PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Pets: From the Mentors

From Lauren
When I was growing up, I always wanted a kitten. My mom and dad always said no, that they were "too much responsibility." So I lowered my standards and asked for a guinea pig, bird, rat-each time getting smaller. Finally my parents let me have a pet, but it wasn't the expected feline. They brought me to a store and bought me a beetle. His name was Fred, and I couldn't cuddle with him, but he was fun to talk about (even now!). He wasn't hard to take care of -- all he ate was water off of a piece of wood! When I entered ninth grade, we found a kitten at the humane society. My mom named her Bella, and she was part of our family until March of this year when we had to put her down. Until you actually experience the loss of a pet, I don't think most people understand what important companions animals can be. You can't get in fights with them, and they supply unconditional love. Even after horrible days at school or fights with my parents, Bella would still come into my room and cuddle when I needed her to.

In my opinion, the first place you should look for a pet is the humane Society. Not only are they cheaper than animals from a breeder, but you get a chance to give a lost animal a home. Always spay or neuter your pets; countless kittens and puppies are born and donét have homes to go to. However, older animals have an even harder time finding a place to live. Most people want a young animal, but adopting older pets can be just as rewarding!

From Stormie
When I was four, we got a cat. She was my pride and joy, and even though I had to wake up and take care of her, she was my best friend. She had this way of knowing how I was feeling, and if I was sad she would always comfort me. I took care of her and she took care of me. Because of her I realized how important it is to take responsibility for your pet, because if you do the rewards are great. It's so important to pick the right pet, too. I had two HUGE dogs and even though i took full responsibilty and did everthing a good owner should do, there just wasn't enough room for either one of them, and my little sister was scared to death of them. It really hurt to give them up, but in the end it was for the best. The mistake I made was not thinking about the dogs' comfort and just focusing on what I should do to train them. Training isn't everything; pets have needs just like people, and sometimes no matter what, we just can't meet all of those needs.

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