What does it take to be a good pet owner? The answer definitely varies from person to person. One person may be comfortable leaving their dog outside to play all day while someone else prefers to carry their dog around in a purse to keep their paws clean. Are they both right? No one can say for sure, but perhaps those who studied to take care of their animals professionally might have a clue.
Reddit user, u/Vischen25, wanted to know:
Here's A Quick List
Vet assistant here. Good owners usually do the following.
- Pay for recommend tests and meds when the pet is sick.
- Have a well groomed and clean yorkie, shih tzu, cocker spaniel, ect
- Stay up to date on preventative care, like vaccines and flea and heartworm prevention.
- Follow the doctors diet advice (not feeding grain free, uneducated raw diets, or sh-t kibble).
- Stay with their pet when it is euthanized. No animal should die without their beloved owner around.
Never Let Someone's Appearance Dictate Your Thoughts
Don't let appearances fool you.
When I was a tech, I had a client come in with a dog who was sick with parvo. He had holes all over his clothes, basically looking homeless. Made an estimate for him and assumed he wouldn't pay for treatment (I've had so many clients do this and didn't help we were located at the "poor" side of town). To my surprise, he signed the estimate, left a deposit, dog stayed with us for a week and got better, and he came in every day to visit and pay. That made me happy and realized that not all people are turds towards their pets.
Asking. Always Asking.
Vet tech, not a vet. To me, one clear sign that someone is a good pet parent is when their pet is fully vetted (appropriate vaccines or titers, preventative medications, yearly or bi-annually check ups, yearly dental cleanings). Another to me is when the client asks questions about what's the best for their pet (food/diet, medications, titers vs yearly vaccines, exercise, etc). While money doesn't automatically make you a good pet parent, when the above are taken care of it indicates, to me, that they're good pet parents and their pets' needs are met.
Enough Love, Just Not Enough Education
Vet assistant here.
We had this big biker cone in with his Bassett Hound. Overweight but not bad. Happy other than "walking funny."
The Dr did the exam and the dog's nails were so long they curled down and back into the pads. Poor guy must have been in SO much pain.
I was seeing red... Yes he brought him in but my GOD how could he have left it that long!!!
I was in the room with the vet when they were showing the owner the injuries and telling him it would require sedation to trim the nails and clean the wounds.
This big burly guy started SOBBING. He said that the dog mostly rode with him on his bike, in front of him on a lambskin covering the gas tank of the bike. He would carry him everywhere not on the bike.
It really hit me then that there was nothing but love for the dog, just not enough education for the human.
Keep The Relationship Split
Controversial: I have a weird aversion to the whole '[pet] parent' thing. I generally think anyone who refers to themselves as Mummy or Dad when talking to their pet is treating them like a human.
Animals should not be treated like humans, they have their own needs and the best animal husbandry reflects that.
"We can tell when you love your pet..."
We can tell when you love your pet, the way you talk and interact with them - it's obvious. I always tell people their pets are cute/handsome/pretty (even when I don't necessarily think so) and the people's whose faces light up and smile and agree are always cute to watch. But honestly just be responsible. Get them their yearly checkups, keep up on their vaccines, when they're sick take them in right away and don't wait, when they're older get them their yearly bloodwork, and keep up on any medications they need.
And if your pet is sick and we recommend tests but you can't afford it, tell us! Sometimes there are other options or resources we know of, and sometimes we can go step by step so it's not so much at once. Oh, and please keep up on your pets dental health. I know it's expensive but the amount of people that tell me their 10 year old dog is acting like a puppy again after losing rotten teeth is astonishing.
Taking them to the vet when they clearly need to go.
My mother ignored our family dog's itchy butt for weeks. Then I brought her to stay over one night, and noticed she dragged her butt across the floor way more excessively than normal. I gave her butt a look and saw rice. Tapeworm. Told my mother that she needed to go to the vet, and she was in denial and f-cking ignored it for another week or so until she woke up in bed one morning and there were tapeworm segments everywhere in bed.
Be Ready To Let Them Go
Maybe a controversial one, but being ready to let go when the time comes. We see it all the time; pet parents who are too scared to say goodbye and keep paying for expensive treatments which can make a pet live longer, but doesn't improve their quality of life. I'm 100% behind putting up a fight and doing anything you can to save a pet's life, but living in pain is very hard and a lot to ask of an animal who can't accurately describe their pain to you.
