Family Pets


I honestly have never really liked animals…not that i don’t appreciate them (?) but, more like I just never was around them enough as a kid to really like them…I didn’t even own stuffed animals. I do like to imagine what animals people look like as animals, though. When I was a kid, my grandpa had this puppy, Shawn, a golden retriever. And Shawn was actually, New Shawn– Old Shawn had died before I was born–an old, quiet dog. But New Shawn was a puppy, big, two years old i think. And liked to pounce. One day when I was visiting my grandparents when I was about three or four, Shawn cornered me in the rotting trunk of a giant tree in my grandparent’ backyard, jumped on my back, and scratched it all up. From then on, throughout my childhood I had an intense fear of dogs, and never really ever wanted anything to do with them.

My family never had pets, either. In second grade, we got fish, these tiny zebra fish and I named mine Bert. He died, eventually, and then in third grade, I got a Beta fish. He was blue, and because we had a German exchange student living with us at the time, I decided to name this blue fish ‘Blow’ (say it┬álike plow), which was blue in German (painfully unfunny). The first night I got him, I went to see the Lindsay Lohan remake of Freaky Friday with my family, and when we got home, Blow was drying up on my pink bedroom carpet; he got restless, and jumped the bowl. Mira, our exchange student, peeled his sticky body from the floor, pink fuzzies stuck to his scales, and dropped him back in the bowl where he revived himself and lived for a few more months.

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In fourth grade, I got hermit crabs for my birthday. I always forgot to give them water, and got bored with them pretty quickly. I wanted them to change their shells, because that’s the only good thing really about hermit crabs. They grow out of their shells. And, so two of them died, leaving me with the final crab who eventually began inching his way out of his shell…but was pretty dehydrated and sorta half dead i think. My friend and I tried to change his water, and in the process, dropped him and he rolled under the refrigerator in the kitchen…I think we managed to get him out. I can’t quite remember.

My dad once tossed out our fish on to the lawn, when he decided to renovate the living room and said we “didn’t have room for fish anymore” (who runs out of room for fish?!). I do also have four brothers, so I don’t blame my parents for never wanting a dog or cat or ferret running around the house. We did have a couple of squirrels who lived above our ceiling (and whose dead bodies we could smell wafting through the heating vents in the winter). And there was a family of mice who we collected in traps in the crawl space. And the boxelders in the window sealings. And the moths in the pantry who we found in our cereal.

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