It may sound strange, but I came across this article today from Newsweek - and making pets part of the family is not so strange at all! Particularly, it is extremely common for folks to have "granddogs."
The article is very interesting, especially if you're a dog lover, and profiles one couple that inherited their daughters' dogs when she divorced. They spoil the dogs just as if they were grandchildren, and many say this phenomenon is happening because grandchildren are becoming more sparse for any number of reasons: high divorce rates, baby boomers' low birthrates, and people choosing to remain single and not procreate are just a few reasons for the "grandchildren gap."
People choose to handle their lack of grandchildren in different ways, and one way that is becoming more and more common - and can be the most rewarding - is doting on pets. Dogs (and sometimes cats) provide love to their owners (and grandparents), while giving those grandparents something to nurture and show off to their friends.
While you're thinking about pets, hop on over to AARP's pets page to learn about pet safety, extraordinary pets, "foster parenting" a pet in need, and more!
I think the grandpet idea is a great one. Do you have any granddogs that you like to brag about? Brag a little!
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