Here is the 38th installment of Ten Top Lists of What Not to Do by Marie Ann Bailey of 1WriteWay at http://1writeway.com and John W. Howell of Fiction Favorites at http://johnwhowell.com. These lists are simu-published on our blogs each Monday. We hope you enjoy.
10. When choosing to adopt a pet, do not go to the animal shelter without your significant other to help you make a decision. If you do go without your significant other, at best your significant other will forgive you for bringing home a cat with an ear-piercing howl and buy you both a lifetime supply of earplugs so you can at least sleep through the night. At worst, your significant other may start talking about the need to “see other people, particularly people without cats.”
9. When choosing to adopt a pet, do not assume that just because Newfoundland puppies are cute and a perfect size for cuddling, that they will always be a perfect size for cuddling. At best, you may learn to not mind when you get pushed off the bed when your grown-up, 130-pound Newfoundland stretches out next to you. At worst, you may have to design a harness and pulley system to get your grown-up, 130-pound Newfoundland off your lap.
8. When choosing to adopt a pet, do not think just because the ferrets at the pet store were all asleep during your visit the one you picked will spend most of its time sacked out. At best, you won’t mind playing daily games of hide-and-seek as your ferret playmate finds new places to hide in your home. At worst, you may find those new places to hide involve the ferret eating holes in your upholstery causing you to buy a new suite of living room furniture every week.
7. When choosing to adopt a pet, do not think that your regular vacuum cleaner will suffice for cleaning up the hair shed by the white Himalayan cat you desire. At best, you will be properly advised, causing you to purchase a top-of-the-line model. At worst, you may have to learn to live with having your brown velour furniture look like it has been blanketed with snow.
6. When choosing to adopt a pet, do not think bringing home a python will do much to improve your social life. At best, you and the animal control officer who was called out to your house after your neighbors complained may fall in love and together you will find a proper home for the python. At worst, you may be confronted by a mob of your neighbors after your python repeatedly escapes and the small animals in your neighborhood disappear.
5. When choosing to adopt a pet, do not think that cats are more hygienic than dogs. While generally that may be true, at best, you may find your new cat poops outside its litter box only when you provide it a food that it doesn’t like (and thereby quickly training you to give it what it wants when it wants it). At worst, your cat may eventually eschew the litter box altogether causing you to invest heavily in wee-wee pads and kitty diapers and daily meditations of “Fluffy is a good kitty. Fluffy is a good kitty.”
4. When choosing to adopt a pet, do not assume that little Fido’s incessant yipping is something he will simply outgrow. At best, you may wind up deciding at least you no longer need a security system for your home since Fido emits a series of high-pitched yips at every movement behind your door or window. At worst, you may invest in a series of expensive sessions to train Fido not to yip only to learn that Fido is as Fido does—YIP!
3. When choosing to adopt a pet, do not assume simply training your German Shepherd Gunther to obey commands gets you a pass at keeping your dog on a lease in public places. At best, joggers will quickly learn to stop running when they see Gunther so he will not chase them as you call in vain for Gunther to “Heel!” At worst, the next jogger whose crotch Gunther sticks his nose into will be an employee of the police force who will be more than happy to write up a series of citations against you and to confiscate Gunther for conscription into the police dog unit.
2. When choosing to adopt a pet, do not assume fish would be a good choice if you live in an apartment where pets are not allowed. At best, your landlord never visits your apartment and you manage to keep your relationship with George, your oscar cichlid, a secret. At worst, your landlord may catch you in the elevator with the new aquarium for George which you had to buy because he doubled in size, and your landlord doesn’t buy the story that you plan to use the aquarium for a sitz bath.
1. When choosing to adopt a pet, do not think you will be able to stop at just one. At best, you may learn to accept the fact that animals will gravitate toward a warm heart and a safe home, meaning you and yours. At worst, you will find yourself having to make accommodations for your pets in your will since as you get older, your willingness to rescue abandoned animals has grown greater.