I must confess.
I am a typical dog owner. I fell for those darn puppy eyes.
One wonderful clear sunny day, my boyfriend suggested I buy a chinchilla for a pet. I had no idea what a chinchilla was, so we stopped by the nearest bookstore and found a picture. For those of you who haven’t heard of a chinchilla here is what it looks like:
While some people may think the chinchilla is a furry ball of cuteness, it didn’t strike a chord with me. Still, we visited a nearby Petco to take a look at the actual animal. I wanted to see if it looked any better than the photo I saw, because the photo I saw was not as cute as the one I found on the internet. Unfortunately, the one at Petco was determined to stay in its little “cave” and would not come out. Next to the chinchilla however, were the most adorable things in the world.
Ferrets. After visiting about 10 different Petco’s, Petsmart’s and smaller pet shops and spending a few days reading up on ferrets we drove to a place about 40 minutes away that had some baby ferrets. We picked out two, since ferrets are better off in pairs.
This is Ditsy. She absolutely loved scratching the floors (that happened to have plastic grooves for grip) at all hours of the night. I’ve slept through thunderstorms and fire alarms but I could NOT sleep through that scratching.
This is Compy. He loves sleeping in the most odd positions. One time I found him sleeping with his legs and body on the hammock, but his head resting on the cold plastic floor. He did however, figure out how to go up to the second and third floor of the cage through the pipes we had set up. Compy was a bright little fellow.
While they were unbearably cute, they also made me unbearably itchy. Apparently it is possible to be allergic to their dander. My entire body was itchy day and night so I had to return them before the two-week grace period was up. It was a sad and heartbreaking day. The only thing I won’t miss is their “digging” in the middle of the night and the towers of poop they left in their litter pan. I swear those two rascals produced more poop in a day than Kip does in a week. Ok, that maybe a little exaggerated, but you get the picture.
The thing with ferrets is that you have to wash your hands after you touch them. There is a possibility of getting salmonella from them. I wanted a pet that I didn’t have to constant worry about washing my hands after contact. We did some research on dog breeds that would be suitable for apartment life. We also took health into consideration as I wanted to avoid as much vet bills as possible.
and a couple of others I no longer recall. The Australian Terrier was the one we both liked the most. The dachshund was more to my liking and the Basset Hound and Bulldog were more of my boyfriend’s liking. At first we weren’t able to find an Australian Terrier in my area. There weren’t even any in shelters for adoptions. We were on the verge of giving up when I found an ad by the stroke of luck posted by a new breeder that lived over an hour away. Tucked away in a rather rural neighborhood, we were introduced to 5-6 puppies. Oh the delight of being surrounded by puppies. All of them except Kip were on their hind legs with their paws (and nails) on our legs.
I remember reading through a “Puppies for Dummies” and some articles on raising a puppy in an apartment because that had been my primary concern. But other than that, I was not prepared to raise a puppy. There are so many conflicting information on how to raise a puppy on the internet and in the words of people around me. I guess in some respect I had done more research than the person who bought a puppy from a pet store, or a person that got a puppy for Christmas (I blame Lady and the Tramp). But I don’t think that I was anymore prepared to take raise a dog on my own.
There is one thing for certain though, and that is I’m not going to give up. I know I’ve made mistakes and I wish I hadn’t spanked and yelled Kip for
chewing destroying my favorite flats. I wish I had got Kip when I had my own family so that he wouldn’t be home alone while I was at school and now while I’m at work all day. But snide remarks that I commonly see on forums saying “If you can’t take commit to take care of a puppy, you shouldn’t have got one to begin with” really doesn’t help. What’s been done has been done. What I want to know and learn and how to make the best of the situation I’m already in.
Perhaps this is what naturally drew me to start this blog. This is my journey of learning, coping, growing. It’s the process of becoming a responsible dog owner.
They say dog is man’s best friend. I hope some day Kip will think I’m his best friend as well.