The kids want a dog for Christmas. In fact, they wanted a dog last Christmas. My daughter went as far as picking out a name for our future pooch: Pluto. I’d like to think that she tapped into some cool planetary vibe when choosing the name, but I’m pretty sure that it has something to do with Disney.
The problem is that we can’t have a dog where we’re living. We can’t have a rabbit, a gerbil or even fish. Yes, I said fish—the reasoning behind that, according to the landlord, is that maybe the fishbowl will break and water will spill, causing water damage to the carpet.
This mentality gives me a nice little chuckle every time I think about it because worrying about water damage to the carpet in my house is kind of ludicrous. Obviously she doesn’t know my kids.
Oh wait, yes she does.
See, my landlord is actually my late father in-law’s second wife, who is holding the property that we live on “in trust” for my husband and sister-in-laws.
Sure, we pay the mortgage–the whole mortgage—and sure, one day the property will finally be ours, but until then: NO PETS ALLOWED.
It’s kind of silly, especially because my father in law, who (along with my husband) built the home that we live in with his two hands, loved dogs and had them on the property. After he died, they died. Don’t even get me started on that whole fiasco.
Since we have no control of the situation or her squirrely decision making process, we have two choices: deprive the kids of growing up with canine companionship, which is pretty much child abuse; or move. I hate packing, so it looks like the kids are just going to have to eat it on this one.
On the other hand, my parents have stepped in to try to help the situation by bringing home a turtle for the kids from my grandparent’s house.
This turtle has actually been happily living (with other turtle-friends) at my grandparent’s place for a quarter-century. He was originally mine and I named him Nicodemus. In the past 25 years I have pet him a total of three times–all when my mom wasn’t looking.
According to Mom, turtles carry all sorts of weird germs and it’s only okay to touch one if you want to die.
Unfortunately, this idea has been so engrained in my head over the years that I’ve passed it onto my kids, who have learned to be content just watching him hokey-pokey across the yard, swim in the pond or munch very slowly on apples. They don’t pet him under any circumstances and freak out at the thought of deathly turtle germs.
The bottom line is that although they’re cool looking and have an overwhelmingly long life span, turtles do not make good pets. Which sucks because Judy Blume in Super Fudge made them sound so personable.
The sad thing is that my kids are so desperate that they think Nicodemus is great. Both of them beg to go over to my parent’s to see the turtle. So now I’m thinking that if we’re going to have a turtle, we should probably figure out how to make him happy.
This NO PETS ALLOWED shenanigans has gone so far that I think my daughter has given up on ever having a dog. How can I tell? She changed the turtle’s name to Pluto.
Starr Begley would like to personally thank Ed and Greg for all kinds of stuff but doesn’t know where to start. MTW