It is one of the sadder facts of life that our beloved dogs have a much shorter lifespan than us and the chances are that your best friend is going to pass away long before you. But I have come across instances where a dog’s owner has unfortunately gone first; in fact I am trying to re-home a dog whose owner has passed away. And this got me thinking; how many of us have actually made arrangements for the care of our pets after we’ve gone?
As responsible dog owners we love our dogs and want to do our best for them; we feed and water them, walk them, care for them when they are ill. Wouldn’t you want that to continue should anything happen to you?
Make sure everyone is aware
We have all heard tragic stories of where a person has an accident outside the home and is killed, or where someone tragically dies alone in the house and that nobody knows that the person has a pet, or pets alone in the house. It could be a good idea to carry a card or notification of some kind to alert emergency service personnel of this. You could also fix to your house doors, windows or gates a notification which tells people that your pet is inside the house. That way at least the emergency services will know to look out for your pet and take steps to recover it from the house.
Put arrangements on a legal footing
Many people, especially if they are terminally ill, take steps to make sure a friend or family member agrees to take care of the dog after their death. But sometimes, for any number of reasons, these plans can fall through. So it’s best to put things on a proper footing.
If you’re lucky enough to have someone who will take care of your dog, have the arrangements written into your will. You could leave an amount of money specifically for the care of your pet or set up a trust fund.
You could entrust your beloved pooch to a caring organisation like the Dogs Trust. They run the Canine Care Card Scheme. If you sign up for this it means they will collect your dog and take him to the nearest rehoming centre where he will be cared for until he’s found a new home. Or leave instructions for this in your will.
You don’t know what’s round the corner, and whilst we know it’s not pleasant to think of, for peace of mind, make those arrangements sooner, rather than later.
By Derek Chambers