Monday, August 23, 2010
Help control the pet population: Have your pet spayed or just don't get one.
People are genuinely surprised when we tell them that we have a pet free home. They ask if we have allergies. No. They ask if we hate animals. No. (Except dragons) Finally, they ask why we don't want to teach our children the value of having a responsibility.
Of course, we think teaching them responsibility is important and that is why we only allow them to carry guns AFTER I have had a chance to teach them where the safety switch is.
It's not that I don't like animals. I do. So much in fact, that after my youngest son enthusiastically jumped on my crotch with his shoes on the other day for the third time, I considered trading him in for a German Shepherd.
The reason we do not allow our kids to own pets is that we simply have not found the right pet. For every animal they throw in our faces (not literally, except for the gopher), I throw eight reasons back at them why that animal will not be burrowing their nests into our furniture. Let me give you a brief tour of my no's. (Not a brief tour of my "nose", unless you want one, but I have to warn you: it is hairy and you may get tickled, and not in a good way.)
1. The Dog.
Dogs are loyal and perfectly admirable pets for dog owners. Unfortunately they chew, poop, bark and shed. No, the only way we are getting a dog is if I suddenly go blind, which worries me because my boys have been sharpening sticks in the backyard with their knives all summer. (Another "responsibility" parenting technique.)
2. The Cat.
Cat's are much beloved and certainly there is no shortage of cat lovers on the internet. Cats, however, are not an option for our family because they can't be trained to bring me a Pepsi or give me a back massage. Also, a cat once did this to my leg while I was jogging around the park:
3. Gerbils, Mice, Rats, Guinea Pigs and Hamsters.
I am morally opposed to acquiring any animal that requires purchasing large quantities of sawdust. Trees simply should not be cut down for rodents to urinate on. I am also opposed to cutting down trees simply so that llamas can spit in their remains.
4. The Fish.
I hate having to chase a fish around with a net every time I clean it's bowl. That really has to freak the fish out a little. What if every time we had to clean our house, a giant net fell from the sky, scoops us through some water and then places us in a tiny glass cell where we spin around in circles until we were plopped back into our home? Actually, that sounds 10 times better than actually cleaning the house myself.
5. The Reptiles.
I hate anything with scales because they remind me of those last ten pounds I need to lose. When I was a kid, I would have nightmares about Kiss sneaking into my room at night, so things with long tongues are also out.
6. The Bunnies.
Bunnies are for girls, wussies, pansies and turd wads. I refuse to let them become any of these things. It is for their own protection.
7. The Pet Rock (and other fake pets).
I've tried this, but through years of schooling and experience, the elder of my two sons can now tell the difference between living and nonliving things and he prefers living.
8. The Sheep (and other farm animals).
I'd worry about SOME of the neighbors, if you know what I mean.
9. The Ponies and Asses (including: mules, miniature donkeys, donkeys and burros)
We've got .25 acres and they are not conducive to a lavish pony lifestyle. The pony would revolt and we'd probably eventually find it up in that Park City rehab center with Lindsay Lohan or Andy Dick or both.
10. The Birds.
There is a saying, could be a Chinese Proverb, it goes something like this: "A bird song in the morning heard from your kitchen window is a majestic sign of God's love. A morning parrot squawk from inside your closed laundry room door will make you want to strangle a bird with your own bear hands."
It's a lovely little saying.
Clearly, every idea and suggestion has gone down in a blaze of Bon Jovi glory.
Heaven forbid that our boys actually play with each other. Certainly, they could just treat each other as pets. I know that the older one could throw a collar around the younger one and take him for a walk around the block. The younger one is already housebroken - why I just watched him pee on a tree in the backyard yesterday.