When I was growing up, we didn't have any pets. If any one of us (siblings) asked for one, my dad would say, "Here, pet your dog/cat/hamster Ghost," and he would pretend to pat a ghost pet. You can imagine my surprise when my folks finally brought a loving brown lab into the family once most of the children (4 of 5) graduated from high school and college. When Hokie graced our presence, the baby of our family was 9yo. Hokie was Baby Brother's dog from the beginning, but very quickly, became everyone's pet.
When I was pregnant with Banana and Tank, I was on bedrest for 19w. Most of the last 5w of my pregnancy was spent at my parents' home "in case" I was to go into labor while Mr. O was at work. I know Hokie sensed how carefully everyone treaded around me. And, once he finally saw me on my feet and pacing with two mewling or howling infants, he pretty much stayed out of the way. However, if any of the babies' caretakers (trust me, there were many between me, Mr. O, Mim, Pop, CoCo and whoever was in the house) walked more than 10 feet away, he would sidle up and stand guard. Here's a picture of Hokie in his last days guarding Tank in late 2003/early 2004.
In Spring 2004, my sis and the Toad bought a home close by to ours. They had and still have a beautiful Bighon Frise named Bailey. Since I was home taking care of the twinkers, my sister dropped Bailey off each morning and either she or the Toad would pick him up at the end of the day. What a great arrangement...my family got to experience having a pet without all the expenses of "having" a pet. Here's a picture of Bailey checking out Banana...
Now, let's talk about the pets in my own household. I saw no reason for us to get any because we have pets in the family that we can adopt for a day or two, or even a week. We'll take them longer if we have to...but, shhh!
So, what's(re) the perfect pet(s) for young children? I think we found them!!! Banana & Tank are 5.5 and KK is 4. Just last month their Mim (my Mom) bought them their first fish tank. :)
All you have to feed these fish are 2 drops of dish soap in "clean" water. ;) Here's what happens if you don't refresh the water and feed the fish regularly. Instead of just floating, they sink to the bottom. That's my first clue that I need to clean out the "tank."
So, I clean out the tank. Instead of flushing the fish down the toilet, I wash them. :) I plop them back into the tank with 2 drops of Palmolive, and all is right in the world again!