Wednesday, October 21, 2009

You Can't Pet a Fish

It's been about two and half years since we found homes for the dogs and said good-bye to all of our pets. It was a tough decision for me but at the time I was going through Paxil tapering and withdrawal and some other really rough stuff. I had to make my life more simple and not having the dogs actually took away quite a bit of stress from our situation. Derek has never been an animal-lover. He had a cat when we first got married but he confessed to me that he only wanted a kitten because his big brother got one and that he really didn't have much to do with Sylvester. The poor thing was an outside Tom cat so he pretty much looked like he had been run through a blender a few times - plus he drooled when you petted him. As cute, little, fuzzy pets go - he wasn't one of them.

When Derek and I got married, I had a chihuahua named Pedro. He slept with me in my bed and he curled up next to me on the couch when I was watching tv. I toted that tiny little thing around anywhere. Oh yeah - when Derek got me he got the Pedro bonus. My little doggie friend was very protective of me and would growl every time that Derek came near me. Derek was nice enough to let Pedro continue to sleep with us even after the nipper nipped him on the butt cheek while we were being "romantic". I had to laugh. Derek did not.

After I started taking meds, I pretty much became a weird sort of revolving door animal hoarder. I would get a dog that I thought that I really, really, really wanted after spending hours researching the breed on the Internet, talking to breeders, looking at puppies, buying doggie books, etc. - only to decide after about a year that I really didn't like that dog as much as I thought I would and would sell him or her to somebody else. Then a few months would go by and I would do the exact same thing all over again. Oh yeah - I was bat shit crazy ! In the 18 years that my husband and I have been together (and keep in mind that almost three of those years have been pet free), we have had a chihuahua, a doberman, a dalmation, a basset hound (for a few days), a blue heeler, a shih tzu, a welsh corgi, a rat terrier, a miniature schnauzer, another miniature schnauzer, a black dachshund, a red dachshund, another black dachshund, and a blue dachshund. Geez - I haven't even counted that up. If I counted right - that is 14 dogs ! 14 dogs in basically 15 years time. That is insane !! Even more insane was the fact that Derek is NOT an animal lover (did I mention that) and that I basically just let the animals have the run of the place. I expected my small children to take care of the animals and I did very little. That's another lovely side effect of antidepressants - you are an uncaring lump. So during my manic times - another dog was ALWAYS a great idea but taking care of it well - was just too much for my fat ace to do.

In between all of the dogs - I also fed several stray cats who promptly gave some of my kids ringworm and scratched the hell out of them on a daily basis. That's one of the benefits of being insane - you really can't see that feeding every feral animal in the neighborhood might not be the best idea ever. Heck - at one time I even did research about getting a pet skunk. Oh I wish that I was kidding.

So while we had mange covered cats running through the yard, scratching the kids, and crapping in the flower beds; unwanted dogs in the back yard not being played with or given much attention; we also had cages and cages of various vermin in the house. Oh yes !! The kids rooms always had at least two cages of assorted hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, gerbils, etc. at all times - FOR YEARS !! The house stunk to high heaven - a lovely combination of vermin urine (hey that rhymes) and cedar chips. I wouldn't recommend that Bath and Body Works make a candle with that scent - it would NOT be a best seller. But that is another lovely side effect of antidepressants - your house could smell like urine and cedar chips and could basically be falling down around you and you just don't give a shit !

When we had mice they would fight in their little cage every single night. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT ! This wasn't just a little bit of squeaking either. Oh hell no ! This was as if the UFC was holding a free for all in the boy's room. I could almost hear the announcer "and in this corner weighing in at about 3 ounces, wearing the red trunks, and looking really cute is Buster". The college kid working at the pet store assured me that seven male mice in one cage would be just fine. Of course they won't fight ! Um ... well ... he was wrong. They brought guns, and shivs, and baseball bats to the nightly fight. They ripped each others ears off. They chewed eash others legs off. It was awful. Not to mention the nightly screaming. Not cute little mouse squeaking. Oh shit somebody is chewing my ear off SCREAMING ! But of course, me in my doped up stupor thought that it was funny and refused to get rid of the mice. Yes - Derek is a saint !

I won't even go into the Russian Black hamster momma who ate her own babies story. The poor daddy hamster would even try to save them from her. It was too traumatic even to write about. Poor little hamster babies. Sick hamster bitch.

So the moral of the story is that basically I am so glad to not be so bat shit crazy now that I would purposely go against my husbands wishes to hoard animals that I didn't even want to take care of. Somebody from work offered to give me a chihuahua today. I thought about it for about two seconds and then decided NAH - maybe I will get a fish. Or maybe not.

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