If there's one thing I've learned it's that some people love by hanging on, and others love by letting go. It's hard, but it's usually the right thing to do.
Do You Consider Your Pets Points Of View?
The biggest thing is really do you think of things from your pets point of view. I don't care if you look up things on the internet and ask about them. You should. There are lots of different ways for pets to die/be euthanized and we do recommend a "hospice" idea that makes their end as comfortable as possible and that a lot depends on the pet and you and the pet's condition. (Maybe they'd like to be outside, for example.)
But if people think from their pets point of view, and if they spend a lot of time with them, it's a good sign. For example, if someone asks "Will my puppy get bored in their crate all day while I'm at work?" (Yes.) I feel a lot better about them than if they say, "He peed in his crate again!" without thinking "maybe he couldn't wait that long." If people go on walks with them, describe activities they like, have games with them, just ENJOY each other, that's a sign there is a real relationship there, and not just some random being lurking around your house that you're not paying attention to.
I don't mind if you treat your dog like a "person." I don't even know what that means. Should you respect them? Yes. Think about their happiness (which you are solely responsible for)? Yes. If you have in your mind that your pet, like you, gets bored, needs exercise, needs attention, likes to have fun, doesn't like feeling itchy or sick or lonely, and you are attentive to those things and getting help when necessary, that's all good!
Counterpoint: Not Everyone Can Be Present
I want to add a comment that someone is NOT a bad owner if they are unable to be with their pet when it is euthanized. I see way too many posts about how they die looking for their owner while feeling so alone and sad. This is not true. I have been present for quite a few. It's a quick procedure that is basically an overdose of sedative. My father is a veterinarian and also holds the same belief; if you are unable to be there for your pet because it will be too difficult emotionally, physically, or whatever reason, you are not a bad owner. When a pet is euthanized at our hospital, there are always at least two assistants providing love and care while the pet is euthanized if the owner is unable to make it.
Be Open And Ready To Listen
- They listen to you, instead of trying to convince you that what they read on google is true
- They can answer all your questions about what the pet eats/where it sleeps/what it does during the day
- They don't try to humanize their pet by treating it like a baby. They understand first and foremost that it's a dog/cat, not a person
Google Is Not A Veterinarian
They take your advice over google. They ask about when should they see a vet again. They know their habits. They prepare for unforeseen events (or try to). They treat them like a member of their family.
Put In Lots Of Effort
Small animal veterinarian here.
1. A willingness to listen to, and gasp maybe even follow, the recommendations I make for care, especially for routine things like vaccines, individualized dietary needs, or preventative health. I can tell when owners think they know more than I do and don't bother trying to inform and educate some who are stuck in their ways...e.g. that feeding raw meat is superior to cooked, that vaccines do more harm than good, or that Dogsnaturally.com is a reputable source of information. I love when my owners want to talk about health matters - if you have an open mind, I am a wealth of information!
2. Putting in the effort at home to care for your pet. Dogs and cats are not house ornaments. Both require socialization, interaction, some grooming, and attention. Not every pet is happy to come to see me, and I understand that, but if you don't pay attention to whether or not your pet is eating (or even what they are eating), never know what their stool looks like, and don't know what medications they are on, it makes my job a lot harder. Knowing these answers to the questions I ask shows you care!
3. Being willing to actually come see me and put in some effort when your pet is sick. Look, I'm sorry, guys. Medical care costs money. Treating your pet for free takes money away from the hospital and the people who work there. Veterinarians aren't rich, and most clinics operate on thin margins. That being said, I will do everything I can to help within your individual limits, even if it's not the best approach medically. Yes, sometimes that means in the worst cases, euthanasia for a problem that is too costly to fix but would cause nothing but pain suffering if left untreated. I understand we all have limits, and you can be a great caregiver without endless disposable income. But if you expect me to magically fix your ailing pet with no exam, no diagnostics, and get angry that we have to charge for these things to keep our doors open, you lose sympathy in my eyes.
In short, look after your pets' health, put in the effort to care for them, and try to listen to your doctor.
