anyway. I'm up late, musing on Poquito and his Doggeh Saga.
the day after we took him in, someone posted to an email list I am on, forwarding a message from a friend who was seeking a new home for a 13 year old cat and offering to pay the cat's expenses for the rest of its life. they did not want to keep the cat any longer because they'd had a child which had, inevitably, become mobile, and apparently the cat was not well socialized (bites and scratches, watches from a distance but is not friendly with people) so they are concerned for the toddler.
well, good luck "re-homing" a barely socialized 13 year old cat! this kind of thing is so sad, and would have been totally preventable. the owner never bothered to socialize or train the cat (and yes, cats CAN be trained) and now who is going to pay for it? that's right, the cat is.
they would probably do best finding one of those cat homes where they live in the country - unless the cat also cannot deal with being around lots of other cats. part of me insists on pointing out that the cat will train the toddler herself if no one else does... but seriously, in a case such as this, it is the animal who loses. ALWAYS.
had she been socialized to be used to being handled by people she'd be much easier to adopt - in fact, at 13, a mellow cat would be a great companion for an older person (or for that matter, just fine around the baby). but, not only has she lead a life of mostly alienation from her keepers, now she's about to lose even that familiar situation.
(and never mind the fact that these people surely knew this was going to happen as soon as they knew they were expecting a baby and did nothing until the last minute. my opinion of them is quite low. I sincerely hope I don't figure out who they are!)
anyway, Poqui's story is similar - although dogs and cats are psychologically different, and Poqui in particular has an awesome temperament which is his greatest asset in integrating with people, untrained though he is. you could say it saved him and not really be exaggerating.
I feel so passionately about this subject - train your animals, for the ANIMAL'S sake(s) - because I know what a difference it makes to their lives - as well as the lives of the entire family they are part of! so many people choose to get a pet without really thinking about the needs of an animal, or considering the inherent nature of a particular animal, or that having a pet requires time and attention (not just money) on an ongoing basis.
although little Poqui is barely trained, his personality and temperament made him incredibly adoptable. the cat in the email, on the other hand, is in a tough spot. and of course, had Poqui been properly trained, he would have probably not gotten lost in the first place! every bit of effort you put into working with your animal pays off!
ok I promise I am going to shut up about the dog now. ;-)