Short of being a parent, adopting a pet is one of the most humbling responsibilities a human can accept. You're promising another living creature that you'll be there, that you'll make sure it has food, water, shelter, and affection for the rest of its life. That doesn't seem like so much -- the needs of most household pets are really pretty simple -- but it still makes you think. Or should, though the number of abandoned pets suggests that many people don't.
Pet owners also face an even more humbling responsibility, one that few parents are unfortunate enough to experience. Household pets get old and sick, and eventually their humans have to decide whether and when to help them into the next life. That's where Emily is now. The antibiotic she got Friday seems to have wreaked havoc with her digestion -- causing massive diarrhea -- without actually curing the low grade infection that she went to the vet for in the first place. We took her off the antibiotic last night and her digestion seems to have settled down, but that only brings us back from "really sick" to "kind of sick," not all the way back to "Emily norm," much less truly "well."
Let's just say playing God isn't a whole lot of fun.