Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Your Turn

How much would you spend to save your pet?

80 comments:

Cleodacat said...

Whatever I've got unless it's pure old age.

Lady Heisenberg said...

I have always had pet insurance for my baby. Because I know I would risk bankruptcy to save my canine homie that don't talk. Make fun of that all you want. It's actually made me money several years in savings.

crila16 said...

Everything I had.

Simon said...

I already know. Have spent thousands. I took a 4 yo golden retriever who was in a shelter whose owner gave her up over I suspect her badly infected ears that no combination of antibiotics could cure. Black gunk oozing out of them. Took her and got surgery for her and she was the sweetest dog ever. She passed away last month but best investment I ever made. She was the best companion.

AsileM said...

My dogs are my kids. I would spend everything, beg, borrow & steal to help them! Just money, can always make more.

Karleep said...

Everything I had as long as they aren't old and it is their time to go. Sophie is my baby and loves me even on the days when I feel like most of the world is made up of a-holes

Lady Heisenberg said...

HeisenHugs to Simon. Thanks for giving ole Fido a few last great days! RIP

CoBe said...

$20

I only have plants. Don't want them to die, but I have set aside an extra $20 just in case.

aemish said...

GOD challenges a price these days?

parissucksliterally said...

I'd prostitute myself to save my baby, if it were something that could be saved....meaning if it was cancer, and would only buy him a couple of months, and he would suffer - then no. But if it would give me many more years, than I would go completely, crazily in debt.

He is my baby boy. I just went in to crazy debt with my baby girl, who I lost in February.

aemish said...

{{{Simon}}}}

Simon said...

@ladyh, I actually had 5 great years with her until she got kidney disease. These dogs are so worth helping, they have so much to give us back!

Slap-n-Tickle said...

I've already spent thousands of dollars on my two dogs, and they've repaid me tenfold in love and devotion. There's no price limit as long as they could continue to live a quality life.

Slap-n-Tickle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aemish said...

{{{{literally}}}}}

I'm so sorry.. I can't imagine.. But I will share a poem... from a gent in the UK many years ago.. give me a moment to collect it..

You are loved by me from across the pond in the meanwhile

aemish said...


'Where the Angels Die'

On this harrowing night of my troubled years
In this strange forest damp with August tears
Where the winsome dreams of life are doomed
I came to walk with the pallid moon

And a chill of sorrow crossed my brow
The misted mire; it wept somehow
With a bitter scream of a silent pain
The weeping dreams of a silent rain

Dark waving branches wet and grim
Scratched in my ears with a fearsome din
They clawed at the stars and pulled at my skin
These hard waving branches -- so bare; so grim

How sorrowed I feel walking slowly beneath
every bent branch and raining leaf
I can hear the angel of summer cry
As she kisses farewell to the warmth of the sky

With her wings of color
-- her wings of soft color; now rusted and dry..

She cries to me

..for her tender flowers and ferns
Her bittersweet song fills my ears
Like the sorrowing wind of late autumn
Like the cold, chilling wind of late autumn

Aye, but something terrifies; deeper still
It mourns in the hanging hopeless branches
As they all careen in the exploding wind
And the dark beast follows me

It follows behind the rising rock
I can feel its icy eyes in my heart
Its soft lips parting; so blue, so cold
Whispering with undying sadness..

"Sleep.. Sleep.. and forget me..."

Silver visions slip through the forest
Crystal-winged cherubs hang their heads --
-- so terribly burdened

Upon the high rock I come to stand
And they wail with such terrible tears

Sullen grey wooded mist rolls with me
I feel her fingers trailing in it..
Her fingers that warmed me once
And now, shall warm no more

The tendrils of the willows slip into the dust
They slip deep into sorrow; deep down in the dust

Never utter her name again
For she is lost, for time without end
For time without end will the moon chill the sun
For time without end a love is undone

What is this dread place where the angels die?

I can sense all these soft-winged skeletons cry
Endless dark tears rain down from the sky
The soil is weary; 'tis hard and dry
The wind has grown heavy and nothing may fly

What is this dread place where the angels die?

aemish said...

I asked this gent what his inspiration was. His reply, a single word: grief.

I'm sorry for your loss. But to be lifted... not a bad thing either

Seven of Eleven said...

Hey, paris, I was thinking about you when I saw the title of this post. {hugs}

Lady Heisenberg said...

