Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Get a Pet!

After that rather serious and depressing last post, I thought I would tell  show you  something that makes me happy. Very happy.




Can you see the little fella in my hand?


Yes?

His name is Sparkle. :)

 And he isn't alone. He has a partner too.

Meet Snowy.




Don't ask me why I got them. I don't know. They were just irresistible. I had no intentions really of getting them home. I swear.

I was on my way back home after meeting Amish Tripathi  when I chanced upon a pet-store. Being the animal lover that I am, I instructed my driver to stop as I just wanted to have a quick look.(Pet stores in the UK are amazing and I wanted to see how the ones in India measure up). I have previously owned Hamsters (I have blogged about it). This time however, I didn't intend to buy anything. Honest!

I looked at all the dwarf hamsters, the hamsters, the budgies and even the poor cats in cages (I felt very sorry for them) , the parakeets and the love-birds (I felt sorry for them too). Then I saw these. I was fascinated as they looked really cute. The guy who owns the shop, of course could immediately tell that I love animals. He quickly took them out and put them into my hands. They sat so still, loved to be petted and something in me melted completely.

I have never owned guinea pigs before, but I had read lots about them while researching for an article I had written a long time back for Readers Digest, on pets. I knew that Guinea pigs were easily tamed and not too hard to look after. I was hooked and I bought a pair then and there.

And that is how Snowy and Sparkle entered my life.




If you are contemplating on getting a small pet for your child (or  for yourself as even if you don't have children, but you live alone and want one for yourself, guinea pigs are a good option as they can be left alone during the day and they will  welcome you when you come back from work :) ) guinea pigs are great. Please remember however that they live for about 5-6 years and be prepared to give some time to them. Unlike Hamsters, guinea pigs love company and are easily tamed. They are ideal for apartments and flats and do not need much space. (But of course need your time and care).

 
Guinea pigs are fairly easy to look after. You of course have to clean their cage every day. Using fleece to line their cage is a really good idea.(You will have to wash it once a week) If you want to know more about it, use this link  which I found very useful and informative. If you want to see some videos about guinea pigs cages, please see this. If you want to know how to care for them and how to house them, watch this.

Guinea pigs have sensitive feet--so you wouldn't want them to keep them in cages which has bars for a bottom.  I use fleece to line my guinea pigs home :) There is a LOT of material available on the Internet about guinea pigs and so read up well, before you get them.


Mine call out to me each morning--Mweep mweep mweep--they stand on their hind legs and actually call me!  They are adorable! So cute. And they bring me so much joy.

Having a pet for  your child, is hugely beneficial. Having a pet teaches a child responsibility, empathy, caring for another creature and it also aids in their social, cognitive and emotional development. Very often it is the parents who hesitate to get their child a pet because of the trouble involved. Several articles such as this one  or this or this one will tell you the benefits of having a pet. Many parents, in fact get hamsters (whose life span is only two years) to teach the children about loss, letting go and enjoying the present.

I have grown up with animals. When I was a child, my home was very near Blue Cross, in Chennai and after school, I have spent many happy hours there in the company of creatures that needed love and caring.

And it has definitely made me a better person.

If you are prepared to spend a little time and effort, and if you are willing to take a little bit of extra trouble (after all, having a pet means a long term commitment and it is also work) get a small pet for your child. It would  mean the world to your child and you will be gifting them indelible, happy and amazing childhood memories--the best gift really.

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9 comments:

  1. WOW ! That was so nice to see sparkle N snowy mam. I too own a pet guinea pig called "cheeky",which my parents got it for me when I was bored during my semester holidays. She is two years old now. As Im the only daughter I grew up more with pets :)And i too volunteer for blue cross when I have free time.

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    1. Hey Libby--that is really nice to know!
      What colour is Cheeky? :)

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    2. Im so glad to see your reply mam :) Well,cheeky is a combination of Black, Brown and black :)
      And I got a Parrot named "zazu" and a doggy named "Noel".

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  2. Cute snowy and sparkle.

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    Replies
    1. they somewhat look like hamsters.. but good to see them.. kind of cute they are :)

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    2. Yes--they resemble hamsters--but they are much bigger than hamsters..they are more like baby rabbits.

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  3. What you have written is very true. Having pets in your home is like a blessing. I have a really beautifully parakeet whom I love to death! He makes me forget about all the worries,frustrations and other crazy stuff. He's more like a family member,actually.

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