Thursday, March 29, 2012

On Pets

Now that he is growing out of his puppy stage and is done chewing up the baseboards, Charlie is turning out to be a great dog.

I love the way he cuddles up with the kids when they're not feeling good,

the way he always sits at Grace's feet while she plays piano, and the way he always waits for Phil to come home every night.

I don’t necessarily love him as much as my husband does,

but he does grow on a person.

But, while my kids adore Charlie, they are not satisfied with having merely a dog, a cat, fish, inhabitants of one ant farm, and until recently, five caterpillars/butterflies.

The requests for more pets never seem to end. Hardly a week goes by that I don’t hear a plea for another dog, a horse, a fire-belly toad, a pet orangutan, a hamster, or a mouse.

They’ve learned, though, that the answer from me is pretty much always no. Especially when it comes to rodents of every kind. Furry little things that scurry about with long tails do not belong in houses. And almost everyone I know who has had a hamster has at least one story of how it escaped and they couldn’t find it for a long time.

Seriously, how could I sleep at night knowing a rodent might crawl in bed with me at any time?

On a recent trip to the pet store, Caleb grabbed a brochure about caring for a fire-belly toad. I listened to him read the lengthy list of things to do for its care on the way home.

“Wow, this would be a lot of work,” he concluded. But then after a thoughtful pause, he shrugged happily. “Oh, well. Dad will do all of that stuff. So can I get one, Mom?”

He didn’t get his fire-belly toad, but he did talk his dad into a tiny little frog that lives in his aquarium with the fish.

Or used to live there.

Just days after he got him, the frog mysteriously disappeared. We looked through all the aquarium plants and rocks, behind the filter…. no frog.

Theories abounded on what happened to him. I suggested that maybe he heard that food doesn’t come to this particular aquarium very often and made his escape, hopping out in search of a better life. No one thought that was possible. The hole on the lid of the aquarium is so small and the frog would have to aim perfectly to leap out. A careful search was made of the floor anyway, but there was no frog.

Several days later we found him all dead and dried up. In my bedroom.

And that’s why we’re never getting a hamster.


stephanie said...

too bad dad wasn't there to chuck it across the street for you...

debby94 said...

Angie, you crack me up! We have a mouse (I keep waiting for it to die) and the other day Alyssa tried to get it out of her cage. I had no idea she did this. I walked into Seth's room to get his bed ready for night-night and I see something run across the floor. I turn on the light, and sure enough, it's the mouse!

Vik said...

grosssss!!! dead frogs in your bedroom! every animal that comes into our house dies. we're afraid to even get a dog, knowing what it's fate might be if we decide he should be ours. I'm glad you're having better luck with most of your pets:)