O'Donnell Kerr Financial Planners
  • 28 July, 2015

My companion, Scout

This is my, or should I say, our dog Scout. She is a two year old border collie and is without a doubt the smartest dog I have ever owned.

She is extremely well behaved; far better behaved and socialised than my own children at two years of age (sorry Erin and Kyle, no insult intended).

I am able to run and walk her without a lead (don’t tell the council), she will stop at lights when I tell her, not run on the road, and only crosses the road when she is told.

She understands that little children and older people are frail and she will be gentle without being told.

Begrudgingly, I’ll admit she’s not perfect. She has taken a dislike to buses, garbage trucks, Harley Davidson bikes (only these bikes) and skateboards, which is a bit of a worry, but we are in the process of trying to break this habit. The only saving grace is that if she does chase them it is from the footpath and not on the road.

She can also be a little bit of a snob when it comes to other dogs and people she’s not familiar with. However, I’m sure this can be easily explained by the fact that Scout believes she has a wide enough circle of friends and does not need any new acquaintances.

Scout is loyal and a wonderful companion and she has become a very much loved part of our family.

So, why am I talking about my dog?

As I have mentioned, we do walk and run Scout on a regular basis around our area so Scout has become a well-known face in the neighbourhood. In fact, I would say more people would know her name than my own.

I get an immense sense of joy when I see older people’s faces light up as Scout approaches them and we stop and they pat her and tell us stories about the dogs they once owned.

The answer to the question I used to ask, “Why don’t you buy yourself a new dog now?” is the same every time and never ceases to sadden me. They are concerned that the dog will outlive them, end up in the pound and, as an older dog, no one will want to adopt and they will end up being euthanised.

Dogs and cats are wonderful companions. They provide a great deal of joy as we grow older and immense comfort when faced with the prospect of being a widow or widower.

I find it sad to think that as a society we are not able to alleviate a person’s fear that their dog will outlive them and be subject to euthanasia. Surely it is not a lot to ask for a family to provide a level of confidence to their elderly relatives that, if they would like to have the companionship of a dog or cat in the later years, they can do so without this dreaded overhanging fear.

I would love to hear from anyone who may have a better suggestion than relying on family to provide the surety around the life of pets when owners pass away. My partner Donna suggested that a person make provision in their will. Is that something you’d consider?

The Realise Your Dream blogs are written by Peter Kelly and Mark Teale. More information about the authors can be found here

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