Dear Jack: You Tricked Us into Letting You Get a Pet Pine Lizard

9 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

You and I started a new routine last week: After I get back from the gym in the morning, you jump on your bike and join me as I go on a two mile run.

Last Saturday morning as we were heading out on our 2 mile excursion, we both noticed a very interesting lizard by the garage door. It looked really cool.

By Saturday afternoon, you set up an amusement park for it in the garage and had hand-tamed it.

By Sunday afternoon, I went to the pet store to buy some meal worms for the lizard.

By Monday afternoon, the lizard was officially living in the hamster’s travel case, in a corner in your bedroom.

And by Tuesday, we learned that Sargento the Pine Lizard was actually a girl.

You re-named her; Serenity.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

My New Hamster Dad T-Shirt: Fist Bumping “Best Friends for Life”

Over six months ago now, back on November 16th, 2019, my son turned 9 years old. To my own surprise (still to this day), I agreed to let him get a male Syrian hamster as a pet.

Obviously, that meant that on November 16th, 2019, my son didn’t become the proud new owner of a pet hamster. Instead, I became the extremely reluctant new owner of a pet hamster.

After the first couple of weeks, during the initial 30 days period where the pet store would allow us to get a full refund, my son officially decided he wanted to take his birthday present. My son wasn’t attached and he didn’t want the responsibility.

But I just couldn’t do that to the little guy… I am referring to the hamster, here.

So I did some research on YouTube and learned what I needed to know to be a good hamster dad.

I bought a 20 gallon aquarium, instead of the stupid plastic toy one we originally bought. I taught myself how to hand-tame the hamster. I learned the importance of helping the hamster live in a feng shui environment; regularly placing new cardboard boxes in the his tank, and hiding food throughout his home.

And of course, I take him out every evening when when he wakes up, to play with him. (Syrian hamsters are nocturnal.)

To me, it’s undeniable I have become the best hamster dad in the state of Tennessee.

So it only made sense that I should use some of my “birthday budget” (my wife and I are faithful Dave Ramsey followers) to buy a t-shirt to express how proud I am to be a hamster dad.

On Amazon, I found this really cool one that has a man and a hamster fist bumping, with the caption reading, Best Friends for Life.

There’s a built-in joke in there: Syrian hamsters typically only live to be 2 or 3 years old.

So my goal is to celebrate these next couple of years and give this hamster the best life a hamster can have!

If you want to buy a hamster t-shirt like mine, just click here to find the best deal on Amazon, like I did.

Dear Jack: You Tamed a Pet Snake? Of Course You Did!

9 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

At no point in my boyhood, nor in my adulthood, have I ever thought to A) look for a snake in the woods, B) find one, C) hand tame it, and D) proceed to keep it as a temporary pet.

Needless to say, that is exactly what you have done this week.

Granted, I looked it up immediately to ensure it is not poisonous to humans; which it is not.

It’s a garter snake.

And all because 3rd grade ended early due to COVID-19.

Otherwise, you’d be in math class right about now.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your Possible New Part-Time Pet Named Whiskers (or Oliver?)

5 years.

Dear Jack,

Dear Jack: Your Possible New Part-Time Pet Named Whiskers (or Oliver?)

Last weekend while we were in Alabama visiting my side of the family for Thanksgiving weekend, Mommy and I went on our usual 2 mile morning walk that we always do when we go there.

As we were half way through our route, a little black kitty started following us; desperately meowing as if to say, “Won’t somebody take care of me? I’m so hungry. I don’t have anyone.”

I kneeled down and petted the cat, then we continued on our walk. It followed us briefly, but then couldn’t keep up.

Fifteen minutes later, as Mommy and I rounded back down that road, the little black kitty was waiting for us.

We didn’t slow down, as we assumed there was a good chance it actually lived on that road. But this time, the cat kept its speed; even though we were ignoring it the whole way back.

Once we arrived back at Nonna and Papa’s house, we soon realized the difficulty of even trying to feed the kitten; as your grandparents don’t have any meat; much less, cat food, in their house.

