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Perspective: Surviving the ups and downs of pets

Madison Conklin

As someone who has grown up in a family that cherishes pets as a member of the family, I have developed a passion for animals and their wellbeing. I have observed pets and their relationship with their owners through my own experiences as well as my experience as care staff at a veterinary clinic. I can confidently say that animals have complex relationships with their families.

Seeing how a dog’s face lights up when they know they are going home to their family is one of the many joys of my work at the veterinary clinic. I have been able to see how other families cherish their pets as a member of the family just as I do. When it comes to having a pet, most owners would do anything in their power to ensure that their pet is happy and healthy. Humans can have many pets in their lifetime, but a pet is normally only going to have one true owner in their lifetime. This makes having a pet in the family even more rewarding, but the loss so much harder.

I had the unfortunate experience of having my own cat die in my arms on the way to the emergency veterinarian. It would be an understatement to say that my family was just sad after that. Every day that goes by is not the same when someone is missing from your life, and this applies to the four-legged members of the family as well. I strongly believe that the relationships we have with our pets are as complex as our relationships with humans because at the end of the day we treat our pets like family and our lives would not be the same without them.

Madison Conklin is a senior at Auburn High School in Rockford and will attend UW Platteville in the fall to study animal science. She has loved animals her whole life, and currently has 2 cats and a hamster.