Has the economy got you down? Lay off? Long term unemployment? Things super tight? How do you care for your dog when you can barely care for yourself and your family?
My Hunny was laid off yesterday. One of 800 people around the country, and we’re hurting for all the others, hit by a company’s restructure. It was necessary, sure. Just tough to swallow, even knowing it was coming.
No tears for me, please. Hunny has an interview this morning. He’s been searching for over a month, knowing this was coming. This interview could be the next job, or it could be nothing. Either way, we’re both at peace with what’s happening.
Maybe we’ll be crying a month from now. I hope not.
So I’m asking the above questions from the perspective of someone wanting – needing – to know the answers. Seriously, when you can barely feed your own family and keep a roof over your head, how do you take care of your fur babies?
Of course I’m not asking this question empty-handed. Mostly because I’m serious about having an answer. I truly want to know how you’ve answered this question for your family, too. First things first, you always take care of your family, and that includes the dogs. And chickens. And ducks. If that means delivering pizza and selling your furniture until the better job opens up, so be it. Maybe, as our family has discussed recently, it means selling the house and renting, or finding something smaller, less expensive.
But what if your animals are high need? No, not high maintenance – that would totally be on the owner’s head. Remember our discussion Wednesday about obese dogs and cats? Yeah. Not the animal’s fault. What if your dog is diabetic, or has hip dysplasia, or cancer? Or any number of illnesses? What then? Vet visits are expensive. Shoot, we’re already dreading not having health insurance for ourselves, much less caring for animals who don’t have insurance.
There’s a program in New York called Safety Net. They put together plans for families in need to help them keep their animals, their family members. I don’t know exactly what it entails, but I like the thought of neighbor helping neighbor to make it through tough economic times. Here’s an excellent little article discussing how to find help for yourself and your pets. Beware – most of the help groups listed at the bottom no longer exist.
And here’s a thought: I work part-time from home, currently, meaning I have free time (theoretically). Why can’t I turn my love for animals into another part-time job? Dog walking. Pet sitting. My mom does colored pencil pet portraits. Shoot, I could make and sell customized leather dog collars.
When it comes to feeding the dogs, there are multiple dog food and dog treat recipes available online. My mom saves money by making Honey’s dog food from scratch every month. She gives Honey Jones Natural Chews as treats, though. They’re surprisingly inexpensive, considering they’re all natural and made in the USA. And meaty delicious.
There are pet food banks around the country, but not here in Oklahoma. As for vaccinations, we take the dogs to a local feed store and save beaucoup money every year. That won’t change, regardless of our circumstances.
Any way I slice it, I need to pare down. In so many ways. So I’m looking at this lay off as an opportunity, not a terror. We’ll be purging our stuff, having garage sales, selling on eBay, learning to cook differently. It’s all good. And I’ll appreciate your prayers, if you’re the praying type.
Until I write again …