So Mommy suggested we beat an egg, and serve it in a bowl to the kitten. It worked.

It was obvious the cat was in great need of nutrition. Throughout the day, I cut some slices of cheese I found in the refrigerator and feed it to the kitty.

To everyone’s surprise, we woke up and the little black kitten was still there; asleep on the back porch where we had fed it the eggs and cheese.

After all, he apparently had nowhere else to be or to go.

For the record, we did attempt to feed the kitten some of our food, which is vegan and vegetarian, but the cat was uninterested; after all, felines are carnivores, not omnivores.

So Nonna had me run in to the local grocery store and buy some official cat food.

His name, according to you, is Whiskers.

However, Nana likes the name Oliver; and she, along with Papa, will be the ones actually taking care of him.

And yes, it is a him; as seen in my new web series, Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest. Last night as we were watching the 3rd webisode, you announced, “Hey Daddy, look… I can see his nugget pouch!”

(Previously you had asked me how I knew he was a boy cat, so I explained that his “nugget pouch” under his tail was how I could tell.)

“Kitty,” as he is known on my show, apparently will be a by-default regular supporting cast member (like Gunther on Friends).

In addition to being part of the main plotline of the “Freddie the Fox” webisode, he also is undeniably present in the opening montage of my new show.

I never intended for him to be part of the show, but he just kept showing up during filming, so I wrote him into the script.

You and your cousin Calla definitely enjoyed having him around this past weekend. If he sticks around Nonna and Papa’s place, he just might end up being your part-time pet each time we visit there.

Love,

Daddy

Jack Meets Max The Cockapoo, Nearly 3 Years Later

January 5, 2014 at 10:42 pm , by 

3 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

I imagine there will be a lot of confusion for you over these next several years in regards to how animals actually communicate with humans.

Considering all the kids’ movies and TV shows that feature talking animals, it seems to be evident that we humans secretly fantasize about being able to truly talk to the animals we love.

In fact, something I’ve got up my sleeve for 2014 is a 373 word childrens’ book I have written and have recently started working with an extremely talented illustrator on.

The plot line itself capitalizes on the truth that animals and humans do communicate in a language, but not a spoken one.

More on that in months to come, hopefully…

As for today, I want to tell you what happened this weekend as you were re-introduced to Max, the amazing Cockapoo (a Spaniel/Poodle mix).

On April 5th, 2011, nearly 3 years ago, I wrote Jack Meets Max The Cockapoo. Today, I write the follow-up.

We visited our friends, the Scotts, who happen to have a daughter named Parker who is close to your age, as well as a lovable dog who seems to be mutually interesting in you.

I really enjoyed following you, Parker, and Max around the Scotts’ house.

What initially started out as you sort of pestering Max, because you wanted to pet him so much, ended up being for the majority of the visit, a constant chase of Max after you.

Granted, I think some of it is that he was curious to try your organic yogurt-covered raisins.

But I could also see that Max also truly wanted to be your friend.

I loved watching him follow you around.

What I loved even more was the way you so naturally talked to Max, assuming he definitely understood you.

“Follow me, Max. Come this way with us,” I heard you tell him as you and Parker ventured over to the kitchen.

Later on in the morning, as Max was getting bored of being upstairs watching you and Parker in the “jumpy house,” as you call it, you could tell Max wasn’t being himself:

“What’s wrong, Max? Why are you sad? You want to go downstairs?”

For me, it was like watching three children, two are which were actually human. Even I could see, as you so easily did, that Max wanted your friendship and acceptance; and again, your snacks.

I don’t want to make it seem like our family members are huge animal lovers that let dogs lick our mouths. After all, our family doesn’t have a pet. As we put it, “We’re not dog people and we know this.”

However, Max is different.

We’ve known him for about five years now. He’s like the coolest dog ever. So Mommy and I have tossed around the idea… of getting a Cockapoo when you’re a bit older.

We’ll see.

Love,

Daddy