Introducing Guest Blogger Samantha Warren

Some of you may know that I was a guest blogger on Samantha Warren’s site last week.  Well, this week I’m lucky enough to have her step in over here.  Today she shares some very important information about pets.  I hope you’ll stick around and find out what she has to say.

Thanks so much, Samantha!

I’m a pet lover. There’s no denying it. Growing up on a farm, I’ve always been in contact with animals in some way or another. Right now, my furry children include two cats and a rabbit. In fact, almost everyone I know owns an animal of some kind, even if it’s just fish. And there’s a reason for it.

First, let’s look at a few stats. Not to many, since stats make my eyes glaze over.

From ASPCA.org:

  • 63% of all households in the US own a pet of some sort.
  • This includes approximately 75 million dogs and 85 million cats.

That’s a lot of pets! And it doesn’t include the fun interesting ones like rabbits, reptiles, or rodents. And fish tend to be a fall-back pet for people who can’t afford or don’t have the time for other pets, so I think that 63% might be a bit low.

Anyhoo, why do these numbers matter? Well, studies have shown (don’t you love when people use that phrase?) that pet owners tend to be happier and live longer than people who don’t own any pets. Sadly, I don’t remember exactly where I heard those two things, but they are often repeated and I firmly believe they’re true.

Speaking from my own experience, having a pet can change who I am, what kind of mood I’m in, in an instant. For six years after graduating high school, I didn’t have a pet or much access to animals. I was miserable. Being an introvert, I’m not the best at human interaction. I spent most of my time in the barn as a kid, reading to the cows (they do like it, I swear).

I got Miss Josephine in 2006. Pretty little Penelope followed in 2009, and I just acquired Bunny Boop this year. Like all children, they can get on my nerves, but in the end, it’s all worth it. When I’m having a bad day, nothing is more relaxing than sitting on the couch and having a cat curl up beside me. When it feels like the whole world is against me, they’re on my side, purring and giving me the love I need. They don’t care what I have or haven’t done. They don’t care if I’m not 100% perfect all the time. If I snap at them, they’re quick to forgive and forget, as long as I offer treats as a peace treaty.

There’s a new country song out. “Like My Dog” by Billy Currington. I think it explains why pets are awesome very well.


Pets are amazing creatures. They are the definition of unconditional love and if they’re treated the way they deserve to be treated, they can make all the stress and craziness of being a human worth it.

Now for a PSA due to some of the really sad facts I read on the ASPCA site:

Pets do cost money, and they take some effort. Some of them don’t require a lot. I refer to cats as the fish of the mammal world. They do very well in smaller spaces. All they really need are food, water (they love a constant trickle from the tap), a litter box, some toys, and a lot of love. Dogs require a lot more effort. They have to be walked several times a day and they tend to be more demanding attention-wise.

  • Approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats).
  • More than 20 percent of people who leave dogs in shelters adopted them from a shelter.
  • The cost of spaying or neutering a pet is less than the cost of raising puppies or kittens for a year.

Pets are great, but if you plan on getting one, make sure you have the money and time to take care of it. They may be animals, but they deserve all the love they can get. While it may be cool to tell your friends you spent $1500 on a purebred something-something, keep in mind that mixes tend to be friendlier and have less health issues, not to mention they’re super cheap and that extra money can be used to take care of them. And if you do have a purebred, do us all a favor and get them fixed. There are enough animals out there who need homes without adding to it. And it greatly reduces the risk of them getting testicular or cervical cancer (yes, animals can get those too, even rabbits. My bunny will be fixed this summer).

Treat your pets like you would treat your children. They deserve that much and they won’t demand allowance or car keys.

Samantha Warren is a fantasy and science fiction author who spends her days immersed in dragons, spaceships, and vampires. With her pet dragon, Anethesis, she ventured to the ends of the universe, but the cost of space travel cut into her sock fetish fund, so she sold her ship and returned home. When she isn’t writing, she’s milking cows or trying to feed them Pop-Tarts. She spends a lot of time in her weed patch (aka: garden), watching any show featuring Gordon Ramsay, or posting random things on her blog (http://www.samantha-warren.com).

