A pet safety primer

It is obvious to most people that you should keep your dog on a leash so he doesn’t get hit by a car, have your pets spayed or neutered, and keep your kimodo dragon in a proper enclosure. So how is it that we have a TV program with dramatizations of real instances in which people keep flesh-eating lizards, venomous snakes, and tigers as pets?

Even if your pet crocodile is very sweet natured (when he’s not eating the family cat), that’s no reason to let your kid take him for show-and-tell at school. I believe that ostriches in their natural element would rather disembowel you with a well-placed kick than let you scratch behind their ears. I haven’t found anyone willing to test this theory, so it will have to remain conjecture for now.

I feel sorry for the once proud creatures subjected to animal husbandry at its worst. I watched a video clip recently where a woman was demonstrating the proper technique for grooming an opossum. I kid you not, she got nail polish and painted his little possum toenails. The poor little critter had a look on his face that clearly said, kill me now! Who in their right mind thinks like that?

With the exception of reptile owners, most of the eccentric llama lovers are elderly. Capybaras, leopards, bears, and emus are allowed to roam freely through these misguided seniors’ homes. I have trouble getting up from a squatting position without holding onto something, so constantly bending over to clean up penguin poo is just not in the cards. My suggestion is that you check under the sofa for free range hedgehogs before you have tea and cookies at your dear Aunt Maddie’s house.

What I don’t understand is why people would choose to have pets that would happily eat them when their backs are turned. Unfortunately, my cat is not immune to this response. He especially likes to pounce on our feet when we’re in bed and try to chew his way through the down comforter to rip at warm flesh. I’m not tempted to say, “Aww, isn’t that cute!” at 3:00 in the morning.

So what have we learned, people? Be a responsible pet owner and don’t bite off more than you can chew. Your six foot alligator will get pretty testy if you try to flush him down the toilet.