I wasn't sure how long it was, so I put days. Was not trying to belittle your time with your doggy. I used "days" as like, "for days!" I would be curious to know how long that time seems for the dog though. Thanks for what you did, Simon, cheers to a great four years! GEORGE CARLIN SKIT ON DOGS

L00ny biNs said...

I have spent in excess of $10k twice, for two different dogs. One had cancer, and required a leg amputation, followed by chemo. Another ended up having brain damage after a neutering, and I went to extremes in hopes of him recovering. I got about 6 extra months with both...

They're both gone now, but I'd spend the money again!

Lady Heisenberg said...

See got it wrong again! You got her at 4, had her for FIVE! I think I need coffee. Cheers to five years over a needed cupa joe

parissucksliterally said...

Thank you Seven. I still cry every single day over my girl. My boy helps a ton, but damn- I miss her so fucking much.

Sherry said...

Well so far it's been about $700 for Ethel our cat. She's old but we love her so much we're willing to do what we can FOR NOW to help ease her suffering.

Every day she gets subcutaneous fluids and she's being a true champ about it. We know she's winding down from renal failure and at this point it's just for us.

But if she doesn't respond or dramatically declines we've agreed the grand dame of the household has had a good run of 20 years and we'll need to say good bye.

David Howes said...

Bought a horse for my daughter years ago. I have spent more than One Hundred Thou$and dollar$ on maintaining it'$ health and well-being. But, I view it as investing in a small start up with a liquidity problem because of the benefit my daughter has received from her relationship with the horse!

Merlin D. Bear said...

I've gone so far as to take out a loan to pay for a procedure for one of my fur-babies.
Thankfully, that was a one-off, but I'd do it again if it would save them and guarantee their quality of life.

Lady Heisenberg said...

Hang in there sweetie! Hugs galore to Parissucks!

rajahcat said...

a lot

really a lot

my rajah passed at home after suffering a seizure and various medical treatments.......he tried and tried for us but finally his last meow....

thus the screen name

Harry Knuckles said...

My fucking cat treats me like shit so if she ever gets really sick, well, we'll just see, won't we?

One of her favorite tricks is to puke on my bed. When I'm in it. Sleeping.

She also likes to knock every single thing off of every single table and counter. Every single day.

And of course, the disappearances. I have absolutely no idea where she goes. She just disappears for hours and hours while I go fucking berzerk with worry and then boom there she is all hungry and annoyed because dinner isn't out.

Fucking cat.

Principessa Marina said...

Whatever it takes.

I just lost a cat. He was perfectly healthy and then on January 8th his abdomen was very full. I'm lucky that I live close enough to the UC Davis vet school that I can get up there in 90 minutes, so I took him there. He had a quart of lymph fluid in his abdomen. I spent $4000 trying to diagnose what was causing it, and tapping the fluid out of his abdomen to buy him time, but it started going into his chest cavity and the rate of buildup was increasing so fast that even tapping the fluid every other day was not working. The thing is, he was alert and bright and although the fluid buildup made him breathe harder, he had no idea he was fatally ill. I took lots of pictures and videos in his last days...he could jump up on the bed, and he had a good appetite, and he was HAPPY. But fatally ill.

I drove him up there the night of the SuperBowl, brought his favorite donut bed and a brush and I brushed him until he purred, and sat there with him in a dark room loving on him, then a very kind vet came in and we gave him a shot and he went to sleep very peacefully. I felt his last heartbeat.

Two months later I'm still waiting for the result of the necropsy to find out what killed him. The vets think some kid of lymphoma or FIP.

He was only 7 years old and he was such a sweet boy.

I spent probably $20,000 on my dog who had cancer, she had two weeks to live for 4-1/2 years and most of those 4-1/2 years were very good quality.

I have two mantras when it comes to my pets:

1) better to let them go a day too soon rather than a minute too late

2) when we take a pet into our lives, we have to make two solemn commitments: to give them a good life, and to give them a good death.

Principessa Marina said...

PS reading the comments on this thread? I just want to say I love you all at this moment. Kindred spirits.

auntliddy said...

I already know too. I spent close $10 thousand bucks when my teo dogs got cancer and died, inc a specialist!! Lol. No matter how tough you talk, you usually take good care of them. And of course, its totally worth it. Doggies and cats are angels on earth. :)

Kara said...

Whatever it freaking took.

