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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Oct-Nov 2012
30 | www.probussouthpacific.org Gary, Judi and Bella Blackler After losing all of their animals in the middle of last year, Gary and Judi Blackler thought they would take a break from having a pet. They lasted six months. “A dear friend of mine sent me a will, written by a dog,” Judi explains. “It said: ‘Don’t go into a store and buy a puppy; adopt a dog and give it the love that you gave me.’ “So in December, I started looking on Pet Rescue and I found Bella,” Judi explains. Not willing to wait a month for Bella to get to Sydney, Gary and Judi travelled almost 600km to Narrandera, popped Bella in the car and drove her home where she melted hearts instantly. “The first night we were home, she hopped straight into her bed and the next minute, she was on her back, fast asleep. I thought: ‘she’s home’. She’s a very good dog; she’s taken a chunk out of our hearts already.” Judi and Gary couldn’t stand to lose another dog so quickly so they opted for a mature, but young dog. At just two and a half, Bella has a playful nature but is very obedient, responsive and trusting. With Gary out and about with Probus, Judi loves having her around. “I could not do without the company of the dog; she fills a gap,” she says. “I needed the companionship." “She has settled into this house, she is just such an adorable little thing and yet she’s still puppy-like and loves a play,” Gary says. “You lose them, and you think you can never find another one to replace them. But along comes a little dog with its own personality. We enjoy one another in retirement.” cover story an English study has also shown that minor illnesses and complaints were reduced in people who owned pets, and that owners of dogs were more physically active. Pros and cons There are definite positives of owning a pet, however, there are other things to consider when deciding whether a pet is the right addition to your life. If you travel a lot, you must consider how your pet will cope in your absence or, if it is to accompany you, how it will cope with being away from home. “There are a number of pet-friendly hotels now around Australia,” Dr Higgins says, “so even if you do go on a trip, in some cases you can take your dog or pet with you.” Either way, you need to assess the extra costs you may incur. There is also the daily commitment you have to make to a pet, including being home to feed it, groom it and entertain it. Falling in love with a gorgeous pet is one thing, committing to its needs is what is really important. So, which pet? As long as the pet you choose interests you, the therapeutic benefit is there. However, it is important that the pet you have selected fits your personality, lifestyle and living space. “If you’re active, then by all means get an active dog,” says Dr Higgins. “Take it out for a run with you. But if you’re not active, there are over 200 breeds of dog in Australia, and then there are cats too, so there are plenty of options.” If you choose a pet that suits your lifestyle you’re not going to go wrong. Most pets, especially dogs, need structure in their day and space to spread out and play. However, don’t be deterred just because you live in a small space or a rental property. Often, it is not the size of the backyard or the apartment that matters, it is finding the right pet
Active Retirees Aug-Sept 2012
Active Retirees Dec-Jan 2013