Kids and Pets: A Cautionary Tail

Kids and Pets: A Cautionary Tail
Skip the hamster - Say "Yes!" to the puppy!

I'll admit it - I grew up in a zoo.

We had dogs, birds, fish, hamsters, a cat, a snake and a box turtle. And it seemed like at some point,they all reproduced.

I swore that my house would be different. I told everyone when I grew up and got my own house, I wasn't going to have any pets, not even one bright red beta fish to add a tasteful burst of color on top of my desk.

Nope, it was not going to happen. No pets for me.

And, then, I had kids.

If You Give a Kid a Hamster ...

(Apologies to Laura Joffe Numeroff)

If you give a kid a hamster,

He is going to need at least $100 dollars worth of accessories for the $8 hamster.

While you are in the pet store loading enough bulky plastic hamster mazes and tunnels to create a labyrinth throughout the entire 2400 square feet of your house,

He is going to see a puppy.

Seeing a puppy will remind him that he doesn't really want a hamster, but he's settled for one anyway because you won't let him have his puppy.

He will inevitably ask you one more time for a puppy. You will say no.

He will hear the scratching inside the small cardboard critter carrier and remember the hamster.

When he remembers the hamster, he will also remember that he needs the $20 bright red racing car hamster accessory.

You'll feel guilty for saying no to the puppy and buy it for him.

When you bring the kid, the hamster and 40 pounds of hamster gear home, your other children will get jealous and start begging you for pets of their own, too.

They will promise to clean their hamsters. They will promise to feed their hamsters. They will promise to shower their hamsters with affection every single day.

You will be blinded by their responsible initiative. You will believe their lies and take them back to the pet store.

Once they walk back into the pet store, your two other children will see a puppy.

Seeing a puppy will remind them that they really don't want a hamster. They really want a puppy and you keep denying their requests.

They will inevitably ask you one more time for a puppy. You will say no.

The children will eventually get distracted by the new hamsters and the additional $50 worth of accessories.

The cashier will smile at you as you exit the store for a second time that day.

Seeing her smile will remind you that you are a gigantic sucker, who clearly needs to learn to say NO to her children.

Time will pass. Hamsters will die. You will replace them with more hamsters.

And every time the children see a puppy, they will ask you for it. You will say no


Your youngest son, the last baby you will ever have, goes to school - all day. And he plays football and has a more active social life than you ever did;

Your middle son grows feet larger than yours, finishes elementary school and wakes up with a strange fuzzy bit of nonsense growing near the corners of his mouth;

Your first born daughter graduates from eighth grade and spends her days texting friends and doing everything she can to avoid you until she needs a ride somewhere.

Watching your kids grow up will remind you that maybe getting a puppy isn't such a bad idea.

If you give a mom a puppy,

She is going to want some promises to go with it. She will ask her kids to watch the puppy, to feed the puppy, to clean up after the puppy.

The lying, devious con-men dressed as children will agree. The family will buy a puppy.

If a family buys a puppy,

They are going to need to buy a heck of a lot more puppy gear than they ever imagined from the pet store.

Shopping for the puppy gear, they will pass by the furry little hamsters in their smudgy glass cases.

You will feel guilty and remember the children's neglected hamsters at home.

You will spend another $100 on more totally unnecessary accessories for the hamsters (More tubes! More tunnels! A television bed! A purple plastic igloo! A new water bottle with a yellow ducky floating in it!) hoping that the hamster items will remind the kids of the poor sweet fluff balls, who perpetually smell of urine and sunflower seeds, wasting away upstairs.

But the children are too focused on petting the puppy. The hamster items only trigger your own guilty conscience,

Not only will you be stuck training the puppy, feeding the puppy and cleaning up after the puppy, but you will also be stuck feeding the hamsters, cleaning the hamsters and playing with the hamsters.

Playing with the hamsters will remind you that you should've just given that kid a puppy in the very beginning.

If you give a kid a hamster,

He will still want a puppy instead.

Save the $200 bucks now. You'll need it when that darn puppy comes!





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  • I am guessing lesson learned? My sister and I were once those kinds of kids, but we wanted the hamsters and we made sure we had a boy and a girl. MMMMUUAAAAHHHHH!!! Yes, we were evil kids and by then I had already had sex ed (6th grade) and knew you needed a boy and a girl to have babies. The neighbor kids loved us, parents not so much!

    Good luck with the puppy, after yesterday you are going to need it ;-)

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