I want to encourage considering them when you are seeking a companion animal. And also, maybe, to discourage, if you can’t actually meet its needs.

This is all about what we can give them, where many of us think first of what they can give us. We want the cuddles, we want the soft fur to pet, we want to be loved and to be not alone. We want how they can make us feel good. That’s not a good reason to bring home a pet. Especially an older animal is going to need a lot more from its people, perhaps, than it can give.

An older animal is likely to have issues. If it was stray or abandoned or surrendered, it’s even more likely that money is going to come into it, to address those issues. So, if you choose an elder because the fee is low, know that there will be expenses that are going to far outweigh that low adoption fee. Adopting any animal, there are going to be financial demands over the years. It is only heart-ache to be unable to handle those demands, and it will be suffering for your pet.

Embers was a ‘rescue’ cat. She was 15 when I adopted her, knowing she might not be with me very long. I was able to see to her substantial medical and dental issues, and improve the quality of her last years. As it turned out, we had 6 years together. I spent about $1000 per year on average, for her medical needs. But I could, and that has made all the difference in the quality of her life and her leaving, and of how I am grieving losing her finally.

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