do need them or they will die, but not all fish.

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Side question: I need some good resources to counteract Cesar Milan's craziness. Someone I know watched that show and buys into the dominance theory with his dog. I think it's the wrong approach. Are there any easily accessible shows or resources I could pass along to give another perspective, or outright counteract the Cesar influence?

Meh. I have watched just a couple things on him and think he is mostly ridiculous with some abuse tossed in for good measure. I do appreciate how he tells people to quit treating their dog like a human baby. It isn't. And it's no kindness to the animal to treat it like a human same it is not a kindness to treat a human baby like a dog.

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Side question: I need some good resources to counteract Cesar Milan's craziness. Someone I know watched that show and buys into the dominance theory with his dog. I think it's the wrong approach. Are there any easily accessible shows or resources I could pass along to give another perspective, or outright counteract the Cesar influence?

 

It's Me or the Dog is excellent, although a bit cheesy. Much better training methodology. 

 

Here are some quotes from animal experts (veterinary behaviorist, etc) about his methods: http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/6955/what-the-experts-say-about-the-dog-whisperer-cesar-millan/p1

 

And basically, he's a freaking disaster that looks good on TV. No good trainer gets bitten as often as he does. No good trainer makes the owners cry! He has NO idea what he is talking about. NONE. I've watched clip after clip of him calling a VERY obviously submissive and fearful animal "dominant". You can google what a submissive face and body language is of a dog, and see it in these so called dominant dogs he works with. He uses flooding to achieve total freak out, and calls that "training" and success. 

 

If you had a fear of spiders, there are a few approaches. One is to show you first, pictures of cartoon spiders from across the room while giving you something you like, say money or chocolate chips. Then move it closer and keep giving you what you like, then start again far away with a more realistic spider, etc etc until you work up to the point where you can see a real spider and think "yay! chocolate" instead of freaking out. This is counter conditioning  and the appropriate and humane way to handle things.

 

OR

 

You can do flooding. If you did this it would be basically to put you in a box with one hundred spiders crawling over you, and leave you there until you weren't scared anymore. First, this is just cruel. Second, if I let you out before you are over your fear 100 percent, it will likely make you MORE afraid of spiders. That is the method he uses. 

 

In one episode he has a big sweet great dane that fell and got hurt on a shiny, slippery floor. The dog was so injured he actually lost consciousness. The owner was of course concerned, ran to the pet, and soothed it. When the dog was then afraid she started putting down carpet squares, gradually moving them further apart. That was the correct plan of action. But Cesar tells her the dog is only afraid because she comforted it. He then tells her you should never show sympathy to children or animals. Ever. Remember, this dog hit his head so hard he was knocked unconscious. But she should have shown no sympathy! And it's her fault the dog is afraid!  Ugh. So then he drags the damn dog onto the scary floor and keeps it there until it's head droops and it stops fighting him. The dog is obviously miserable. His head and tail are low, he is panting and drooling in fear, and Cesar brags that the dog is now showing "calm acceptance." My rear end he is! The dog is the equivalent of a child rocking in the corner in fear. And the dude brags about it. I can't tell you how much I would like to punch him in the family jewels, honestly. 

 

Anyway, sometimes discussing the idea of a spider fear helps. Sometimes pointing out the dog's body language helps. If she is open to books, anything by Patricia McConnell or Jean Donaldson would be good. The Culture Clash or For the Love of a Dog would be great. 

 

And bless you for trying to counteract this overpriced groomer.

Edited by ktgrok
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Side question: I need some good resources to counteract Cesar Milan's craziness. Someone I know watched that show and buys into the dominance theory with his dog. I think it's the wrong approach. Are there any easily accessible shows or resources I could pass along to give another perspective, or outright counteract the Cesar influence?

