Animal House

As mentioned here before, I am not a pet person. I certainly don't hate animals, but I don't feel any special connection with them, either. Over the years I have, of course, received periodic requests to lift the no-pets rule in this house, and the answer has always been NO.

NO PETS. No getting up in the middle of the night with a sick animal, no cleaning up dog vomit, no sky-high vet bills to make us cancel our summer vacation.  I read your blogs and Facebook, people - I see what you go through. And, yes, I do those sorts of things for my kids, no problem - but I just won't do it for a dog or a cat or a bunny. I don't have it in me.

This scares me
Which makes it all the more strange that I found myself in a vet's office today with a weepy Rachel and a sick rabbit, a creature that she had happily agreed to pet sit for while our neighbors were away.  Neighbors I was unable to reach by phone in order to ask what to do with a bunny who wasn't sitting up or eating. Neighbors who, I am afraid to say, now have a hefty vet bill that I ran up for them.

Who knew that sick rabbits needed X-rays? Not me. Not until today, at least...

So now that rabbit (who is looking much perkier after his price-y saline injections) is IN MY PET-FREE HOUSE, because we are supposed to keep a close eye on him. And he has medicines I have to give him twice a day. Twice! Which can be tricky when I can't even find his mouth.

You know, David had pneumonia when he was four years old, and he only needed one type of medicine. This rabbit has three bunny-sized prescriptions that I have to dole out. THREE.

I hope you weren't expecting this story to end with my experiencing some sort of animal-loving epiphany. Like I said, I don't have it in me. Plus, my eyes itch. And my den smells like a barn because of the big bag of hay we brought in with the rabbit. And I may be developing psychosomatic asthma.

But Rachel is happy. Which makes up for the overwhelming feelings of incompetence I am experiencing as I look at this bunny and exhort him to eat his hay and drink his water and STAY ALIVE, PLEASE, until his people come home.

Maybe I should send them a postcard saying, "Wish you were here"?


[Bunny image: Grit]

Comments

  1. Oh, my... I have been in your shoes, minus the vet bill. We did a summer pet-sitting gig at our home in Germany for friends who spent the summer in the US. Two weeks after they left, the bunny disappeared while I was cleaning its cage one evening. I spent hours looking for it in the dark, enlisting neighbors to help. They put up a poster at the local market, explaining that some sad little boys were missing their bunny (because my German wasn't close to making a "Missing Rabbit" poster). Weeks later, someone called me up who couldn't speak English. With help, we got the story straight: one man had found the rabbit late at night, took it to a friend who had a garden and could care for it. We finally met this person (I was beginning to think we'd never get the bunny back -- we had to wait an entire week after talking with him) and discovered that it had been very sick with worms and he had treated it himself, he wouldn't accept payment, and the bunny named "Belle" was actually a boy.
    I was tremendously relieved to give that rabbit back to its owner in September. I never want to have a pet rabbit. They ARE scary!
    This story might explain why my kids never believed in the Easter Bunny.

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  2. Chocolate bunnies are the best kind.

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  3. No pets here. Ever. I won't watch them for friends or family, nor will I allow any to visit, even briefly.

    You are a saint.

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  4. You'd hate my house. We have five cats, a dog, four fish that won't die, and a lizard. This is down from six cats, two dogs, a hamster, tons of fish, and chickens. It's a slow process; we're just hoping to be pet-free around the time the kids move out.

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    1. Nope, I wouldn't hate your house at all - because there, I wouldn't be the one having to take care of all those pets!

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  5. That is BAD luck to be pet-sitting and their pet gets sick on your watch. Do you give them the receipts then? I mean, this is a sticky spot.
    I'd happily live pet-free. Bless our dog, but I do NOT enjoy having pets very much.

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  6. I would rather be pet free, but since hubby pays most of the bills, I figure he should have a voice in the pet decision.
    We currently have 2 dogs and 8 cats. One of the cats is the mom of 5 of the others. Neighbors decided they did not want their cat, which they left outside all the time, back after we informed them she had been pregnant and had had kittens at my house.

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    1. See, this is where we differ - in my opinion, the ONLY one who should have a voice in the pet decision is the person who is going to end up doing all the dirty work. And we know who that is, right?

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    2. #4 takes care of all 10 pets, but we pay the bills. She is looking for a part time job currently, to help buy their food. Her depression seems much better when she has her critters to care for and cuddle. They are still cheaper than another week stay in the psych hospital?

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  7. I totally understand. I am not a pet person, either, and I always hesitate to admit this because then people make assumptions (that you laughed when Bambi died, or are unkind, or that you hate all animals) when, really, it's about not having animals in the house ... or the yard (can't stand poop in the yard and who wants to dodge poop when you're playing backyard football or having friends over to sit around the fire pit and have wine?). You were too kind to babysit the rabbit. Sometimes I babysit our neighbor's cat, and the first time I saw a hairball I thought I would throw up; in fact, I first thought the cat was sick and called the owners. Then there was the litter box, and ... okay. I'm just not a pet person.

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  8. LOL I think they give them 3 so they can charge 3x as much. Freaking vets are a rip off!

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  9. All I can say is that I was not sad when my son's frog passed on.

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  10. Don't worry, the psychosomatic asthma leaves with the bunny :)

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  11. Once you will own them. seriously speaking you will start loving them.
    Information about cats

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