I have always wanted to have pets, lots and lots of pets. When I got married, I told my husband that as a prerequisite to having kids, we would need to have pets in our family. My parents are not pet people. Subsequently we were not allowed to have pets growing up. The one exception was a goldfish that I got on a school field trip in Grade 2. My parents had no choice but to welcome the goldfish into our home. But the goldfish died pretty quickly 😦
Currently, we have a cat named Ella Fitzgerald. We rescued her from the Toronto Humane Society about 2 years ago. I know all pet owners think their pet is the cutest pet in the world (similar to parents and their kids), but for me, Ella is the cutest cat in the world. My sister calls her Elly-Belly or Softie because she is so soft and squishy!
Cats are manageable when you have a busy life. They are independent and they do not require you to take them outside to go to the bathroom. Cats are also very affectionate and can be a source of comfort especially if you are stressed or feeling down. My cat Ella also chills with me while I study and stays up with me during those late night study sessions.
Recently during my study breaks, I have been watching The Dog Whisperer. I want to add a dog to our family. The question, is now the right time to add a dog to the mix? I checked online to see what other people’s experiences are and the different considerations in welcoming a dog into your home. The Montreal Dog Blog provided some excellent things to think about. The considerations that were most applicable to me:
1. Is everyone in my family on board to get a dog? My husband also wants a dog but he thinks that now is not the right time. He may be right
2. Do I have the time to dedicate to training and to regular exercise? Cesar Millan often says that you shouldn’t start to train your dog if you have somewhere to go in 15 minutes or in an hour. Throw your watch away. I am not sure if this is possible with school – my schedule is irregular. I need to consider if I will be able to provide a dog the structure it needs to successfully integrate into our family.
3. What will I do when I travel? An element of my career building is to include taking any opportunity I have to participate in international internships, projects, exchange programs and jobs. This would leave my husband with the dog care and cat care duties in addition to the regular housework, cooking, personal care and work. I am beginning to think this is not such a good idea right now…
There are many things to consider; I have only touched upon three! Getting a pet is not a decision to be taken lightly. When you are in school as an adult, the less demands you have on your time can translate into more focus. For me, more focus means better marks and the opportunity to build the career of my dreams. I think I will hold off on the dog right now 🙂