I’m glad that in these weekly columns I have an opportunity to share thoughts and opinions about things going on in the world.
I write in the local newspaper while millions of others share their opinions via a blog on the Internet.
One item caught my attention last week that had me shaking my head.
NBC Nightly News reported that some pet owners are spending upwards of $15,000, out-of-pocket, for surgery for a beloved cat or dog.
That’s fifteen thousand dollars, cash!!!
Now, don’t get me wrong — I’m not a pet hater — but I could think of better ways to spend 15 grand.
I love Labrador Retrievers because they are so goofy what with jumping all over a person and slobbering on anything within 10 feet.
I’ve just never been that attached to any domesticated animal that would require me to spend any amount for surgery.
When I was a kid in south Georgia, Daddy would keep a bird dog or two that accompanied him on quail hunts.
The dogs, one of whom I remember was named Diamond Jim, stayed outside and slept in a doghouse inside a pen.
Jim was a friendly, good-looking dog with brown spots on a mostly white coat.
And Jim ate what we ate — or mostly what we had left over as scraps from the table.
If it was good enough for the family, then it was good enough for Jim who was healthy and fit enough to enjoy a daylong hunting trip with Daddy.
If the dog got sick, Daddy took him to the veterinarian where he got a pill for heartworm or some such intestinal ailment.
And when Jim got sick unto death, the faithful vet administered the shot that sent ole Jim to doggie heaven.
But I know Daddy would have never spent $400 a year on a health insurance plan. He had a hard enough time taking care of the humans in the family.
My brother-in-law told me that he scoffed when he first learned that people were paying for pet insurance.
Not anymore — he ponied up (no pun intended) $3,500 for back surgery for a Bassett Hound that is like a child to him and my sister.
Most of the health care plans for pets that are on the Internet cost around $400 and there are various add-ons such as dental cleanings and regular check-ups.
And, there are vet’s offices sporting diagnostic machines such as MRIs and CAT scans that most country hospitals don’t have.
Again, I do not hate your pet, nor am I against pet health insurance. I just think that money could be better spent elsewhere.
Say, here’s an idea — if 3 million people in Kentucky would send the state treasurer an annual check for $75, that would add $225 million to the state’s coffers for health care for people in eastern Kentucky.
Larry Rowell is a writer for the Casey County News in Liberty, Ky.