Unless "saving" means having my little baby angel living in absolute pain for the rest of his life. Then I would pay anything to have it ended.

Wen said...

I spend more on my cat then I do myself.

laura ramona said...

Everything!!!

nurysp said...

what ever a new puppy cost

laura ramona said...

So sorry for your loss :) mine died last year and still not over it crying sometimes

Ella Bee said...

Last year, my 10 year old kitty was diagnosed with lymphoma. Combining emergency vet bills, overnight stays and three months of chemotherapy, it was about $5000 from August to November. We had to finally let him go in November, as it completely overtook him and his quality of life. Still miss my Hobbes and would not change the attempt to save his life for the world- it bought us months to be able to spoil him and make sure he knew how much we loved him before he had to cross the rainbow bridge. Loved that little guy so much.

cricket said...

I lost my sweet girl one month ago today.She had a brain tumor and started having seizures all the time. We took her to a specialist,but they said they couldn't do anything for her.I would have sold my car to get money to pay for treatment if it would have saved her. I cry every single time I come home cause she's not there at the door with her goofy grin dancing around glad to see me.

parissucksliterally said...

Much love to everyone here who has suffered the loss of a fur baby.

And thank you for all the love you have given me here, for my loss.

TV Junkie said...

I just got a new, "free" puppy. I never understood the bond between people & pets until now, but now I totally get it! She is the sweetest, most unconditional being I have ever met! Love her to pieces - can't imagine I wouldn't spend my last dime on her!

8=====D aka Lil Tool. KermitGosnellKnobJockey said...

My only pet is my cock (as in penis), therefore I would spend all my dough in order to save it.

Murphy said...

It depends on whats wrong with it.
I don't have children so my dogs are my world but if "saving" them meant my dogs had to live a post-operative (or what have you) life of pain--I wouldn't put them through it.

I've said before that I couldn't live without my dogs-but if it were in their best interest--I could.

Ella Bee said...

@Paris and everyone still grieving, much <3. It sucks!

Mary Ann said...

I know the answer to this. Whatever it takes, as long as there's hope, and I'm not just placating my own desire to keep my much-loved pet with me. Sometimes the kindest thing you can do is let them go. When that time has come for my pets, I've always been with them, telling them how much I loved them while they went to sleep the last time. I have spent thousands on my pets, putting the bills on my credit card and paying them off over time. When you take a pet into your home it's for the long run, not till things get rough.

mooshki said...

Every last penny I have. And I'd go into debt.

Harlow17 said...

everything. like others said unless it was old age and their time. my little girl had to have a hip surgery when she was still so small so ive already spent a few thousand. i don't know how i'll ever live without her.

Anothergrayhare said...

$2000, twice, to fix a torn ACL in our beloved lab when he was a year old, then hundreds more when he came down with heart failure at 10, at which point we were quoted several thousand dollars for experimental surgery that "might" give him 6 more months. He was having trouble breathing and couldn't lay down, so we said our goodbyes and I held him as he took his last breath. My husband couldn't be in the room he was so upset. We both still tear up when talking about him and it's been 10 years. As for pet insurance, take that $50 a month, for 12 months, times 10 years and you'll have $6000 to spend on your dog, plus interest. It doesn't cover regular checkups, prescriptions, and other basic stuff anyway. I read a recent newspaper column by a money manager said one of the top 10 things he would not spend money on after all his research was pet insurance. The 2nd thing was extended warranties on electronics.

Slap-n-Tickle said...

That's good advice, @anothergrayhare. I've always wondered if I should have gotten pet insurance, but since both of my dogs had pre-existing conditions, we were automatically excluded. I spend several thousand a year monitoring my one dog's health.

lucy said...

$3000 and counting. Kitty is in congestive heart failure. He was given 6 to 12 months to live last June. He's not it any pain and has shown us his affectionate, playful, talkative personality every day since we started medicating him. He used to prefer to be by himself all the time. I thought he just didn't like us, turns out he was sick. Worth every penny.
Also add $500 to have his brother tested because the problem is genetic. Luckily, heart disease isn't going to get them both.

BitchieMitchie said...

I always thought people who would spend thousands to save a pet were nuts, and well, weird. Until my little Lasa got a distended tummy and would scream when you touched it. Spent $1500 for 3 enemas and tests. If they're not old and prolonging life would bring suffering-I would spend what I had to.

AKM said...

