The recent news about the death of Alaskan malamute absolutely saddened me. How could its owner be so irresponsible? I reckoned that the three thousand dollar fine imposed on him was certainly not enough to deter such a dreadful case from ever happening again. The society for the prevention of cruelty to animals took in over ten thousand unwanted animals over the past year.

Some of these unfortunate animals were discarded and abandoned on the street to fend for themselves. A few pitiful ones were even severely mistreated and bore the scars of inhumane actions. Many of these pets had owners who gave them up because the novelty wore off and they no longer had the time. Like humans, animals have rights too. They require love, food, water and shelter just like we do.

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Two of my closest friends recently acquired pets. My best friend Kelly who lives in France with her boyfriend, decided to buy a female West Highland terrier from a professional breeder residing in Orleans. The soon to be wed couple have since been going ga-ga over “Monster”, and have been flooding my mailbox with pictures of her in various doggie fashions.

Back here on our sunny shores, my lovesick colleague Marion got herself a male Jack Russell last week as a replacement for the lack of a potential male mate in her life. She claimed that she badly needed to fill up the emotional void and affirmed that a puppy will be faithful to her always. Spot on girl! Marion is in love again and has been avoiding disastrous blind dates so that she can spend quality time to walk her new beau, “Mattheu”.

Not every pet is as lucky. Cecilia, an acquaintance of mine also shared news of her latest purchase, a smoky grey Persian with icy blue eyes. She proudly flaunted her prized tabby cat to everyone she knew, desperately using it to gain popularity and attention, especially from men.

Back home, insecure and selfish Cecilia barely took loving care of her new pet. She would yell at it and forget to feed it at times. Needless to say, the poor kitty has become traumatized. Shame on you, Cecilia!

To all you prospective pet owners out there, do think twice before jumping on the bandwagon. Pet ownership can be extremely rewarding. On the same token, it is also a heavy responsibility and commitment.

A pet is for life. Do some intensive research before succumbing to the impulsive urge of purchasing that cute fluffy doggie peering at you with those loveable eyes. Try taking care of someone else’s pet for a week or so to see if you can handle living with an animal. Adopt a dog or cat from the SPCA. Give an animal a loving home and it will provide you with years of loyal companionship.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eliza is the proud owner of a three-year-old champion breed Shetland sheepdog named “Chantilly”. Her doting boyfriend recently presented her with a silver Chinchilla Persian kitten with gorgeous green eyes as a birthday gift. She just christened her new kitty “Felicia”.

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