There are pros and cons when it comes to owning pets. Before you adopt or buy one, you have to weigh these carefully.
One of the biggest cons, unfortunately, is that if you have a child
and the pet dies or disappears before they reach adulthood, you will be
coping with this child's broken heart for a very long time.
If you consider the fact that a pet's average lifespan is usually
shorter than a human's, it is very likely that your child will get his
Of course, if your pet is a Galapagos Tortoise, which can live 150
years, it is not likely that your child will be witness to its death,
but you'll have to provide for it in your will. A pro and a con.
Another con: Even if you could train a tortoise to fetch a stick, it
could take a year to get it back. Who has that kind of time to invest?
Most people will own a cat or a dog. A dog knows how to fetch a stick
properly and can be taught to corner intruders, but a cat is low
maintenance. However, both of these animals will leave hair on your
carpets and furniture. Tortoises don't have hair.
A dog or a cat can run away if you let them outdoors. Tortoises can try, but they need a considerable head start.
My daughter wanted a pet for her birthday. My two oldest sons decided
to pitch in a buy her all the equipment she needed for pet fish.
I thought that was a perfect idea. No hair, no running away, no stick fetching. Lots of pros.
They were neon-colored fish called Glofish. They were actually a
hybrid that seemed to glow under a black light. She loved them. There
was one each of five different colors: Purple, green, yellow, orange,
and pink. The pink was the smallest and, of course, her favorite. The
purple was the largest.
By the end of the day, she had named each one.
The hardest part of owning a pet, for me, was watching my children
go through the heartbreak of losing one. The whole "Circle of Life"
speech was pathetically incapable of healing such heartbreak. So, in my
mind, fish were a good pick and I was grateful to my sons for being so
generous and sensitive about that issue. My daughter has a very tender
heart. If she were to lose a pet, she would definitely blame herself.
She would be inconsolable.
She was delighted with these colorful little fish, however. Bubbles,
the pink fish, like to spend its time inside a neon-striped rock prop
that the boys bought for the tank. My daughter wished it was a little
If a fish could strut, Mr. Big, the purple one, did. He was definitely the alpha-fish.
On the third day, my daughter woke up and turned on the black light.
The little neon-colored fish flitted in and out of the plastic plants
and tropical props. They were easy to see. None of them had any
protective abilities whatsoever. So it was interesting to note that
Bubbles couldn't be seen. My daughter removed the rock it liked to hide
in; no Bubbles. Did it jump out?
She called me in to look; no Bubbles. I looked at Mr. Big
suspiciously. Was it my imagination, or did Mr. Big gain some weigh? And
do fish smile?
One pro for dogs and cats: They don't eat each other.
Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org Or visit her website www.lauraonlife.com for more info.