This is something I will come back for :) 

 

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviorists (this is an association for DVMs who specialize in bhvr) 

 

their position statements on the use dominance & punishment in training esp  http://avsabonline.org/resources/position-statements

 

 

Dave Mech is the guy who popularized the notion of alpha wolf. He debunked himself.  This is one of the premier researchers on wild wolf packs. 

 

http://www.davemech.org/news.html - see the video & the two links he posted 

 

 

Beyond CM is an oldish now webpage about all the behaviorists and ethologists who have been debunking CM for years now.  It still has some good resources but some of the links are dead. 

http://beyondcesarmillan.weebly.com/

 

 

Bottom line is this. The theory is wrong in wolves. And dogs are not wolves. And you can train your dog in a kind & pain free way without considering dominance at all. 

 

 

See the books & writings of Patricia McConnell, Sophia Yin, Ian Dunbar, Steve Dale etc. 

 

""Cesar Millan's methods are based on flooding and punishment. The results, though immediate, will be only transitory. His methods are misguided, outmoded, in some cases dangerous, and often inhumane. You would not want to be a dog under his sphere of influence. The sad thing is that the public does not recognize the error of his ways. My college thinks it is a travesty. We've written to National Geographic Channel and told them they have put dog training back 20 years."

 

Dr. Nicholas Dodman - Professor and Head, Section of Animal Behavior, Director of Behavior Clinic, Tufts University - Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine"

 

 

Since it's a man, let me offer that IME many men refuse to listen to women experts on this subject. IT's like they think women are soft (& stupid). So your best bets are men. 

 

 

I just need to do something but I'll come back & give you a list of resources from men, incl some tough guys, who do positive reinforcement training & think CM is a quack and a bully. 

 

 

 

Edited by hornblower
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OMG. I believe I may need to confess to my priest my newfound love of this man. Gorgeous man with a gorgeous accent using evidence based methods to train some of my favorite breeds??? Bestill my heart! (I adore pitbulls and am pretty sure our next dog will be one, but the breed the dog trainer in me lusts after is a Malinois. I just know that will have to be my retirement breed or at least after I don't have young kids and have way more time.)

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Meh. I have watched just a couple things on him and think he is mostly ridiculous with some abuse tossed in for good measure. I do appreciate how he tells people to quit treating their dog like a human baby. It isn't. And it's no kindness to the animal to treat it like a human same it is not a kindness to treat a human baby like a dog.

I despise the show. That's why I'm looking for counter measures. :)

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You guys are great. Thank you!

 

I will pass along all of these links and everything I can find.

 

Is Cesar Milan off the air, or still filming? I don't think he's done dogs any favors.

 

I've tried to voice that his methodology is based in theories about wolves that are wrong... But needed something to back it up. And an alternative to offer.

 

We took classes, and learned a completely different approach, thank goodness.

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I just want to clarify that my interest in having an entire folder of good male dog trainers using +R methods is purely for the purposes of educating others. 

Ahem. 

So with that disclaimer. 

John McGuigan aka Glasgow Dog Trainer. https://www.youtube.com/user/GlasgowDogTrainer

Josh Pitts aka Dog Guy Josh (a US veteran) . His webpage: http://www.dogguyjosh.com/ & his twitter feed: https://twitter.com/DogGuyJosh

 

Tab289 (all these years & I still don't know his name LOL). He trains gorgeous GSD's. No fru fru dogs. https://www.youtube.com/user/tab289

 

Aidan Bindoff fb page https://www.facebook.com/AidanBindoffDogBehaviourConsulting/ (has videos & occasional articles)


Also, Robert Milner's Positive Gundog Training http://www.duckhillkennels.com/dogs/positivegundogs.php

& FetchMasters Positive Gundogs http://www.positivegundogtraining.com/


And last but not least, the Game Of Thrones actor who played "The Mountain" - clicker training in action LOL 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BGXk6cRPw1M/

 

Edited by hornblower
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I think sometimes it's just best to focus on asking "what is it you want the dog to learn?" and then show videos and articles showing how it's done. Many people just slowly start figuring out that none of that is necessary. 

