I came home Friday afternoon ready to enjoy a long Fourth of July weekend and immediately noticed that one of my cats had a swollen front paw. I knew something was wrong because she didn’t come to the door to greet me as she normally does.
I called the vet and begged them to see her because she was in pain and wouldn’t put any weight on the paw. So I began my holiday with a long wait in the vet’s office because I didn’t want my cat to have to endure a long holiday weekend with a serious injury.
It turned out not to be such a serious injury. With a little pain medication she was back to running around as soon as we got home and by the next day the swelling was gone. That’s when I realized that I was too quick to run off to the vet’s office, a place you never come out of with your bank account intact.
Despite the fact that I spent way too much money on medicines she didn’t need (and antibiotics which upset her stomach) I think I did the right thing taking her there so she wouldn’t be in pain anymore. But maybe she wasn’t in so much pain that she couldn’t handle it in the first place.
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, we live in the era when you can be an overprotective pet owner. Luckily it doesn’t seem to warp our animals like helicopter parenting damages our kids but still… is all this care and caution really necessary? These are animals who can survive in the wild by foraging in dumpsters for scraps and fighting off all threats with their sharp claws and teeth.
There are people who never leave the house without their little dogs fully dressed in Christian Dior pet ensembles and stuffed gingerly into their handbags. Are those animals better off than they would have been otherwise? Do they enjoy never having to lift a paw to service their own needs – breakfast in bed, a bathroom of wee wee pads mere feet from their beds so they never have to set foot outside? Are they happy?
What do you think about the way we love our pets?
Do doggies need day care?