Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Pet-Care Promises Skip a Generation

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Pet-Care Promises Skip a Generation

Article excerpt

When we were children, my brother, sister, and I begged our parents for a puppy. "We will take complete care of it," we promised. "We will train it, clean up after it, feed it, and you won't even know it is in the house!"

My strongest memory of that time is my mother holding an umbrella in the backyard while the puppy did her business in the rain. For the first day or so, we did keep our word. But it took only a couple of smelly messes and bad weather for us to groan that we could not be expected to do that. So my mother added one more dependent: Daisy the beagle.

I should have known what would happen when my own four children begged for a kitten. "We promise we will take care of it," they chorused. "We will do everything. You won't even know it is in the house! …

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