I have always loved animals. And they didn’t have to be real. One Easter, when I was very young, I received a chocolate lamb in my Easter basket. My mom said that I opened up the box and carried that lamb around with me for days. I guess I was 2 years old. That was my first pet. She said I cried when it broke at the neck. I mean, it was my pet lamb, and now it had no head.
My first real pet was Victor, a little green turtle. He came with a plastic lagoon bowl with a little palm tree. Victor didn’t stay in his plastic lagoon bowl and I was constantly searching for him. He was usually found in a corner covered with dust bunnies. (which, by the way, aren’t really bunnies.)
Then came Annie the hamster, that was really Cheryl’s pet, but I played with it most of the time. We always had hamsters. I never knew for sure where hamsters came from. I read that theyoriginally came from Syria. Syrian hamsters. لي صديق أهلا قليلا (That translates to “Hello, my little friend” in Arabic, or so says google translator) No wonder my hamsters never listened to me. They understood Arabic.
On a side note, did you know that there are people who show hamsters..like a dog show, but for hamsters? I am serious. Seriously. I imagine you would need binoculars if you are sitting in an arena so you can see the people running in the circle with the hamster. Well,I guess they wouldn’t be running, or the hamster would be up in the air, hanging from its little hamster leash. I am visualizing that right now. That would be pretty amusing. They would get little hamster trophies. Best of Show at the Westminster Hamster Show…Maybe they even have Best in Habitat. Maybe HGTV’s Design Star show can have a project where they have to design the best hamster habitat.
We always bought a “fancy” hamster. Our hamsters were usually put in one of those plastic clear balls so they could exercise around the room and torment the dog. Sometimes we would leave them in there too long and they would have pee all over them. I’d have to get a wet washcloth and clean the hamster. Can’t use a blow dryer on a hamster. Tried that one time on my guinea pig, Quincy Bozo. (You don’t want to know….)
After my mom saw that we could take care of hamsters, we got our first dog, Susie. Susie was a terrier and she slept with me. All the dogs slept with me because they all loved me the most. It’s true. I am an animal whisperer. After Susie, we had Heidi, who was retarded, (dogs don’t understand being politically incorrect, so again, can say the word, “retarded.”) Heidi was sideswiped by a car one day and was never right after that. She played outside all day long, running around in circles, and then would come into the house and use the bathroom as soon as she got inside. Mom gave her away to a neighbor girl who loved Heidi for who she was..like the Velveteen Rabbit.
We then had Smokey the chihuahua. We brought Smokey home and told Dad we found him in a meadow. Smokey was probably the ungliest dog in the world. His teeth were bad, for some reason, and had the most God-awful breath of any living thing. Mom had to have all of his teeth pulled out. And it broke his jaw or something, because it was crooked when he got home. Sometimes his tongue hung out on the side. Anyway, when you tried to pick up Smokey, he would bite you, or gum you, which was so gross. So, of course, when we had friends over, we would say, “Pick up Smokey.” Smokey was best friends with a German police dog, named Scheherazade, or Sherry as we all called her. Smokey would walk down the middle of the street most days and they were the strangest sight. One day the school bus hit and killed Smokey. I guess bus drivers can’t see chihuahua’s walking in the middle of the road too well.
We had other dogs too. Cricket was my favorite. I loved that dog. I would put her on the couch and tell her to stay and then go hide and yell, “Ok, Cricket,” and she would then jump off the couch and try to find me. We also had Sparky and Whiskey.
It wasn’t the dogs, but the weird pets I bought when I got a bit older.The summer before I was a a freshman in college, I bought a skunk at KMart. That’s right, Kmart sold skunks in the 1970’s. It was deskunked, but still had a bit of a skunky odor, but I liked that smell. (Yeah, I’m that weird.) I bought Thumper for $40 and took her home. My dad loved Thumper. She would curl up like a cat and sleep during the day and bother and chase Cricket all night long. She would go to the bathroom in my mom’s plants. I don’t know why it wouldn’t use the kitty litter box. Maybe I never bought one. That would explain a lot. Anyway, I left for college and a few weeks later when I came home, Thumper was gone. Mom sold her for $35 to a realtor friend of my dad’s. She sold my skunk and took a $5 loss on the deal. Stupid woman. I loved that skunk. Several years ago, I tamed a skunk to put her paws on our kitchen nook door and take a peanut from my hand. I named her Stinky. We could open the door at night and yell her name and she would come running. She used to hang out with a Oppossum we named Poopy Butt.
The next pet I bought was an iguana named Igor. Igor commited suicide in its water dish. I then read where iguana’s get depressed. Seriously. One of my roommates boyfriend said he saw him walk over to the water dish and just stick his head in the water. When I asked why he didn’t help it, he just looked at me and said, “I was really high.” Wonder what he does for a living these days?
When I was a sophomore in college I bought Beepo and Geepo. They were African frogs. I also had some sort of chameleons, salamanders and newts. I was like Elly May Clampett.
I had the best time living out on our property after I