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Consider responsibilities of pet ownership

As we can all see from the stores' decorations, Christmas is quickly approaching, and with that season comes the question of what to buy for someone in particular.

We see the cute commercials of puppies in baskets with blankets wrapped around them or puppies trying hard to climb up steps and all the cute things that puppies and kittens do.

But some people don't realize that when they make this purchase, they are adopting a task that requires lots of love, patience and understanding. You cuddle this adorable tiny little thing in your arms and smile at it, and it responds back with a quick lick or a tail wag that is so cute.

Then come the many toys and play times. Everyone wants to play with it _ it's so cute. It slowly grows to love you, day by day. Everyone wants to feed it and give it all sorts of special treats and cookies. Walking it is a privilege; everyone wants to do it.

Poor puppies, sometimes they must feel like their feet are going to be worn down to nothing from all the walks and the fights over who holds the leash. Oh my, it just goes on and on.

Consider the puppy's view:

Everyone thought it was cute and laughed at me, walking around and playing with somebody's old shoe that was almost bigger than me. The kids and I used to really have a ball playing tag with an old rag. Who knew that it was only that one shoe I could have, not my choice of any other, or that it was only that one rag, not another towel or something. No one laid down any ground rules for me. I was just cute.

One by one the walks stopped, and when I had an accident indoors, I was thrown outside. Who knew I had to wait for hours for someone to decide to take me out. Whatever happened to the fights over who would walk me?

Being left alone all day outside was no fun _ it was just terribly lonely.

I barked all day for someone to come and pay me some attention, any little bit of attention would have helped, but it seemed that only the neighbors heard me, and they didn't want me.

One day we all went in the car for a ride and I thought, "Oh! Goody, I'm back in their good graces, they still think I'm cute, we're all going someplace together, like a family." But it was a strange house we went to, there were a lot of other cats and dogs there all making so much noise and barking all the time. I found out that those things they were in were called cages. That was worse than the back yard.

I was only there for about five days when one of the fellas working there told me that I only had one more day to wait, so I guess my family will be back to pick me up tomorrow. I guess this was to teach me a lesson, bringing me here _ I just can't wait until tomorrow. I do go home tomorrow _ don't I??

Please make sure if you do buy or adopt a puppy or kitten that you realize you're taking on a job. This animal not only needs love and care, it needs discipline, shots, time and consideration. Animals are human, they are a responsibility _ be sure that this is a responsibility you are prepared to take on full time, not just some whimsical cute thing to have hang around for awhile.

Our animal control facilities are full enough without adding to them.

_ Beverly Mutch is an Inverness resident. Guest columnists write their own views on subjects they choose, which do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.

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