Oh, for reading, this blog has  good entries: https://dogbehaviorscience.wordpress.com/category/beyond-cesar-millan/

For behaviorism wonks, the annual SPARCS conference is the place to be. http://www.sparcsinitiative.org/

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I just want to clarify that my interest in having an entire folder of good male dog trainers using +R methods is purely for the purposes of educating others. 

 

Ahem. 

 

So with that disclaimer. 

 

John McGuigan aka Glasgow Dog Trainer. https://www.youtube.com/user/GlasgowDogTrainer

 

Josh Pitts aka Dog Guy Josh (a US veteran) . His webpage: http://www.dogguyjosh.com/ & his twitter feed: https://twitter.com/DogGuyJosh

 

Tab289 (all these years & I still don't know his name LOL). He trains gorgeous GSD's. No fru fru dogs. https://www.youtube.com/user/tab289

Aidan Bindoff fb page https://www.facebook.com/AidanBindoffDogBehaviourConsulting/ (has videos & occasional articles)

 

 

Also, Robert Milner's Positive Gundog Training http://www.duckhillkennels.com/dogs/positivegundogs.php

 

& FetchMasters Positive Gundogs http://www.positivegundogtraining.com/

 

 

And last but not least, the Game Of Thrones actor who played "The Mountain" - clicker training in action LOL 

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BGXk6cRPw1M/

 

 

 

Hornblower, you are leading me into temptation. Seriously. 

 

I honestly and truly get a bit high watching a good dog trainer work. Or at least, watching that look in a dog's eye when they are really getiting it (hence wanting a malinois one day). I'm so glad I had my weimaraner as my first dog....dominance methods were what I was first taught, but they flat out didn't work on her. So I had to explore other things, and before I knew it I was at clicker expo :)

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I'm not sure why people don't catch on that dogs aren't somehow wildly different than, say, horses or livestock or other working animals when it comes to principles of breeding.  Cross-breeds are common in those types of animals, and in many cases really preferred for certain types of work. 

 

Well, livestock crossbreeding isn't so great either.  Especially in hogs... they've just done an awful thing to those creatures with their "advanced genetics" programs.  Hogs that don't really even look hoggy anymore and are so high strung it's terrifying and tragic at the same time.  Irreputable breeding practices are everywhere, unfortunately. :(

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This is how my relatives feel about their "country dogs." They love these companions but they are not treated as an actual sibling in the family. They're...dogs.

 

It a different viewpoint maybe.  We love the indoor cats and we loved our old dog.  But... they were allowed to be cats and dogs.  We don't give them people food or people clothes or things like that.  I'm not dissing anyone doing that.  It's just not how we would choose to treat our pets.  The barn cats are a different thing, too.   They are not cuddly cats.  They're half-feral.  They live here and work here.  I have never seen a mouse or rat around any of the buildings or bins.  The cats do their job well.  It's not to say we aren't fond of them.  We are.  Some of them more so than others just because they may have less timid personalities.  It's always sad to have one die, but it's not the same as if one of the indoor kitties goes.  Those indoor kitties are our little companions.  As to the dog... well... I don't know how to describe that well enough.  He followed my dh around all the time, everywhere.  He was an outdoor dog, but he came in the house for tea every day to have his cookie (dog cookie) while my dh had his tea.  There was something special between them.  When he started getting arthritic, we got supplements and meds for him.  They gave him a couple of extra decent years, but the day when he couldn't even stand to greet my dh and kept struggling to do so... that broke my dh's heart.  There was nothing the vet could do for him and so ... they said their good-byes.  I've only seen my dh cry twice -- when his mom died, and when he buried that dog. 

 

My point is... animals are animals -- that's true.  But, there is something special in them that when it connects with you, it is important and real and deep.  I still don't think of treating animals like people, although I don't begrudge those who do, but I love animals because I really do respect them for who they are.  I wouldn't want them to be people.  I like most animals better than I like most people anyway.

