When can I have a pet?
Living on a farm, I didn’t really expect for N to ask for a pet. But that’s exactly what he asked the other bedtime.
‘Mummy, when can I have a pet?’
‘Why do you need a pet? You’ve got 10 sheep, probably all due to lamb soon, and 2 1/2 cows’
‘They’re not pets, they’re farm animals’. He got me there.
‘You’re a bit young for a pet because you’d need to look after it’
‘What about a hamster?’ – I’ll probably blame Horrid Henry for that idea.
‘No, they need cleaning out and I’d end up doing it’
‘A rabbit?’ After school club at nursery have one, so I’m not sure he needs one of his own.
‘They need cleaning out too’
‘I’d like a cat’. Fat chance, the OH hates cats.
‘There’s lots of cats on the farm, I’m not sure a cat would be a good idea’. There’s me wondering whether we’d be able to tame one of the kittens enough for N to have one as an outdoor pet like his cousins have done. Doubtful that would happen with the number of cats on the farm.
‘How about a dog? I’d like a dog’
‘Maybe in a few years when you’re big enough to train it and look after it. And if you do, don’t let Dad train it. You’ll need to train it to poo in the field not in it’s kennel area like the others do’.
‘I’d take it to training lessons. And it would have a kennel. And it can go on a lead like Fern when she walks down the road’.
‘Probably. Your cousin has a puppy and she’s 9, but the boys were all older when they got theirs so maybe we’ll rethink when you’re 9 too’.
Off his mind went onto the next topic of questions.
I love how much N gets on with animals, and likes them. In the morning if his Dad’s dog is around, she’ll come over for a stroke when we’re going off to school. N’s quite happy hugging and stroking her, although he’s careful to watch out in case she kicks in enjoyment when he tickles her tummy. Hopefully by the time he’s at the end of primary school, he’ll have been around the other dogs on the farm enough to know what to do with them to look after them.
What age were your children when they first had a pet and what was it?
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It is lovely when children like animals and want pets, I think. We had our dog before the kids were born so they were used to him. Their first pets were fish and then when our dog died last summer we got them a guinea pig each. They are lovely pets and much easier than a dog. That said, I’m the one that looks after them, of course, though I adore them so don’t mind! We may get a dog again, but only when the kids are a lot older.
Dogs do take a lot of work. It’s the whole things in cages are a pain. For us, dogs are easy, they just potter on the farm and live in kennels so pretty easy…plus the OH would look after one rather than me having to. But hopefully N’s given up on the idea for a while. He wasn’t keen on holding the guinea pigs at Hatton the other week though. It liked his trousers too much!
Definitely good for kids to have pets though. Teaches them a lot doesn’t it.
Thanks for stopping by Jocelyn
My saggy old cats were here when Monkey was born and he’s tolerated Brewster since he arrived. I think Monkey would love an aquarium really as he loves fish. But it would be a nightmare to keep fish alive when we go away etc so I’ve never encouraged the thought. We had every pet going as children, plus Dad’s Macaws and other birds. Although it was wonderful, I’m quite happy to stick with a cat, and maybe stick insects when’s he’s older!
That’s a lot of pets. We had a fish (fairground win for my brother, but my mum sent it off with my nan to go in her pond and it grew massive and lasted years). Then a cat – they are great pets for families due to the independence they have. Shudder – stick insects. Not sure we’d be having those!
We had cats before the children were born so they’ve always had pets – although admittedly not their own pets… We’re not really small caged animal fans so I doubt they’ll ever have a hamster, rabbit or anything like that. We’d like to get a dog in the future though x
Dogs are brilliant, but so hard to deal with when both work, and holidays etc. N pointed out ours aren’t really pets, but I expect he’ll have one when he’s older. Cats are great for pets – hopefully yours were ok when babies arrived. I remember an NCT friend would be breast feeding her baby, then the 2 cats would go nuts and try to sit as close as possible on her and next to the baby..
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