The Value of a Pet

There was an article in this morning’s paper that the courts are now working on developing what the value of a pet is in preparation for the ensuing lawsuits surrounding contaminated food. We currently have a dog and a cat, you’ve probably seen them on this blog. They are such a big part of the family. Part of it is they are our “children” right now. They contribute a lot to our daily life. The cat actually waits in the window for us and meets us at the door when we get home. He is my husband’s best gauge of my physical health right now, when I’m really sick the cat won’t let him near me and is very protective. Our dog provides comic relief and puppy kisses – whether you want them or not.

What price would I put on them? To tell the truth, this morning I’d pay you to take the dog. It’s a rainy day so she can’t go outside and in the two hours she’s been up she has: eaten the tops off of two cupcakes my husband baked for me; rounded up 5 shoes and one ball cap – all which had to be retrieved back from her; bounced off of every piece of furniture in the living room; torn up three sections of the paper and stolen two plastic cups off the counter. But with all of this is a short amount of time, if she got out I would still chase after her for as long as it took even in the pouring rain.

So, what are their lives worth? How will a third party decide this? Are they worth more because we don’t have “real” children (yet). Would it be different if we were a retired couple with an empty nest? A widow? A family with young children? Is Harley worth more than a shelter dog because she has papers (which by the way, she chewed).

I interviewed for a job at an animal shelter once and the director told me they have great success with direct mail solicitation – sending out a mailing to a complete stranger – they have a very high rate of return. Of course they do. We love our pets. Think about it, has your dog ever told you a lie? betrayed your confidence? beaten you? When was the last time your cat stole from you?

Dollar value for my pets… there would never be enough.

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