Thursday, May 20, 2010

Faux Paws

Of all the pets I’ve owned in a lifetime, some were more durable than others. Not all my pet choices have been wise ones. Many in fact have just been big faux pas!

Tortoise
George. I’m not sure where he came from but I do remember my father drilling a hole on the edge of his shell and tying a piece of string to prevent him from escaping. Whatever gave him the idea that this was even slightly humane escapes me but poor old George died of fright after being continually flipped by a nosey Labrador.


Doves
Ok they were beautiful and they had a dove cote lovingly made by my father and apart from the time one flew down the chimney and spluttered soot everywhere and the fact that they were all eventually eaten by possibly Sox next door . .they were a reasonably successful experiment and actually raised two chicks.

Hamsters
Well actually only one and arguably my first pet if you don’t count the family dog. Hamish was very sweet and I was very diligent in his care although the powers that be (parents) decided that I should be solely responsible for his upkeep. I cleaned his cage religiously, I entertained him on my shoulder and in my hands, I fed him plenty. I did however, neglect his water bowl. RIP Hamish, I’m really sorry. Your death was an exercise in irresponsible parenting.

Fish
Grandma wanted to buy Adam a tank and had seen a dinky little plastic hexagonal thing at K-mart that was on special. It came with all requirements including plastic weed and a tiny pump and was small enough to fit a couple of goldfish or half a dozen tetras on the kitchen bench. Would have been fine apart from the fact that it sounded like a women’s pleasure machine and went green at the drop of a hat. Naturally we upgraded to the real McCoy and killed several hundred fish in the process due to inadequate water testing, disease and overchlorination of the water. Nope. We don’t have any more fish.

Mice
So cute aren’t they? Well yes until one little brindle mouse gets so fat that it virtually implodes and is found stiff and rotund under its happy wheel. (er Tiger, you were supposed to get ‘on’ the wheel, not fall asleep underneath it) and of course once Tiger bit the dust, Pinky had a conniption and began over grooming. Possibly the stinkage from unclean wood shavings that I ended up cleaning despite protestations from my son that they were his mice and he’d look after them. So, with a festering sore that could not be medicated, my $5 mouse ended up costing $75 to be euthanased via green dream. I know, if I was more of a ‘man’ I’d have hit the bloody thing on the head with a brick!

Cats
Not a bad option. I only had one cat but I had her for 17 years. Although I would profer a little advice. Sexing a kitten is not easy so when an unscrupulous breeder sells you a Male Burmese and it starts meowing and climbing the curtains, you can bet that there’s something awry. I found out the hard way by trying to describe whether the orifice underneath it’s tail was in fact a ‘dot’ or a ‘slit’ over the telephone to the vet. After acknowledging that “Basil” was indeed a girl and had a ‘slit’ . . she was promptly desexed and frankly I never looked back. Yes, a homebody cat is a fine pet as long as you are not allergic and don’t value your boucle furnishings.

Horses
Stupid, stupid, stupid. Well except the first horse:

Dusty – Bought with birthday money sent by my Nana. Blue eyed – pretty – mad – dangerous. I had her for 8 years virtually as a form of transport then sold her on to a breeder to buy a car. That should have been the end of it.

Bunwarra Nakia (Nicky) - Ex cutting quarter horse cross. Bought at auction in a moment of madness with borrowed money. Trucked home and spent his first night in our suburban back yard next to the swimming pool! Lived a long time and was buried in our back paddock. Hated being caught, couldn’t walk, only had two buttons – “Jog” and “Gallop” but awesome bomb-proof fun.

Shane – (Poonnie)bought from my sister so that she could pay the bond on a flat when she moved out of home. Fortunately, given to a nice lady in Mudgee to ride on the weekends. His was indeed a happy ending. Well deserved, he was a happy horse.

Lasalle Royal Flash (Laurie) – bought 14 years ago for Clare to ride but also big enough for me to swing the leg over if I had a milk crate to stand on. Turned out to be a handful so he became mine. Fun for four years, now I can’t swing the legover and he’s in retirement.

Yorkston Classic – (Chippy) – bought shortly after Laurie and much more manageable for Clare.

The last two are now expensive lawn mowers requiring a manicure every six weeks and in dire need of a haircut. They too will most likely end up on the end of a back-hoe joining Nicky in his foxy grave. Laurie has a sweet freckly nose though and he talks a LOT.


OK I think that’s quite enough. All in all. Dogs have been the prevailing pets. They’re fun, they get you out of the house, they’re loyal, cuddly, sweet faced and just rubbable. They don’t eat much and unless you have to pay for a complete knee construction they’re quite economical to run. Yep definitely a dog person.

My three favourite pets:

Don't forget to check out other "Pets" on Theme Thursday

48 comments:

Carolina said...

LOL
Mostly because of the idiotic close-up of the horse.

steph said...

POOR Hamish! LOL

babysis said...

I loved Shane (poonie)...he was fantastic...the things he and I did were AMAZING - I had him jumping jumps that were far too big for him and me....he was a happy little vegemite! Oh and thanks for buying him - needed that bond!

