My family has a dog named Kiki, but her master is really only my husband. She lives waiting for him to come home. She follows him around the house. If he goes out on the lake kayaking without her (normally she is on board), she waits on the end of the dock until his safe return.
The love is wholly mutual.
This spring, my husband took Kiki to the vet for her check up. The vet noted the age on the chart, and sat my husband down for a speech about Kiki's Twilight Years.
It basically began with, "Now that Kiki's life will be ending soon..." It continued along the lines that now that she was officially a senior dog, she needed special care. Special food. Special vitamins. Special tests. Special insurance.
My husband came home sad, depressed and sure that she was going to drop dead at any minute. He was certain that she needed all kinds of things to the tune of $2000.
You may want to stop me now, but, let me say, I grew up on a farm. This dog does not look like she is going to keel over any time soon. I can say this because Kiki still can run for 2 hours with my husband--uphill, with a doggie smile on her face.
I understand the need for special care for elderly animals, but it seemed like the vet was going for shock value, and the dollar sign value.
Pets are members of the family, and I think issues about their health and impeding doom need to be handled carefully. Do not scare me into submission. Work with me like a grown up. Do you really think that if there is something this dog really needs that we will not move Heaven and Earth to give it to her?
Capitalism and pet care, what an ugly mix.