First: I don’t have children, and I do own two pets, a cat and a dog. In the interest of full disclosure, I should also mention that I have been guilty of giving a pet to an adult as a surprise gift (which I won’t do again).
I was over at a friend’s, and her seven-year-old child proudly asked me to the bedroom to show off a new pet fish. I knew my friend wasn’t a pet person, so, surprised, I asked her what changed her mind.
She glared at me. “The fish came home in a loot bag from a birthday party. What could I do?”
Now, I’m all for pets, and intend to always have a pet, so if I ever have children, they will grow up with pets and the life experiences that come with pet ownership. However, I understand that other people don’t always share my viewpoint and can’t or don’t want to include pets in their lives.
Why would anybody think inflicting a pet on someone else’s minor child without their permission is a good idea? In a loot bag?
It boggles my mind.
UPDATE (Dec. 5)
The story gets better:
The original fish died, causing much grief and angst.
When the perpetrator of the original fish found out, she presented my friend’s child with a new one. Again, without asking!
[2012/06: This post was formerly found at Kat's now archived blog at www.ganache.ca]