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Steve45
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08 Sep 2006, 1:18 am

I've just finished "the curious incident of the dog in the night-time" again. The story of a boy Christopher with AS. I noticed that Christopher couldn't see things from the point of view of his mother and father (typical of someone with AS), but he did show concern for his pet rat, Toby.

I've sometimes thought I'd like the company of a dog or cat, but I'm afraid I would neglect the animal. I think it takes a lot of reponsibility to look after a dog. My small success is to keep a bonsai tree alive for 3 years!

In an idle moment I wondered what some of you look after. What does it take to care for an animal like a dog? I've read that it might help with developing some empathy.



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08 Sep 2006, 1:33 am

Steve45 wrote:
My small success is to keep a bonsai tree alive for 3 years!


That is no small feat! I've tried numerous times and despite doing lots of research do good to keep them more than a couple months. Course it didn't help last time I got a bonsai my cat ate all the leaves off it. I think she traumatized the poor little tree because it died shortly thereafter. However I killed all the other bonsai.



werbert
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08 Sep 2006, 1:40 am

I look after me, which is a full-time job.



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08 Sep 2006, 1:46 am

If you are new to having pet companions don't start off big and get a dog. Dogs require taking them out to pee multiple times a day regardless of the weather. They also need room to romp and someone to play with them and take them walking or they get bored and start tearing up things or develop chronic barking. Many dogs are so high energy they can drive an Aspie crazy. Now some like them, but then others can't handle having a dog constantly yapping and racing around the room and jumping up and down. Some of that depends on breed too. Cat's are lower maintenance, but you do have to clean the litterbox regularly and feed and water them. They do need attention and depending on breed require grooming.

I have a calico cat who's 13. She sleeps most of the time but can be demanding for attention at times. I adore her. She is a sweetiepie and she likes to snuggle beside me at night. Her purring puts me to sleep. I have two aquariums, have had 5 up at one time. I have lots of fish, can't tell you how many, maybe 50 or so. I have catfish that are 8 yrs old. Aquariums require a lot more maintenance that people think if you want to keep the fish alive. That means weekly to bi-weekly water changes, scrubbing algae, mixing chemicals if you do saltwater, keeping the temp from fluctuating which is sometimes difficult in summer, plus there is changing the filter media and ever so often dismantling the filter components and scrubbing everything. I have live plants and that requires plant foods or fertilizers and even CO2 if you want to get fancy.

If you're not completely sure you want to take on the responsibility of caring daily for a pet then get a pet rock or stick with bonsais. However if you feel you are ready then I suggest adopting an older cat from the shelter. Kittens are a handful. Older cats are more mellow and sleep a lot and they will appreciate that you sprung them from the jail cell. My old gal picked me out when she was 5. I was looking for a kitten but she grabbed hold of my sweater sleeve and wouldn't let go as I walked past her cage. We've been together ever since. :D



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08 Sep 2006, 2:27 am

I have to second Tickers post(though I hate to admit I agree with her afte she has threatened to hurl me across the room :lol: )rats and hamsters are low maintence but not as interactive...though my rats were friendly...they werent cats...

Cats are the best to start,they do like to climb on your keyboardsand interupt my art projects but I think my cats are particularly "clingy"older ones do spend alot of time sleeping and come for occassional cuddly and great you when you come home...I do like kittens though...it may require the investment of getting it "fixed" or keeping claws clipped or (gasp) declawing..."please PETA,forgive me.
I think they are worth the extra time(doesnt have to be kitten,just young,for bonding)Just take your time picking one thats suits you....they will be worth cat litter scooping and hairballs on the floor.I would recommend making them "indoor cats" only and never feeding them soft cat food(smelly poo)
I use Science Diet...worth the extra money...less bulky stoles and my cats are very healthy.


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Steve45
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08 Sep 2006, 4:33 pm

Ticker wrote:
Steve45 wrote:
My small success is to keep a bonsai tree alive for 3 years!


That is no small feat! I've tried numerous times and despite doing lots of research do good to keep them more than a couple months. Course it didn't help last time I got a bonsai my cat ate all the leaves off it. I think she traumatized the poor little tree because it died shortly thereafter. However I killed all the other bonsai.


Thanks Ticker. I lost my first tree, before I discovered that they like to be outside not inside. I even took my current tree with me on a camping holiday! It amused my 2 year old niece at the time to see her uncle water his bonsai outside his tent every morning.

I have thought about getting a cat. Thanks for all your good advice.

