One of the best ways for me to enjoy animal company is to pet-sit. I hug them, play with them, spoil them but there isn’t that fear of pain and tears upon their demise (if they go 1st). They will go back to their owners and I will go on living happily as myself. Am I selfish? Yes, but at present, for me, it is the lesser of 2 evils.
The travel bug is still gnawing and I simply do not have the heart of going on long trips while I leave my pet (a part of me) with someone else. Peace of mind will be partial and the lengthy global roaming will not be enjoyable. So, I pet sit those beings who need looking after while their human owners perform their needed urgent missions.
Will I one day have a pet again? Maybe, but only at a stage when I know that the trips I make from then on will be ones where the pet will accompany me and not be boarded in some kookie kennel. This is just one of those events where I simply choose not to have my cake and eat it.