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Someone on our neighborhood facebook page just posted after finding a rat "suffering" in her back yard.  A rat.  Like the kind that burrow into your attic and are not pets, in any way.  The recommendation was to take it to the emergency wildlife vet in the area.

 

No.

 

Just no.

 

It's stuff like this, day in and day out, that makes me think that the bar has been raised so high for how we treat animals in general.  Then, if it's a beloved pet?  Sky's the limit.  

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Someone on our neighborhood facebook page just posted after finding a rat "suffering" in her back yard.  A rat.  Like the kind that burrow into your attic and are not pets, in any way.  The recommendation was to take it to the emergency wildlife vet in the area.

 

No.

 

Just no.

 

It's stuff like this, day in and day out, that makes me think that the bar has been raised so high for how we treat animals in general.  Then, if it's a beloved pet?  Sky's the limit.  

my dd works at a wildlife rehabilitation center. They do sometimes get in rats that are brought in by kind hearted folks. Bushy tailed woodrats are a native species and therefore fall in their purview & will receive care if it meets the criteria wrt prognosis for recovery. Any native mice and voles and moles also get treated. 

 

Other rats get humanely euthanized on intake. Sometimes the 'wild' rats turn out to be escaped / released fancy pet rats (they come in agouti & sometimes look wild. Occasionally we all pool together our knowledge on fb & check photos back & forth to determine if we're looking at rattus rattus or rattus norvegicus because it's not always obvious. Side note -  when you see rats in films, they're almost inevitably agouti pet rats. We have 3 of them. They look all 'wild' but they're tame little pet actors, impersonating their wild cousins of a different species...) 

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Full disclosure: I haven't read the thread in its entirety.   :)  Now that that is out of the way....Maybe it is regional?

 

We own a free, given to us, Persian cat.  Granted said cat is a direct descendant of pedigreed Persians.  Dad was never registered, so neither was she.  The owners are family, so I know first hand how the cats were raised. 

 

We keep her up to date on her shots and get her groomed a couple of times a year.  Of course, we do provide her favorite food and clean water and litter.  That is really all she requires.  I guess if you add up food and litter with the vet bills it may hit low hundreds to keep her healthy, but it certainly doesn't feel elitist.  

 

Another regional thing is access to horses.  Yes, it is very pricey to keep one.  We live in an area where many people own them and a local business even has several that the public can visit whenever they choose.  Not quite the same as owning one, but here one could certainly visit and ride horses on a regular basis.

Edited by Excelsior! Academy
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How do you keep fish without a basic filter or even air pump?

Even Bettas need filtration and would be much better off for no more than the cost of running a lamp.

 

[/quote name=Arcadia" post="7101109" timestamp="1468376306]

 

I was thinking of getting a bearded dragon. The cost of food and the electric bill for heating makes me think twice. We have fishes without air pump or filter so only the cost of fish food which is okay. Water is already included in our HOA payment.

My dd had Bettas that lived YEARS with out a pump or filter. I simply changed the water every four days. It was not a three minute task.

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One thing about vet care-if you have exotics, and that includes most small rodents, ferrets, hedgehogs, reptiles, amphibians, birds, etc, you may or may not have a competent vet who is willing to see them near you. There are two vets in our entire metropolitan area who are willing to see reptiles at all. One is excellent-and is also the vet on call for the local zoo for reptiles and birds. The other...well, she considers a snake a snake. Which means that she's done things like tell a Kenyan Sand Boa owner that the reason her snake wasn't eating was that it was too hot and to reduce temperatures. If the KSB's owner had followed that advice, the snake would probably have gotten a respiratory infection, because the temperatures she recommended were the range that is good for North American snakes, but were a good 20 degrees F below what a KSB requires. If the snake had eaten in that temperature range, it could have died because it would have been unable to digest. Stuff like that is very, very common. The fact is, a good exotic vet is a specialist. And not all areas that have pet stores actually have a good specialist available for all the animals they sell.

