Apr 1, 2012

Spike the Slug

Pigtails' always hassling me about getting a pet.  The petition list so far includes:  cat, puppy, goldfish, baby human sister and Shetland pony.  We came close to a guinea pig after adopting Gizmo for a week.

After hearing "no" a dozen times from dad, she took matters into her own hands.  Out of retaliation or desperation, the kid dislodged a slimy slug from a rotten log, built an earthen home and named him Spike.  

She adopted Spike on Thursday.  By Friday, he bit the dust.  Autopsy's pending, but cause of death is most likely the little guy dried out from my daughter playing with him to death.  She unloaded years of pent-up pet love on the slug over a 2 hour period.  There was a lot of petting.

Spike's looking limp, Pigtails pokes him with her fingernail to ensure he's toast and not taking a nap.  I thought she was going to cry.

Pigtails and T. went to work clawing an earthen crypt for Spike.  A tombstone, flowers, the whole enchilada.  We held hands, said a prayer, sang Amazing Grace, it was a touching mollusk funeral.  

Then we all busted out laughing.































  -Beard


30 comments:

  1. Awwwwww....RIP Spike!

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    1. I hear Taps playing in the distance.

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  2. yomomma4/01/2012

    My grandslug ...Why oh why didn't I get to met him/her??????

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    1. You gotta come visit us sometime.

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  3. You need to get that kid a pet, Beard!

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    1. Pigtails, is that you?

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  4. The sequence of those last three photos is great -- from very solemn, to cracking up, to the full realization of the hilarity of a slug funeral. Also, I love yomomma's comment about her grandslug. Haha.

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    1. Yeah, we couldn't hold it together and rolled 2 minutes into the funeral.

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  5. Ahh, she needs a dog.

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    1. If I ever get a small acreage out in the country, we'll have a Border Collie for sure.

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  6. Beard get the girl a pet! How about a dog? Would be a great running companion for you.

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    1. We'd have a Border Collie today if we lived out in the country where I could run the dog. Otherwise, the logistics don't pan out, and my small yard would quickly be littered with Bowzer poop mines.

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  7. Ah, pets. I dread that piece of our future....

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  8. Anonymous4/01/2012

    Poor Pigtails, a pet would be lovely. I assume you are thinking like the mature adult however, all the looking after, where does the pet go when you have a roadtrip...etc? I'm on the fence for this one. I'd like to support Pigtails, but we have 3 kids now & are left with just 1 dog, since our last 3 & our cat have now passed. I'm looking forward to pet free times, not having to find carers. Organising a family of 5 is enough logistically without throwing pets into the mix. Angela

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    1. Probably going to sound like a neglectful owner now (and this doesn't apply to trips longer than 3 days - where we normally rope in a neighbour or family member to pop round and feed our pets) but we have 2 rabbits that live outdoors all year round, an indoor guinea pig and 2 cats. We have brought up all of our animals to be independent. It sounds really ridiculous, but we leave out a large amount of food, which they help themselves to and we add additional bottles/bowls of water when we go away so they have plenty. This system doesn't work for everyone as some animals obviously are greedy and over eat.

      Our guinea pig, Benny, is by far the easiest to look after. We switched out wood shavings after a few months for reusable bedding. We line his cage with toweling and polyester fleece so it wicks away and keeps the top layer dry. He's self sufficient and smell free for up to a week if really needs be.

      Having said that we don't go away much, and when we do it's not often for long.

      Understandably every family is different, but I just wanted to say don't dismiss it entirely on this point - because you can find solutions. I suppose what your saying is it's just one less thing to think about.

      Fair dos!

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    2. @Anon - Dogs are a lot of work, I'm pretty much tapped out as it is raising a human. But we'd likely get a furry friend if we lived on some land.

      @Annie - "We leave out a large amount of food, which they help themselves to and we add additional bottles/bowls of water when we go away so they have plenty."

      I do the same thing with my kid.

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  9. Not entirely sure if this image link will work because my Facebook page is limited privacy, but I just wanted to share a photo of my guinea pig Benny for your viewing pleasure! :P

    http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/s720x720/422043_10150520425557987_759592986_8970487_1646320048_n.jpg

    He is friendly, fun, and clean (to an extent) very easy and cheap to maintain. We buy carrots weekly specifically for him, and he gets a decent amount of other veg from our supplies, we buy dry food pellets less than monthly, and we wash his bedding weekly (but change it twice a week). The heaviest cost is hay, which provides a large part of their diet, it it only a noticeable cost for us, I believe, because we own two hay-munching rabbits as well!

    Don't dismiss it just yet!Guinea pigs can live for 5-8 years so it is quite a commitment, and most people suggest getting a pair - however we rescued ours as a lone pig and he is more than content with the attention we give him...

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    1. I sound like a guinea pig fanatic, I'm not really but they're very friendly, cheap and easy to maintain.

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    2. Anonymous4/02/2012

      Annie, you make me laugh! You 'heart' Benny sooooo much! Thanks for giving me a smile today. Angela.

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    3. Oh no! I've been rumbled! :P

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    4. Annie - Your link works, Benny's a cheeky little guy. I must never let Pigtails read your well-worded pig plea, I'd have nothing to push back with.

