Monday, October 27, 2008

Bring Your Pet to School Day

We have three dogs, dauschunds, that we've been given over the years. My kids had two min males, and hubby's son had a full size dauschund. Now I always suspected that my males were not gay, but limited in options. However, having added Rusty (our token female ) to the mix, it's pretty clear....They are in fact gay. Now, a dog's sexual preferences are their own, and I'm all for freedom of your own choices. however, poor Rusty can't figure out why noone wants her! We've tried day at the doggy salon, sweet smelling bath soaps, but all to no avail....poor baby- what's a woman to do....

Nor is this the only time I've been hoodwinked by a pet.

Years ago, we had a big back yard, and at one point my then husband decided to get rid of some old bricks and rocks laying in a corner. What should appear to the delight of a then 5 year old D.J., but a garden snake. Now, it wasn't very large, maybe the length of a ruler, and the width of a pencil....And we had fish tanks and turtles and frogs....but snakes never were on my list of creepy crawly or slithery things I needed to have. Of course try explaining THAT to a 5 year old and my then husband who was by now acting like the suburban version of Steve Irwin. (isn't he gorgeous as he takes me into it's death roll) "It' will be educational "----Oh yeah did I ever learn a few lessons!
Well, this slithery snake ended up in a spare fish tank, and after a quick $60 drop at the pet store(complete with live crickets -this just keeps getting better doesn't it---, this poor thing who had the misfortune to crawl across our yard was now a captive pet. Oh joy. Be still my beating heart. Of course, after two weeks, barely anyone, besides me of course, even knew he was still there.

One time our little hostage managed to squeeze through the ttank and the screen cover....He was MIA for 2 weeks before he reared his ugly little head up through the baseboard heating in my son's room. It wasn't enough to simply find him....I paid my more-scared -of- snakes-than-I-am step daughter $10. to actually throw him back in his dungeon(I mean habitat).

Not enough to have to house the little creep. Nope. Our dear elementary school was presenting for the 1st time ever!!!!!! Bring Your Pet To School Day! (oh, mom, pleasssssse, you just gotta bring hime...pleasssssse) Well, I was thinking (insert expletives here), but I heard me say "of course we'll bring him to Bring Your Pet to School Day. Which, by the way, could only have been created by someone without a five year old, an infant, or pets!!!!!! Oh joy to the world.
How the heck was I going to monitor a snake cage, a stroller, and an infant by myself?!!!!
I tried another tactic..." D.J, maybe you could bring myrtle(our turtle)." I said, mentioning his first pet, who, I could just toss in a shoe box and squeeze it into the baby's diaper bag right next to the formula. "Who?" he inquired....Of course. Silly me...he hadn't glanced at that turtle since he learned there was upkeep involved.... Now, I don't mind myrtle. He doesn't sneak out of the
tank, and the poor dear will probably out live me. And, at his speed, he's not great escape risk...Heck, he can't even fit under the baseboards, no less in to them.

But, alas, on this occassion I was stuck with the snake.
The night before Bring Your Pet To School Day, we set out to scrub the snake's habitat. It wouldn't do to bring in a cage filled with snake doo (is that what it would be?)---so, D.J. and I (interpret I) cleaned the tank---- This was always fun, starting with me wrassling this monster into a sauce pot with a heavy lid tossed on to it. I scraped, washed, rinsed, rebedded, and returned the heat rock (heaven forbid he catch a chill!--It's not like he doesn't know how to get closer to the baseboards) and his little climby stick -a high rise with a view?
Finally, I dumped (yes dumped) that litlle vermin back into his cage- where upon he set to work making a mess of it again..After all, what else did the little bugger have to do...

The next morning, I set out to meet D.J. and the entire kindergarten on the back law courtyard of the school. I loaded snake and tank into the back of my car. I loaded baby Andrew in his car seat, as well as Andrew's luggage, which depending on the journey, could number into several hundreds of pounds of equipment. Today we were traveling lite, simply a strolller, a diaper bag, some bottles, my pocketbook, and of course the snake.
Loaded and ready to go, we head on down to the school.

Upon arrival, I spy some other pet drivers arriving. Oh look, there's Tommy's mom walking that cute little tea cup pup that could fit in her purse! Oh, and there's Judy's mom with their cat in a small little carrier. No sweat.
I got out of the car and put Andrew in his stroller. I slung his luggage over the handles, and nearly tipped the kid head over heels from all that weight. I readjusted my pocketbook to his lap. Now he was squished, but at least it was evenly distributed.
I took the snake tank out of the car. at 10 gallons, it was a handful, and Andrew's lap was already in use. Hmmmmmm. Okay. I took the snake tank five feet closer to the school. Then I walked back five feet and retrieved Andrew, his luggage, and my bag. I walked the stroller that same five feet to the snake tank. I picked up the snake tank and went another five feet. Back to the stroller. Another five feet with the stroller. (Did I mention this animal shindig was at the BACK of the schoolyard?!)---Well, after about seventy five of these 5 foot sprints, with sweat dripping between the blades of my shoulders, wheezing like an iron lunger on worst day.... We (Andrew, his luggage, my bag, and of course the snake) made it to the back of the school.

"Cool" D.J. brought a snake---woo hoo...."Hey Mom," the little bugger asks me, "Can I take him out and hold him?" Now, I've already explained, I don't touch snakes, and if that little vermin decided to make his exit from the jumpy palm of an unsuspecting 5 year old, I wasn't chasing the little bastard down.

D.J.'s friend Thomas had also brought a snake AND his Dad.... Perfect...Let them play snake handler. We were just fine with our lid on. Half an hour later, presentations over, me, Andrew, Andrew's stroller, his luggage, my bag, and of course the snake tank start heading all the way to the parking lot. Five feet snake, five feet stroller, five feet snake, five feet stroller-surely you get the picture by now.

Well, we return home (finally!!!) and I take Andrew out of the car seat and in to the house...I take in Andrew's luggage, my bag, his stroller, and finally I place the snake tank on the kitchen table.

A little while later, I go to put the snake back into my son's room and out of my sight. It occurs to me that the snake is still in the same position he was in when I left the house that morning. I go outside and get a long stick ..Again, I do not touch snakes. I lift the lid, waiting for the snake playing possum to attck, and poke it with said stick. It doesn't even move. I poke it again, this time pushing it.. The whole body, in the exact s shape that it's in slides without changing shapoe whatsoever. The snake, as it turns out, that I had humped bakc and forth, back and forth, had the poor manners to drop dead. That's right, we brought a DEAD pet to bring your pet to school day---Can you imagine if the kids HAD actually held him? I needlessly dragged, toted, and carried the kid and cage and luggage for essentially nothing. I could've put the thing in my pocket and just whipped it out when we got there.

You'd think D.J. would be heartbroken over the demise of the cherished snake. So did I. So I did what every good hearted mom would do....I tossed the snake in the garbage pail and put the cage back in his room. He never noticed.

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