If you have a large extended family, caring for your pet(s) while you are sick or hospitalized, most likely, will not be an issue. For approximately 96 million singles in the U.S., it causes great concern. I was pleasantly surprised by one of the questions posed to me by the admitting hospitalist during my last hospital stay: “Do you have pets at home that depend on you for their care?” This simple question speaks volumes in how we, as a society, see our pets within the family unit. I was blown away and quickly answered: “Yes, I do; one 85 pound dog and a cat“. I knew I liked this doctor right away and was tempted to pull out my IPhone to show him snapshots, but I figured that would be a bit over the top.