Wednesday, May 25, 2005


"Mom, can we get another hamster?" Markus pleaded. "I have learned my lesson. I won't put any more duct tape on it."

Poor hamster. You can just imagine how it was as Markus peeled the tape off.

I love pets. But for now, they are a no-no in our house. For me, they are a potential aggravation and additional burden to my already overworked body. Unless my boys commit to take full responsibility for the proper care of these creatures, beyond Markus's promise never to use duct tape on them again, I will not even consider it.

The cost of maintaining pets is another consideration. It is like having another child without the tax exemption and monthly government subsidy. Once you have a pet, you are looking at food costs, vet costs, insurance costs, and so many other hidden costs. Lassie, time to take you to the groomer for your pedicure, er, paw-dicure.

Ever since we set foot on Canada, we have had a dog (a cross between a rottweiler and a bulldog), rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and cockatiels at different times but for the same reason -- we thought we were ready for pets. Whenever having pets had ceased to be fun, especially for me, we gave each one away except for the guinea pigs that killed each other. The dog was gone in two weeks, the cockatiels lasted several months. We gave a rabbit to the SPCA and 7 baby hamsters to a petshop. All for free. No, we had to pay SPCA to take in the rabbit, and in turn, we were scolded for not taking further care of it. Only Gabriel's hamster was lucky enough to die of old age.

I find it hard to appreciate rodents. They remind me of rats and mice that we mercilessly killed in the Philippines, poisoned or trapped with fly paper. This is why I cannot understand why petshops here sell mice for $3 a piece. Or why people buy them. Markus wants one. I refuse to give in. There will be no mouse in our house especially if I have to shell out $30 for a cage and other amenities to give it a comfortable life. Oh rats!

I would probably like to have a nice dog in the future on the following conditions:

it is free;
it has been neutered and given shots;
my boys will commit to taking it out every day -- winter, spring, summer and fall;
does not shed constantly,
does not bark persistently,
can eat leftover food
does not attack people
does not chew on shoes
is toilet trained.

By the looks of it, I'm not going to have a dog for a very long time.

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