Yep there's a separate issue for these kind of species. Also birds, if you can't get an avian vet it's often best not to see a vet at all unless to euthanase.

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Full disclosure: I haven't read the thread in its entirety. :) Now that that is out of the way....Maybe it is regional?

 

We own a free, given to us, Persian cat. Granted said cat is a direct descendant of pedigreed Persians. Dad was never registered, so neither was she. The owners are family, so I know first hand how the cats were raised.

 

We keep her up to date on her shots and get her groomed a couple of times a year. Of course, we do provide her favorite food and clean water and litter. That is really all she requires. I guess if you add up food and litter with the vet bills it may hit low hundreds to keep her healthy, but it certainly doesn't feel elitist.

 

Another regional thing is access to horses. Yes, it is very pricey to keep one. We live in an area where many people own them and a local business even has several that the public can visit whenever they choose. Not quite the same as owning one, but here one could certainly visit and ride horses on a regular basis.

As a kid, I would have given up a kidney to have open access to riding horses. :) For a couple years, I rode the evil, vice-ridden horses my mother's friend had. It is lucky I did not kill myself, those horses were so bad. The children of the family weren't that interested in the horses, so they stood in the pen, developing bad habits. I was so desperate to ride, I didn't care.

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I got our cats free. The concept of buying a cat is just weird to me. They're everywhere. Feed one, call him George and take him home. Lol. Of course the most expensive pet of any kind is the Free Pet.

 

Shots and feline leuk tests and all that jazz is about $50 a year if we use an annual clinic when the time comes around. About 80- $100 for the vet. However we don't do it all every year bc our cats are literally never ever outside. But for sure when we first got them. One will run under a bed when she hears a door open. Lol the dog though gets the full gamut plus flea/tick/heartworm bc he goes out to do his business. (And I have neighbors I'm 100% sure don't do a damn thing for their 4 dogs.😡) so my dog alone is just under $300 a year for his annual vet appt. another $40 every 3ish months for arthritis pen mess for him.

 

I buy liter at Costco/SAMs. That's about $14 every other month.

 

I buy pet food for all three one medium lap dog, and the two cats every other month same as kitty litter - about $25.

 

Overall, not a luxury to me.

 

HOWEVER!!

 

That cat that shall go unnamed who has a crack like addiction to anything nerf - she has cost us nearly $2k in emergency surgeries in the 7 years we have owned her. 3 surgeries to remove a nerf related blockage from somewhere in her innards. Yes the first time I banned anything nerf in the house. But she is a bloodhound for nerf. She will literally claw a hole in things to dig even a teeny bit out. Like wooden toy boxes with a piece of broken one wedged at the bottom. Or Rubbermaid bins in the attic. That's how we found her one time. She had somehow managed to wedged herself under the door to the attic then pry through the edge of the bin and burrow down into an unopened package of nerf bullets, opened it and had gorged on the entire package and then just lay there in a semi unconscious stupor at the bottom of the bin. Aside from her tragic nerf addiction she is one of the best cats ever. Dh threatens that next time she's just going to have to die bc we can't afford human surgeries much less a cat's nerf addiction. And if we couldn't then that's exactly what would happen and we'd be very sad, but we wouldn't feel guilty or like horrible people and pet owners.

 

Luckily my vet is also an old farm vet and has a very practical and pragmatic view of what he can and should charge his clients for their pet care. He told me with each surgeries that he could do it (and we discussed finances) or I could put her down bc there's no cure for her addiction. No guilt trip or pressure. He presumes rightly that I wouldn't have brought the cat in if I didn't care at all but human needs take priority.

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This is the same phenomenon that has invaded the children's birthday party circuit. The solution is the same too - go back to the old ways and refuse to play the game. We did, and are saving tons of money.

Edited by reefgazer
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I don't agree. It doesn't cost anything near that to get a shelter dog. And while it is important to take care of your pets, there are ways to provide good care without it costing an arm and a leg.

