Frugal Approach to a Heartbreaking Part of Life
Pets are not very frugal, but you either get that some people need pets or you don't, so there's no point in trying to convince animal people that pets aren't frugal.
I am not really an animal person, but some of my children are, and I do think it's good for kids to have the responsibility and bonds that come from having pets.
Unfortunately, that also means there's some heart-ache in their lives, since few pets live longer than their humans.
Our dog Zeus is at least 12 years old. We don't know for sure, since he's a rescue dog and we have no background information on him. I say 'our', but he's really the property, playmate, and beloved companion of our second daughter. She brought him home from the animal shelter where she worked, and he was full-grown then. She took him with her to her new home when she married her best friend, and childhood enemy, four years ago. And today we're going to have tell him good-bye.
He once weighed 110 pounds, but he is a shadow of his former glorious self. He doesn't eat much anymore, and is skin and bones. He's nearly blind. He has tumours on his face and open sores that aren't healing. He's not having fun any more.
He won't be going to a vet to be put down. It is more frugal to do this at home the old fashioned way (not everybody lives where this is possible, I realize). But it's not primarily because it's a frugal choice, although with their child on the way, the cost does have to be considered. However, when the Equuschick, his Person, worked at the shelter, they had to put animals down. It's not always the quiet and painful end they tell you it is, and the Equuschick vowed then never to do this to one of her animals.
We have hunters and shooters in the family. Zeus will be held quietly and lovingly while a brave and manly 14 y.o. carefully sends him off into that good night with a single, carefully placed, shot. Not everybody can do this, I know. And our culture is so squeamish about the messiness and pain of both the beginnings and the end of life.
RIP, old friend. RIP.