Ever since I was a small child I was obsessed with animals. I loved every animal I saw. My grandparents had dogs, birds, and fish while I was in my toddler years, and I was convinced I could make friends with all of them, even if they bit me. I tempted fate with trying to play with the dogs, most of the time they wanted none of it, but I still tried. I tried to be friends with numerous birds and finally learned that I didn’t appreciate my fingers being the equivalent of cocktail wieners. I even tried to pet the fish, yes, you read that correctly. Now, most people would be a bit weary of animals after those experiences, right? Yeah, not me, I was still obsessed.
Just before my fifth birthday my parents took me to the animal shelter and I got to pick my first dog, she was my best friend! Then when I turned seven my parents let me get a hamster, and he was truly the coolest hamster ever. When I turned eight we got a friend for my dog, and they were the best of friends and my best friends too. My hamster died shortly before I turned nine, and I missed him dearly, when my mom took me to get another one. The lady at the pet store recommended a pet rat instead, and that started my never-ending hyper-obsession with pet rats, they have truly been a huge staple in my life. Over the last 18 years, I have never gone long without having one, and I can tell you almost everything there is to know about them.
Over the years I have also constantly had a dog, I firmly believe that they, and any animal can bring a vast amount of comfort to people.
I have also owned cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, chinchillas, mice, hedgehogs, gerbils, turtles, a tortoise, and a bearded dragon over the years. But, nothing has ever been quite like pet rats for me.
When I have a pet rat, it helps to keep me level. Some aspies escape with video games, movies, books, or music (to name a few), but my escape is with rats.
I have had many other obsessions over the years though. Beanie Babies, stuffed animals, Hot Wheels, dolls, various music groups, skateboarding, cooking, color guard, and various crafts. But, I am only ever really able to focus on one at a time, when I do though, I poor my heart and soul into it. When I was a child, I remember I would become so obsessed with something that I would literally drive my family members or friends nuts with it, and at the time I didn’t understand why. For example, I had a FurReal Friends life-size cat and I had small Beanie Babies cats, I would pretend the big cat was pregnant and was having the little cats, and every time, there’d be a surprise kitten. I would do this over, and over, and over again, until who ever was playing with me got so annoyed that they told me to play with something else, or they would stop playing with me.
I hope this offers some insight to everyone.
I’d like to add a disclaimer of sorts. I am a CVA (Certified Veterinary Assistant), and I have seen cases where people collect animals, either just because they like them, or they think they’re helping them. Do not ever take on more than you can handle (proper attention, cleanings, care, cost, etc). That is the point at which you are no longer doing yourself or the animals any good. It is ok to have pets, but if you have a tendency to be over obsessive/collective I offer a very strong word of caution against getting in over your head with them.