:)



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08 Sep 2006, 5:15 pm

i can't take care of animals, i really don't like dogs or cats so i'll never get one. i like wild animals especially the ones that live in forests.



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08 Sep 2006, 6:40 pm

I have a dog but I think I'd like something less sociable because it always pains me to think that she's at home, alone and sad (although she's probably snoring her head off). Just too much feeling. A rat, however, might appreciate me leaving it alone.



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08 Sep 2006, 7:04 pm

Forgot to mention rabbits because they can be a pain if you dont like smell and hate to clean(thats my problem with them)..,,,I will try and assume everybody "isnt" me....dahhhh

Upside of rabbits....I dont think they mind being left alone,they are totally quite,they love to be pet and are very soft,they can be paper trained if you are patientIf you dont mind vaccuming up after their "accedents...ussually easy pellets to clean"they are really funny to watch racing around the room and doing flips in the air.

I got two to keep each other company but they hated each other..so now,their "houses" take up half my living room(seperate homemade condos....spoiled bunnies)

They will sit for hours to be pet while I'm reading or watching a movie..they really are cuddle bunnies.


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PortlandBabe
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08 Sep 2006, 11:29 pm

I rescued a dog from the Humane Society. He's a couch potato, not very demanding.



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08 Sep 2006, 11:57 pm

I'd forgotten about rabbits Krex. I've never had one, but I know someone who has one of those big rabbits that have the flopped over ears (forgot what its called) but the thing looks like it weights 30 lbs. He actually litter box trained it. He can call it and it will run and hop up on the cough beside him. He trained it to reach up on the bottom shelf and grab his veggies when the guy opens the refrigerator door.

By the way did you know there is now a litter box for dogs? I saw the dog litter at a local feed store. That's what you might need for a 30lb bunny!



Steve45
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09 Sep 2006, 1:58 am

I owned a guinea pig called Sandy as a child. I wasn't particularly good at looking after it. One day it escaped and got a friend's guinea pig pregnant. I felt good for Sandy, because I always thought that he'd have this little adventure to look back on as he pondered his existence in his cage.

I sort of like it when an insect finds its way into my house, because it means that briefly there's another animal in the house than just me!

I get the impression from previous messages that a lot seems to depend on the personality of the dog or pet. I'm wondering whether I should have a dry run by trying to look after a vritual dog, such as Nintendo's Nintendogs.



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11 Sep 2006, 1:54 am

I got a dog (corgi) for my 4th birthday and have always had a dog since. I like to have 2 dogs - they can entertain eachother during the day somewhat. Never liked cats, but we have 2 in the house. Inventory of pets:
1 old Labrador (retired duck dog)
1 young GSP (quail dog)
2 DSH cats
2 ferrets (pets not working)
until recently 1 rabbit (GSP got it)
also
6 quail (were supposed to be training for the GSP but became pets to 13 yo)
6 pidgons (see quail)
2 red hens (free range eggs - GSP doesn't bother them)
Years ago, we had 2 peeking ducks but they made so much mess we retired them to a friends farm.

Can recommend Ladradors if you want a house dog that doesn't demand exercise (but sheds hair).
GSP is a high performance dog that demands a lot of attention.


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11 Sep 2006, 12:32 pm

BazzaMcKenzie wrote:
Can recommend Ladradors if you want a house dog that doesn't demand exercise (but sheds hair).
GSP is a high performance dog that demands a lot of attention.



Would you say Labs are pretty mellow dogs? I can't tolerate the yapping and jumping, but I noticed my friends yellow lab never makes a sound. He follows people from room to room just like he wants to be part of what is going on. But he isn't demanding like other dogs. Is that pretty typical or is her Lab just a real good dog? Her Yorkshire Terror is a real pain in the butt.



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11 Sep 2006, 1:44 pm

Cats are great because, generally, they only demand feeding once or twice a day. Provided you live away from busy roads there's no reason to have a litter tray - just install a cat flap so your cat can go in and out whenever it likes.

I think cats suit Aspies because they're intellectually stimulating - getting to know a cat is always a delicate and interesting process. Cats are always semi-independent, so it's rewarding when they choose to be your friend (even if you are bribing them with food!).

Cats are generally very clean: just as well, as bathing a cat requires gauntlets and a large brandy. Long-haired cats get knotted up and need regular brushing, which they may or may not appreciate.

Problem areas can include: injuries to your pet from fighting with other cats, claw damage to furniture, moulting (shedding fur), worms and fleas, and the cats' adorable habit of bringing in little 'presents' i.e dead mice, rats and birds.


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