As for Yorkston Classic - he broke my finger!!! Waaaah....

Dont forget Brenna....the little dog who could! Remember she brought a whole cow leg home one day...clever girl...and she tried to corrupt my Poppy, by talking her into pulling down the Xmas ham off your kitchen bench so a feast could be had!

laughingwolf said...

coolios, baino :)

Ocean Girl said...

Oh you have quite a variety and the horse I say is the best. I am not a pet person. Never had a pet until now. Now we have Tom.

Gledwood said...

No trotting little furry Norwich terrorizers..?!

Aren't hamsters illegal in Australia (I probably asked this before...)

or did you have Hamish in the UK?

I once tried a "proper" water bowl with my roborovskis when their bottle broke... it looked just like a paddling pool for pygmy hamsters and... sure enough... it had only been there 5 minutes when Bashful dived in, swam across and clambered out looking cross and surprised (silly swine!)

Elisabeth said...

So it's pets for theme Thursday is ot. I wondered why everyone in the blogosphere suddenly seems to be writing about pets. Now I know.

I've just listed some of ours on Ronda's wonderland so I won't repeat myself here.

Your list is pretty impressive.

Don't Bug Me! said...

My first hamster - Harry, or Harriet, still not sure on the sex, got shut in a door and had a matchstick splint and had a heart attack while running across the lounge floor - I gave him mouth to mouth and he pulled through. All our hamsters were often put into a large plastic ball to be terrorised by one of our many cats. I did go through a phase or breeding dwarf russian hamsters - still feel bad about the baby that drwoned in the water bowl. Also had dogs, rabbits, anole lizards, stick insects, a preying mantis, several hissing cockroaches and a tarantula - I kept that one at work to scare the students - along with the balck widow spider, hee hee. I now have two adorable cats, one of which looks like a doormat right now and two firebelied toads, both female, so ending my phase of breeding them.

Roy said...

See, once you get that first horse, you're hooked for life! I've never known somebody who owned a horse in childhood who didn't spend the rest of their lives with them.

i beati said...

pictures are awesome - what camera again yeah like I can afford..love the names we give pets

California Girl said...

If I hadn't read this I wouldn't know it was TT or Pets is the theme. Damn! I'm gonna have to do a TT on "the baby", my kitty who died in Dec. Maybe I'll just show pics.

Your stories are hilarious. You really have had the menagerie. Well described. The Erma Bombeck of Australia, that's what you are.

Nicky S (Absolute Vanilla) said...

LOL I love the horse close up!
And yeah, dogs rule!
Pssst, I can't interest you in some guinea fowl, can I...?

Ms. Gibson said...

Ewwww, the imploding mouse!!!
Great pics, Baino, especially the horse's snout. Umm, is that what we call it? The snout?
LOL I don't even know...

Betsy said...

This was fun...you've had a nice variety of animals in your life!

JGH said...

Great stories! They remind me of some of our pet adventures (mishaps!) when I was a kid. Love the horse photo!

Ronda Laveen said...

Loved reading about your pets. Fantastic "eye" picture. A friend was just telling me this morning about her nephews wedding last weekend. It was up in the mountains and they released white doves at the end of the ceremony.

Her sons were a little off from the rest of the guest and just as the doves got out of view of the ceremony (thankfully) a hawk nailed one of 'em good. Feathers every where. I'm sure the hawk was thankfully for dinner. Not so, the doves.

Ropi said...

I don't want to have pets. I find them neither entertaining, nor useful.

Gledwood said...

Ropi, how dull of you!!

moondustwriter said...

Love horses but you are sooo right they have to be the stupidist animals on the planet. Good thing they are useful and some are beautiful

you have had quite the menagerie

e said...

Quite a collection Baino! I've decided no more for me after these three are gone...too much work...

mouse (aka kimy) said...

i thoroughly enjoyed reading through your life list of pets! a bit light on reptiles - tee hee! ah poor george - whatever was your da thinking!!!

and oh poor hamish....if only animals would tell us when they are thirsty! how many have perished unwittingly from dehydration?

i expect i will never outgrown my girlish desire to have a house full of pets... they bring such joy!

Kris said...

I am slightly afraid of horses.

Tom said...

i think i cried when our fish died..must have been 3 or 4 years old. Great idea for a pet post!

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Quite the menagerie. sounds like a thumbs up / thumbs down book to me. Happy TT. -j

Cheryl said...

Quite an assortment of dead pets you've got on your conscience. Eek!

Bimbimbie said...

Laughing and wincing as I read, bet most of us hope if we do come back as pets it's not to a forgetful kid ;)

growing up we had a budgie, goldfish, and guinea pigs. It's been cats and dogs ever since I growed up*!*

Kath Lockett said...

I'm not a 'horsey' person but I want to rub that nose and kiss it!

Megan said...

The offspring had a hamster once. The little brat killed himself trying to escape.

Nope, not kidding. He chewed halfway through the plastic door of his cage and tried to squeeze out, and got stuck. We were gone all day and when we got home...well...poor Buster. RIP...

River said...

