No, I’m not talking about a mate for your cat or dog. I’m talking about a mate for yourself. Finding someone who shares your outlook on animals and their well-being is important. When it comes to pets, I think people often underestimate how important having the support of their partner really is.
Having a supportive partner is priceless
While it would be nearly impossible for me to take in and care for my current 10 cats and dogs without any help, my thoughts on this subject apply to anyone with a pet. I’m fortunate that Will is 100% on board with my saving animals and has always treated them all with love and kindness.
Whether he’s out helping me try to get a random stray cat out of a tree in the middle of the night in freezing temps when he has to be at work in a few hours, as I wrote about here, or stopping on the way home from work to pick up something I need for someone, Will never ever hesitates or complains. When it comes to the animals, he cares just as much as me, and that’s saying something. And from past experience, it’s also something I never take for granted.
While I know Will is the exception and not the rule, I also know there are plenty of other guys and gals out there that have big hearts when it comes to animals. I also know that not having the support from the people closest to you when you have a pet makes life harder. That’s just the hard truth.
Be careful picking partners that just don’t care
Now to clarify, I’m not talking about partners that abuse pets, as they clearly shouldn’t be in your or your pets’ life at all. I’m talking about the partners that could take or leave a pet, don’t care if the pet is hungry, thirsty, cold, etc. I’m also talking about the partners who show very little to no emotional support when it comes to the pet or your concern for it.
There’s nothing worse than dealing with a sick or injured pet and getting little to no support from your significant other. This is never more important than when you are upset and dealing with an ill or injured pet or even a loss. We all need someone to be there for us in our lowest of lows and that most definitely includes the ones with our beloved pets.
Taking a potential future problem off the table
If you happen to be someone who is very attached to your pet or pets, dating or marrying someone who isn’t is potentially setting yourself up for a lot of fights, frustration, and kind of a sad life for your pet, who is stuck in the middle of all of it. Sometimes, the pets even end up on the bad side of the non-animal loving person because they are the reason for the fights.
Not everyone on the planet loves cats and dogs like some of us do. That’s not saying they are bad people, they maybe just aren’t the right person for a pet lover. Even if those people are great in every other way, if they don’t treat your pet well, or give you the emotional support sometimes needed with pets, that can eventually build up and cause resentment and trouble that nobody wants or deserves.
The frustration of not having support is bad for everyone
I have spent a good amount of time over the years on forums and in groups where I read posts and comments. I also watch pet shows like The Dog Whisperer. I always notice those remarks or comments where people are frustrated because their partner won’t help them walk the dog or offer emotional support when a pet is sick. Those partners often create more stress for the pet lover by always complaining about the cost/mess/hassle/etc. of the pet and/or the fact that they never wanted the pet to begin with.
Pets are full-time, long-term, expensive commitments. If you don’t have a partner who understands that and supports you in that belief, chances are, it will cause issues in your relationship. Choosing someone who is already kind-hearted towards animals and especially towards you when they see you upset or how important something is to you, will go a long way in your relationship and ultimately your happiness together.
The importance of the right partner for you and your pet(s)
Pets have the potential to bring so much joy and happiness to a relationship, but the opposite is true if you don’t have the right person in the mix. If you love cats and/or dogs, dating, living with, or marrying someone that doesn’t like them probably isn’t the best idea. While plenty of people do convert from not being big animal lovers to meeting the right cat or dog that changes their feelings, I’d advise against making a life-long commitment to that person until you at least see that starting to happen.
When first getting to know a potential new partner, make sure you watch how they are with your pet(s). Do they try to interact with them, or do they ignore them? Do they ask about your pet without being prompted? How are they around animals in general? Watching and listening for little clues will help you determine early-on if there are any red flags you need to be concerned about.
Don’t assume that just because someone currently owns or “grew up around ______” that they are kind or a good pet owner. I’ve met plenty of people who treat their animals poorly, ignore them except to tell them to go away, or let them suffer from ailments or injuries because they just see the pet as a “thing” like a car or truck, that will be fine because it’s not dead.
We spend a lot of time in life picking out just the right home, car, furniture, etc. Our pets don’t deserve any less from us. You aren’t just picking a companion for yourself, you’re also picking one for your pet, or even future pets, so remember to keep that in mind when you are checking off the boxes for your potential “one”.
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