Saturday, November 25, 2006

How much is that doggy in the window?

We took Ginger in to get her hernia operation today and spent two hours killing time driving around Bountiful, UT because we didn’t want to make the trip twice. Since we had pets on our mind we visited a couple of pet stores.
It was fun, fascinating and a little surreal all at the same time.
First we stopped at Petco where we found all kinds of pricy pets and toys, mostly toys. We could have bought our cat a collar with a LED light attached to it for hours of play time. DS-12 really wanted it and carried it around the store, but we ditched it at the door because it cost $10.
The store had all kinds of fun animals; DS-12 liked the ferrets and the fish. But the most interesting to me was the chinchilla. All I know about chinchillas is the have soft fur … very desirable in coat making. When I saw it I couldn’t figure out what it was. It looked rather like a cross between a rat and a bunny. It was soft and bunny like, but it had a long tail. One of the employees told me the details.
Apparently chinchilla are not particularly friendly pets, but they will warm up with enough handling.
Of course if you buy the coat, you don’t have to spend the extra time to make it friendly.
Whoops, was that politically incorrect of me?
We also stopped in at “Bird World” where they were advertising a “Giant Puppy Sale.” Since we wanted to see what a Giant puppy looked like, we parked the car and checked it out.
Apparently the puppies were not giant, but the sale was.
Puppies were now priced as low as $499.00 for a non-registered poodle mix.
Still, I do like poodles. An acquaintance of mine several years ago had a standard poodle and he was really cool. Later a friend had a pet poodle that DH and I babysat shortly after our wedding. She was funny as all get out.
But I just don’t see myself paying $500 for a dog. It was a swallow hard moment when we had to pay for Ginger, and the price included the cost of getting her spayed and microchipped. Camelot pet spa and resort doesn’t let you have a pet unless it has been altered.
Meanwhile …. Back at the ranch moment

When I grew up dogs and cats were free to good homes as advertised in the local newspaper. The first dog I remember, Annie, named after Little Orphan Annie because she just showed up one day, was ~ I believe ~ part golden retriever ~ and she was a great dog. She regularly had puppies under the bunkhouse and as soon as the puppies were old enough to debut, Dad crawled into her den and pulled them out one-by-one for us all to inspect.
I don’t recall having any trouble giving the pups away, but at some point we did have Annie spayed.
She had a puppy named Goofy that well lived up to his name.
Annie had one run-in with a porcupine and came home with a snoot full of quills. I remember how she howled as Dad pulled those quills out with a pair of pliers. Thereafter Annie kept far away from the wildlife. Goofy, on the other hand, regularly returned from his jaunts with his nose bristling like a pin cushion. He never learned to leave porcupines alone.
Later we had a dog we named “Hopi” as in “Hopi doesn’t get hit by a car,” “Hopi’s a good cattle dog,” “Hopi’s good with the kids.” Alas, Hopi did get hit by a car.
So did my first Siamese cat, Ming. I got her from a dear friend and loved her dearly, madly, deeply.
She was a great mouser and a good mother. Mom had her bred with a Siamese male to get her first batch of kittens, which were born under the dining room table in our ranch house. We all gathered around the box to watch the big event, and her first kitten came out tail first. It was once a common abnormality for Siamese cats to have kinks in their tails, and this kitten’s tail was like a corkscrew. When mom saw that odd looking tail being born she got on the phone with the vet in a panic, but squiggles was born perfectly normal except for the strange tail.
After Ming I got another Siamese kitten, Pepsi, who gave birth to Spock. Eventually Mom changed their names to Pesky and Squawk to better match their personalities.
Squawk disappeared on the ranch; we believe he became food to some other animal. Pepsi live a long life and was eventually put down at the vet.
Mom and Dad also had BoJo, a beautiful golden retriever they inherited from on of my brother’s friends. BoJo proved to be a good companion for both of them. On the day my father died he started to feel sick while taking his last walk with BoJo. This dear dog kept mom company after my father’s death.
We have had numerous other pets in our life. The white cat Vicki so named because of the grey V shaped marking on top of her head; my cat Beau, a friend when I need one in my single world in Montpelier, Idaho. Elvira and Sulu my brother’s cats, Elvira met with a most untimely death and Sulu keep Little Bro company through his bachelorhood. He was recently given a vet assisted death because he was so old and sick.
I come from pet people.
(Well, there is one niece who dislikes cats and her children are terrified of them)
I, like my niece, am in peril of becoming the crazy cat lady. I truly wanted to take the owl finches, the poodle puppy and the rest of Ginger’s litter home with me. (By the way, apparently Cinnamon, the cat we decided not to adopt because she clawed DS-12, is in fact a male. The pet spa discovered this when they checked her/him for spaying/neutering.)
Good thing my DH stands as the voice of reason.


lil bro said...

Hopi was the victom on a cattle truck. My favorite dog "brownie"(2) "fell out of the back of V.B.'s truck and was runover by the trailer". At least that's what V.B. said but I think something else happened. V.B. never really liked brownie and in fact hit her in the head with a rock where she forever after had a teary eye.
My buddie D.V. is raising golden reteivers and is going to charge from $2,000 to $3,000 per pup and will probably get that price easly.
I payed $50 for Angus and now consider myself a full blown dude.

Big Sis said...

Who is Angus? { assume he is a dog of some sort.

lil bro said...

Angus is our dog. He is mostly black labrador retriver with a mystery dad. He is our current dog.

Wyo sis said...

YOU PAID 50 BUCKS FOR THAT POT LICKER! Unbelievable. Since when do we pay for pets? It's outrageous! I grew up in the same family as Sage hen and you will notice one common thread running through the pet stories---they were all free. Pepsi was a good cat and so was Ester who we (my own family) had for many years and who was never able to raise a batch of kittens. She had several, but they always died. I think she was a good mother, there was just something wrong with her kittens. Peets really do make our lives richer, but our current feline leaves much to be desired.

Karen said...

I paid $75 for Gigi. I adopted her from a shelter and she had been altered and had all her shots. The $75 was a mandatory "donation" to the shelter but I was glad to pay it because they do a lot of good.