Dogs don't eat much?? Ha Ha. I regularly serve customers who are buying what seems to be our entire supply of Pal and upon asking how many dogs they have, the answer is usually one. ONE!! With several dozen cans of Pal! Hmmm. Maybe the kids get the same dinner as the dog? Just kidding.

Subby said...

Don't mind cats just wouldn't own one, wot? And our horses were more "ranch hands" than pets, but try telling my sister that, heh...

Lily!

Jingle said...

you rock,
lovely pets.

jay said...

Love the photo! LOL!

I applaud your honesty - I too had one or two pets whose memory now makes me cringe with shame. But in my defence, I've learned and as an adult I've cared for my charges with extreme diligence! Possibly a little too much diligence at times (I remember my Mum saying to me 'you're always doing something to that poor cat'), but so much better than the opposite! I think it's me trying to 'make up' for the neglect of the past. It can't be done, of course, but it's all psychological, innit?

Jill said...

Aaah, I thoroughly am enjoying all the pet posts today.
Love that freckly nose on Laurie!

Darlene said...

I am definitely a dog person. I have had good ones and bad ones, but I miss them all.

PattiKen said...

This was great fun to read. I love doves. We have a dovecote that my son-in-law built as a gift for me. There are doves aplenty around, but so far, they won't move into the dovecote.

Janice said...

You have owned a marvelous collection of different types of animals. Lucky you! I agree with you, though...dogs have got to be at the top of the list.

Alan Burnett said...

As an overall summary I doubt whether this can be beaten. You don't include Guinea Pigs but they must be the most ridiculous animals ever to tread the earth so I completely understand - and support - their exclusion from your list.

She Writes said...

I love the last picture! I adore horses, though I owned a very mean Appaloosa Shetland pony mix of a monster when I was a teenager. Your picture reminds me of her. What's not cute about a face like that, up close and personal ;)?

I wonder of you show them. I used to ride English and Western. Took lessons. But never showed. It just wasn't me. No, I was busy showing goats... Yes! Goats :). Horses sounds so much more sophisticated, no? Hah :).

Pam said...

Siamese fighting fish evidently love warmth.Overflowing with kindness I recently put mine out in the dappled sunlight in its goldfish bowl.My memory not being what it once was, I forgot to bring it in. It was dead in the morning.It was a damn cold and frosty night out there.Easier and cheaper to bury than a horse though!...and the mouse? Husband's science teacher colleage put it's tumourized body down weeks ago, motivated by a box of Cadbury's Roses chocolates.(cheaper than $75!) I couldn't hit it on the head either, so you can see why someone as soft as me shouldn't consider a horse unless I had enough money to buy the entire Haigh's Chocolate Factory.

Mrsupole said...

I love your last 3 pets, they are the best. It's amazing that you remember them all so well. And hamsters needing water, who would have thought up that one.

We have had lots of fish for years. I just learned the hard way that when you leave on a vacation during the summer you need to turn the air conditioner on for them. We went to Vegas for 5 days and when we came back all the fish were floating on top of the tank. I cried, I felt so cruel and the guilt that I have had since then is not good.

Some of my fish have lived for years and right now my tank is empty but I am babysitting Granddaughters Beta fish, which has pretty much turned into my Beta fish. I guess I better get the new fish tank set up and then buy some more fish. I am being lazy and was just waiting until the shoulder totally quits hurting. Still not sure when that will happen.

Thank you for sharing all of your pets with us.

God bless.

00dozo said...

Fun post! I did have a boxshell tortoise many moons ago, but didn't 'leash' him as your father did - he was small enough to fit into an aquarium. We Also had a caiman that wasn't supposed to grow bigger than 2 feet, or so we were told by the pet store owner. It turned some grow to 2.2 metres. Evidently, the pet store owner didn't understand metric. The caiman was donated to the zoo.

Betty said...

I've come back to read that post again. it made me laugh so much the first time. The horse pics are amazing :+)

Ces said...

OMG! What a list of pets! Yes yes yes! We had our own hamster adventure and fish. Oh boy all the money spent on those things. We have Daisy and Snowflake. Daisy is a godsend.Oh boy, I have not been here for a long time!I have been drawing a lot which explains why my carpal tunnel syndrome was exacerbated. Have a great week Baino. Tsup!

Eternally Distracted said...

Oh my that is A LOT of pets... I thought I had it bad with my cockatoo but at least I can put him in his cage sometimes for a break!!

Kate said...

my menagerie and I loved this post... but your site doesn't love me much at the moment - if this comment works it will be my third attempt...I think I'm losing my touch!!

Kate said...

Hooray!! it worked!!!

Vagabonde said...

I like all your pets. I am a cat person – well a dog person too but we don’t have a dog now. When I lived in an apartment in San Francisco and could not have a “regular” pet I had a cockatiel. His name was “Dimitri” after a mystery I had just read. I taught him to speak. He would come on my shoulder and say “how are you?” and “Bon app├ętit” and many other sentences – friends were astounded. Your last photo is endearing.

Robyn said...

I like your three favourite pets :)

I like your horse too... super cute..

and yes you can't beat a dog... my favourite.

xx robyn