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    5. Too funny. My kids go after them with clippers! :)

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  10. Pet funerals are such a crucial part of growing up. One time, I raised a moth from a caterpillar, but when I went to set the moth free, he fell to the ground and I stepped on him (on accident). I was inconsolable until we had a family-wide funeral at which we all said a few words and my brother played Taps on his trumpet.

    Yup. For a moth. That I had accidentally murdered.

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    1. Ha, did you cry or laugh at the moth funeral?

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  11. What an incredibly kind-hearted daughter you have, to adopt a slug and *care* when it dies. Poor Spike! (The name Spike for a slug is freaking hysterical, though. :-D)

    Me, I recommend kittens. Then again, I'm a crazy cat-lady. ;)

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  12. Anonymous4/02/2012

    Kids and pets - it's like PB&J or Oreos and milk. Can't quite imagine one without the other. And as countless single parents face the dilemma on a near-daily basis, let me share my experiences. Or rather just a few of those forever burned into my memory.

    There was the $10 Guinea pig - who developed bronchitis and passed on within two weeks of acquiring him, leaving me with an assortment of high-quality housing items purchased for about $100 that would NEVER be used again, along with a $400 vet bill for said ailment.

    There was the $5 hamster - who didn't have the good manners to simply die after repeatedly biting everyone who came within attacking distance. Perhaps he was jealous he only got a $25 housing allowance. I gave him his freedom one dark moonless night in a nearby nature park. I don't feel in the least guilty about setting him free. While it was difficult to be certain in the inky darkness, I believe the little red-eyed rodent was engaged in a battle with a battalion of raccoons as I drove away (like a bat out of hell) in said darkness. If I were a betting person, I'd have put my money on the hamster. A mere raccoon wouldn't have had a chance against that little Satan-incarnate.

    There was the Anole lizard adopted from the Science lab at the elementary school when the chapter on "Suckering Your Parents Yet Again" was complete. Did I mention the little critter required a special heat lamp and live crickets to survive a Minnesota winter? His life expectancy was about two years and he lived like a Lizard King, warm and munching those gross little insects the entire time. To this day, I can still hear him laughing every time I had to do his grocery shopping.

    Beautiful Beta fish - who swam contentedly in his little tank... just bidding his time. What time was that you ask? Why the time he decided to show off his acrobatic skills whilst I was cleaning his tank. Slimy little cold-blooded monster decided to jump into the sink and slide down into the garbage disposal. I confess my first thought was to hit the switch and lie through my teeth, but alas - that wasn't the example I was wanting to set for the kid who'd (finally) buried the damn Anole just weeks prior. The fish suffered only a slight shredding to one fin/arm and lived another 6 months. That was more than a decade ago and I'm still not quite the same. My 40 days of Lent involve PB, no seafood. And I have a scar from the disposal blade on the end of my thumb.

    There was the dog who refused - as in sat his fat butt down and would not move - unless I was on the other end of the leash.

    The cat who ignored all of us - except for the wailing over an empty food bowl.

    There are others that fortunately didn't leave me quite as cynical about who is really the master in the pet relationship.

    Oh, and yes. The obvious question? Where were the kid(s) during all this? Why, at school. Or extra curricular activities, special projects/field trips/sporting events, etc. etc. etc.

    But at the end of the day - as I sit here without a pet, and with one child making a career in the Army, one in graduate school, and my baby completing his undergrad degree, I have never been sorry for allowing them to experience the pet-child relationship. And as adults, they have expressed thanks for doing the hard work while they were doing the part that land them academic scholarships and time to do community service/volunteer times. And the fish story comes up every Lenten season. As do the live crickets being chomped by the Anole on a warm summer night.

    Your a smart resourceful man. Whatever you and Pigtails decide works best for the two of you, I can only promise she will never forget it. There's lessons to be learned you aren't aware of until much later on.

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    1. Wow, your big honkin' comment makes all other comments look like child's play.

      Your response both made me laugh and solidified NO PETS FOR YOU (Pigtails)!! Unless we're talking a pet rock or something. Pets poop and yack all over the place and smell funny. I'd have an outside dog if we had room to run, but unlikely to get an indoor critter anytime soon.

      That $5 hamster you let out for a bottomless walk likely turned feral. I imagine some joggers getting clobbered in the ankles by a rabid hamster with red night eyes.

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  13. Oh man, I totally feel for Pigtails! I always wanted a pet, but didn't get one until I was in college and had two angel fish (Connor and Murphey).

    Then, Connor ate Murphey and Connor went belly up the next day. Was I too young to be a fish parent? Maybe. Did I buy too small of a tank from the Goodwill in town? Possibly. Was it the fact they came from the traveling carnival that was in town and I paid "half price cuz you sure are purdy"? Most likely.

    Alas, I didn't get another pet until I graduated college and was able to buy house with a yard. Now, I'm the proudest mutt owner this side of the Mississippi! Only took 25 years. So... one day, Pigtails, one day you'll get a pet.

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    1. We had crabs, hermit crabs, a few years ago. They met the same fate as Connor and Murphey. Michelle the crab ate Donnie the crab, then Michelle got dead. The seller told us "crabs pair together nicely". That's code for they eat each other.

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