This. We have had 2 dogs, both adopted. Yes, some minor fees for cert stuff but thankfully it hasn't been too bad.
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Sorry for getting off topic, but we were told by our vet that rats' mammary tumors will always quickly return, so surgery does not help. Ds loved his rats, but nearly all died with tumors.

 

I had a few removed from my pet rats, and that is what I found, they began to regrow quite quickly.  I also had one end up with a tumour that grew in her ear, which we removed mainly for comfort, but the same thing - it began to regrow right away.  I came to the conclusion it wasn't a useful thing to do, better to keep an eye out for their comfort levels and end it when they were not adaquate.  The only real suregery that seemed worthwhile to me was neutering, and that was mainly for my convenience.

 

Domestic rats are so inbred though, I guess it is no wonder they grow so many tumours.  Respiratory infections were the other big killer I found.  I had a rat who had been given a hysterectomy as part of a lab experiment, and I wondered if she might avoid the tumour problem, but she died of a respiratory infection.

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Do you agree?

 

I have mixed feeling about this, because I have loved dogs, cats and horses since childhood. I love to have pet dog(s) and cat(s) and have had one or the other or both in my life since I was a teenager. I'm not into horses anymore because they are too expensive, but that kind of segues right into what I am about to say.

 

When I was a teen, I was very concerned about the problems of inadequate pet ownership: indescriminant and accidental breeding, puppies and kittens as surprise presents, ignorant pet ownership and management, animal abuse via incorrect or non-existant training, ad infinitum. So I do see it as a good thing that there are far fewer unintended litters than there used to be and life-long pet ownership seems to be much more the norm than it once was.

 

However, pet ownership, most especially of dogs seems to be becoming an elite activity. If you want to acquire a puppy in the first place, this is no longer a simple or inexpensive/free event. The puppy I got when I was 16, my beloved sheltie/spitz mix, Nika, was acquired from a classified ad in the paper for free. She was a dear friend for 16 more years. I think it is actually impossible to get a free mutt this way anymore. Blessing/curse.

 

Now, every "mutt" I know was intentionally combined and costs a thousand dollars. Beag-a-Chons and Chow-a-Poos and Shepra-Doodles. (Yes I am being a little bit intentionally absurd.) But, having dropped a four-figure sum just to get your farcically Hypoallergenic dog, you have only scratched the surface of Responsible Pet Ownership because that first year's vet bills will set you back many hundreds. Plus obedience classes, grooming, toys, beds, idiotic leashes and the finest pet food. And a mini-fridge in the garage because you're feeding him Fresh Pet. He will have an anxiety disorder so you'll buy a Thundershirt and give him Prozac. Or have a canine psychologist work with him so he will stop eating the cat turds.

 

I don't really know what the solution is, and, like I said, I am happy that many more people consider carefully pet ownership than it once was and I do believe a much greater percentage of pets have a wonderful life than in decades past. But I do worry sometimes that having pets, especially dogs, is becoming a status symbol. I think fewer kids from working class or lower-middle (or even just frugal middle) will even grow up with a dog or cat. I find that sad.

 

I think by todays standards, I would not have had pets as a child and I would not have gotten my lovely Nika.

 

Am I wrong? Is it good? Should pets only belong to people with ample dough to buy them and who don't bat a lash at spending $900 on a mixed-breed dog?

 

I can't find your post from further down, where you say you want a GSD, but I looked on Petfinder--there are 5,401 adoptable GSD today!!  If you want one, they are there are each and every one of them deserves a home.  You don't need to pay thousands.

 

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Well, livestock crossbreeding isn't so great either.  Especially in hogs... they've just done an awful thing to those creatures with their "advanced genetics" programs.  Hogs that don't really even look hoggy anymore and are so high strung it's terrifying and tragic at the same time.  Irreputable breeding practices are everywhere, unfortunately. :(

 

 

Yes, with chickens too.  If the goal is bad, it will end badly whatever kind of breeding you use, I think.