One additional edit: If a pet is at a healthy weight. Granted, that is not a guarantee that a pet has a great owner, nor is an owner of an overweight pet necessarily bad, but an ideal weight usually means that the owner is willing to put in the effort to keep a pet healthy!
A Sign They're NOT A Good Owner
On the flip side, a person is generally a bad pet owner if, when frightened in the vet office, their pet goes to a staff member for comfort and reassurance instead of to their owner.
Never Let The Way You Look Be How You Take Care Of Pet
I'll never forget (as an assistant) a big biker dude (tats, glasses, beard, sour expression the whole thing!) Kneeling down besides his cat who was getting his temperature checked, cupping its head in his hands and whispering "Oh baby, I know... Oh my little flower petal, I wouldn't like that too... Don't cry, it will be over soon"
And I absolutely melted for him!
Dude was scary to look at before that but after that I saw a whole different kind of person.
There's No Special Tricks. Just Listen.
Being a responsible owner is completely relative to each situation. Yes, make your preventative care appointments on time and follow all vaccine/diet/annual recommendations. But also how you treat your pet (and your vet) in less routine checkups and sick visits says a lot. People can have all the money in the world and be terrible owners. On the other hand, the way people behave and make decisions in the face of financial limitations is also really telling.
Owners that are willing to listen to me and make reasonable and informed decisions in the interest of their pet (even if we can't reach a gold standard plan) are good pet parents. You don't have to be a millionaire to be a good pet parent. Be nice to your vet and know that the health and wellbeing of your little buddy is always top priority!
When looking at a resume, it's easy to understand how prospective employers will assume someone is very intelligent based on their education and past experience.
But one shouldn't only assume someone's intelligence based on what they read.
More often than not, one can tell rather quickly that someone possesses above-average intelligence, based on how they speak, how they behave, or other telling details.
Redditor PadWanKenobi was curious to hear what people felt were the tell tale signs they were in the company of a possible genius, leading them to ask:
"What’s a sign of extremely high intelligence?"
"Ability to intuitively and quickly understand complex systems and how lots of parts relate in a coherent whole."
"Like I work with some people who just keep tons of concepts in their head and easily integrate new information into their understanding of those concepts."
"They immediately know what questions they should be asking to better understand."
"And these are things they're currently working on, not like things they spent time studying in school over years."
"They just have a very strong ability to synthesize new information into their understanding."
"I sit in meetings distracted and confused having forgotten what we talked about in the previous meetings, and these folks just consistently have a solid handle on everything."- Ok-Control-787
Innate Problem Solvers
"They know when not to solve a problem."
"This took me a while to understand but the smartest people I know do this."
"It could be a really simple thing like ignoring emails from people asking for help."
"The supervisor or boss might have a quick and easy solution for the situation but instead of just handing it to the person that asked they let them figure it out on their own."
"They know who they can do this with and when to do it."
"If they did that with all of their underlings it would just create a mess."
"Another example that I can think of is planned chaos."
"Some people can predict exactly where things will go wrong and they could fix it before it creates a problem."
"They don't because nobody ever notices what's going on in the background when things are working perfectly."
"Once things fails then everybody notices and if you are the one person that fixed it you become the hero."
"They can also use then chaos to reach a goal they couldn't get before if things were working correctly."
"There's many examples of this in every day life that I didn't see before until I realized what was happening."- atapesGiphy
You know what they say about people with small hands
"If your hand is smaller than your face."- FallofTheKnight
The all knowing glow.
"When someone asks you a question and you push your glasses up while light comes out of it and covers your eyes for some reason."- JonEregor
Those giveaway behavioral quirks
"Wearing glasses and saying things like 'ah yes', and 'I see' while you pensively rub your chin."- iuytrefdgh436yujhe2Thinking Reaction GIF by ABC TV + IVIEWGiphy
"When they explain something they make the people around them feel smarter, not dumber."- redkat85
Being one step ahead.
"The capacity to understand complex things, see patterns where regular people don't."- Ostepop234
"They have this tendency to make you go 'Ohhh, why didn't I think of that?' when listening to them talk."- did_it_forthelulzWhy Didnt I Think Of That Cillian Murphy GIFGiphy
An endless love of learning
"A passion for knowledge and expanding understanding of complex concepts."