Every penny I might have on me and/or on my credit cards, and whatever I could get from my family. My beloved cat of nine years got sick in February and I spent over $700 just to have exploratory surgery to see what kind of a mass/tumor she had. Due to its severity and location, it couldn't even be taken out or even biopsied. So basically I spent all of that for nothing, really...well, peace of mind, I suppose. Then I took her to a specialist and paid $80 for that office visit; anything they could have done, like surgery and/or chemo, would have just given her a month or two for thousands of dollars with each trip being about 80 miles round trip. (She hated car rides and vets.) I just didn't want to put her through that for so little time that wouldn't even give her any quality of life. Three weeks after her diagnosis, I had to put her down after she'd stopped eating for three days. It cost $300, including the brass urn.

So, overall, I spent over a thousand dollars and lost her anyway. (And I only make about 20K.) Worth every penny just to have the peace of mind and a very snuggle-filled last month, though.

Iwinjen said...

Just spent over $400 on two surgeries plus antibiotics to save my children's beloved gerbil they loved so much. Thing died in spite of the care it received. Kids were crushed and then asked for frozen yogurt. Had I known it would go that way and not be the drama I expected, wouldn't have done the surgeries. Not to be ugly but surgeries and medications for rodents aren't really as researched and proven. More of a hopeful bandaid.

Meanie Rhysie, Enty #27 said...

<3 Tears.

RIP to all our lost fur babies.

Anothergrayhare said...

No offence @lwinjen but for $400 you could have bought another gerbil and they'd never have known the difference. And AKM, sorry about your kitty. My nephew just spent thousands he didn't have to save one of his furbabies, it didn't work either. I've had cats and a dog, and I must say, I miss the dog the most, the cats didn't care if I lived or died, as long as they had food and cat litter. But I know it's like losing one of the family when they finally pass. All mine are in urns. Hubby really wasn't happy that I spent $300 for an autopsy and $200 more to make sure the one cat was cremated by himself. Otherwise you just get a bunch of ashes from a group of animals.

lucy said...

For all of you who are willing to go into debt, I have had good luck with Care Credit. It is a credit card for medical expenses, human and pet. My cat's first specialty center offered it to us so we could make interest free payments for six months if the charge was over $200. After the cardiologist changed over to VCA, they offered 12 months interest free. It certainly beats putting it on our other cards at 17%. Of course, we've paid the charges off within the allowed time. The interest would be high if we took longer.

(*no affiliation, just happy with the card*)

luvgossip said...

I had to scroll past the poem. It'll make me cry. I've spent thousands of dollars on pets and I'll do it again. I love my dogs so much! I think about the ones that have passed and still get teary-eyed.

Hugs to all of you!

BeckyMae said...

Oh god I cannot even imagine life without my fur baby! We got him insured as soon as we got him as he is a weiner dog, so very prone to back problems. It's $40 a month well spent! He's insured up to $10k a year and we have to pay 20% of any bills but I'd pay as much as it took to make him better......luckily he's a healthy and hugely active sausage, so no major issues so far.

Massive virtual hugs to all those sharing their stories of loss, it's a wonderful thing, the unconditional love of a pet!

Jennmcn said...

I have two 17 year-old black cats. One is diabetic, so $220 a month for him the last three years. The other had fatty liver disease, was attacked by two dogs and now has hyperthyroidism so close to.$10,000 on him. He's my baby. We also Have a three legged kitty and four big dogs ranging in age from 2 to 17 years old.

So basically like most people, we spend whatever it takes because we love them!

GatorGirl said...

100000% agreed to both

Principessa Marina said...

@AnotherGrayHare, I had the same reaction about the gerbil but then I thought about the parable of the little boy and the starfish on the seashore - it doesn't make a lot of difference in the long run, but in the short run it makes a helluva lot of difference to THAT GERBIL! If you love the individual animal, going out and replacing it is not the point. Although granted, in the story as posted, she loved her kids, not necessarily that gerbil.

I second the recommendation of Care Credit. It's interest free if you pay it off in the time period they allow. Each individual charge is like its own little account. So you might have an $800 charge that will be interest free for 18 months, with its own expiration date, and a $200 charge that will be interest free for 6 months, with a different expiration date.

What annoys me is when I charge a huge bill at the vet and then they find an additional charge - that goes on as a separate line item and if it's under $200 that doesn't get the promotion, so I'm paying interest from day one. Fortunately they do credit anything above the minimum payment to your interest-bearing balances, so I pay extra and get those off the account.

