On Owning Pets – or, as PeTA would say, “Enslaving a Companion Animal”

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” – Robert A. Heinlein

I like pets. Actually, let me rephrase that. I like pets that I want. I don’t like pets that are forced on me. My ex-wife is convinced I hate dogs. This isn’t true. I just hated *her* dogs… you know… the ones I told her not to get and she got them anyway.

Here are true accounts of my (objected to, but forced anyway) pet ownership over the years:

My ex-wife, let’s call her “Medusa”, decided our golden retriever needed a companion, so she got a second golden retriever. Individually, they were well-behaved. Together, they were canine terrorists intent on bringing Holy Jihad against their tyrannical infidel owners. I believe the last incident we endured before we found a home for the new dog was when they destroyed several Christmas presents and couch cushions when we forgot to close their kennel doors and went to my sister’s for the evening.

Speaking of Christmas presents, Medusa decided to get our son a pet ferret. Now, if you’ve never owned a ferret, you’re one of the many people who have enjoyed their lives. I think my son was 8 years old at the time and wasn’t too keen on weird animals, let alone weird animals that bite you and smell like someone left a fermenting diaper in the room. To top it off, she got a six-foot tall cage that weighed about 75 lbs. Of course, for an 8 year old, that’s an easy thing clean and move around. The ferret ended up outside because we couldn’t stand the smell any longer. The next day, the cage had been ripped open and the ferret was gone (did I mention I live in the mountains of Colorado?).

Another brilliant pet-ownership decision was when Medusa decided to get our oldest daughter a dog and spent $500 or so on a Pomeranian. Now, never mind our daughter was around 13 at the time… and never mind we couldn’t get her to do something so simple as not leave food under her bed until it spawned new and heretofore undiscovered forms of life. The agreement was we’d get the dog and she would have to kennel train it. As shocking as it might sound, the dog was never trained. I suspect (know) that Medusa simply got the dog because she wanted it. It was useless. Its basic talents were vibrating and barking at air. Allegedly, I was the reason why this dog died. That’s debatable. An undisputed fact, however, is the dog’s carcass was stolen from me when I was on my way to have it cremated.

I’ll tell you that story next week…

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