Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bad Pet Karma

Meet our summer house guests.


No one else was willing to take Speedy and Swimmy, the kindergarten tadpoles, home for the summer... so of course I caved. I am told they won't turn into frogs for another year or so.

This is a big deal for me. I am not really a pet person. I have bad pet karma. After college I got a bunny. It was a large, adorable black bunny with lop ears. That bunny was the most vicious animal I have ever met. I even had him neutered to see if that would calm him down. No dice. I could barely feed him for fear he would bite my hand off. After the bunny, I adopted a cat from a shelter. He was a gorgeous gray cat with blue eyes. I named him Linus. Then I met Mr. Mint, who is deathly allergic to cats. I was forced to chose between my beloved Linus and the man who would become my husband. It was painful.

Then I convinced Mr. Mint to get a dog. We got Kirby, a lovable basset hound. Oh how we loved that dog. I wouldn't exactly say he was a well behaved dog, but he was our pain the ass dog. He stole food every chance he got and barked a lot. Once we came home to discover that he had eaten a whole box of Cheerios and was lying on the floor with his stomach as hard as a rock. We could never put appetizers on our coffee table if we had guests over because Kirby would snatch them all up in about two seconds flat.

He seemed to be fine, if still and a pain in the ass, after Lolly and Frostine were born. I learned to hold a leash and push a double stroller at the same time all while fielding brilliant insights from passersby like, "wow, you sure do have your hands full." Admittedly, it got a little hard though. Kirby would often bark and wake up my sleeping infants. If Mr. Mint was out of town, I didn't exactly appreciate being woken up at 6am to take him outside after just getting back to sleep after being up all night with two babies. Sometimes I was just too damn tired to brush my teeth much less take him to the dog park. I often forgot to push food items to the back of the counter where he couldn't reach.

But the last straw for me was shortly after the girls started crawling. He would growl at them if they got too close to his bed. The girls were sitting on the floor eating bagels and he snapped at Lolly to get the bagel and cut her right below her eye. We gave Kirby to a lovely family who now live in Montana and have no small children. It was one of the most painful decisions we ever made. I think Mr. Mint still holds a little grudge.

So I have been very resistant to getting any kind of pet ever since. I also don't want one more thing to take of right now. I don't want to clean out a fish tank, remember to feed a cat, take anyone else to a doctor appointment or clean up any more poop than I have to.

Fish actually kind of creep me out. Ever since I was eight years old and saw and episode of Hawaii 5-0 where a little girl gets kidnapped and is held in the ocean in a little submarine type capsule until she is finally rescued, anything underwater has scared the crap out of me. Fish are just slimy and smelly and well, just plain yuk if you ask me. They are not at all cute.

So far Speedy and Swimmy have been perfectly nice house guests. I've cleaned out their little tank once which wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be although I almost gagged from the smell. If we don't kill them before school starts again, maybe we'll graduate to a hamster. It's doubtful, but we'll see.

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Happy Father's Day to you and yours. I know I am incredibly grateful that my kids have such a loving dad. Nothing makes me happier that watching him with our kids. And Happy Father's Day to my own dad, where ever you may be.


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