I was shopping for pet supplies and spotted some catnip on a shelf.  I started to reach for the bag and then thought otherwise.  Catnip and toys seem a luxury in the midst of our inflationary moment.

Pets Can be Expensive

It got me thinking about a lot of people here in the valley.  They work hard but they live close to the margins.  Feeding a dog or caring for a pregnant kitty can suddenly become luxuries.  It’s not uncommon for animal shelters to be a leading indicator of economic stress.  My niece is a volunteer for an ASPCA shelter and what she sees pulls at her heartstrings.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office appears to go above and beyond when it comes to sheltering strays or lost animals.  Last week it was a massive Saint Bernard.  A dog with a likely massive appetite.  No one claimed the animal, even after the video was posted on the agency’s Facebook page.  Eventually, the big and friendly animal was adopted.

Within a few days, there was another video.  You can see it at the top of the page.  What looked to be a very playful herding dog was waiting for someone to call.  It was found with a collar, but apparently no tags.

Can You Abandon a Family Member?

Owning a dog or cat is a huge responsibility.  I have a lot of memories of walking a dog in the cold rain at two o’clock in the morning.  Begging him to do his business as he sniffed and rolled and wagged his tail.

I can’t say shoveling a litter box is fun.  Or waking up in the morning and stepping on a hairball on the way to the bathroom.

On the other hand, there’s nothing like the feeling of coming home and seeing an excited furry friend looking at you from a window.  I’m reminded of a favorite cat that would get into bed next to me as I was trying to go to sleep.  I would pet him for a couple of minutes and then he would take my hand between both paws and pull it under his chin and go to sleep.

I’ve got to believe a lot of people are under economic duress and are making some heart-wrenching decisions.

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