Friday, February 6, 2009

Ok, it is finally time... "It's not a hobby, it's a life style"

Remember some time last week or so when I made a quick post to remind me to talk about this comment someone made on Dr. Phil? Where some little twitter of a newly wed said she made her new husband sell his horse because "horses aren't a hobby, they are a lifestyle"?

Yeah. I'm finally ready.

First, my opinion on the comment. You are darn right, honey bunch! Owning animals of any kind, ESPECIALLY if they live at or in your home IS a life style! If that isn't YOUR lifestyle that is fine, just please don't have animals and make them miserable by expecting them to do all of the adapting (I.E. chain them up outside to a tree because you don't want to be bothered with house breaking them or taking them out several times a day). And for heaven's sake if you don't like the animal owning life style and fall in love with someone who does either learn to deal or make it clear what you expect BEFORE you make it legal so the person has the option to say "no thanks" when you demand they give up one of the most important things there is for an animal lover.

If you own a show dog that lives at the handlers, or if you board your horse at a farm and ride twice a week this may not apply and you may be a totally devoted and caring pet owner. But if your animals live at your house and you are their primary care giver they are indeed a lifestyle.

Examine my day, for instance. I wake a half hour before my daughter gets up so I can let the dogs out and have my coffee. I make sure all of the animals indoors have food and water, and check the litter boxes to see if they need cleaning in the morning or in the afternoon. I also make sure the wandering cats in the neighborhood have water in the heated outdoor bowl. Then I get the kid up and fed so she can go to school. Once she goes to school I make sure the rabbit and chicken have water and make sure the ponies have water and their legs are all still there and in working order. I come in and have another few cups of coffee, let the dogs out again. Around 9 I head out and feed the ponies. If the litter boxes need cleaning in the morning I do that before noon. Then I have time to come here, visit my forums, etc. Around noon I do a water check again, and work the ponies if the weather cooperates. That takes anywhere from n hour to two hours depending on who I work and how, and what grooming needs to be done. I then pick up any poo that isn't frozen to the ground, in the barn, pasture, dog run and chicken area. Except for right now, because everything always IS frozen to the ground right now so I just don't bother until it warms up, lol.

I go back in and let the dogs out again.

OK, I could go on but you get the picture. Sure, I do more than most might because I am here. But still, even when we go away from home we have to plan our day around the animals. Can't leave until after 9 so the ponies get their breakfast on time. Have to be home before 9 so the dogs can go out and not have an accident. Anyone who doesn't understand and accept this doesn't stick around for long, thankfully.

NOW... on to the concept of "making" someone you "love" give up their "lifestyle".

COME ON! If you really love them... love them the way they are... why would you catch them and then change the rules? "Oh, you are a cowboy type guy who loves riding and your horse? Well, I love you but now that we are married I don't like your lifestyle so sell the horse or I am leaving you!" What the... ?!?!?!

I see this often. Guy is a fireman, falls in love, gets married, wife suddenly decides being a fireman is too dangerous and throws a fit until husband changes careers and is miserable for the rest of his life because she decided she knew what he needed more than he did. But if he DOESN'T give it up he looks like a selfish jerk who is putting his job above his wife. I've seen first hand where this happens, one spouse changes the rules and the other ends up giving up part of what makes them who they are.

I'm not sure who frustrates me more, the person who changes the rules or the one who gives in and ends up having to slowly let their soul wither away.

Listen, if you marry a guy (or gal) who is a couch potato and safety conscious and is frugal and cautious and they suddenly decide to blow all of their money on equipment and jump off of high rise buildings I totally get putting your foot down and saying, "Hey, wait, I didn't sign up for this!" But if they were ALREADY blowing their money and jumping off high rise buildings when you got together that was the deal you made.

Seriously, what is with people hooking up with someone completely unlike what they want then trying to completely change them into something different? It drives me nuts!


OK, I think I am done venting. lol.

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