 

But there just seems to be a bit of a gap between the fact that people who actually have significant performance goals for livestock find that crossbreeding is actually more effective than using purebreds, and the dog-world claim that it is a bad idea that will result in inferior dogs.

 

And in the horse world, a lot of the activities very typically have crossbreeds - warmbloods for dressage, hunter crosses, pony crosses for smaller sized jumpers, and so on.  No one really blinks an eye at that kind of crossing, some even have their own registries.

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Someone on our neighborhood facebook page just posted after finding a rat "suffering" in her back yard.  A rat.  Like the kind that burrow into your attic and are not pets, in any way.  The recommendation was to take it to the emergency wildlife vet in the area.

 

No.

 

Just no.

 

It's stuff like this, day in and day out, that makes me think that the bar has been raised so high for how we treat animals in general.  Then, if it's a beloved pet?  Sky's the limit.  

 

Well, no one should leave a wild animal to suffer, just because it is also a pest.

 

A lot of people have no idea how to dispatch an animal under those kinds of circumstances, which I think accounts for the vet advice to some extent.  And it can be harder too for people in the city as they can't use a gun.  And a lot are too squeamish for the other quick options.

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Ammonia build up and improperly cold water are a problem for any tropical fish, even those able to breathe air from the surface.

 

They do not live their entire lives in tiny mud puddles, that is seasonal and not ideal.

 

Small filters are incredibly cheap to both buy and run.

 

No they don't. Bettas don't need pumps or filters. I have had betas that lived for nearly a decade without either. After all, their natural habitats weren't much better than mud puddles. Bettas are meat eaters though. So while flakes can sustain them, it's really better to feed brine or bloodworms to keep them healthy. But it's still about the same cost. You can buy it frozen and pinch off an itty bit a day and the one small package will last a month or more. The pump and filter does more to make the tank easier to clean and more pleasing to view than as a necessity for the betta.

 

Some fish do need them or they will die, but not all fish.

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Ammonia build up and improperly cold water are a problem for any tropical fish, even those able to breathe air from the surface.

 

They do not live their entire lives in tiny mud puddles, that is seasonal and not ideal.

 

Small filters are incredibly cheap to both buy and run.

 

 

Toxic build up only happens if the bowl isn't cleaned regularly. The bowl or tank is in the house. It's highly unlikely to get too cold for a betta in my region.

 

ETA: Also I never said tiny. Just mud puddles. And rice paddy fields. And other brackish freshwater. They also like to jump from one water source to another. With one of our Bettas we had multiple little tanks right next to each other and he would jump from one to another, but never if we were watching. Bettas are awesome fish. One of my favorites.

Edited by Murphy101
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Well, no one should leave a wild animal to suffer, just because it is also a pest.

 

A lot of people have no idea how to dispatch an animal under those kinds of circumstances, which I think accounts for the vet advice to some extent.  And it can be harder too for people in the city as they can't use a gun.  And a lot are too squeamish for the other quick options.

 

It would never have occurred to me to use a gun for a rat. It also wouldn't have occurred to me to take it to the vet though.

 

In neuroscience lab methods we used a rat-sized guillotine after we were done with the rats (they were still under anesthesia, and yes, some of my classmates were too squeamish... I don't get it - if you can dremel a hole in the rat's skull and stick electrodes in it, I'd think you'd also be able to use a guillotine on the rat, but apparently not). Now, I wouldn't build/buy a guillotine for a rat found in my backyard, but, say, a shovel should be able to do the same thing if placed on the rat's neck. Added benefit of being able to dig a shallow grave right afterwards (then and again, I might throw it in the trash instead - I dunno - the dead rat I found in the attic went into the trash, but if I was in the yard with a shovel in my hands I might just bury it).

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It would never have occurred to me to use a gun for a rat. It also wouldn't have occurred to me to take it to the vet though.