"The plumber can be just as insightful as the scholar."- KatatoniK94
Of course, one shouldn't always be fooled by what they see.
As many people are masters at appearing much smarter than they are.
In fact, one important sign of super intelligence is being able to separate those who appear smart, from those who actually are.
With each passing year of a marriage, couples will often discover that while they don't love each other any less than they once did, that spark their relationship used to carry has faded.
This will often lead these couples to look for ways to spice things up a bit.
Among the more popular experiments is inviting a third member to their bedroom.
Enticing as this prospect is, however, it's also easy to be intimidated by the reality of it, or even the mere suggestion of it.
"Men, what advice do you have for men whose wives want to bring a third into the bedroom?"
Make sure you want to do it.
"You need to be completely honest with yourself, ask if this is something you want and could live with."- Dame87
Proceed with caution
"It’s like frolicking in a mine field."
"You both better be SUPER into the idea, you can’t have one person who’s reluctantly agreed to go along with it."
"And established rules."
"A threesome sounds like fun and games until you’re watching your partner make faces and sounds that you only thought were for you in your most intimate moments together, and a burning jealousy comes out of nowhere and breaks your heart."
"I’m not saying it’s automatically a bad idea and I know people do polyamory successfully, but dear god be careful."- coleosis1414
Make sure you're an active participant
"I had an ex that was adamant that she wanted to be a swinger or whatever."
"The one time I decided to roll with it, I hit it off immediately with the other dude's girlfriend and had a blast hanging out with her all night."
"The other dude was a total creep, though."
"Also, my ex could not handle the fact that someone else was giving me the slightest bit of attention."
"So, needless to say, that didn't go anywhere."
"Turns out she didn't want to be a swinger, she just wanted to have sex with other people behind my back, which she had no problems whatsoever with."- Ted_Denslow
Look out for ulterior motives
"Just remember that if you bring this up and your husband is against it, that could be the beginning of the end of your marriage."
"For a lot of people their partner saying 'I am seriously considering having sex with other people and I'm checking with you if it is ok', is a deal breaker."- gamerplays
Consider a test run?
"Go to a bar together separately."
"Watch them flirt/interact with someone else."
"If you get jealous, it's probably a bad idea to bring in a third."
"If it turns you on, go for it."- SinSlayer
Query people with experience.
"It’s something my wife and I have talked about."
"We both agreed that opening the Pandora’s box is not the way we want our relationship to go."
"While it sounds fun, we have seen way to many relationships derailed because of it."- DarthDujo
Consider going whole hog.
"Bring a 4th."- xxemrgmi
Evaluate your relationship first.
"Make sure you and your partner are secure in your own relationship before having another person join."
"Have boundaries, and no secrets."
"From my experience it doesn't usually work out in the end."- Thick-Procedure455
"Don't do it."
"For a long time, my ex harbored a fantasy of watching me have sex with another woman."
"Hey, who knows why any of us are wired the way we are?"
"After contemplating the idea together for a while, we decided to approach one of her more attractive co-workers, who had made a series of flattering comments along the lines of "you're so lucky" and "he's so good-looking'."
"She enthusiastically agreed."
"Our first meet-up was of course awkward, but the second, third and following were pretty good."
"In fact they got progressively hotter, as we all got more comfortable with each other's boundaries, erotic likes and dislikes."
"However, over a few months these occasional kinky weekends transitioned into the co-worker asking more frequently and aggressively to be invited over."
"We tried to explain that we had intended these threesomes to be rare and exotic highlights in our sex life, not regular occurrences, but she didn't take the message to heart and instead became increasingly insistent, bordering on smothering."
"After being turned down one Friday, that night she unexpectedly showed up at our door anyway, carrying a weekend bag and wearing nothing but a raincoat, stay-ups and heels."
"While that was quite a sight, it definitely creeped us out, as it made us finally realize the whole arrangement was descending into 'play Misty for me' territory."
"My ex and I agreed that her unexpected and unwelcome appearance signaled the end of future three-ways, at least until we were able to cool our own selves down, reassess, and perhaps later find a less demanding and insistent third."
"Things subsequently got very sticky at work for my wife, as her co-worker, with whom she had to interact closely, strongly resented being permabanned, and kept demanding to know 'what she'd done that was so awful'."
