Friday, April 9, 2010
A couple of weeks ago, the chicks and I went to a crazy pet store nearby called Safari. Safari is, on the one hand, one of those kind of depressing pet stores with the puppy mill puppies in little glass boxes and sad birds, like finches and toucans. On the other hand...it's a huge, huge room full of animals of all kinds, including toucans! So while I was conflicted about taking the chicks there, I knew without a doubt that they'd enjoy the animals. I also had a sneaking suspicion that some gift money they had was burning such a big hole in our pockets that it might end up being used for a pet. And so enters Taco.
I worried when we brought him home that he might end up being more of an annoyance than anything, and my brother responded to the pet announcement with "Good, it's good you're getting this out of their system early. I had a hamster once, and he was the worst. pet. ever."
But lo and behold, we love Taco! All three of us! The girls adore him, and when I'm home alone, I'm strangely comforted by his little pitter pattering in his cage. He has also turned into a great learning experience, covering all of these areas and more:
**Biology: Ninna already knew what a nocturnal animal was, but now she sees it in action every day and talks about it often. Taco is awake sometimes during the day, usually after we feed him or bug him to wake up, but he sleeps much more during the day and is awake much more at night. Ninna has taken to calling him "the nocturnal."
**Nutrition: Nutrition is a already huge topic in our house, but Taco gives us more to talk about. Ninna has noted that water is extremely important to his diet, as it is to ours. The best part of all is that she gets to feed him a fresh veggie by hand every day. It's seriously the cutest thing I've ever seen. Today Taco was eating a carrot while both girls sat next to him munching on apples.
**Personal Responsibility: Ninna has two Taco-related jobs--to feed him his veggie every day, and to clean his cage once a week. She does an amazing job with his cage. I dump the cedar into the compost bin and disassemble the removable parts in his cage, and she washes them all and then washes the bottom of the cage. She is totally meticulous in this work and very proud of her jobs.
**Compassion: Both girls know the importance of being gentle with Taco, not bumping or banging his cage, etc.
Here's Ninna (in her swim cap) washing his ladder:
And pouring in his new cedar shavings:I can't believe it took me this long to get them a pet! I imagine we'll be adding to our menagerie sometime soon, given the success of this venture.