Critters!

Nov. 30th, 2016 03:28 pm
kv0925: (Gromit Reading)
[personal profile] kv0925
Mentioning Hermione's new snake the other day made me realize I hadn't mentioned it before, which makes me think I've never covered our current menagerie, or future critter plans. So let me do that.

At present we have: 1 dog, 2 birds, 4 cats, a handful of fish, a guinea pig, and now a snake. I think that's it. In more detail:

The dog: Scout, she's an almost-8-year-old (already!) black lab mix. We got her at the animal shelter. Scout's not an odd dog name, but it is odd for a female dog, I think--we named her after the character in To Kill a Mockingbird, probably just because we'd recently watched the movie. She has her issues, but overall she's a pretty good dog. She doesn't bark unless there's actually something to bark at, she's not destructive, she's on the shy/fearful side but reasonably friendly, definitely not at all aggressive.

The cats: The eldest is Ood (nonsensically named by Hermione when she was a toddler, so she's about 10 now), who is your typical lazy lapcat. She's a good egg for sure, very affectionate and social with people. The other cats are Marion, Fiona, and Alice, who are varying degrees of antisocial. Most of them are friendly with the girls, but steer clear of me. I'm okay with that, really.

The birds: Hallie decided on a parakeet when she got old enough for a pet of her own, so we got one, and after a while we decided it was probably a bit lonely so we got it a cagemate. Hallie named the first (blue) one Cauliflower, since that was her favorite vegetable at the time. So when we got the second and it was green, it only made sense to name it Broccoli.

The fish: We started with a standard 10-gallon aquarium and moved up to a 20-gallon at some point, which contains a handful of freshwater tropical fish. Mostly zebra danios at this point, I think.

The guinea pig: Hermione's pet choice when she got old enough. This is actually our second one. The first, Gingerbread, got sick and basically died before we even realized how sick it was--apparently guinea pigs go downhill quickly when they get sick. After a bit she decided she missed having one, so we got this one, Cookie.

The snake: Since she's always done well with the guinea pigs, we told Hermione if she wanted to get a snake she could, since she's considered it for a while. So she decided on a Kenyan sand boa, since they stay relatively small (hence can always live in something like a 10-gallon aquarium) and are quite docile. We just got it a few weeks ago, hence the recent adventure with trying to get it to eat! I think we'll get the hang of it, though.

Future plans: Well, Amy always says she wants a kitten, but I'm not so sure about that since we already have 4 cats. When she turns 7 or so we'll probably let her pick something if we think she's responsible enough (which at this point I kinda doubt). In the meantime, though, Hallie was considering asking for a puppy until she read something about how most service dogs live in foster homes while they're in training. So we looked into that and found that there's a place quite close to us that does exactly that, and we applied to be a foster family. No idea how long it takes to go through the approval process and actually get a dog, but that should be interesting if and when it happens. And I could see us getting another reptile sometime--I kinda dig bearded dragons, or chameleons are pretty awesome. :) Or how about a tarantula?

So yeah, I guess we're a pretty animal-friendly household. All that is in addition to our porchlight frogs (there's usually at least one tree frog hanging out around our front door, since the light attracts bugs at night), the billion anole lizards in the yard, the butterfly garden, birdfeeder, squirrels, geckos, and other assorted creepy-crawlies. I kinda like that about us.

Okay, that's enough time wasting. I'm just running out the clock on today, since I'm off tomorrow!

Date: 2016-11-30 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ingenious76.livejournal.com
I have a cockatiel! I LOVE parrots and all their breeds!

My Grandad had a lovely little parakeet (we call the budgies!) - he could talk. A lot!

Date: 2016-12-02 01:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cp.livejournal.com
I've always been a little torn about birds as pets, honestly. I adore birds, of course, but it seems like of any animal to lock up, it's most cruel to lock up one that can actually fly, you know? But it's certainly nothing new, so I guess it has the weight of tradition, at least. :) And they really are neat to have around.

I'm sure Hallie was thinking parakeets would be a bit more interactive, but ours aren't very tame. I know that takes a lot of time and effort, of course, and Hallie's only 9 so she might not quite have the patience and perseverance for that. We should work on it, though. :)

Date: 2016-12-03 02:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ingenious76.livejournal.com
I've learned that Budgies/Parakeets are tameable if you get them very young, and are able to spend plenty of time with them to help them talk and fly. Grandad was 78 when he got the budgie, so was able to spend all day, every day with him. As a result, he could talk and would fly to him all the time.

It does take patience - but if she chats at them, they'll mimic. And that's really sweet. :)

Date: 2016-11-30 11:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scriptdelalune.livejournal.com
Aww, I love it! Your dog sounds almost exactly like ours - she's a lab mix, too. Adorable but fearful. It's great for kids to grow up with pets, because I think it teaches them a lot about kindness. Your girls sound like they have it all under control :)

Date: 2016-12-02 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cp.livejournal.com
Yes, I agree--we always had pets around when I was a kid (just dogs and cats, though), and I think it's an important part of growing up. We're all pretty big nature and animal lovers, of course, so it only makes sense we'd have a zoo. :)

Date: 2016-12-01 02:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] solteronita.livejournal.com
Pets are the best. :D

That's exciting about the service dog fostering possibility! I'll be very interested in hearing how that goes if you end up doing that!

Date: 2016-12-02 01:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cp.livejournal.com
Sounds like it's moving along! After I posted this, the place called to set up a home visit/interview--they bring one of the dogs (not the one we'd get, though--that would be a puppy that probably hasn't been even born yet) to the house, I think mainly to see how the other animals in the household react to it. Should be interesting!

Date: 2016-12-02 10:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sayga.livejournal.com
Kira wants a snake too. Your snake sounds like it's a good type for our family too. I don't want to get into having like 200 gallon aquariums or anything. Just something small and simple.

I love having pets. Thanks for sharing who you guys have.

Date: 2016-12-02 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cp.livejournal.com
Yeah, it's a cute little snake right now--well, as cute as a snake *can* be, I suppose. :) She really did her homework. Initially she wanted one that doesn't eat rodents (especially live ones), but there really isn't any such thing, at least among the species people usually keep as pets. So she went with essentially the smallest and most docile sort she could find, and so far so good.

Definitely make sure she's emotionally prepared for the feeding, though. When we went to the store to buy the snake, the guy asked if we wanted him to go ahead and feed it. Since it's important to get one that you know is willing to feed in captivity, I said sure, and with no preface he got a live pinkie and offered it to the snake, which immediately struck and coiled around it. Hallie was watching and started crying because she wasn't expecting that! But she got over it fairly quickly, and I think she's reconciled herself to the idea that's it's just a Circle of Life situation. She held and petted and named the pinkie we got last week, but she had no trouble watching the snake take it even after all that. Which is maybe a little twisted, I dunno. :)

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