"Coworker eventually asked to be transferred to another office, but by the time that process was over and done, the discomfort / guilt / pressure / confusion my ex was suffering both at home and at work had begun to take its psychological toll."
"I must confess it didn't help that our own sex life was simultaneously going through a rough patch."
"Long story short, we ended our decade-long relationship less than a year after breaking off the threesomes, chiefly due to trust issues and growing sexual incompatibility, both perhaps triggered by our experimentation."
"Ever since, I've regretted agreeing to that first three-way."
"If I hadn't been so damned eager to take a bite of forbidden fruit, we might have kept our relationship intact."
"But I guess this can also be put down as what sometimes happens when you ignore that old advice, 'don't sh*t where you sleep'."- theartfulcodger
When venturing into the unknown, it's always wise to gain some first hand experience, to hear a variety of pros and cons of what you're possibly getting yourself into.
That way, deciding whether or not it's for you will become increasingly clear.
It's also important to remember, that it is always ok to say "no".
People Share Their Best 'You Either Die The Hero Or Live Long Enough To Become The Villain' Experiences
"You either die the hero or live long enough to become the villain."
Though not necessarily a universal truth, all of us have witnessed unfortunate moments in our lives where we've seen this saying become a reality.
Be it seeing our favorite public figures take a serious fall from grace, someone we know and admire eventually disappointing us in a devastating manner, or even seeing ourselves turn into someone we promised we'd never become.
One Redditor was curious to hear people's examples of this saying coming to light, either from a personal experience or seeing it happen to a well-known, public figure, leading them to ask:
"Who is your example of 'you either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain'?"
"He originally stood up for civil rights when it was really unpopular."
"Was hospitalized and accidentally placed in the black ward."
"When the doctors found out, they tried to move him, but he refused."
"Then he became a cult leader and used his power and influence to end the lives of a thousand people."- Crvsby
Earning a position of power
"Working in restaurant kitchens."
"You either burn out young, or become the boss that everyone hates."
"There's exceptions, but that's the rule."- grandpas_old_crow
"Henry Heimlich, inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver."
"Made up a bunch of untested uses for it, treating people having asthma attacks, and drowning victims were the two I remember that he publicly talked up."
"Later, he funded an experiment that involved injecting people with Malaria to see if it would treat other conditions.
"The experiment was found to be unethical by American review boards, so he conducted them in Ethiopia." - User Deleted
"In WW1 he led the French to victory at Verdun, one of the worst battles in human history."
"In WW2, after France was beaten, Petain was the head of state of Vichy France."
"Guy went from the Lion of Verdun to the biggest Nazi collaborator in France."- arthuranymoredonuts
"Every organ until it gets cancer."- SuperBaconjam
"He had the whole country behind him here in Ireland at one point bar people who thought combat sport is grotesque."
"He was witty, original, backing himself up and having a Hollywood like rise to stardom."
"Now he's someone who the whole country is ashamed of, goes punching old men, clearly sleeps around on his wife while she's at home with the kids, just a walking caricature of himself."
"He didn't listen to his own advice."
"Get out."- StephenPigot2020
Turning into our parents
"My dad used to annoy me by calling my Pokemon cards 'Pokey-Mans'."
"Now my kids have them and I do the same thing and it annoys the sh*t out of them."
"Thanks for the (Pokeyman) gold!"- rumpel4skinOU
"Almost died during the revolutionary way, if I recall correctly, and if he had he would have been remembered a huge hero, and a martyr."
"Instead he lived and changed sides, and is remembered only for his being a traitor."- uniqueperson22
Be it someone we knew quite intimately, or someone we admired from a far, it is always heartbreaking to see someone evolve from someone we love, to someone we utterly hate.
Sometimes we do things that have to be done.
And some of those things live in life's gray area of right and wrong.
What comes as a surprise to some is when we don't care if we're wrong.
We may still technically be in the right.
But morally and ethically, there may be some issues.
But still, many people don't care.
Redditor BirdyPizzawanted to see who would fess up about some of the worst things we're responsible for but have no shame.
"What is the darkest thing you have ever done and don’t regret?"
I've stolen from department stores that overcharged. I was arrested. I didn't care. So there...
