No, I’m not pregnant!
I hope. Just kidding. I hope.
Nonetheless, our little family has grown over the past month. One would think that four horses, two dogs, four cats, two bunnies and a hamster (not to mention two children and two sometimes-childish adults) would be enough to fulfill us, but apparently that is not true.
It was actually the last day of 2013 when we were blessed with the best addition to our family since my own beloved children arrived, but forgive me because I have to backtrack a bit here.
Annabelle had been asking for puppy for Christmas since approximately last April. She wrote to Santa regularly, and we talked at length about her requirements for a dog. My daughter is a practical sort, and she wanted a dog that would not only be a good companion, but one that would also be fun to take to horse shows. That, in her (and my) mind, had its own set of requirements, which included:
- Able to jump into the truck without help, but small enough to qualify for any hotel room.
I had casually looked for a dog for most of the last few months, especially after the kids had been so saddened by the loss of our old friend Toby in August. We had seen a couple of dogs that might work, but my slow (to Annabelle’s mind) reaction time had caused us to miss out, and in each case the dog had already been spoken for by the time we called about it.
It was the snowy morning of New Year’s Eve, and I was working in my home office. I casually clicked on to our local Craigslist Pet category, and saw a brand new (within 15 minutes or so) post. It was the cutest little dog, described as “Milo”, who was a schnauzer, poodle, yorkie type mix. He weighed nine pounds, according to the ad, was house trained and neutered, and came with his crate and supplies. He was free.
Just as I read the post, Annabelle popped into the room. She saw the picture. She requested that I read the ad out loud. Then she did the smartest thing ever – she demanded I call RIGHT THAT MINUTE. She reminded me that we had missed out on other dogs by waiting to call. So I did. Call. Right that minute.
And to my enduring wonder and joy, that afternoon we picked up our first new family member of 2014.
Milo The Coolest Dog In The World
Meet Milo the Monkey Dog. He isn’t really a monkey, obviously, but his round furry face punctuated with the most intelligent eyes I have ever seen on a dog do give him a particularly simian look.
I have been blessed with some pretty cool dogs in my life, but I have to say that Milo has to be in the top, well, two (it is hard to compete with Bette, the belgian malinois I owned when I moved back to Idaho some fifteen years ago).
Milo is a wonder.
He loves everyone.
He has boundless energy, and plays with Winston for hours of each day, barking and growling like a lion as he zooms around like a Ferrari playing tag with a cement truck. In fact, despite that fact that he tips the scales at less than 10% of Winston’s hefty 100 pounds, Milo runs the show.
Until he wasn’t.
You see, we weren’t long into the New Year when Batman started lobbying for a snake. Yep, you read that right. A snake. Of the slithering, mouse-eating, escape-from-the-cage-and-crawl-in-bed-with-mommy variety.
I have no idea where Batman got the hankering for a reptilian friend, but true to form, Desperate Hubby promised my boy a snake when they were canoodling after I went to bed one night.
I’m not sure how the conversation started, but I can tell you how it stopped, and that would be the instant that I found out that snakes don’t eat snake food. Well, I guess that’s wrong, they DO eat snake food. It’s just that snake food is mice. All snakes, apparently, eat mice. Either live (gross) or frozen (almost as gross). To my youngest child’s immense disappointment, I put my foot down.
No. Snakes. Period,
But the problem was that Batman really wanted to have a pet to live in his room like his sissy has Copper the Hamster. And daddy had promised, after all. I tried to float the idea of Batman getting his own hamster, but nothing doing. He didn’t want any pet that bit him. No negotiation.
We had a problem.
So I did what I normally do when faced with a difficult situation.
I called Grandpa Vernon.
Grandpa Vernon’s (real) grandkids have a pet gecko, and they love it. He told me all about the pet. It was tame. Easy to care for. Eats crickets and mealworms. Easy to handle and enjoys being carried around. That sounded perfect!
Off to the pet store we went.
Enter JoJo the Gecko
(See how that rhymes?)
JoJo is a charming little guy. He eats crickets. He is quiet and quite clean. He requires little care at all, really, compared to some of the other high maintenance members of our extended family.
Unfortunately, he also hides under his fake rock whenever you enter the room, and arches his back and hisses quite loudly when you try to pick him up.
Batman is terrified of him.
I do think our family is complete now,