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Old 08-07-2019, 11:21 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,936 posts, read 3,835,774 times
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As retirees, there seem to be pet-friendly people and people who are against having pets. I never understood the latter. Today we see pets (sometimes service animals or emotional support animals) in public places where they were uncommon or not allowed before. Do you think the popular image of the parrot on the Pirate's shoulder was for emotional support? Some pets are actually workers that do a job. I think cats might be more common among retirees -- at least among people I know.

Anyway...I have become a cat person in my advanced years when I was always a dog person when younger. I can go away for a couple of days and the cat hardly notices as long as he has food, water, and his litter box. He puts on a brief show when I come back as if he is happy to see me. Dogs are a different story and need somebody around every day -- but I love them anyway; I just don't have one. (My wife was a cat person so when our last dog went to dog heaven we got a cat.) As a kid, I had three Collie dogs, occasional stray cats, several turtles, fish, a snake, two salamanders, three ducks, and a parakeet...not all at once. The ducks were (admittedly) odd but not exotic. We had a Carolina Rail, a wild bird, that my brother shot with his BB-gun, and we nursed it back to health for a few weeks and then turned it loose. My parents were obviously pretty tolerant of livestock around the house. Today my yard is teeming with wildlife but these are not really pets although I occasionally toss out lettuce or carrot scraps that quickly disappear. I have a 1500 gallon goldfish pond with about 40 goldfish (they spawned) that serves as a watering hole in the desert so every time I go out something flies or runs away.

What are your current and past experiences with pets?
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,427 posts, read 45,317,659 times
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Not retired just yet, but have been a cat person for a long time. Living out in the country, there are mice around. The cats keep them in check. Besides that they are pleasant company for me at least. Won't be without cats, I don't think. I have 5, the 5th one just showed up at feeding time last winter and has stuck around, she was tame from the get go, an abandoned pet I guess. I have this one tom cat who shows up most feeding times, he's pretty wild but I can see it's dawning on him that I am a cool cat guy, and he can approach me without anything to be afraid of. So maybe I'll "recruit" him, take him to the vet for neuter and vaccines, and he can be a regular cat.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:39 AM
 
109 posts, read 31,537 times
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Cat person here but I don't have one. The last one died about 5 years ago and I decided I didn't have the income to support one anymore. I can't believe how high vet bills have gotten. Even with a healthy cat it was costing a few hundred dollars a year just for the vet. Something minor like allergies that had to be treated because they were scratching themselves too much adds at least a hundred more. Something more serious like a UTI (which mine had) costs at least $500 and most likely more plus the cost of prescription food the rest of his life.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:46 AM
 
1,500 posts, read 729,068 times
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I have always had dogs, as a child, and when my daughter was a child. Now approaching retirement.....we have no desire. Where we live, we have bears,foxes, skunks and bobcats. We would have to walk the dog, at night,in rain and snow. Nope no more dogs for us. Not a cat person. Maybe a fish.....someday.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia/South Jersey area
2,924 posts, read 1,448,611 times
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I'm a dog lover, always was, always will be. My last Dog hobbes died last year at the age of 15. I'm moving next year so I'm not getting another until I retire and move.

I can't imagine my life without a dog.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
8,248 posts, read 5,046,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
What are your current and past experiences with pets?
We have one elderly cat who is still adjusting to the move from California to Arizona. Previously she's been home alone, tended to daily by a cat-sitter, for up to two weeks, so that's our limit for taking trips. Once she shuffles off this mortal coil, we can do some of the longer trips, like a world cruise. Those are typically four months long. The longest cruise I've been on (sans DH) was three weeks. Not sure about my stamina but I do want to go around the world once at least. Then we can decide whether or not to get another cat.

We have a pond with koi, greedy buggers that they are. I think there may be one ancient goldfish left. We had four goldfish die recently, one after another, and the cause is a mystery. The pond guy says they only live about five years but it's weird that the deaths have been spaced so close together. None of the koi have perished. They just keep getting bigger. The pond guy feeds the koi on his weekly visit.

Various wildlife populate our little acre. Jackrabbits, quail, doves, lizards (including one spectacular collared lizard), the occasional cactus wren, woodpeckers and rarely, a roadrunner. DH claims he saw a squirrel. Sometimes I see birds I can't identify. I think the jackrabbits are drinking out of the koi pond. I just hope one doesn't fall in. We found a large lizard at the bottom of the pool the other day.

Coyotes and bobcats are not uncommon but we've never seen either on our property. The cat isn't allowed outside.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:54 AM
 
2,393 posts, read 1,206,053 times
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I love them all, but I don't have any at this time in my life because I won't be around for their full lifespan, and I don't want them taken to a shelter or be homeless when I'm gone.
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:01 PM
 
701 posts, read 209,045 times
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I had pets as a child and then none until age 50 when my kids were grown and gone. Got into Maltese rescue and have had 4 at a time. Now retired the vet bills are too much so when 2 died we are content with the 2 we have. My best friend wants them if we die and she is 10 years younger than us.
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:02 PM
 
4,185 posts, read 2,742,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgardener View Post
I love them all, but I don't have any at this time in my life because I won't be around for their full lifespan, and I don't want them taken to a shelter or be homeless when I'm gone.
There are many, many senior pets that need adoption. I routinely see 8-12 year old pets needing homes or you could foster a senior pet and the rescue you foster for would take care of the medical bills and food. Rescues are usually desperate for fosters.
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Colorado
100 posts, read 23,613 times
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We lost two rescue Bichons recently at ages 16 and 18. Pets right now would hinder our retirement travel plans in the near future. Thinking about volunteering at the Humane Society.
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