Now that the holidays are over you've had some time to think, it turns out that the three and a half minutes you spent making a calculated decision to buy a pet as a present wasn't the best decision after all. In fact you'll probably now put more thought and effort into coming up with an excuse to tell the breeder or rescue organization, hopefully one that won't make you come off as an insensitive moron. Before you do, keep in mind that the following excuses for returning a new four legged friend have been used time and time again, along with some appropriate responses :
Excuse : It turns out I'm allergic.
Response : I too am allergic to some things. For instance, it turns out I'm allergic to lack of foresight. Guess what? I'm also allergic to the way my mother still refers to me as the 36 year old "Baby" of the family, and when I ask what she's up to, I'm allergic to her giving me a detailed, day to day schedule of her plans for the next week ("Well I've got bridge tomorrow at two, then on Wednesday morning I'm going shopping for tomatoes that I need for dinner, and on Thursday....."). You know what mom? Just tell me you're doing "stuff" and we're good. The point I'm trying to make? I've never done an online search looking for businesses that specialize in "Mom returns". YOU took it upon yourself to add a loving companion to your family, and YOU should put some serious thought into making it work. How you've made it this far in life without realizing you're allergic is beyond me, though there are things you can do to help with the allergies. Here's a tip : you ARE NOT allergic to pet fur! You are most likely allergic to the dander, so take some pills and try wiping off your pet each day with a damp cloth. Again while this will help the problem, I'm afraid solving your lack of knowledge when it comes to your own health is a whole other issue.
Excuse : I'm just too busy
Response : Of course you are, seeing as on December 26 you got that promotion at work which now requires you to put in an extra 12 hours a day. Seriously.....too busy? Let me help you with a simple truth. You are not that busy. If you can't find one or two hours a day for walks (I'm not including feeding as it shouldn't take you more than 180 seconds twice a day to prepare meals), you are spending too much time at Starbucks. Pets don't really seem to mind the quantity of time you spend with them (if they did they wouldn't sleep so darn much!), but they sure do care about the quality of time you spend together. A couple walks, a couple cuddles, a couple kisses, a couple pats....it doesn't add up to much time, though it amounts to a tremendous bond.
Excuse : I'm moving and the new place doesn't allow pets.
Response : Find another place. I'll start looking now for you. There's one....oh and another.....wow that took me 12 minutes to find 37 locations in your new neighbourhood that allow pets! You're welcome.
Excuse : The new pet doesn't get along with my current pet.
Response : Be patient! There will be an adjustment period, but in no time they will be best of friends.
Excuse : The new pet is bonkers!
Response : This can often be the case with not only puppies and kittens (let's face it, they're all crazy), but especially with rescue pets. My one word solution? PATIENCE. With time, your new friend will become accustomed to your routine. When I adopted my second dog from the THS two years ago, he kept peeing on my fridge each night, as he was used to simply relieving himself when he needed to. With a few weeks of training (I crated him at night) he quickly got used to the fact that he needed to pee when we were on his walks or in the yard. Remember, a dog can learn new things no matter the age, so look into some local training classes!
Excuse : We're having a baby
Response : Well that's easy, go get an abortion. What's that you say? It would be inhumane to make the life altering decision of having a child to then go back on your plans? I agree whole heartedly.
My advice? Exhaust every option you have before returning a pet. Talk to vets, trainers, family & friends who can help reassure you that things will be just fine. You may have to make some concessions and changes, but when things settle down you will find yourself rewarded more times than you can count, and proud that you are able to provide such a loving environment for your newest family member.
Feel free to comment below....are there any times returning a pet is acceptable? I think so, and I'll be adding my comment about my own experience with returning an adopted pet (I think you'll agree I did the right thing, and my excuse was far from asinine, though I still think of that dog to this day).