Friday, January 28, 2022

Ask Simba



This column is the opinion of a 3-year-old African Grey Parrot named “Simba” who has an extremely high intelligence level. While he does not possess a degree from any college or university, he does have a strong opinion of himself and feels that he is the best candidate to answer the complex questions of today’s discerning pets…and the humans they own…

Dear Simba:

Being as you are an adored pet I found it compelling to ask you this question. My son is seven years old and I think it is the right time for him to have a pet and accept responsibilities. The question is: what pet is right for a seven-year-old child? I’ve been to several pet stores, contemplating hamsters, lizards and bunnies. While they are all cute and very interesting, the cleaning and upkeep just seems a little much for him at this age. My husband and I also talked about getting a puppy for him. However, I see in the future that it will be me taking care of that one. While I am not opposed to instructing and helping my son with this adventure, I certainly do not want to be the main caregiver.

Pet-Looking In Paradise

Dear Paradise:

While you may not want to be the “main caregiver” in this “adventure” for your son, it is wise to say that the majority of your passion for having a pet, I see, is not that your son wants one. You do as well! However, please understand that owning a pet is time consuming. I see my human running circles around all of us here at home and how she does it is beyond me. She has made sacrifices for us that most people do not make for immediate family members and we all commend her for it. If you want a low maintenance pet for your son then I suggest a fish. They are intriguing little creatures with personalities…yes, I did say personalities. The betta fish will actually recognize his/her caregiver and swim to the side of the bowl waiting to say good morning and expect that first feeding of the day. If there is a dog, cat or <ahem> bird that you are contemplating to enhance your family life, may I suggest you stop looking in the pet stores. There are plenty of rescues and relinquishments that need a forever home. A great place to start is Be aware, though, that when you are dealing with adopting a pet, you have to have the patience of a saint. Sometimes you don’t know how or why they were “dropped off” and they may be a bit timid at first. But with the right care, healthy diet, and proper attention, they are the most wonderful pets and family members. Take it from one who knows…my human found me in a parakeet cage in a dumpster, and now look at me! Good luck on your “adventure.”


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