When I fall in love, I fall hard.
It was midway through my sophomore year of college. Despite sharing my tiny apartment with three other roommates, things were a bit lonely with classes, jobs and sorority functions keeping everyone busy. After much contemplation, I decided that a cuddly guinea pig was just what I needed. But after a night of seemingly innocent petfinder.com browsing that ultimately led to a bus ride to the local Petsmart, I found myself staring through the window at a dozing, six-month old kitten.
Despite my parents’ hesitations and my own better judgement, I adopted the kitten I fell in love with at the pet store. She was small but curious, sassy, and, for the most part, fearless, so she earned a name worthy of a lioness: Nala.
It’s a common-enough story: College student with newfound freedom and independence gives in to the desire to bring a pet home. In my case, the story has a happy ending. Two and a half years later and 1,400 miles away, I’m writing this article and watching Nala laze in the shade of our backyard.
But for many animals and their humans, all too often the story goes like this: College student with newfound freedom and independence gives in to the desire to bring a pet home. College student realizes shortly after there’s too little time, money or space for the new friend. Animal is promptly returned to the animal shelter or rehomed.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before adopting or purchasing a pet.
- Am I allowed to have this pet?
- Do I have the resources to be able to care for this pet?
- How will my pet fit in with my lifestyle?
- Am I able to make a commitment to this animal for the remainder of its life?