I’ve been meaning to do the Friday Five from Smattering.org for a while now. It just so happens that the first time I’m answering the Friday Five, that it’s about… ta-da… pets! This is just coincidence. I’m not turning this blog into a journal exclusively about my pets. Really, I swear. So, without further ado:
1. What’s your favorite animal?
Birds Dogs Birds Dogs Okay, birds but only because you don’t have to walk them. Some of them can even talk!
2. What pets have you had in your lifetime?
- Toby – A Lab, died of old age. Actually my dad had to have her put down because she could no longer walk. The second time I ever saw my dad cry.
- Lady – A Lab/Setter mix we got from a neighbor, really dumb, a runner, got away and got hit by a car.
- Lady – A Lab, my brother and I moved out so my dad let a neighbor adopt her.
- Shitty Kitty – A stray cat we had for many years, I ended up taking her to the SPCA when I moved into an apartment that didn’t allow pets. No one else in the family could keep her.
- Honey – A ferret my roomate and I had, chewed things, hid inside furniture, was given up to a family with kids.
- Tigger – An awesome large, grey cat I adopted from the SPCA. Died too young of kidney failure due to bad teeth and inability to eat.
- Oscar – A talking cockatiel, eaten by my tenant’s cat.
- “Oscarina” – The replacement cockatiel whose name I don’t remember, gave her back to the breeder after a few months because I was renovating.
- Woodstock – The parrot I have today.
- Whiskey – Mel’s dog, the 13 year old Westie.
- Thilde – The Miniature Pinscher puppy.
Oh, and I have kept aquariums on and off for the last 15 years.
3. Is there any specific pet that you’ve wanted but never had?
No. Sometimes when I’m in a pet store, I’ll think that those big hairy tarantula spiders are way cool but I don’t think I could actually own one. I like turtles and snakes too, but not enough to have one. I think hedgehogs are interesting and cute but too hard to handle… literally.
4. Are you allergic to any animals?
Not really. Although, I’ve woken up stuffed up and have had difficulty breathing more often since I’ve gotten the parrot and lived in this house. I suspect I’m a bit bothered by the bird dander. The parrot is pretty dusty and it’s a fine, powdery sort of dust. The fact that I hold him on my chest to scratch his head and kiss him probably doesn’t help.
5. Do you have any ‘pet’ pet peeves (your pets or others’)?
Where I live there’s a ‘clean up after your dog’ ordinance which is routinely ignored. We always clean up after our dogs at home and while we’re on walks. Unfortunately, some of our neighbors don’t extend the same courtesy. There are a ton of dogs in this neighborhood. So, we are always cleaning up our side yard because of other people’s dogs. I live across the street from a church and a public landmark building under restoration. From my second floor window I’ve watched people walk their dogs onto these two properties for purpose of doing their business and walk away without cleaning it up. It totally pisses me off to see this. One of these days I’m gonna catch one of these people not cleaning up after their dog in my yard… I can’t wait.
Another thing. Many dog owners in this neighborhood ignore the leash law. These people will walk their ‘well-behaved’ dogs around without a leash. That might be okay for them but it’s not for us. We don’t take the dogs out unless they’re on a leash. Period. Our yard is not fenced and we live on a fairly busy corner. No point in taking chances. Whiskey, the Westie, is pretty ferocious and likes to protect her territory. She will take off after squirrels, birds, cats, etc. She will also try to pick a fight with any dog that comes by that is larger and darker than she is.
So what happens fairly often is this: An owner will be walking an untethered dog down the street toward my yard. I see this and am already reeling in the Westie. The owner will get close enough to be in hearing range and I’ll tell them to please watch their dog. My dog is already barking. The owner will misunderstand me and say “oh, don’t worry, my dog is fine, he just wants to play.” I’ll say, “but, my dog isn’t and will try to pick a fight.” By this time their dog has run right up to the Westie who is barking furiously, snapping and snarling. She is between my legs where I have reeled her in, trying to prevent her from starting a fight with a loose dog on my property. Now I’m in a precarious position because I don’t really know that the other dog won’t respond in kind and that I’ll end up in the middle of a dog fight, possibly being injured in the process.
This is a pretty scary situation for me. The last time it happened I had a shaking puppy in my arms. My dog can be an asshole even though she looks cute. She’s old, cantankerous and still likes to kick butt. I warn people but they don’t get it. It’s always the same oblivious idiots who don’t understand their dog should be on a leash for the safety of other people as well as itself. So, if their dog gets kicked by me or gets it’s face ripped off by the Westie they have no one to blame but themselves.