"Five years ago my dad suffered a catastrophic stroke. Left paralyzed and robbed of his speech and ability to communicate he was a shell of the once vibrant, charismatic man he once was. He was moved into skilled nursing where he lived for nearly two years, he was miserable."
"On my last visit I told him it was okay if he wanted to leave us, that we would miss him but he should go. A week later I received the call that he had passed. Instead of immediate grief I felt relief. Relief that he was finally free. The grief came later and I still miss him every single day."
"Got into a car accident and had to stay with my mom for a couple days to figure out what to do. Went back to my apartment (I had two roommates) and everything was missing from my room. Long story short one of my roommates had everything hidden in her room."
"I called and told her the things were missing from my room and she came up with a lie that a couple girls came to look at my room (I was moving out bc of the accident, long story) and that they must have taken my things. She had everything I owned. Including my grandmothers perfume bottles, stuffed to the back of her closet, under her bed, behind her dresser etc."
"So I packed all of my stuff up. Then took a giant black garbage bag and stuffed as much of her closet in it as I could. Took it to the middle of nowhere, dug a hole and burnt it. She called screaming at me that her stuff was missing. I told her the two girls must have come by and taken her stuff too."
"I hit my uncle left right and center when he was trying to choke my father to death. I was 16 years old at that time, a very skinny girl. I beat his face neck and every part of him that I could target with so much intensity that my knuckles turned blue the next day. I had an animalistic rage that day trying to help my father get away from his death grip. I hate my uncle even today."
"I got anger issues because of growing up around him. And I don't regret beating him that day at all. He was physically abusive to his wife as well. One fine day, his wife retaliated by beating him blue with a stick. And he stopped being physically violent towards her post that."
"A neighbor like 10 years ago was neglecting their dog badly in the heat. The dog escaped often and ended up at the shelter a lot. One day she jumped the fence and got her tie-out cable stuck on the fence. (She was not in danger of choking.) Neighbor put her on a 3-foot-long cable tied to a doorknob, no water, 90 degree day. I let some kind folks steal her, watched the whole thing and said nothing to stop them."
"When my father was dying and in pain I was the one who told the doctors he had been through enough and we couldn't see him suffer anymore. Doctor injected him with something, I assume a morphine mega dose and he passed peacefully moments after. Euthanasia may not be legal in UK but compassionate doctors know what's what. I don't regret it because my pa made me promise I would have his back when he got sick or old. I'm sad he got sick and never got to get old."
That is a lot of mess. But sometimes we have to do what we have to do.
"One of my ex best friends in high school was a real narcissistic lunatic. Had so many egotistical fantasies about what he deserved but I remained his friend because we met through my close friend (his girlfriend). As I started realizing what a terrible person he was I convinced him to go after his fantasy of a harem by asking to add a 3rd to their relationship, that led to a fight between his gf."
"I called her about it and asked how she felt about him adding someone to their relationship and about him sleeping with her. She said she knew nothing about that and started crying because he cheated on her. I basically helped orchestrate their breakup and have no regrets. She is happy with her first child now and he is in a toxic af relationship with 3 kids, 2 of which aren't his and his partner is 8 years older than him."
"Had to make the choice to take my dad off of life support after he got Covid this year. He was sedated for a couple of weeks and one of his lungs collapsed and I couldn't watch him fall apart anymore. My dad was a bulky dude. Constantly did a lot of outdoor work and to see him bone skinny and have no muscle left killed me and I knew even if he somehow got through it, he would have been so miserable and depressed in that state he was in. I don’t regret it. I think it was the right thing to do by him. I’ll never not miss him though. That was my buddy."
"Turned a close friend into the fish and game. He would poach mountain lions and bears. His whole family would literally shoot them and leave them. He would brag about it. I couldn’t stand it and felt that I needed to stop him. He’s in prison and so is his uncle. I know I ruined his life but he was literally killing so many mountain lions and bears."
"In middle school, there was this group of boys that would corner me in the hallway and try to scare me. I was the perfect target for these little b**tards. I was short, skinny, and had (and still have) and anxiety disorder. One day I just had enough, and asked a friend if I could have an extra pencil, sharpened it as much as I could, and when I saw one of them in the hallway, I stabbed the hell out of his leg. Sh**head got what he deserved."
Wow... we really are a dark and secretive people.