How much is that doggie on the sofa? in Politics and Culture Posted July 13, 2012 · Report reply It's a delicate balance in life, and I think the better question for being responsible is: what are you will to give up for your pet? If it were all about money, then only the well-to-do who have cash to spare would own a pet, but there would be a sacrifice on the amount of time spent with the pet. Sure, the pet probably has the "best" healthcare, a dog walker, a trainer, a groomer, the "best" food, and generally wants for nothing... except more time with his/her person. Now take the other extreme, a homeless person has nothing to offer a pet except to share whatever scrap of food can be found and time to be a companion. The training and walking happens during the time they spend together. Although there is a good chance the pet will pass away at a fairly young age, there is true mourning of the loss of a valued friend. The poor person also learns what they can to care for their friend so that they are together as long as possible. And, realistically with as many strays there are on the street, why not? I am not rich, and lately my savings have been dwindling, but I have my priorities straight. I've been weaning myself off my two vices - both fairly physiologically painful to do separately let alone at the same time - because I know and have budgeted for the basic needs of my dogs. I know the monthly amount for their food, train and groom and vaccinate them myself, give them a quick exam at least twice a week to make sure they're still okay, and went to a low cost clinic to renew their rabies. This is all to keep the costs down for me. I also recently moved to find a better opportunity because there wasn't one where I was living, but in moving I had to leave Roxie, my 8 year old, 1,200 miles away with my mother because the stress would not have been fair to her and she's a special needs dog. I consider myself responsible because I am willing to make those sacrifices. It might be a struggle, but I give my dogs the best care I'm capable of at the time, and work hard to do better in the future (even though it means I have to cut the time I spend with them). Being responsible means doing the best you can with what you have to work with, doing a job you feel is beneath you because you have another life depending on you.