My Response to the She Knows Article
Last week She Knows published this article, entitled ‘There’s a Limit to How Much I’d Spend to Save My Dog’s Life’. I’ve been asked a few times to voice my reaction to the article, but I’m not finding it that easy. When I first read the feature, I was horrified. Writer Bethany Ramos talks about how she doesn’t understand why anyone would pay for a lot of medical treatment for their dogs, or why people would shell out on pet insurance.
She clearly makes a definite distinction between her pets and her family, and lambasts those of us who love our pets as if they were one of the family. She doesn’t understand why someone would spend a large amount of money on pet care for an ill dog when they could have a tropical vacation for the same price instead. Her attitude is that animals in the wild don’t get expensive medical care, so pets shouldn’t either – calling medicinal pet care unnatural. A frankly bizarre argument in this day and age.
I have pet insurance, because I would do anything to take care of my dog. It is my duty to do so as his owner. If he was hit by a car tomorrow then I have the reassurance that I can get his treatment and he can live for many happy years to come. He has given me so much in the last two and a bit years that he has been a part of my life, I simply wouldn’t and couldn’t give up on him like that due to finances. If you can’t afford to give your dog the care it needs, then my suggestion is simple – don’t get a dog. Sure, I could have a nice holiday for a week or two instead of paying for insurance for 12 or so years, but the memories and benefits of having Bruce in my life for hopefully another decade far outweigh the experiences of an all-inclusive stay in the caribbean. Whilst I understand that many people can’t afford obscene vet bills, I would expect any new dog owner to get quotes for pet insurance before they get their dog, in order to help them understand and budget for caring for their pet.
I can see that Bethany’s pets clearly have their place in her home and it is equally easy to see that they are more as fun objects to be around than sentient beings with a breadth of emotional intelligence. More and more studies are finding just how sensitive and emotionally in tune our dogs are with us and the world around them. If you allow them into your family, to truly be part of your home and family unit, the rewards you get are incredible. Your dog looks out for you at all times and unconditionally, your dog deserves the same love back. How could you turn your back on your dog, who has doted on you from day one, in their time of need?
While the vast majority of the article is totally infuriating to read, and I would love to get in the same room with Bethany to have a debate about her article, I do agree with her stance on treating dogs that are beyond medical help. One thing which I absolutely do not condone is attempting to extend the life of a dog which is terminally ill and ready to go. When a dog is so ill that it no longer has a good quality of life, that it is in pain, that it is depressed, then it is time to say goodbye. The difference between myself and Bethany is that I believe this not for fear of losing money, but because even a dog deserves to die in dignity. Extending a dog’s life when it is painful and tortuous in order to delay saying our last goodbye, is cruel and unfair to the dog. Sometimes, the bravest, strongest and hardest thing we can do is to know when is the right time to stop fighting for our dog’s life.