Even if you don't need Care Credit, if you're going to be putting it on a credit card this is the best one to do because it's interest free if you pay it off by the due date. But beware, as @lucy said, if you don't, you will be paying over 20% retroactive to the first day - ouch.

@Jennmcn, I had a cat with hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease). Put an esophaegal tube in and fed her via syringe through that for 5 weeks until she recovered. Fortunately it's an easy disease to reverse if you catch it in time - you just have to get enough food into the cat to support the liver while it heals itself. easier said than done because once the liver values go wonky, the cat is nauseated and won't eat. Hence the e-tube - bypasses the smell/taste/swallow mechanism that makes them urpy.

@Jennmcn, did you put in an e-tube for your cat with fatty liver disease?

GatorGirl said...

Miss my two Angels so much. .. Just put them both to sleep in February. .. The were rescue dogs we adopted when they were little and they were now 16 ir 17. My love the min pin had a tumor that had gone into his lungs and the shih tzu was in diapers, slept 23 hours a day, just stood in the corner and stared. Neither one had any quality of life and like someone said before we have to give them a good life and a good death. .. They're buried side by side and have a beautiful memorial out back. I talk to them every day. ..rip Zeus and Baby

LowKey said...

I had a Hobbes, too, Ella Bee!

Henriette said...

I've spent thousands on past cats, but usually they died anyway. I think the veterinary industry (it is and industry) is more horrid than the healthcare industry.

LowKey said...

I would spend every cent I have and then some for my furkids.

*sniff*
There must be ninjas cutting onions in here...

Principessa Marina said...

What bothers me is the cost of veterinary care these days. I don't understand how people who aren't fairly high income can afford to give their animals proper health care. And the vets have it down to a science - they break everything into line items. The cost of an office visit - that's just what gets you in the door. You can never get out for just the exam fee.

I have a rich friend who adores my dog; he paid for her dental cleaning back in January. $1700! That included necessary bloodwork because she's older, biopsy of a couple of sites, yada yada.

I was up at UC Davis once in the days when I would bring my dog up every few weeks to tap fluid out of her belly ... this Hispanic couple who barely spoke English came in with a Chihuahua puppy wth a broken leg. It was going to cost something like $2000 for the surgery and they didn't have it. In the meantime a bunch of us who had been sitting in the waiting room heard this, and we swung into action, making pledges, calling friends. Raised the whole $2000!

Anyway, the client coordinator told them this, then they took the dog and walked downstairs. I wasn't sure what they were doing but my spidey senses were tingling so I followed them - they were LEAVING. They hadn't understood that the money had been raised! I communicated this to them in my pidgin Spanish (really, Italian with a few Spanish words cuz I don't actually speak much Spanish) ... and they came back upstairs and the staff got to work arranging for the surgery. It was a real feel good moment to know that their puppy was going to get a second chance.

But it shouldn't come down to money whether an animal lives or dies...

Iwinjen said...

This was an unusual gray colored gerbil... you might understand this well, Grayhare. Couldn't find another one to replace. This gerbil also wouldn't run away from us. He actually cuddled. Totally unusual. A very special little guy. It sucked he died injjust over a year. He was actually a good pet and really cute.

Iwinjen said...

I thought I was just doing it all for the kids and then I actually broke down in a deep sob for that rodent. Damn cute whiskers.

Anothergrayhare said...

lwinjen, I had gerbils too, we used to let them run around the house and they would come back to their cage. People thought we had rats in the house. My mother was not impressed. Some sad stories on here. And remember, Veterinary College takes as much education as a doctor I'm assuming; the investment the vet makes in his education is not covered by health care insurance and they are just covering the costs of operating a medical practice. Our vet offered to do the 3rd operation on our dogs ACL for just the cost of the anaesthetic, he would donate his time (the first 2 operations failed as our dog was just too active). We said thanks but no thanks, and other than being a bit stiff on damp days, our Lab seemed no worse the wear. My husband had had the same surgery and he limps too, so I couldn't justify doing it for the dog again and not the husband.

Cee Kay said...

I honestly don't get this. I was raised with the understanding that you loved your pets, but when they died you got new ones. They are a temporary part of your life. I love my cats but no, I will not dig deep to "save" them. If there's to be any suffering before they pass, I would pay something to have them euthanized.

