Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Prairie Dogs

Now, before I say anything about the prairie dogs, I want to emphasize that prairie dogs are wild animals and really do belong in the wild, in a prairie dog town, doing happy prairie dog things.

This is a realization that I had after having my own "pet" prairie dogs. But when I got my first prairie dog, I was just starting college, working at an exotic pet store at the time, and had yet to really grasp the differences between domesticated animals and wild animals (and working at the pet store didn't help at all).

So, for many years, I had prairie dogs: Penny, Humphrey, and Prince. I even spent the money to get them all neutered (Humphrey showing off his shaved belly and his stitches, below).

We were remodeling the house at the time, so I turned one of the hallways into a prairie dog park of sorts.

Prairie dogs mostly eat, sleep, make a lot of noise, and CHEW. Penny really did destroy my homework one time. It was a Japanese class worksheet. My professor (who was Japanese) was very confused when I apologized for the half-eaten assignment by saying "The prairie dog ate it."
Even though the prairie dogs were basically oversized rodents, they loved attention from the dogs, and vice versa. My dog Fel (on the left) and our roommate's dog Taz (on the right) liked to clean them up as if they were little puppies.

All clean...

Little clawed foot in the eye -- ouchie.

Please don't chew on my tail!

I don't recommend prairie dogs as pets, even though I have fond memories of them. They are wild animals, and therefore about as messy, disobedient, and obnoxious as any wild rodent might be when stuck in a house. People who buy prairie dogs as pets usually end up getting rid of them fairly quickly when they find out how much work these little guys require (and how much mess they make!).


Dennis the Vizsla said...

hello happypitbull its dennis the vizsla dog hay hmm messy check disobeedyent check obnokshus check hay i think my brother tucker is a prayree dog!!! ok bye

PoochesForPeace said...

It's cute that the dogs even liked them. How cool!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thats cool. I have had pet rats, they are pretty smart and act alot like mini dogs. Its so cool the dogs were so mellow with them.

GiGwriter said...

It's nice to see more pix of your beloved Felanie :)