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Wild Kingdom, Part 2: Dear Carrot

It is with great joy and relief a heavy heart that I share the news that the newest member of our household, a gecko lizard named Carrot (don’t ask–I have no idea), has been released into the wilds of our front flower bed. It was the right thing to do. It was the expensive thing to do, because I had to bribe my daughter with a fish tank in order to agree to set Carrot free. Things got a little dicy at the Petsmart when my daughter wandered toward the hamsters, but I held my ground. It was a fish or nothing. My kids may be stubborn, but their stubbornness pales in comparison to mine, especially when the prospect of cleaning up more poop is involved.

I think it’s only fitting that I write a farewell letter to Carrot. May he or she live a long and happy lizard life.

Dear Carrot:

I suppose it’s a small miracle that we found you in our house, not that finding geckos in our house is that uncommon, but typically the cat finds them first, and well, let’s just say they’re usually missing some parts when I find them. I know you’re a young lizard, but these are the hard facts of life for a gecko who wanders away from his natural habitat.

I know we barely got to know you, but those two days we will remember fondly, even if you did hide behind a rock most of the time. You will be missed, but your place is in the wild, not in a plastic storage container filled with dirt and Jenga game pieces.

So today we set you free.

You were hesitant at first, not sure what it all meant.

But then instinct kicked in and you scurried under a plant without looking back.

I hope you don’t mind, but we got a new pet.

Captain the beta fish will never replace you, he’s just a little less disgusting (no offense) and his food comes prepackaged. I think we’d be kidding ourselves if we seriously entertained the idea that anyone was going to catch and feed you live insects, and crushed up salad toppings are not the proper diet for a growing gecko.

You are welcome to live out your lizard life in our flower beds. A word of warning, though. I know it’s tempting to hang around the door close to where the porch light is and therefore where the insects fly at night, but I would strongly advise against it. If you don’t take my word for it, just go see for yourself what happens to geckos who choose the dangerous life of a door climber.

Take care of yourself. Watch out for mockingbirds and blue jays. We’ll leave the light on for you, but please stay outside?


The Richards Family

Pardon me while I rant incessantly: Petsmart Edition

Have you been of the opinion lately that the human race is in a downward spiral of moral decay and abject stupidity? If yes, let me give you a little piece of free advice – Do not go to your local Petsmart.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no real problem with the store. They are selling products the consumer is willing to pay for. I suppose it’s the sort of consumer Petsmart tends to attract I find a little frightening.

Exhibit A
Since I am blessed to live in a neighborhood with plenty of land where dogs poo pretty much wherever they want without anyone complaining, I suppose I should be more sympathetic to city dwellers who are required to pick up their dog’s poo and dispose of it themselves. (That seems like a lot of maintenance to me.) Anyway, apparently carrying around an unattractive plastic bag whilst walking your pooch is the height of bad fashion. Thank goodness there are people actually getting paid to come up with products like this:

The Poo-poo purse

Angry, rebellious angst-filled teenage daughter refuse to walk the dog? Not if she has her very own Poo-Poo Purse!

Exhibit B
One of the things I’ve always wondered about is, aside from the in-store dog obedience classes or the pet grooming services, why would anyone want to take their dog to a store? Do you need your dog to help pick out products that will best suit his or her needs? Answer: Yes.

Meet Trixie-Girl:

When this post was in its early stages (while I was looking at stupid products for pets), I was hoping to do yet another delightful shopping with katdish post. But ever alert for possible blog fodder, I overheard a conversation that two women were having with a dog. That’s right. With. A. Dog.

Trixie-Girl was shopping with her “mom” and her “Aunt Susan” for a new outfit. Doesn’t she look thrilled? I wonder if “Mom” picked out that outfit special for the trip to the Petsmart. Trixie-Girl’s owner seemed genuinely distressed at the dog’s lack of interest in selecting a new outfit. Sort of a Stephen King’s Misery meets The Dog Whisperer vibe going on there. When I asked if I could take a picture of her dog, the owner (I kid you not) told the dog to SMILE. Alrighty then!

I would like to speak directly to the owner of Trixie-Girl for just a moment:

Trixie-Girl is lovely. She is a well mannered dog and I’m sure no one could pull off that pink dress with as much flair. But here’s the thing, she’s a DOG.

She doesn’t care about which outfit will look better on her. She is secretly wishing she were a cat so she could plot your demise without overwhelming feelings of doggy guilt.

Editor’s Note:
While it may seem that I am being a bit of a hypocrite because I have been known on occasion to dress Buddy Love in a festive outfit or two, it should be noted that my motivation behind doing so is completely different.

Besides, he likes it. He’s told me as much…