Principessa Marina said...

@Cee Kay, to some people their pets are their children, or at least beloved family members. So, saying "when they die you get new ones" - think about if your kids got sick (if you have any) - you'd just let them die and get new ones?

I think what everybody on this thread who truly loves their animals believes, is that if you can treat an illness and prolong your pet's life WITH GOOD QUALITY - then we all want to do that.

And where do you draw the line? If your cat has a UTI that you could treat with antibiotics, do you treat it? If your cat has kidney disease that you could treat with regular sub-Q fluids, would you do that?

I think the line is grayer than you think it is. But I don't want to put words in your mouth.

Principessa Marina said...

And, if your cat were hit by a car and had major injuries but, with surgery and hospitalization, could make a full recover and go on to have a normal life span, what would you do then? Let it die and get another one?

No criticism intended, I'm actually curious. You may well represent the mainstream of thinking, and those of us who responded may well be in the minority.

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

$5000 in the past six months. I do have the credit card Lucy mentioned above as a backup, though I haven't had to use it yet. I love my pets. One is diabetic, it's a big undertaking but she's feeling well and is really happy, so well worth the effort and money.

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

$5000 in the past six months. I do have the credit card Lucy mentioned above as a backup, though I haven't had to use it yet. I love my pets. One is diabetic, it's a big undertaking but she's feeling well and is really happy, so well worth the effort and money.

AKM said...

Principessa, what a great story! This has been a sad thread, and I loved hearing about a happy ending. :-)

I agree about the cost of vet care. I know that they're doctors who undergo extensive and expensive training, and meds and surgeries cost money, but still. There has to be a better way. I had insurance for Jackie for a year or two, but she was so healthy that I figured it was cheaper to just take her for her annual and figure out the cost for anything outlandish later, which is what I did. I don't know if insurance would have even helped that $700 surgery. ???

AKM said...

And hugs to all who have lost a furbaby; it sounds like several of us have lost ours recently.

lucy said...

@ Principessa. Knowing where to draw the line is the toughest part in dealing with all of this. It is ultimately going to come down to the quality of my cat's life. But as I said earlier, he is happier since the diagnosis than he was before. He doesn't like the twice a day pill time - hates treats so pill pockets don't make it any easier - but the medication is clearly working to give him a more active life. I've read many times to think of their three favorite things and when they've lost interest in them it is time. As soon as Layla stops eating, drinking fron the bathtub faucet, and laying in sunspots around the house I'll let him go. Nothing makes him perk up like mealtime. Even when his condition caused him to collapse he still wanted food after he rested.

TLP said...

As much as it takes as long as they will have a good quality of life. I spent $20,000 for my dachshunds spinal surgeries and procedures with a very expensive neurosurgeon. He healed up and had 4 fantastic years before he died of old age and I had to let him go. He was worth every penny and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

My current dachshund puppy is a money pit too, of course lol

BeckyMae said...

@TLP *high five* to a fellow dachshund owner!!
I'm lucky ours is active and healthy but the health issues are legendary....

Mine is burrowed under the covers next to me in his sausage dog nest lol

Meauxelle said...

@Sherry-you may not see this, but I went through the exact same thing with my 20-year old kitty. She saw two different vets, both equally good. I asked them how I'd know it was time and one mentioned a kind of confusion in cats that's almost Alzheimer's-y. A week later, I found Kirby hollering to herself in the kitchen, and when she saw me, I knew she didn't know who I was or where she was. It was a horrible moment, but it started making the process clearer, and my Queen of All That Is Mommy's Stuff took her leave a week later.

Big hugs to you and Ethel

S said...

I volunteer for a charity that rescues battery hens (caged hens) before they go to slaughter and rehomes them as back garden pets to families. I keep the disabled hens who can't be rehomed, and I love them more than I can express. Chickens have individual personalities, emotions, they make friends, they have likes and dislikes, they express affection towards me by nuzzling my hair or jumping onto my lap for cuddles - in short, just like cats and dogs. I have spent literally thousands on their care, and have foregone holidays and luxuries, and the happiness they bring me more than outweighs it. I would do anything for my hens, I adore them. And no snarky comments about them being "just chickens" or KFC please. They are my feathery babies and I adore them. Aurora was put to sleep this morning after cancer got too much for her, and I am heartbroken. I can't stop crying.