Why Do So Many People Keep Pets

Have you ever wondered about this? I don’t know for sure, but with the relatively sudden appearance of a plethora of super pet stores and the burgeoning growth of the industry in general, my guess is that it might have something to do with people wanting to decrease the stress that plagues all of us.

Personally, we do not have any pets, because we have no timeor spacefor them and don’t want the extra work and responsibility.

But many people, especially those with children at home, for some reason do wish to care for one or more pets. And I realize that some parents simply yield to the “want ones” from their kids. And that’s okay, as long as they also teach those kids the responsibility that goes along with pet ownership. Sadly, many don’t.

Some single people seem to acquire pet(s) as a status symbol or as a means of meeting someone by establishing an excuse to speak to someone while out walking or running.

Still others are simply lonely and dote on their pet(s) as they might dote on a mate if they had one.

Now, you would think that anyone who has or would be thinking about acquiring a pet, especially a relatively large one, would already be a home owner, wouldn’t you? Well, if that’s what you think, you would be wrong!

How do I know that?

Because I’m a property manager, and it just boggles my mind the number of people who call and ask if we accept pets. We have both single rooms and one-bedroom apartments, but that doesn’t seem to faze these people.

I mean, some of these people have not one large dog or cat, but several . . . and they expect someone to rent them a small room or apartment? Makes you wonder what goes through their minds (if anything)!

Don’t get me wrong. I love cuddly animals and have had many pets in years past . . . but always in a house with a yard that we owned. And our dogs did their business in our yard, not on public grounds.

Then, of course, there are those home owners (or home renters, as the case may be), who allow their dogs to become nuisances in otherwise quiet neighborhoods. They bark incessantly for hours at a time, to the apparent unconcern of their owners, and disturb others’ peace.

Years ago, I remember resorting to sleeping with a box fan on “high” just so that I could get to sleep, because of a neighbor’s “pet.” When I complained to that neighbor, she told me that their Border Collie was a “watch” dog . . . really? How would they ever know if someone was intruding, because the dog barked non-stop? She could not have cared less if neighbors were being disturbed!

Again, the question is, why do these people insist on harboring these animals at the expense of their neighbors’ peace and quiet?

Could it be that this somehow relieves their stress? I do not see how that would be possible, and it certainly adds to the stress of their neighbors!

But caring for an animal does seem to contribute to the happiness and peace of mind of many. I know, for instance, of a nursing home where an Irish Setter roams the halls and brings joy and happiness to the faces of the folks there.

Finally, I know of several couples who have reached the point in their relationships where they seem to just tolerate each other, and their pets are mutually enjoyed so that they have sort of a “substitute” to fill in the gaps that are wanting in their relationships.

It is as if these kinds of people transfer their affection for another human being to the pet kingdom, and they’re losing a lot in the end.

Loving animals is one thing. Giving them precedence over human beings is quite another. Everything should be done in moderation.