Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Guardians for Pets

(Contributed by Lori Whitwam)

I had a friend ask me today if I would allow her to put me in her will as the guardian of her three golden retrievers, should anything happen to her. She said it was important to her that they be kept together, and that they be showered with love and security for as long as they live. Being a "golden person," she knows I'd be happy to do that for them.

But this got me thinking. My own dogs are all from either Retrieve A Golden of Minnesota or NorthStar Great Pyrenees Rescue, so I know that these groups will take care of finding them great new homes if something should happen to me (and my husband), since I don't have any strong feelings about keeping any combination of them together. They're all more connected to me than each other, which is probably a good thing. Therefore, I'm not as worried about a "pet will" as others might be.

We've all seen the stories on the news about wealthy eccentrics leaving fortunes to their pets. I'm all for it, being a "pet person," but have to admit I don't see much sense in it. The important thing for all pet owners to consider, though, is whether they have any plans in place for what should happen to their pets if they should pass away. Do you know who would take them in, care for them, feed them and love them? Are you able to leave some sort of fund to help with special care your pet might need? Don't assume your kids or grandkids - or even your spouse - will be willing or able to care for your beloved pets.

Nobody likes to think about this sort of thing, but for the sake of your precious animal companions, give it the same thought you would put into choosing guardians for your human children.

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