Should a retired bloke have a pet?

POPPY: the last of our dogs (to date)
POPPY: the last of our dogs (to date)

Taking the dog for a walk. It’s an essential part of the daily routine for lots of retired people. But I’m resisting.

It’s not that I’m anti-dog. We’ve had dogs for most of our married life.

The last of them, Poppy, was 15 when she died in October 2013. Already blind and deaf, she had become increasingly confused.

When Jacqui came home one day to find Poppy distressed in the kitchen, we sadly knew that she had probably reached the point where she had no quality of life.

Jacqui took Poppy to the vet, who confirmed the poor dog was suffering from senile dementia. Apparently, pet dogs and cats are looked after and fed so well these days that vets are seeing more and more of them with this complaint.

We agreed that it would be kinder to give her a dignified end to her life.

The house was strangely quiet without a dog in it after so many years. But I was adamant that we wouldn’t have any more pets because they are such a tie.

Twenty months on, I can still catch myself looking to where the dog basket sat in the kitchen. I can feel my resolve weakening….

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