|Me and one of my favorite patients!|
I am not saying they are bad pets or animals. I might act the same way if I were going to the vet where strange people wanted to poke and prod me. Mostly, this is just a look back to some memories I've had that I can look back on and giggle about. At least a little bit anyways. ;) And maybe you will too!
So, I present to you with 5 pets that make me nervous, in no particular order:
I know what you might be thinking - people keep squirrels as pets? Well, sometimes... I can think of 3 pet squirrels I've worked with in the past. One of them was fairly easy to handle, but the other 2 were pretty darn wild. (This is an animal I think should live in the wild.)
Each of them have their own special story, but one in particular is rather unique. His mom was a squirrel lady. She came to our clinic wearing her special "squirrel backpack". It was like a squirrel stuffed animal with squirrel and acorn pins and things on it. She had a squirrel who she had rescued at a young age that had suffered a head injury.
Said squirrel's head injury had left him with bad teeth that he wasn't able to grind down on his own like he was supposed to. This meant he needed to come to the vet every few weeks so that we could grind them down for him.
One day, I was tasked with helping the vet do this. This meant I was going to have to catch this squirrel and hold him down while the vet performed the procedure. I could feel myself starting to sweat.
We were trying to get the squirrel out of his box and I had a towel handy. All of a sudden, he decided to dart out of the box like a firework straight towards the doctor and we found ourselves on a squirrel chase. Don't worry, we did this in a closed room for this very reason.
I was so nervous holding the squirrel once we had him, but was thankful the vet seemed to know what he was doing and it was over in no time. I am definitely not a good squirrel wrangler.
Macaws are big parrots that come in a large variety of sizes and colors. I've worked with many different macaws and they aren't too scary once you get the hang of it. I think the most nerve-wracking part is catching them and getting them wrapped in a towel for their exams.
Macaws are intimidating because of their size. They have huge beaks, sharp claws, and a deafening squawk. And they are strong! Thankfully, I was never bitten by one.
I can remember having to hold a Hyacinth Macaw (like the one in the video) for the vet while she performed a nail and beak trim. It took quite a while and we both worked up a nice sweat. These are the largest types of Macaws out there and they are very strong!
3. Prairie Dogs
Yes, people keep these as pets quite often. We saw a lot of prairie dogs at our clinic. My first experience with a prairie dog was my brother's. He bought one to keep as a pet, until he learned he was allergic and needed to return it to the store. This prairie dog was friendly and I was able to pick him up and pet him.
But, often times when these animals visited us at the vet clinic they became a little hostile. Again, who can blame them. Out of all the animals we saw, these were one of the only 2 that I wore leather gloves to handle. (The other was hedgehogs, just because they were spiky and it made it easier.) They are extremely agile, move quickly, and were not afraid to offer a bite.
I eventually gained the title of "prairie dog wrangler" and found myself being asked to hold them for the doctors often.
4. Sugar Gliders
Sugar gliders are adorable little marsupials that are often kept as pets. We also saw a lot of sugar gliders, and almost none of them were ever happy to visit the doctor's office. I'd watch them crawl all over their owner's arms and shoulders in the exam room, but when it came time to hold them for an exam they usually became angry.
I think these pets might top my list of pets that make me nervous. My palms would begin to sweat. They have some of the sharpest and longest teeth I've ever seen. They use their teeth to chew through bark and eat sap in the wild. Extremely intimidating!
Also, they are difficult to hold and I feel bad for them. You have to hold their heads steady and you can tell they just hate it so much because they are crabbing the whole time. (Crabbing is a scary noise that sounds like an angry swarm of bees.)
I was definitely never good at catching them. It kind of reminds me of sports. You can never be good at sports if you're afraid of the ball. Well, I guess you can never be good with sugar gliders if you're afraid of them too.
I have no idea why, but gerbils make me nervous. Growing up, I was always a hamster person and am very used to hamsters. Gerbils are definitely different though, I think. Still, I don't quite understand why gerbils make me nervous.
Perhaps it is because they jump and seem more agile than hamsters are. Also, you are never supposed to pull a gerbil's tail. It will pull the skin right off and leave the bone of the tail exposed. I've seen it before once. A family's child had pulled the gerbil's tail and it needed to be amputated afterwards.
I would never intentionally pull any animal's tail, but just the thought of accidentally harming the gerbils would always sit in the back of my head. Maybe that's another reason why they made me nervous.
What about you? Are there any animals or types of pets that make you nervous? Have you or would you ever consider overcoming your fear with them?