by Barry KuKes
I f given a choice, don’t ever accept a mayfly as a pet. Why? Because ac-cording to www.themysteriousworld. com mayflies have the shortest lifespan on earth. Their life lasts only for 24 hours. Mayflies are also called ‘one-day insects’ because of their shortest life span. There are 2,500 different species of mayflies in the world. Some members of the mayfly family die within a few hours.
Mayflies spend most of their life as nymphs. The only purpose of mayflies is re- production. Within this short period of life, they form groups and dance together on all available surfaces. If you had a mayfly as a pet, you would barely get to know it, and it would be gone.
There are other animals with short life spans as well. A chameleon and the standard house mouse will only live for about one year. A Guinea pig will live around four-years. It makes me feel extra happy that most dogs live for 10 to 13 years, and most house cats live to the ripe old age of 16 or older. Of course, there are exceptions. I have friends who have had several cats live into their twenties, and there have been several cases of dogs living for 16-18 years.
Maybe no amount of time is enough when you want to share your life with your furry friends. The average lifespan of a human being is currently 79-years old. I think this is an excellent argument for having more than one pet at a time. If you only had one dog or one cat at a time, and they only lived for 10-years, the maximum number of pets you could have would be six or seven, assuming you didn’t get your first pet until you were 10-years old, and the age of the pet was just 3-months when you received it.
I can’t imagine having shared my life with only six pets. I have had twenty pets in my lifetime, not including hundreds of tropical fish, and I’m not 79. Most of the time, I’ve had two pets or more. I guess people like me make up the difference from people who never have a pet, and I’m good with that.
If every person who loves dogs or cats took one more home into a loving family, there would be very few animals in shelters. I believe that animals learn from each other, and an older dog will teach a younger dog the rules of the house. The success of adding a pet to a single pet household will vary based on the pets, but my success rate has been very good. I can’t imagine my dog Max without his brother of two-years, Bentley. They play together constantly and love to be with each other.
If you have a single pet, maybe consider adding a brother or sister pet to your family. If your current pet is not good with other animals, perhaps this is not an option, but getting a second pet might be a good idea if your pet is lonely and accepting of other animals. A new addition can also be a different type of pet. Maybe a bird, or rabbit, or ferret would be a nice addition. When you are ready to expand your family, please remember to adopt, don’t shop.
Barry KuKes is the Community Outreach Director for the Halifax Humane Society. You can reach Barry at 386.274.4703, ext. 320, or BarryK@halifaxhumanesociety.org