Monday, April 9, 2012

Animal Kingdom!



I have a confession to make, I have an overwhelming obsession to own as many exotic pets as I can.Yes obsession, somehow I manage to keep it under control. Well I live with people who force me to keep it under control. It doesn't kill my urge however, which is strong! I love petting zoo's, Aquariums and Zoo's because it lets me live my life vicariously thru the zookeeper. I have to laugh at myself, because if the pay was good I would scoop elephant shit just to be able to be close to animals all day long. I worked a couple years as a vet tech but the pay was not good enough and reluctantly I quit, however, it was a very rewarding job!
It all started in childhood when my family rescued a baby squirrel whose mother got hit by a car. He hadn’t even opened his eyes yet. The first thing it saw when it opened its eyes were humans and cats. We called the humane society and they said they would have to test for rabies (chop off his head?? Uhm, HELL NO) So, we kept him. He acted like a human, and he was even adored by our cats. To put it quite simply, he was the BEST pet we have ever had and I will ever have in my whole life. He used to sleep all curled up in a ball- nuzzled under my neck. He hid peanuts in our couch, we would find years later and get a heart warming reminder. He used to run all over us like we were a tree. My mother would even clip his nails so he wouldnt scratch us. He loved peanut butter and made the cutest noises. He slept in a wool sock and chewed a hole to stick his nose out of. We even let him run freely around the house. I can almost close my eyes and still smell him and feel his soft fur. I miss him SOOO much it is ridiculous. Oh by the way, his name was Hercules. :) The name fits him perfectly.Pictured below was our cat Gus, and Hercules.

Unfortunately, he only lived 2 years in our home. We kept saying we wanted to set him free but he was way too tame, and we were scared for his survival. He died from a heat stroke. :( At least that's what we think, as its not like we could get an autopsy. :(
I have such a soft heart for animals. If I see an orphaned baby or a sick animal outside, chances are I will do whatever it takes to rescue it and nurture it or find a new home for it. I rescued a pigeon when I was a kid, and even a group of orphaned baby rabbits when I was in college. It is my duty to nurse them back to health before releasing them to the wild. I also rescued and saved quite a few stray kittens and dogs from horrible outside conditions. Unfortunately, I have come to realize I cannot save them all! Some animals will always be feral. I am known to keep cat and dog food in my car or throw them scraps from my meals. My heart literally breaks when I see stray animals. They all deserve happy homes.
Anyhow, I am way off track on this blog post. The purpose of this post is to indulge in my dream of owning whatever pets I please!
Axolotl- they are currently Illegal in my state, ugh! They are absolutely gorgeous creatures. They even have happy little faces. :) I adore them. They are a neotenic salamander closely related to the Tiger Salamander. Larvae of this species fail to undergo metamorphosis, so the adults remain aquatic and gilled.

Seahorse- They are so gorgeous and I am somehow connected to them spiritually it seems. They are just bobbing along, looking ancient and out of place, and they are extremely delicate and hard to take care of, sounds similar to my own existence lol!

Sharpei- Dogs aren’t allowed where I live. *pout* My landlord told me I will literally be evicted if he sees a dog in my home. I have always especially wanted a Sharpei. They are such a gorgeous cuddly looking dog.


Sugar Glider- Hopefully someday, I will have the time to give this pet the attention it would need! It is probably the most adorable little furry creature I have ever seen, and I know myself, one day I will own this pet. One of my coworkers breeds these animals.

Canary- they are beautiful song birds, and the though of waking up to a pretty canary singing makes me instantly happy! They look like tiny pieces of sunshine :)


Domesticated Russian Silver Fox- They cost Thousands of dollars, and have potential extremely expensive care oddities. But that doesn’t deter me from dreaming of owning one as a pet. They are gorgeous and cuddly. I wish!

Teacup pig – These are just the cutest things I have ever seen. I can only imagine the mess that comes with them!

