A Conversation for Talking Point - Pet Ownership

Acceptable pets and responsible owners

Post 1


A large number of animals people believe are acceptable as children’s pets are completely unsuited for human companionship. They are only acceptable because of their cuteness, not due to their intelligence or gentility. Mice, rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs and hamsters are horrid. They frighten easily, bite and scratch, don’t live very long and crap and piddle everywhere. Granted, they can be trained and I have met some lovely bunnies and piggies, but on the whole, children are not inclined to take the time or have the patience it requires to turn these squeaking, terrified balls of fluff into loving and affectionate pets.

As a teenager, I often babysat the neighbor’s two young girls. Their parents would buy them whatever struck their fancy at the pet store, so, as you can imagine, that house was a furry war-zone. Mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, two dogs, five cats, tropical fish, a turtle, various song birds and a parrot made up the menagerie. None of the animals were trained, barely tame and you don’t want to imagine the smell. The fish tanks were murky with algae, the cats and dogs ungroomed, the parrot ornery, the turtle on the loose and where the heck did that new baby bunny disappear to? Turned out one of the girls had been playing with it on the couch and instead of returning it to its cage, left it there. The poor little thing slipped between the cushions and suffocated.

Suffice it to say, with the help of my parents and the neighbors, we convinced the parents to get rid of most of the animals (most of which got distributed to the neighbors) and made them promise not to buy any more animals.

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Acceptable pets and responsible owners

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