On the subject of nature, I never had a pet. Well, my brother had a budgie and a lovely dog that became our family friend, but I never went close to the bird cage and really hated how his room smelled of old cucumber. I did walk the dog now and then (my brother paying me to do so?!!), and did confess a few sad feelings to it. But no big connection.
So when our kids started asking for pets, it was a clear NO. They’re messy, needs feeding and cleaning. And I would freak out if anyone put a bird near me – and pretend to be a statue if someone’s dear cat got close to me in the couch. After long discussions, we agreed on two gold fish in a bowl. The kids lost interest after a while, one died and we donated the other to after school care’s collection.
We did try having a dog for a week. A rescue dog that we checked out carefully, but as it started to settle in to the new surroundings of our home, its issues came out full force with bared teeth, biting and compulsive behaviour. So we decided to bring him back.
But here I am, mid life, silently thanking my children for introducing first a bunny and then a budgie into our family. They brought something out in me that had been hidden, deeeeeeeeep down. Someone to care for, to talk to, to give a pat. OK, here I hear my kids shouting: but you have us!!!! I do, and I love you to bits – but it’s kind of harder to be a parent than a pet owner. So sitting with a pet on your lap is 1.0 Caring – keeping it very simple.
So – don’t do it for your kids only. And choose a bunny or budgie as first leap into this world (hard to connect mentally with a gold fish). Anything bigger will work against time for YOUR passions (see blog 1). Happy hopping.