Blue and white Peacock. One day, I will have a yard that allows me to own peacocks and they will wander around proudly displaying their natural art. I hear they make loud annoying birdcalls but again, that doesn’t stop my dream of owning one.
Lamb – being Greek and Italian I have eaten a TON of lamb in my lifetime. For some reason I don’t feel guilty, because it feels as though I am appreciative of the meal. I would love to have a pet lamb! When I was younger, my grandfather used to get a live lamb and keep him for weeks, feeding him and fattening him up. I befriended these lambs, they were really sweet, soft and gentle. I spent hours playing with them, and then made the mistake of one day asking my grandfather where my friend went over dinner one night, he simply told me, YOU’RE EATING HIM! lol :(
Pygmy marmoset- Aren't these the cutest things you ever saw in your life! I want them now! They are native to the rainforest of Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. It is one of the smallest primates, and the smallest true monkey, with its body length ranging from 14 to 16 centimeters


Hedgehogs- In the United States, hedgehogs are not officially considered domesticated as they are listed as "exotic" animals. As such, they are considered "socialized exotic" animals. For that reason, they are still illegal in many states, counties, and cities.
Red Panda- a small arboreal mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. It is the only extant species of the genus Ailurus. Slightly larger than a domestic cat, it has reddish-brown fur, a long, shaggy tail, and a waddling gait due to its shorter front legs. It feeds mainly on bamboo, but is omnivorous and may also eat eggs, birds, insects, and small mammals. It is a solitary animal, mainly active from dusk to dawn, and is largely sedentary during the day.

The red panda has been classified as Vulnerable by IUCN because its population is estimated at fewer than 10,000 mature individuals. Although red pandas are protected by national laws in their range countries, their numbers in the wild continue to decline mainly due to habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding depression. They will never be a domesticated pet, but, it is nice to dream.
Domesticated Arctic Fox- A pet fox can be an intriguing and rewarding companion. However, it's important to realize that a fox will always be somewhat of a wild creature. Regardless of the type of fox you have, you will need a good veterinarian who is comfortable working with your pet. Beyond that, the care your fox requires depends on the type of fox you adopt. Your goal should be to encourage their most natural behaviors while also establishing a strong bond with them. Without these elements, your pet will become stressed in captivity.
Spider Monkey- Found in tropical forests of Central and South America, from southern Mexico to Brazil. The genus contains seven species, all of which are under threat; the Black-headed Spider Monkey and Brown Spider Monkey are critically endangered. They look like so much fun!
GECKOS! OK, So I already have 2. But there are hundreds of different morphs and colors. I would like one in every single morph, all lined up along a wall in special cages, and I would even harvest my own bugs. I adore this species that much; they are addicting, and gorgeous. They originally came from Pakistan, but after being captive bred all these years they have really become super delicate. Their enclosures have to be perfect in order for them to live their 20 years out in utter happiness.
WATER DRAGON- Water dragons are native to the Southeast Asian mainland and Indo-Australian archipelago. Most imports arrive from Thailand or southern China.Males typically reach 3 feet; females are somewhat smaller.This is the only reason why I havent bought one yet! LOL I have no space!



Tiger Salamander-Eastern tiger salamanders grow to a typical length of 6–8 inches. They can reach up to 14 inches in length. Their diet consists largely of small insects and worms, though it is not rare for an adult to consume small frogs and baby mice.
Tadpoles- I would TOTALLY love to have a few tadpoles and watch them transform into frogs!
Lizards- I would love to have an entire room dedicated to many different species of lizards. They are fascinating and gorgeous, I adore them! Pictured below is the Doria's Angle Head Lizard that I am drawn magnetically to!

Red Spotted Newt - The red-spotted newt is a small amphibian that is found from South Ontario to Novia Scotia and south through east Texas and Florida. They live in weedy lake shallows, ponds, backwaters of slow moving streams and swamps. Their life span is up to 20 years.
Chameleon- a distinctive and highly specialized type of lizard. They are distinguished by their ability of some to change color. Colors include pink, blue, red, orange, turquoise, yellow, and green. There are approximately 160 species of chameleon ranging from Africa, Madagascar, Spain and Portugal, across south Asia, to Sri Lanka, have been introduced to Hawaii, California and Florida, and are found in warm habitats that vary from rain forest to desert conditions. Chameleons are often kept as household pets.
Bearded Dragon- Members of this species live in the arid, rocky, semi-desert regions and dry open woodlands of Australia. They are adept climbers, spending time on branches and in bushes, even found on fence posts when living near human habitation. Pogona bask on rocks and exposed branches in the mornings and afternoons.
Several species of this lizard have been domesticated, and are often kept as pets. Here is a gorgeous red Citrus bearded dragon


If I let myself, I would be top to bottom covered in animals, alas, I must subside my hoarder tendencies and fill my 2 cats and 2 geckos with tons of love. :)

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