Pets, or Pests?

Group of pets sitting in front of white background

Image from Deposit Photos

This week’s topic is about pets, and whether or not we’ve had or wanted unusual pets. There have been a few animals in my life, but none that I would consider unusual. I definitely don’t want any pets, either common or unusual. I am not comfortable around any type of living, breathing thing that’s not human. I don’t like to touch them, and will do almost anything to avoid having them touch me.

When I was quite young, we got a puppy. We named him Chipper. I have no idea what breed of dog he was, but he had floppy ears. We put him in a box with towels and a blanket, and Dad put a clock next to the box to make him think his mama was nearby. The next day my youngest brother broke out in hives, and it was determined he was allergic to dogs. The puppy went back to its previous owners.

We then got a parakeet, and we named it Suzy. After a few years we found out Suzy was male, but by that time the name had stuck. Suzy spent most of his time in the cage, because my mom and I didn’t like him. I hated it when it was turn to feed him because it meant I had to put my hand inside the cage. I usually bribed one of my brothers to do it for me.

After Suzy died, we went to goldfish. We had a gold one and a black one. They didn’t last long, so Dad had to keep replacing one or the other. I could handle that, because when feeding them, I didn’t have to touch them at all. My youngest brother had a large aquarium with lots of interesting looking fish, and he knew better than to ask me to take care of them.

About five years after we married, my husband came home with a pair of lovebirds. I made him promise he would NOT expect me to feed or care for these feathered creatures. We discovered that if we covered up the cage, we could trick them into thinking it was night time and they would quiet down to sleep, so I made a cage cover. Our birds spent a lot of time sleeping. Eventually, hubby got tired of the noise and they were sent to a new home.

When our youngest daughters were in elementary school, they decided they wanted a dog. The idea did not appeal to me, but I was outvoted and we got a Bichon Frise we named Demi. Demi was not bright. She never understood my aversion to her and kept trying to get into everything I did, so I spent more time away from home. We suspect her eyesight wasn’t all that good, either, because she’d only chase rabbits, squirrels, and balls for a few seconds, and then she’d lose them. But my daughters loved her, and mourned her when she died of old age.

We have managed to stay pet-less for the last fifteen years. Then a few years ago our youngest daughter adopted an extremely calm, well-trained West Highland Terrier, named Snowball, and we dog-sit when she travels on business. For some reason, I don’t mind him as much as I did Demi. He knows I’m not all that fond of him, and he gives me my space. In exchange, I take him for walks, which means I have to touch his fur in order to get the leash on his collar. I still cringe when I do that, but he doesn’t fight me so it doesn’t take long.

None of these animals are unusual, I guess. In my mind, they’re not normal because they’re not human. I’m thankful that my hubby and kids didn’t insist on adopting anything exotic, large, noisy, or dangerous!



About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
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7 Responses to Pets, or Pests?

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    Considering your aversion to them, your willingness to tend to them and help pet-sit (when needed) is certainly commendable. You’re a trooper to help out.
    I’ve known other people with aversions to pets and their explanations — when offered — usually involve some childhood experience that resulted in an injury or a really bad fright.
    But some simply have allergies to the “dander” of nearly any pet, whether feline or canine.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I’ve often wondered about the reason for my aversion. I’m not allergic, and I don’t recall any traumatic childhood experience – I’ve just never appreciated the feel of fur. My daughter (the dog owner) can’t be around cats, so she has several friends whose homes she can’t visit unless she takes an antihistamine, and that makes her sleepy.


  2. Not many would care for a pet that they don’t care for. I know people who have given up or even let animals die because they didn’t want to touch them or deal with them.
    I bet your daughter’s dog enjoys those walks.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      My husband takes care of feeding Snowball. And when I take him for a walk, it’s good exercise for me, except when he dawdles – he’s getting old!


  3. Elaine Cantrell says:

    You’d be miserable here. We have two furbabies, a dog and a cat.


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