Pets' Corner: I don't have time for my dogs
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Saturday 06 September 2008
I have two beautiful dogs that I've owned for about five years. But I am struggling with work commitments, which are taking me away from home a lot. I walk them in the morning and evening, and I have a dog walker who pops in twice a week, but I don't know how much longer I can afford this. Am I being cruel by leaving them for so long? Is it time for me to say goodbye to them? Lindsey, via e-mail
Your situation breaks my heart, as many people are facing the same dilemma as you are. The number of pets being put into rescue centres has soared over the past year. Most animal charities were struggling, but now they are completely overwhelmed. Ideally, you shouldn't leave your dogs so long in the day, but they do have each other for company, which is a plus, and you are giving them a loving home. It's only in the past few years that professional dog walkers have become so prevalent. Before then, if people had a dog and they went to work, the dog was left at home or in the yard. Dogs today have a better quality of life, but are too easily bought and given away. Before you consider re-homing, ask friends and neighbours if they will either pop in or take them out for you, or maybe they have children of an appropriate age who need extra pocket money and can walk them occasionally. As long as you can spend quality time with your dogs at the weekends, you should be able to continue. But if none of the above is possible, sadly it may be best to find a new home for them.
Send your queries to: email@example.com. Remember that if an animal shows signs of distress or discomfort, an early visit to the vet is always recommended
Life & Style blogs
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Green Party Caroline Lucas interview: 'We could be on the edge of something very big'
- 1 Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later
- 3 Naked free runner captured in breathtaking photographs above London's streets
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
£30000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent: Austen Lloyd: Employment Solicitor - Ke...
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Hi All, I'm currently recruiting for t...
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: HAMPSHIRE MARKET TOWN - A highly attr...
£23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...