In these alarming times of austerity, an extra item in the ever-increasing list of costs to simply live your life is best avoided.
The shopping list of moder-day living really does have a capacity to leave you questioning your life choices. When that most hallowed of days comes along – we dearly love you, payday – to watch as every famished vulture arcs its veiny neck into your account and snaps its share of your hard-earned readies is soul-sapping.
So the decision to buy a pet really is a big one. Sharing your life with an animal means you also share your money with them. They are hungry little bleeders, and when you take into account the various paraphernalia that comes with the inevitable spoiling of said pet, as well as veterinary care?
Your wallet or purse will not thank you for it.
Your heart will though.
A cat or a dog eventually become so much more than a walking bundle of hair and/or a crap machine which leaves little presents across your garden and/or kitchen floor.
It is scientifically proven (yes, boffins with crazy hair and questionable taste in shoes have spent time on this) that dogs read you through your eyes, much like a human does. They can read your tone, and they become intrinsically linked to you. They literally live their life through your actions.
Their happiest moments in their colour-free eyes are when you are there. When you go off to work and you are imagining them having the run of the house? They actually gauge how much of your scent is left in the house to deduce when you are coming home.
All that matters to them is that you are near.
That and treats of course.
In turn, you will become THAT person who shows everyone pictures of your dog. It is a fine line away from dressing them up as a leprechaun for St Patricks Day. You bring things home that you know they will love. The moments on the couch where they are completely happy snuggled up to you? You share the satisfaction.
They become your shadow, they are a part of you, but covered in hair and with a penchant for licking inanimate objects.
Then they are gone.
It is common knowledge that dogs and cats have a shorter life than ours, so when you are at the point of purchase (or adoption, as they do become family), there should be a warning given to you. A herald of future torment that shows you what you will have to endure when the time comes to part ways.
This is not reduced to those people who are branded because they dress their pets in cowboy outfits.
It will be you too.
You will end up with your heart broken, as a member of family you actually get on with, is wrenched from you. The adoration they had in their eyes every time you walked through the door will be the image that never leaves you. As they have been proven to look into your eyes, their eyes are also the most powerful of the slides in your sepia-toned slideshow.
You find that your days have been moulded around your companion. When they have departed this world, there are a lot more empty slots than you had realised. You feel like a part of you has gone and it was vital to your day-to-day operation.
So, heed this warning.
Those thoughts you have about acquiring a pet, you will indeed obtain a friend for life, but friend does not begin to justify what you will share. Your soul will be merged with them. You will have the best of times.
Then, try and comprehend a wound that stays open, but in your heart. It never truly heals, it just scabs over and leaves a hideous mark. You must go about your daily business but with this hindering your motivation, your happiness. You carry on, but the ugly scar is always in your view.
That is what getting a pet really is. Try and bear that in mind when you walk past the petshop and those eyes look at you.