Lesson #8: In the end, the money doesn't matter a bit.
This was something I'd always suspected, having grown up in the household of a man who would drive to the next state to buy gas if it was three cents cheaper over there. My father may have resented my mother and I most of all because we cost him money (though we did our best not to cost him much of it). Thirty thousand dollars is a lot to spend on a dog, especially when you have to put it on your credit card. Especially when you are buying, according to the best veterinary journals, six months to a year at the most. Thirty thousand dollars is a lot, and it is nothing. If I had it all to do over again, I know that I would have spent that much if all it bought me was just one of those beautiful afternoons on the veterinary hospital lawn.