Why Mum’s Get to Pick the Family Pet!

We own a hedgehog.  Yes you read that correctly, in a moment of utter flipping Idiocy, foolishness, lost my effing mind, weakness I and # 1 Traveling Companion said YES to owning a hedgehog!  We own a hedgehog!  We did own two, one now resides elsewhere; more on that later.

As kids start to grow, walk and talk they start asking for crazy things like cats, dogs, hamsters, bearded dragons, horses, oh and lets not forget hedgehogs!  In moments of shear and utter INSANITY we parents because our guard is down, or we weren’t focusing on the word NO say YES!!!!!  In an instant we have gone from a family of 2, 3, 4 or however many humans are living there, to committing to getting another living, breathing animal.  We freeze and our heart starts pumping really fast, we break out in a cold sweat, and ask ourselves “What the HELL did we just agree to do?”

Animals that have resided in our home!

Here is the list of animals that have moved in and lived with us and yes, ultimately that I have ended up caring for, cleaning up their crap, washing out their homes, feeding (otherwise they would be dead) and watering (again they would have died) !!!

  • Guinea Pigs   ~   They went back to pet store after it was discovered F was allergic to them
  • Hamster   ~   Deceased (Buried in backyard)
  • Bearded Dragon   ~   Deceased (Buried in backyard)
  • American Cocker Spaniel   ~   Left us to live with a retired, no children couple (best thing for all involved)
  • Miniature long haired Dachshund   ~   Still living with us, happily ( I chose this cutie)
  • Two African Pygmy Hedgehogs   ~   One still living with us, one found another home

[Tweet “Why mum should choose the family pet that gets to move in!”]

So why should we be the ones to say yes or no to what lives in the house?  We are the ones that after the initial “Oh my goodness look how cute” wears off, we end up looking after the little blighters!!!  We make sure they are clean, fed, watered, walked if needed and loved.  Yes even the breaded dragon needs love!!!

What happened to said Animals…

We started out small with two guinea pigs Bert and Ernie, very original I know.  They were with us for about two months when it was realized that F was allergic to them, hives and puffy eyes were not part of the deal.   After much discussion with the pet shop, they took them back and we were free.  Hahaha…  Not so fast, within months another little furry creature came to reside at the home.  Honey the hamster took up house in a fancy Penthouse hamster condo and lived in the playroom upstairs.  Hamsters are nocturnal, I knew this; others in the house did not know this and soon Honey the hamster was banished to the basement.  He had a good life with us, and passed one night in his sleep.  I did all the cleaning, feeding and watering of said little creature.

Then came the day at school when the science teacher introduced reptiles to the class and so it began…

“Mum, I will love it.”

“Mum, I will clean it, and feed it, and look after it.”

I believed, I believed with all my heart, I looked into those big brown eyes and said to myself how could she lie to me?  Oh she was good, she was so GOOD!  SHE LIED!!!!!  Six weeks later I was sacrificing crickets to the beast, cleaning the most disgusting poop you have ever seen.  They poop once a week, so you can only IMAGINE!!!!  Two years and Cody the bearded dragon went to rest with Honey the hamster, in the backyard.  By the way #1 Traveling Companion named Cody because we believed he was a boy.  Six months later, there were about 20 white EGGS in the cage!  Cody was a girl and became Miss Cody much to #1 Traveling Companions dismay!!!

A year later I was caught off guard and in a moment of weakness said Awwwwww, at a local art festival to a basket of chocolate brown American Cocker Spaniels, and a few hours later Brownie came to live with us.  Please don’t judge, we had NO BUSINESS (NONE) getting a dog.  I was working 60 hours a week, #1 Traveling Companion was working even more, and   going back to school, we had a two year old and a seven year old it was a break with reality that we got that dog.  Try as I might because yes house training fell to me that dog was having none of it.  Six months later that dog had broken me.  I had a  break with reality, flipped out, went insane could not take it any more the night I came home from a 12 hour day at work to discover the house in shambles and several #2 accidents in the dinning room!!!!!!  DO YOU UNDERSTAND I AM A NEAT FREAK!!!  I am borderline OCD clean queen freak, I clean every day, EVERY DAY!  This sent me over the edge and I made the whole family cry, I found a new home for Brownie.  One that could devote their time to him and love him the way he deserved.  It was not my proudest moment, but it saved me and ultimately this family.  Seriously!!!

