Thursday, January 14, 2010

Animal Lover

This girl LOVES animals.  No doubt about it. 

Her fascination with horses led her to a year of horseback riding lessons.  Unfortunately, the place she was going closed down and I have yet to find another ranch.  I suppose I should look a little harder.  She really misses the horses.  And since she tends to be somewhat timid, I think the lessons were really good for her.  They made her assert herself in order to control the horse.

She's always wanted a cat, but unfortunately we've always had a dog, so it just hasn't worked out.  And since Charger goes crazy when he sees a cat, we figured it just wasn't advisable to get a cat.  Seriously, he does go a bit crazy.  If Shaggy is walking him, the entire neighborhood knows when he spots a cat--we can ALL hear his howling.  And since he has such a strong prey drive, I don't think he would stop at just saying hi to the cat.

S has taken more interest in dog care in recent years.  She likes to help Shaggy train Charger and will throw balls for him.  But she will have to get a little bigger and grow a few more muscles before we let her walk him.  Just too many darn cats around.

Last summer she tried very hard to have a pet ant.  But after catching several in a row, all of whom died, she dejectedly told me, "I really wanted a pet ant, but they just won't stay alive."  So we got one of those gel ant farm things.  And watched for weeks while the ants dug tunnels.  And then a wicked mold started growing which killed them all off.  I wasn't really all THAT sad to see them go, but the kids had enjoyed watching them.

We've had some short lived relationships with potato bugs and snails--all of whom stayed in the back yard at my insistance.  S liked to help take care of the fish when we still had them.  And she adores the lizards.  She's always asking to hold them.  But when Shaggy gets one out for her, she tends to say "Daddeeeeee!" a lot because they hop around so much and she's afraid they will climb up her arm.  But that doesn't deter her, she still begs to hold them.  Which she only gets to do when Shaggy's around because I am just not willing to run the risk of a runaway lizard on my watch.  I have no desire to have to mount a lizard search which would likely end in a close examination of Charger's oral cavitiy.

So when we were planning our trip to San Diego and SeaWorld, I came across the dolphin interaction program.  What a perfect fit for S.  But we couldn't just offer it to S and not to K, even though S is clearly the one infatuated with animals.

So we decided we would have them earn it if they wanted to.  We offered both girls the chance to participate, but they would each have to save their allowance for months and months to help pay for it.  S jumped at the chance and K said no thanks.  Worked out beautifully.

S signals the dolphin to spin.  She loved the way the dolphin felt and would happily have stayed in there for hours if she had been allowed.

1 comment:

Mary said...

An infatuation that started with the llama she fell in love with at the zoo. Such a sweet special little girl!