 

In neuroscience lab methods we used a rat-sized guillotine after we were done with the rats (they were still under anesthesia, and yes, some of my classmates were too squeamish... I don't get it - if you can dremel a hole in the rat's skull and stick electrodes in it, I'd think you'd also be able to use a guillotine on the rat, but apparently not). Now, I wouldn't build/buy a guillotine for a rat found in my backyard, but, say, a shovel should be able to do the same thing if placed on the rat's neck. Added benefit of being able to dig a shallow grave right afterwards (then and again, I might throw it in the trash instead - I dunno - the dead rat I found in the attic went into the trash, but if I was in the yard with a shovel in my hands I might just bury it).

Or a boot. Many years ago we had just moved into a rental house and having a conversation with company in the living room after the babies were in bed. So we are chatting and all of the sudden, the man says "There's a mouse over there!" Sure enough this audacious mouse with the nerve of a lion was blatantly crossing my living room floor. Didn't even have the decency to try to hide against the wall. Lol Dh just matter of factly and quickly stood up and stomped on it. Then got a grocery trash bag to pick it up and throw it in the outside trash. Then some peroxide to clean up a few drops of evidence on the carpet. The man visiting turned about five shades of green and said, "Good god. I was thinking you just needed some traps!" It might not have been pretty but it was sure as heck more humane and efficient than glue traps and poison.

 

And last summer we were visiting different friends and she joked that if the kids playing out back managed to kill the huge rat in her woodpile that'd been plaguing her - there'd be an extra slice of dessert for them. Not 10 minutes later one of my teen boys brought it in speared through the chest on his fishing knife. Boy got it cornered in a wood pile and then dealt a quick death blow. She was thrilled. She'd had traps for months with no success.

 

I don't get squimishness either. Both of those men are actually very squimish normally. But if one must to an unpleasant task - by all means do it swiftly and efficiently and be done. They'd rather do what they did than some of the so called humane methods or leave an animal in pain.

 

I'd be more nauseated over rat experiments than the guillotine!

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Or a boot. Many years ago we had just moved into a rental house and having a conversation with company in the living room after the babies were in bed. So we are chatting and all of the sudden, the man says "There's a mouse over there!" Sure enough this audacious mouse with the nerve of a lion was blatantly crossing my living room floor. Didn't even have the decency to try to hide against the wall. Lol Dh just matter of factly and quickly stood up and stomped on it.

 

Rats are significantly bigger than mice though, and the bigger the animal, the harder it would be to stomp it to death. Probably could work for a rat. I don't care to find out though. Luckily haven't seen any since moving to NY (though I'm sure there are rats in NY).

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I can't find your post from further down, where you say you want a GSD, but I looked on Petfinder--there are 5,401 adoptable GSD today!! If you want one, they are there are each and every one of them deserves a home. You don't need to pay thousands.

That would be great, except for two things:

 

1) GSDs are frequently relinquished for aggression. I don't have any of the resources necessary to rehabilitate a dog that could harm or maime a child or our other animals. It is a difficult problem that is more common with this breed than others.

 

2) Even if I found the perfect GSD for me on Petfinder, I cannot assume the screeners at the shelter or rescue will find me to be the perfect dog owner. For starters, my pets are outside for most of the day, unless the weather is inclement or extreme. They are not in the main house ever. Many screeners find this singular fact unbearable.

 

So, there it is. If I want a GSD, it is highly probable that I will only be able to get one from a breeder, which is how I got my previous German Shepherd.

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If you want an elite dog (purebred, desirable breed, not a rescue, not a mutt) then buying it is probably expensive and maybe somewhat elitist.

 

It's like, if you want a car, that is not elitist - lots of people who are poor own cars.  If I say, well, it's not elitist to have a car because you can get this used Kia for $2,000, and you say no, it is elitist because the only kind of car I want is a brand new Mercedes - those are two different considerations.

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