Two years later I was getting ready to become an at home mum, and flipping kids who can’t memorize their multiplication table CAN remember that mum said we could get a dog when she became an at home mum!  WTF!!!

Seriously I will give them a list of chores and they forget, tell them to go get something, they forget, pick up your room, they forget.  Two years later they remembered that I had in some other parallel universe said that we would get a dog when I became an at home mum!!!

The One that made it and is Alive Today!

After much discussion #1 Traveling Companion and I agreed upon the purchase of the mini dachshund.  Off we went to pick her up, and came home to two very excited girls.  Holy cow this dog is intelligent, within 6 weeks she was potty trained ~ or should I say she had figured out that if she hit the bell on the back door we would let her out and when she came in she got a treat.  She has only ever had a couple of accidents in the house and that has been when she has been very sick.  She will hold it all day rather than have an accident.  She is quiet, she is loyal, she is loving, she is funny, she is amazing and she is my buddy.  She has lived with us for eight and a half years, and we LOVE her so much!

Dachshund

I picked out the breed, I had been raised with this breed as a child; both my Nanna and mum owned them, and I was surrounded by them.  We all care for her, for the most part I feed her and everyone else sneaks her treats!  She plays and runs out in the yard, and on occasion Bebe will take her on a long walk/run (poor frigging dog) she hates me when I allow that.  Her name is Fizzby, and she LOVES to snuggle with the smelly teen in the morning (we are worried that when the teen goes to college Fizzby will be depressed)  She ROCKS and I don’t mind looking after her, as I picked her out THANK GOODNESS!!!!  If the kids and #1 Traveling Companion had had their way we would have had a Burmese Mountain Dog!  Holy Mother of all that is Holy!!!  Hell NO!

Ok so as we can see when in moments of weakness insanity craziness Idiocy I say “Yes” said pets don’t last long in this house, granted the ones that died did die at the end of their life span, and the others went on to live better lives elsewhere.

Insanity took over and we have a Hedgehog!

This brings us to two summers ago and a year of research and begging on the part of the girls.  They had asked three summers ago for a hedgehog and I had said go research it and come back when you know all about the hedgehog.  Darn it a year later they had all the answers…

Cute Hedgehog

Hedgehog Funny Face

  • They are legal to keep in the state we live in
  • You have to purchase from a registered breeder
  • They live in plastic tubs with paper shavings
  • They eat dry cat food (that is all ours eat, fussy eaters!)
  • They are dusk and dawn creatures (ours is anyway, he eats at dusk and exercises at dawn)
  • They are CUTE!
  • They are prickly on top and soft underneath
  • They scream when they get scared or their head stuck in an empty toilet roll
  • They roll into a ball when scared
  • The huff when they are pissed
  • They have mini teeth like dogs, not like a hamster

The long and the short of it is that when we got to the breeder we were suckered into purchasing each kid a hedgehog, we went to purchase one and left with TWO!!!  They worked the summer to pay off the expense of owning TWO!  Then school came, all those promises of caring, cleaning, loving… Yeah right down the toilet garbage can out the flipping window!  You guessed right, after demanding, begging, bribing I was left to clean the wheel daily and make sure they had food of a night time.  Saturdays were such a JOY when I would ask, beg, plead for them to clean out their hedgehogs home!

This past summer we went on a HOLY MONKEY NUTS road trip and the hedgehogs went to live with a friend who runs a reptile wildlife discovery center.  One of the employees fell in love with Frodo, F’s hedgehog and after a day of debating it was decided that he could keep and love, clean and feed Frodo for the rest of Frodo’s life.  F is no longer ALLOWED a living, breathing, real animal…  It doesn’t work for her, or for me.  Bebe still has Scooter her hedgehog and it works well for all concerned.  She loves him, he tolerates her and she cleans and feeds him with minimal complaints!

Faces of a Hedgehog

The long and the short of this tale is “Mum gets to choose the animal that resides in the home because SHE ends up feeding, watering, walking, grooming, loving, and general care of said animal!!!

I love our little Weenie, Noodle, Shit head (#1 Traveling Companions name for her) Fizzby, and Scooter is an added bonus that is allowed on my desk in the morning sometimes to keep me company.

What pet have you said yes to in a moment of weakness, insanity, idiocy, thought you were doing the right thing in the right frame of mind?

British Mum USA

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