My daughter was six when she really started wanting her own pets. We had had a cat for years but it was too independent to be called her own. Christmas was around the corner and her mission to convince me that I either get her hamsters or she might die was bestowed upon me. I was apprehensive as I knew I would be the one probably taking care of them once the novelty wore off and honestly they gave me the creeps, I’m a dog or cat kind of women. But as Christmas approach the idea seemed to take and I went to the pet shop and bought “Bubbles and Squeeks”, they were five bucks each.

They were pretty cute and really funny. Once we had them in their plastic ball they could roll around the house in. The only thing I didn’t realize was Hamsters are nocturnal so now my peaceful nights are accompanied by Squeeks’ running on the hamster wheel over and over again.

Well one night Squeeks decides to break out of her cage and we can’t find Squeeks anywhere? Days lead to a week. Until I wake up one morning and there is the worst stench in my room which is coming from my heating vent. Squeeks had been trapped in our heating system and it cost me $300 to get my five buck hamster sucked out of my vent.

So our next family pet was an 80lbs dog that we would never lose in a vent. We found Dezzy at a pound (a black lab-retriever mix). A gentle natured dog with a mischievous side. I thought with having young kids this is a perfect time for a dog as one of us is always home. I was excited to show off a dogs intelligence compared to the hamster’s so all day I worked on, lie down and roll over. That night we were all hanging in my daughter’s room and I called Dezzy to show off what I had taught him. He ran in the room, I gave him his instructions and he proceeded to pee all over my daughter’s bed in excitement.

Which is when I realized no matter what size the pet, there are always great lessons for kids and more importantly a lot of laughter.