Seniors Today Newspaper
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Heavy Lifting Of Pet Ownership

by Matilda Charles

For seniors, there are several questions that arise when we consider whether we should adopt another pet after the death of a long-loved companion. There’s the scary thought of potential veterinary bills or whether we should own a dog that needs to be walked every day. Maybe we think of adopting a young cat who will likely outlive us or an elderly cat who probably won’t.

I firmly believe, however, that when it comes to deciding about adopting a pet that the biggest potential problem comes down to heavy lifting.

The rule of four, I call it: There are four likely scenarios wherein, without intervention or assistance, heavy lifting is required.
For the economical 40-pound bag of dog chow, I would need to lift it into the shopping cart, put it on the conveyor belt at checkout, get it into the car, and once home, get it into the house. That’s four liftings.

This applies to even the 20-pound jug of cat litter. I do the math: 4 times 20 equals 80 pounds I’d be lifting without interventions.
Interventions can take the shape of a strong teenage boy angel who happens to walk by in the pet supplies aisle; a store clerk who gets down cat litter from a very high shelf; checkouts with a radar gun on a stretchy cord that will reach to the cart to scan the bar code; and big neighbors who happen to be strolling by just as I’m pulling in my driveway.

Without luck, however, there have been too many times when all four liftings have been required. I suffer the next day.
I have decided to cut my pet-related lifting down to none. I have signed up for home delivery at two stores, never mind the expense. It’s worth every penny to see other people walk up my driveway carrying the heavy items, fully appreciative of the fact that I don’t have to do any lifting whatsoever.