14 years ago I went to the pound with the kids to pick out a dog. Came home with Rusty a baby orange male tabby. My son had to have him. I did not find a dog I wanted. I felt our new kitten needed a friend. We adopted Almond and Joy from a woman who did kitten rescues. I could not choose between the two of them. Next I found 2 dogs I wanted to adopt at the pound. It didn't work out for Hershy the australian shepard. She was destructive even after training. I kept the dalmation but made the mistake of bringing home a chow to keep her company. Once the chow turned 6 months old the two dogs were fighting. I found new homes for them. In the next 3 years My then husband brought home streek, a stray he found at work. Tinkerbell we found. She was lost in front of our home. We took the little kitten around the neighborhood to see if anyone would claim her. No one did. I wanted to run an ad in the paper to find her a home but the kids talked me into keeping her. We now had 5 cats. All the cats are indoor cats. Then I bought birds. Next came Gizmo, a shelti. He worked out well with the family. I eventually divorced my first husband. I wanted to leave at least 3 cats for him. My son said no he couldn't live without the cats. I took all the cats, left the birds with family. Remarried. Kids graduated high school and left Mom. Nether child could or would take any of the cats. New husband talks me into buying a pomeranian. Then a hamster. Next my husband talks me into buying 2 green spotted puffers. Miss informed about these fish, I learned after research online they require 30g water per fish. The following holiday I decided I wanted a small fish tank. This is when everything changed. A betta I picked out for my fish tank suffered from chronic fin rot. I isolated him and was determined I would cure him. 4 months into treatment he still had reoccurring fin rot. I was fighting a losing battle. This drained me. He needed to be euthanized or left to die. 1 month later my Rusty started urinating out of the litter box out of control. After costly vet checks, it got to where the vet was holding checks for payment, they recommended 125.00 a week to regulate insulin for him. Sadly, I could not afford it. I tried to control things with diabetic food. It didn't work. I did the hardest thing I have ever done. He was euthanized. 1 month later still crying from Rusty, To my shock after verbally warning my husband do not bring home anything breathing he brings me a siamese kitten for our anniversary. He was bought from a breeder w/ a health guarantee and had a vet check before he was brought home. We could not afford this kitten. The kitten unknowingly was a ringworm carrier. All but 1 animal in the house caught ringworm. I have maxed out credit cards to treat this. 6 months later we do fungus tests that turn out negative. Next we have the kitten neutered. 10 days later he has a lesion on his neck. I'm treating for ringworm again. My Joy who during Rustys ordeal started losing weight and had become arthritic. She was not taken the vets through this because I thought it was some natural old age thing she was going through and I had spent the money I had on Rusty. She started walking like she had arthritis but was getting around ok just slower then normal. All of a sudden on Wednesday she would take 3 steps and lay down. She did not go get her dry food like normal. Thursday she collapsed on the floor. I took her to the vets. They said she needed intensive care and extensive testing done. Vet said she probably had something else underlying going on other then arthritis. I had to leave a check to be held for this vet visit. I knew the truth was I could not afford treatment. She was euthanized yesterday. The guilt and pain is overwhelming. It's taking me having to decide to have my longtime family members/pets to be euthanized to realize I can not afford all these pets. I have gotten off easy until now with vet bills. I have not done a good job on maintenance for the pets. My stupidity had me thinking because they are indoor pets I don't have to take them to the vets on a regular basis for health check ups. I was doing my own dog vaccinations and took the dogs in for rabies shots when I remembered. If all along I had done regular vet visits I would have known and realized my limits. I pray I have learned from this. It's to the point I am depressed and stressed all the time. For some reason I thought another animal would fill some empty part of me without realizing the consequences of having to be responsible for unforeseen high vet bills for potentially every dog and cat I own.
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9/18/09 at 6:34pm