Our Family Pets
Throughout my life our family has had a few pets, well perhaps more than a few. Most parents think seriously before they go out and purchase or adopt a pet because of the great responsibility involved in caring for them. I love my parents but by the end of this essay you will think them either completely brilliant or very much insane. My parents believe one very important way to teach their children responsibility is through taking care of animals. The family pets we have had over the years fit into three main categories: birds, livestock, and dogs.
Birds are so beautiful and many people might have a small parakeet or lovebird. Well, have you ever seen an emu in real life, besides in a zoo? We have had several different birds over the years and yes one species was an emu, if fact we had three of them. Other birds we have raised are peacocks, chickens, ducks, geese, pigeons, parakeets, and lovebirds.
The peacocks are amazingly beautiful; however, they are the loudest of our birds. They will keep you up at night with their loud “help” cry. The chickens and ducks are the easiest of the birds to care for - throw them some feed and they are content for the remainder of the day. The geese are similar except they might hiss at you and chase you around the yard. This can be quite alarming for those that are very young and the same size as the goose. Although geese were frightening to some of the children, they were nothing compared to the emus. They were by far the most terrifying animals we ever raised. They are large, fast, and they kick tremendously hard, but the most horrifying thing was when they would try to mate with us. Yes, you read that right; those crazy emus would try to mate with all us kids, especially my oldest sister Ali. Sadly, we could no longer allow the younger children to go play with the other birds.
My father grew up raising show pigeons. They look like your typical pigeon except better fed. He bred them for color and size and then would show them with the same eight men every year that also raised pigeons. I always found this to be a little strange. Lastly, we raised parakeets and lovebirds. They were also easy to attend to but they were so delicate and they never seemed to live very long.
We raised a few types of livestock. We have had one pig, three goats, and two horses. Some friends of ours gave us the pig after realizing it was not a house pet. We have had him for about eight years and call him Wilbur – he is huge. The goats were easy enough to take care of, at least the females were. The male would head-butt us every time we would go to feed him. My family had him for Sunday dinner when I was about twelve. Our horses have spent most their lives in a corral. When we do try to ride them they nearly always run straight for home - this is what horse folk call “barn sore”.
Lastly, our family raises and breeds several kinds of dogs. We do this for extra income and also to teach my siblings and me responsibility. However, that does not mean that I enjoy doing farm work everyday. Do not get me wrong, I love dogs just as much as the next person but I do not want to feed, clean up, and play with eighty dogs. The kinds of dogs we have raised over the years are: Bulldogs, Rottweilers, Miniature Schnauzers, Cairn Terriers, Boston Terriers, West Highland Terriers, Italian Greyhounds, Welsh Corgis, Pugs, Pugstons, Miniature Pinchers, and Miniature Dachshunds. This all began about twelve years ago when my dad decided we needed family dogs and purchased two Rottweilers. They had puppies and my father made what he considered a good profit and decided that breeding dogs would be a nice business. Thankfully, we live on twelve acres and can provide large kennels for our dogs. Each day we have to spray out the kennels, feed, water them and do any repairs we see need to be done to the kennels. Many of our breeds require grooming, and we do this several times a year. In total, we groom about thirty dogs, three times each year. We also administer shots, post ads in the newspaper to sell the puppies, do all sorts of paper work and interact with the buyers who come to purchase the puppies.
I believe having all the responsibility of raising these animals has made me an industrious person. I do have my favorite animals and consider them “my pets”. Will I allow my children to have pets when I am a parent? Of course; however, I do not think I will allow any emus or more then three dogs at a time.