I was having a conversation with some friends about parrots the other day. The topic was life expectancy – an African Gray parrot can live to be 80, a Macaw can live to be 100. Unless you get the bird as a baby and take great care of yourself it is likely that the bird will outlive you so you almost definitely need a back-up plan. You need someone who wants to take your bird if you die before he does.
Dogs, on the other hand, generally have sadly short life expectancies so it is more likely that we will outlive them. That being said, you never know, so if you are the type of person to plan things, have a plan for your dog.
I am serious – if you have given thought to who would get your Great Aunt Martha’s dining room set, a sentence or two about who you want to take care of your dog is a must. I would suggest mentioning it to the person you are considering. It is not the kind of thing you should spring on someone.
Even if you don’t have a will, a casual conversation is better than nothing. Even though it wouldn’t be legally binding, raising the possibility that you want your best friend to take care of your pet will probably guilt her into it! Dog ownership comes with a lot of responsibility and it doesn’t stop when you do.