Sunday, April 29, 2012

How We Got Here - Part 1

How & When Our Zoo Began

If you would told me a year and a half ago that I would be homeschooling my children and living in a mini zoo I would have laughed in your face! My husband is not really an animal person, yet my daughters all take after me & we end up obtaining way to many animals at times. Here is the background story on how we got where we are today.

We've had Porkey, our almost 8 year old pug, since Yang was a months old. 

In October of 2010, Mom, Yang, Poppy & I piled into the car & headed off for the Lucasville Swap Meet. No objective in mind, or the need or want for anything. We went to get out of the house, walk around and browse. Just as we where exiting the pavilion the housed the majority of the animals, Yang feel in love. She just HAD to have this red mini dachshund. She called her Daddy talking so fast he couldn't understand her, telling him how to just LOVED this puppy & HAD to have her. I wasn't ready for another dog. Things where just peachy with Porkey. He scratches at the fridge when he is hungry, the door when he wants to go and can be left alone for about 24 hours accident free. The thought if a new puppy was to much. I was working full time & would have to find time to fit in house breaking a puppy and training it. Luckily Dad backed me and we walked away with a very upset Yang. 

She didn't let up on the topic though. It was the top of her Christmas list and her birthday list just a few months later. I'd been doing research about their needs, temper, common illnesses, etc. It was not appearing that this would be a breed to make it's way into our home. Yang was getting ready to turn 6 and the articles I had read did not recommended a dachshund for small children. Yang had grown up with Porkey but he was like the exception to all rules. He allowed her to pull him, push him, bite him. You name it, I'm sure she attempted it at least once. Porkey would just simply get up and move if Yang became to much. He never once growled, snapped or bit her, or anyone for that matter. Yang knew how to treat an animal with respect but Porkey allowed her to rough house with him all the time.

It's less than a month before Yang's birthday when I came across a lady who had a litter of 6 week old dachshunds puppies. With Yang's persistence, I gave it and decided to give it a try. Daddy, Poppy, Yang & I loaded into the van and began our hour and half trip to meet the newest member of our family. Once we arrived Yang yells from the back seat, "I'm in wiener dog Heaven!" We played with the puppies and finally made our selection. A cute little,the runt of the little to be exact, red female. We walked outside to meet the father when the lady offers me another for more than 1/2 off what I was paying for the one so that she wouldn't be lonely. I knew I was pushing my luck getting the one so I politely declined and assured her she wouldn't be alone. Much to my surprise hubby says yes! Well Porkey is going on 7 & is far from active (to more accurately describe Porkey, he is a couch potato!), so maybe it is a good idea. We go back in and this time Poppy gets to pick. She comes up out of the box they are in with the fattest one, and it happens to be a male!

The whole way we home we work on trying to name the puppies. Yang keeps saying she wants to name her puppy after her current favorite band, The Black Eyes Peas. That certainly wasn't going to work out. We finally settled on Sweetie Pie (on right) & Brutus (We are Ohio State Fans after all!) 

Well it's been a year now, and Owlet has been bruiting that she wants her "own" pet. She's never home though. In fact, she's getting ready to leave for her annual weekend trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee with her youth group from church for Winterfest. They leave EARLY Friday morning & get back late Sunday afternoon.

It's Saturday afternoon, Yang, Poppy, hubby & I are just sitting around chilling out & watching movies when I get this text from Owlet, "Look what I got!"

What? No! WAIT! Just because I grew up on the beach in Florida does not mean I have any idea how to care for a hermit crab. Watch out Google, here I come. First of all, their name is misleading. Hermit crabs do NOT like to be alone and prefer to live in LARGE colonies, usually about 100 in the wild. You have to have their habitat a certain temperature & you have to maintain a certain level of humidity within their habitat. OMG, what has Owlet gotten me into this time? Poppy, Yang & I hop in the van & take off for the Petland with our list in hand of everything we will need. Aquarium, sand, choya wood, coco hut, food, sponges, "swimming pools", water dishes, things to climb on, extra shells so they have options available if they want to change "homes", and oh yeah more Hermies! 

We started out with 3 Hermit crabs; Owlet had Jeffery, Poppy had Willow & Yang had Mrs. Crabs. Overtime we have added Batman, Robin, Bane, Killer Croc, Penguin, Freeze, Jessica, & Sally.

This year for Yang's birthday she begged for a hamster. I showed her some baby hamsters around Christmas that my friend's hamster had and of course she never forgot. About 3 weeks before her birthday we went and picked her up a hamster and cage from a friend. She was getting rid of her because she would not get along with her other hamsters.

A few weeks ago I noticed some unusual 'things' about my daughter's hamster. We only had her about a week but she was ALWAYS running, and just like that it seemed she stopped. We had another change in the weather and it was getting really chilly at night. She had burrowed in under the stairs in her cage & had not come out. I thought it was to cold in the house for her and she was just trying to keep warm. A few days before I noticed that it looked that some sort of liquid had been spun around the inside of her wheel. For some unknown reason that Monday morning I decided to take a peek under the steps she had been sleeping under. Low and behold what do I find?
                        8 baby hamsters!
How did this happen? I mean I know how it happened but I thought this was something I wouldn't have to worry about. I mean the whole reason we ended up with her was because she did not get along with the other hamsters.

So that's our story of how we ended up with our mini zoo.

Up next; What made us begin our homeschooling journey?

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