Karin has her Friday Flashback up today; this is the first time I’ve done it. And today is all about pets, in honor of her adorable new puppy Melody.
I didn’t really grow up with pets. We had a couple, but they didn’t last long. Kitty was a psycho cat who hid up the attic rather than do cat things. Ghengis Khan (yes, that was truly his name) was a psycho shitzu with an attitude problem and a bad haircut. He hated me. I thought he was a cute little bugger, until he decided he hated me. He was once sleeping under a blanket, I didn’t see him, and kicked him as I walked past. From then on, whenever he was feeling particularly ornery, he would attack me, barking and scratching and chasing me into my room. Eventually he drew blood and we had to get rid of him. Our next-door neighbors had a psycho dog (seeing a trend here?) they trained to be mean. I was terrified of him. He got out once and chased me home.
But my elementary school was a veritable zoo. The principal strongly believed that children should have access to animals. So we had rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, hamsters, gerbils, mice, parakeets, a tropical parrot, fish, frogs, turtles, a boa constrictor, and ducks in the courtyard. I’m sure there were more, but it’s been a verrry long time and I barely remember breakfast, much less animals from 25+ years ago. But I do remember when Alphie, the boa constrictor, escaped one year. He was missing for a couple of weeks before he was found in the library. Scared the snot out of the librarian, if I recall correctly! LOL But anyway, once you hit 4th grade, you could take care of the animals. I and some other kids cared for the guinea pigs and the ducks. In fact, we were so good with the ducks we went from 3 to so many we had to find farms to take them (no small feat, given that this was a suburb of Chicago!). But I loved the guinea pigs. They were furry and squeaky and smelled like cedar chips. And then they got unexplainably sick. The principal did his research, and we all learned about scurvy and the importance of vitamin C. I still remember the smell of the vitamin C drops we had to put in their water. We also had to beg vegetable scraps from the cafeteria for them (which is how I got 2nd degree burns on my arm…I ran into another kid who was carrying scalding hot soup).
But I loved working with the piggies so much I begged my parents to get my own. So I got 2 pigs. (Anyone remember the old Disney cartoon short “Pigs is Pigs?” Love that cartoon!) I was told they were both female (and yes, I checked, I still know how to check for guinea pig sex!…ooh, Google is going to just LOVE that phrase!) and I put them in the same cage. See where this is going? Three months later, there were suddenly three more pigs in the cage. I knew an elementary school that would love more pigs, so off they went. And I bought another cage. Then my little brother thought they looked lonely. See where this is going? LOL And another three months pass and three more piggies. One of the baby pigs from that second litter was extremely rare. All sleek black with a white swirl on his forehead. The principal at the elementary school (’cause they went there too) could have sold him for a good price and, bless his heart, didn’t. I think, eventually, my pigs got tumors and died, I really can’t remember.
I haven’t had a pet since. But with two boys in the house, and living in Colorado, it’s almost law that we’ll have to get a dog. I’d like to get a dog, but I’m choosing it. We all know I’ll be the one taking care of her (because it’s going to be a girl dog, too many guys in this house already), so it’s my decision. I just don’t know what kind of dog to get. Our next door neighbors just got a labradoodle and she’s adorable. But she’s going to be big. Plenty of time to decide; no dog in this house until J can protect himself a little better. We’ll see…any input on what kind of dog for a small family?