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Introducing Guest Blogger Samantha Warren

  1. I have never understood people who give up their pets. They’re like my children – once I decide to adopt or buy, they’re mine for life. In a tough time, my dogs had better dental care (from the vet) than I did from the dentist. and spaying and neutering is a must. as soon as they’re old enough

  2. I agree with that, Louise! I’ve said it before, and I’m not exaggerating even a little bit, I usually spend more money on pet medical care than I do on human medical care. Once they’re here they’re family. And in the same way I wouldn’t kick the humans out, they’re here for good, too. 🙂

  3. I wanted to stand up and clap after the PSA. At one time, I was up to 12 cats. I know that sounds extreme (I’m really not a crazy cat lady), but they were all cats that found me after someone had abandoned them (and I live on a farm so only four ended up living inside). By the time they reached my doorstep, they were starving, terrified, and often injured. Two showed up pregnant. The local shelter is always full and basically told me they’d have to be put down. So I kept them. I had zero discretionary income because I spent it all spaying/neutering them, getting them their vaccinations, etc. And I loved each and every one of them. People who don’t take responsibility for their pets make me furious.

  4. I know exactly what you mean, Marcy. We have FIVE indoor cats, plus two dogs. All but one each were strays. It really does feel like I live in a zoo sometimes (probably why I want to see that Matt Damon movie tomorrow!). But it is what it is. Couldn’t stand the thought of them being put to sleep so here they are. And here they’ll stay.

  5. Oh they’re family alright. Sometimes I wish they weren’t. Like when nic nacs get knocked off shelves and broken, or Jack can’t wait the 10 seconds it takes to get from the sofa to the front door to let him out. But what are you gonna do? Just sigh, clean up the mess and try to find a safer place for the breakables.

    Yeah, the movie does look cute. Of course it’s Matt Damon… 🙂

  6. We have two geriatric canines and they are soooooo a part of our family. I hate those stories you hear of people who buy a pet on a whim…. Pets are commitments. They are expensive. But they will give you unconditional love, and that’s not always easy to find.

    Love your bio, Samantha!

  7. I don’t know when pets are considered senior citizens, but Shadow…a black lab…came into our lives when she wandered away from home. Going through proper channels, we took her to animal control, intending to bring her home if no one claimed her in a certain amount of time. The employee knew who her owners were-because this happened regularly and, fortunately they were moving and couldn’t take her with them. But they were at least her second owners, and we’re fairly sure the first one used a shock collar on her because in the 4+ years she’s lived with us, she’s only barked one time. Based on the little info we got, she’s 10-12 now.

    She’s stuck with us until the end…which I hope is a long time coming. So are the rest of them. Yes, they’re definitely a financial investment, but they’re worth it. And they’re part of the family now so there’s no question about them staying.

  8. I hear you about the farm thing, Marcy. When I was growing up, I’m sure we had 40+ cats (now it’s only about a dozen out there). It’s like people see a farm and think it’s ok to drop off their unwanted pets. I guess it’s better that they end up somewhere where they’ll be fed than dropped out in the middle of nowhere. We spend a lot on cat food for them, and they always get fresh milk. Itty Bitty Kitty (the video on my blog) is one of the barn cats. I love those guys almost as much as I do my own.

    Thanks so much, Jenny! 🙂

    And Kristy, thanks for hosting me. 🙂 Pets are wonderful (except today, when little miss Bunny Boop has somehow found a hole in her cardboard prison and keeps escaping).

    • I just don’t get people sometimes. They HAVE to know that pets require time, attention and expense. They shouldn’t get them if they’re not committed to following through. Pets are like kids…they love us and depend on us to be there. Abandoning them, whether it’s in the country, or at an animal shelter, should NEVER be an option.

  9. Kristy, my grandma’s cat is 16. Ok, so he’s technically mine, I guess. We had a stray that got pregnant before we could get her fixed and grandma said we could keep two kittens or the cat. Yeah, tough choice for a 7th grader. Thought the poor guy was a girl until we took him to the vet to get him fixed (how, I have no idea). His name is Belle. 😛 He has cataracts and I’m pretty sure he’s senile. He wants to eat all the time, but it’s like he forgets there’s food on the floor for him. So you pick up the bowl and put it back down and he acts like you’re the most wonderful person in the world for feeding him.

  10. LOL about being the most wonderful person in the world. Sad though that he’s forgetting. I don’t know why animals age so fast. Some of them anyway. Others have lifespans closer to that of human beings. 😦

    And thanks for sharing, Samantha! This was a GREAT post…information people really need to be aware of when considering pets. 🙂

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