Josie in a pet shop – oh dear!

I had cause to go into a pet shop recently.  Not a place I would normally go, seeing as I haven’t got any pets.  But a friend of mine had tipped me off about some rather stylish Martha Stewart storage containers at half price, obviously intended for dog biscuits but who cares about that?  Anyway there I am trying to decide whether to get the brown box trimmed with aqua or the lime green trimmed with yellow, always a dilemma, and my gaze wandered over to a counter where I noticed a lady cooing over a spiky animal.  She was trying to stuff some flaky looking substance into its mouth but the poor thing was retreating further and further into its spikes. 

“Isn’t it cute?” The lady said looking up at me. Well yes if you like spiky covered balls! Was she completely mad?

“What is it?” I asked, just to be polite.

“A hedgehog.  They make great pets.” She gazed down fondly at it while I stared in disbelief.  A hedgehog? Sold as a pet? How daft!  And how on earth does a hedgehog make a great pet anyway? They’re spiky, nocturnal and extremely shy aren’t they? Not exactly choice requirements for a pet in my humble I-don’t-have-any-pets-opinion!

“How much do they cost?” I eventually managed to stutter.

“$150.” She said with an apologetic smile.  “It’s a lot of money but he’s just so cute!”  

$150 for a HEDGEHOG!!!!!!!!!!!!  I mean that’s just complete nonsense!   I lost my grip on the Martha Stewart storage box and it tumbled to the floor, bouncing down the aisle. When I managed to retrieve it, I noticed another woman had come over to gawp at the poor animal, which had now appeared to have completely curled up. 

“Is that a hedgehog? I heard they make great pets,” she said.  Seriously, where had she heard that?  From the crazy-lady standing next to her? I mean I grew up in a land where hedgehogs happily roam free and I never once heard that they make great pets!  This was absurd.  What happened to just normal pets? Like a cat or guinea-pigs or … you know… fish!  What’s wrong with choosing one of those? Surely they are a much better idea than a hedgehog?!

But then who am I to judge?  I mean I already know they do things differently here.  The Brits have Bonfire Night, the Americans have The Fourth of July.  We have Blackcurrant Polos, the Americans have Grape Lifesavers.  I have tea made with boiling water poured from a teapot (when I’m being posh), my chums over here drink it with ice from a big urn.  It’s fine – we’re all different.  I get that. 

Even so…A HEDGEHOG FOR A PET????????????? 

And then I said something I probably shouldn’t have.  I didn’t mean to sound heartless or cruel – it’s not like I’m anti-hedgehogs or nature or anything – it just came out. It was one of those moments when the filter that stops you actually verbalizing your inner thoughts, malfunctions and you find yourself saying them out loud (unfortunately I find that happens to me quite often).

“Shame you didn’t live in the UK, you could get one for free there – mind you, you’d probably have to scrape it off the road!”  Then I sort of smirked which I really regret. 

The women looked at me with disgust and one of the woman tried to put her hand protectively around the hedgehog – except she couldn’t because of the spikes (you see totally useless as a pet).   Then I hastily picked up the lime green Martha Stewart storage box (only $6.95 -total bargain for celebrity endorsed merchandise) and made my way to the checkout.

That’s probably the last time I’ll go into a pet shop!

Bye y’all!

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5 Responses to “Josie in a pet shop – oh dear!”

  1. Hell, I put my foot in my mouth all the time. It’s getting so I’m accustomed to the taste of my flip flops, and apparently must be unconsciously craving it, cause I continue to do so. You can look at it as a bad thing for having an opinion, or…that you’re doing someone you consider stupid a great service by setting them straight. That being said, sorry…I think hedgehogs are absolutely darling too! 😉

  2. Josie, there’s a little known (though it’s gaining momentum) ad campaign you might be interested in joining. It’s called Set Me Free and it’s run by a group going by the moniker Hedgehogs Deserve Freedom Too or as they are more commonly called HDFT. I’ll send you their contact information later.

  3. Gillian Tong Says:

    Do hedgehog pet owners take them for a walk on a lead, I wonder?
    I’m with you on this one, Josie, can’t gt used to th eidea of a spiky pet! Kathleen.

  4. Reading this made my day. I loved it!

  5. Thanks Dawne – you must be psychic because I just left a comment on your recent hair post! 😉

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