When I was little, my parents were busy with their jobs and we kept moving frequently so I never had a pet. Some of my friends had dogs, some had cats, some had birds…the list goes on. The closest thing I had to a pet was an occasional dragonfly that flew into my room or a fish that someone gave me. I always wanted a pet.
When I grew up and moved away from my parents. I was very excited that I could finally get a pet and didn’t need anyone’s permission to have it. I went to PETSMART (I’m not sure if it is Pet Smart or Pets Mart so I say it quickly to make it sound like one word) and bought a bunch of gold fishes and a small tank. Accommodation: check. Now I had to buy some decorations and food and water conditioner and other fish accessories. Right there, I got my first lesson of owning a pet: they cost a fortune!
I became a proud owner of few gold fishes. This was also the first time that some living being depended on me for all its needs. Whew…big responsibility. I was really enjoying my fishes and feeding them well and making sure they were fine when one of my fishes started floating. My fish died [Insert dramatic and depressing music here]. Someone said that I might have been feeding them too much. The death toll increased as days passed. I thought, “Maybe they gave me sick fishes. I’ll go buy some more and see what happens”. More fishes kept floating. Once, I was trying to change the water in my two gallon tank and one of them escaped into the sink. My fishes died and ran away. I was stuck with an empty tank and decorations. I gave up on having a pet. For a while.
When I got over the death and escape of my fishes, I analyzed the event and came to a conclusion that maybe they wouldn’t have died if they could express their needs and concerns. I figured out that it was lack of communication between me and the fishes that didn’t allow me to take proper care of them. So, what can communicate better than fishes? A dog? A dog. I wanted a dog. It can bark, it can communicate its needs. When I was thinking about getting a dog, I happened to watch “Legally Blond”. A chihuahua! That’s what I wanted! A cute, little chihuahua who can communicate with me.
I went to a breeder and brought a little chihuahua home. Back to PETSMART for fooding, accommodation, travel and sports needs of the dog. Now another big question: what to name the dog? I mean its supposed to be “man’s best friend” and it is gonna live with me so it’d need a name, right? Pink. My favorite color and a perfect name for a little female chihuahua. Pink and I became buddies. We walked together, went places together, made trips together, played together and I was having the time of my life. That is until Pink revealed that she wasn’t potty trained. Oh boy…what am I gonna do? Second lesson of pet owning: you need to clean up after your pet. Back to PETSMART for training pads, diapers and treats for training. A little chihuahua with a tiny bladder and my long hours at school did not mix well. Soon, Pink was relocated to the patio from the indoors. Pink went mad; overturning her food bowl, biting anything within reach and scratching the patio door kind of mad. I still loved her and despite the busy schedule, I tried to train her. I remember putting dog treats on the steps to teach her how to climb up and down the stairs. She finally started beating me in running up and down the stairs. When I took Pink to Utah once, she stepped on snow for the first time and her reaction was precious. Soon she was leaving paw prints everywhere on the snow.
Life happened and my schedule got busier and Pink’s lack of pet-like qualities and hyper-energy increased as my patience decreased. In the mean time, my dining chairs were scratched, vacuum cleaner cords chewed, carpets ruined and mental wellness hampered. I had to take the hard decision of letting her go. It had been almost two years that I had Pink and she was pretty much my child. I thought about what an old guy at the vet’s office had said: “Having a dog is very much like having a child”. I decided that my life wasn’t ready and appropriate for a dog and I took Pink to a dog adoption place. I think she knew that she was never going to see me again; she didn’t want to leave my side. She looked at me with tearful eyes and wouldn’t move when the lady there called her. I had to carry her in my arms and give her away. I’m not sure who was more heart-broken; me or her but I’ll always wonder what happened to her after that. I guess one has to take difficult decisions in life for a greater good even though it breaks one’s heart to let go of someone whom they love so much. Will I ever get over Pink? Will Pink ever forget me? Probably not, but will we be in each other’s life again? Definitely not.
Not being the kind that gets dragged down by life and its endless emotions, after a year or so I switched back to gold fishes. This time, it was more of a forced thing. A friend was trying to get rid of a 50 gallon fish tank and I had the space to keep it. I had a fish tank and, you know the drill, back to PETSMART. So with some help from my friends and a lot of reading on how to keep fishes alive, I became a proud owner of a big fish tank. This time, my fishes survived better and lived longer. That is until I decided that I liked a turtle. While shopping for fishes, I saw turtles and asked the person in the aquatic department if one turtle would be okay in a 50 gallon fish tank with fishes. He approved and I got a turtle. Mr. Stoner. So I brought Mr. Stoner home with a floating rock for him to lie on when he’s outside of water. I supplied a friend with turtle food enough for a week and left on a vacation. Three days later, I got a text from my friend saying that Mr. Stoner had eaten all the fishes and had managed to acquire the monopoly over the tank. Oh well…what can I say? My pets had moved on from dieing on me to killing fellow pets. After some research on turtles, I found out that the kind of turtle I have can live for 20 years and eat anything. Since my turtle already told me that it preferred regular food (fishes) over turtle food, I decided to feed it a taco. Gone. Chinese food next day: gone. Banana bread: gone. I’m raising a well rounded and multicultural turtle. I also felt that this might not be the best way to raise a turtle so I switched back to turtle food but I have a good feeling that Mr. Stoner will last in my supervision. After all, he managed to kill all other living beings in the tank and survive on a taco. Mr. Stoner may be my kind of pet. There is no doubt that I loved Pink with all my heart, but Mr. Stoner makes me wonder if a dog was really the right pet for me. Let time be the judge.
Miss Pink T.