Saturday, July 08, 2006

Companionship-Here's To Love

I recently completed my e-book about small pets, our mini friends. I learned a lot of new information as I researched which I was able to put some use today, as I went to the zoo with my husband, daughter and two of my students from last year. As we approached an aquarium containing a corn snake, my student said "corn?" I said yes, they are called corn snakes because their underbelly is the color of corn.

My husband said, "did you just make that up?" Fortunately I was able to say, "why, no, actually, I wrote about that in my e-book!"

The Kansas City Zoo is great, but you need to have a whole day, at least, to get to all the animals. And, sorry Kansans, but it doesn't hold a candle to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, which is the top one or two in the country.

Along with interesting facts about snakes, rats, chinchillas, sugar gliders, goldfish and rabbits, I read a great deal of information about the sociability of animals.

In short, most animals are like human beings in that they are happier, healthier, more engaged and tend to live longer lives if they have a companion. I find it remarkable that the majority of living creatures require more than shelter and food- they require love.

You can define love any way you would like- I happen to find it a difficult word to define since it encompasses so much. Yet, in its complexity, it is also quite simple.

Love is a connection to someone or something that has the power to heal, to sustain, to enrich and to uphold. There are different kinds of love. You love your sister in a different way than you love your child. You love your husband in a different way than you love your favorite color.
You love yourself in a different way than you love God.

Whatever way you define it, express it, hold onto it and luxuriate it, love is what makes us tick.
It is what makes a husband go to the zoo with his daughter, wife and two little girls that he doesn't even know when he'd really like to be at home watching baseball on the couch. It's a daughter's little arm that wraps around mom's neck as she falls asleep.

Love is our most basic need (aside from physical safety and health). It is also the most basic need of most types of animals. Even if animals have human contact and love, research shows that many animals thrive more so when they have an animal companion to call their own.

My next e-book will be about exotic plants and I have to admit, I know nothing about exotic plants. I'm lucky to keep the three house plants that I have alive from day to day. If anyone out there has or knows anything about exotic plants, feel free to share! I look forward to writing about the new material I will learn about plants and the lesson I may be able to pull from this next adventure in writing!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Recovering from Vacation and Exploring Small Pets

Well, it has taken me a week to recover from my vacation! We had a great vacation with my husband's family, whom I have come to know as my own as well. My sister and nephew went with us as well and we were able to do so many things and see some really neat places. The East Coast is full of opportunities and fun things to do and see. A couple of the highlights were spending the day on the boardwalk and beach of Ocean City, gambling (and losing) in Atlantic City and New York City for two days. We stayed in a hotel right in the middle of Time Square. My sister got her picture taken with Rupert at Hello Deli (featured on Dave Letterman's Tonight Show) and my daughter stole a pack of Mentos from his deli. We, of course, uncovered the pieces of the theft and took care of it. My husband told the patrons of the deli and Rupert about her bigger, badder attempt at stealing a pot roast from a grocery store. Fortunately it ended up in our cart and we paid for it, puzzled why we had an extra pot roast at home. Then figured out how it happened. This caused uproarious laughter which my husband was pretty proud of!

Eva will throw anything into the cart as we shop. We really have to watch her or we'll end up with 12 cans of Spam and 6 cans of pea soup if we aren't careful.

Our trip was awesome, but exhausting. By the end of the week I was saying that I would have to go home to relax! But that's a good vacation, right? One where you do things you wouldn't normally do and be more tired than you would normally be because of it.

Now it's back to regular life, if there is such a thing. My current e-book assignment is writing about small pets like gerbils, toy dogs, snakes, hermit crabs, etc. Once again, as I research I am learning about all kinds of interesting information about buying, caring for and developing relationships with small pets. So far, learning about ferrets and their ability to become a part of the family just as a cat or dog is most interesting.

I am also writing about mice and rats as pets which I have a new appreciation of as I learn more about the benefits. I didn't know that rats could learn to come to their name. Apparently, mice and rats are intelligent which is why they are used so often by scientists to conduct research.

If you have a small pet of any sort, feel free to comment on this blog and share your experience. I will be happy to learn about personal experiences and opinions regarding the small pets in people's lives. You can also email me at