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We recently lost our beloved dog, Daisy, due to health issues. Daisy was a fun loving, 13-year-old Beagle who loved being around people. We rescued her when she was 5 years old from the SPCA. I feel like she rescued us! Initially, I was a little reluctant because she was an older dog and may have been set in her ways, but, she walked right up to us with that “take me home with you” look on her adorable face. We read her paperwork and it was labeled “escape artist” whatever that meant. We also noticed that she was trained to use puppy pads when no one was home. Those issues scared me as well. However, she looked young and healthy for her age, almost like a new puppy and we couldn’t leave her there!

Welcome Home Daisy!

Daisy had to adjust to our home and get used to being around our cat, Dorie, who had already been there for a year. Our cat did not welcome her initially. You know how territorially cats can be, but they started to get along around the second month. Basically, Dorie put Daisy in her place, and Daisy complied because she was such a sweet dog who didn’t want any conflicts.

We soon found out that Daisy was a part-time comedian as she would often play freeze tag and pose on three legs for several minutes for no reason. We figured out what “escape artist” meant because we often found her in the neighbor’s yard after digging several tunnels between the yards. She also dug holes in the dirt to sit in to keep cool during the summer months.

Getting Around the Neighborhood

As we walked her through the neighborhood, she was nicknamed the “cougar” because she maintained her dog appeal so well. We always asked her, “How did you get all that booty in those Jordache jeans?”, as the neighborhood dogs would watch her walk away. She also led the pack at the dog park every week. I guess the other dogs enjoyed the view from behind. She was hot to trot!

Senior Dog

Things were great up until Daisy turned 11. We would always take her in for regular doctors’ appointments, however, she started getting ill every now and then. She had an anal rupture which caused a lot of bleeding. She later started to experience back pains which were common to her breed. This required a few doctors visits and some pain medication. I would estimate that I spent an additional $500.00 for her care that year. When she turned 12, she had some pain in her legs which required a few doctors’ appointments, follow-ups, and medications. I probably spent an additional $600.00 that year. Earlier this year, she was rushed to the emergency room because she couldn’t walk and she was breathing heavy. They were able to get her back to normal with medication. The visit and the medication were approximately $650.00. The doctor also advised that she had some kidney issues and all they could do for her was to make her comfortable.

Daisy came home with medication and she spent Thanksgiving with the family. She was happy and full of life. On December 7, 2017, Daisy’s health took a turn for the worse. She couldn’t walk and she was breathing heavy, so we took her to the vet. It appeared that she had suffered a stroke.  That was the last time we saw Daisy alive.

Financial Implications

Daisy brought joy to our lives and she was the only dog we had ever owned. Taking care of an animal is almost equivalent to taking care of a child. I opted not to get insurance because she was doing well up until she got older, which was to be expected. I did, however, have an established emergency fund which was used to cover the cost of her care.  In hindsight, I would have looked into pet insurance. This would have helped with her medical expenses. We also spent money on grooming, boarding, and dental work.

I share this story with those of you who are thinking about becoming a dog owner. Be financially and mentally prepared to take great care of your new addition. We chose to rescue two animals to allow them to live comfortably as it’s not easy for older animals to find homes. I would encourage you to adopt a rescued animal. There are so many just waiting to become a loving member of your family.

Moetips

Below are some things to consider before bringing your new pet home:

  • Make sure your home is pet ready! Keep your valuables out of reach. Keep chemicals out of reach. Cover electrical wires. Make your home a safe place for your pet.
  • Have a comfortable bed for your pet. This will prevent him or her from sleeping on your furniture. If you can, have an extra bed or pad in the TV room.
  • Buy toys! Toys keep your pet busy and they keep them from chewing other objects.
  • Have an emergency fund. Pets get sick just like human beings and will need to be seen by a veterinarian. I wish they could talk, but they can’t.
  • Research pet insurance if you think that will help with expenses.

Readers, do you have any tips to share with our community about raising pets? Please feel free to share your stories here.

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42 comments

  1. Having a pet is a big responsibility, just yesterday my toddler asked for a puppy. I had to explain to her we weren’t ready for a new addition to the family. Mind you we have a three months old still trying to get adjusted with life.

  2. I have cat, which I adore so much, and I really don’t want to think about how one day she’ll grow old and that I’ll lose her. It may seem expensive to care for elderly pets, but when you have that emotional bond, you really would do just about anything to ensure their comfort and happiness.

  3. I have a senior cat with hyperthyroid disorder so I completely understand that time, work, and planning that goes it to the care. Thank you for posting such a wonderful article to inspire owners and help them through a difficult time.

  4. I’m so sorry for the loss of your Daisy! I have a 12-year-old dog and every day, I think to myself ‘he’s getting old’ and it makes me so sad! Pets bring us such joy and heartache at the same time! For a long time, my former spouse and I kept an insurance plan on Snickers, but it got to be way more expensive than what the policy ever reimbursed, so I’m with you on having an emergency fund. I hope that someday soon, you’ll be ready to go adopt another dog from the shelter because you seem like you have an abundance of love to give a little 4-legged furbaby! RIP Daisy. XoXo.

  5. I am sorry to hear about Daisy. I, myself, am not much of a pet person. I grew up in a house where we baked for a living, so pets and baking are not exactly a good match. Yes, raising pets are like raising kids. My sister’s family just brought home a puppy and he barks at 3 AM in the morning …

  6. I’m so sorry for the loss of your Daisy. Thank you for sharing such a great post. It helps pet owners understand that having a pet is a big responsibility and also to be financially and mentally prepared.

  7. Reminds me of my cat 🙁
    We lost her to illness but nevertheless interesting tips you have there will surely keep them in mind!

  8. Really sorry to hear for your loss 😓. We had to put down our own dog this month, which was heart-wrenching and you’re never really prepared for . These are very insightful and helpful tips for those looking to purchase a pet for themselves, and/or those looking to purchase a pet as a gift for someone else. Vet bills get expensive very fast and it’s wonderful if you have the emergency fund to cover the cost, but devastating if you don’t.

  9. Thank-you for sharing your story; even though it is sad, I think there is something beautiful in it. I love that even though you are sharing the realistic costs of owning an older animal, you are still encouraging people to adopt them. There are so many older cats and dogs in the shelters who deserve forever homes, even if that is only for a short time. The puppies and kitties will always get adopted, but the ‘seniors’ need a home too,and they make great companions without all the fuss of a puppy or a kitty. I agree that pet insurance is a good idea, but the fact that you had an emergency fund was also very smart.
    I’m sorry for your loss.

    1. Thank you for reading it and thank you for your kind words. I definitely encourage adopting an older pet who may never have a chance . I’m grateful that we were able to make 8 years of her life enjoyable especially after the situation she came from.

  10. Daisy seemed like a much beloved member of your family and your neighborhood. I’m sorry for your loss, but it’s wonderful that she was so well loved!

  11. Moe!! As you know I am so sorry your loss of beloved Daisy. She was such a sweet girl. I am keeping you and your family in my prayers. I have a dog who’s getting older his name is Dexter. I love that crazy dog! And two cats that are getting up there, Khloe and Tylor. So I agree that her visits can rack up, and I appreciate the suggestion you put in this post to help pet owners prepare financially for caring for a pet. Daisy will truly be missed but we will dwell on very fond memories of her! 😄

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