Mouse Droppings: Return to Sender
I am saddened to report the news that Milford the Mouse has officially been evicted from the Feldman household. I can't say the decision to oust the smelly rodent was an easy one. You see, my incredibly responsible and kind son reminded me that once you name a pet, you're not supposed to send him back. The only problem was, if you name a pet that then emits a foul smelling odor that starts creeping through your mudroom and into your garage one week before your mom is supposed to arrive for Passover, it's time to send the mouse packing.
And so, after my son did an incredibly wonderful thing yesterday - he sang at a nursing home on behalf of our synagogue, I broke the news to him as gently as I could.
"Dylan I have to tell you that we've got to send Milford back to Petco. But I'm going to make a deal with you. If you let us return him, I'll get you two pets for the price of one."
While Dylan was upset at first, he took the bait and agreed to check out his options. We then raced home and Dylan found a shoebox, placed his friend inside along with a piece of lettuce and we hopped in the car. Of course, the ride over to Petco had a bit of drama - Milford managed to find the one hole in the shoebox where he could slither out and escape. I over-reacted and grabbed the rodent and Dylan started crying - thinking I was crushing his poor defenseless pet. Thankfully, Milford was just fine and I instructed the kids that if the mouse were to seek refuge in my car, it would not end well for him.
Once we arrived at Petco, my husband attempted to find someone who would help us return Milford. What we discovered is that Petco is like Home Depot. If you're a pet owner, you should know where you're going and don't expect anyone to help you. Just like when you're in Home Depot and you need to buy some nails and no one is there to assist you with your purchase. We finally found a guy in the reptile section who thought we were nuts returning the mouse and even asked us for a receipt. We told him we didn't have one but he could just keep the mouse - we didn't want our money back. And so, he shrugged his shoulders, said "Okay" and walked away with Milford - toward the reptile section and not toward the mouse tank. Let's hope that Milford made a great escape before he became an appetizer for a snake or that the guy cleaned him up and put him back in the pen with his friends. Either way, we bid adieu to Milford and went on a search for a new pet.
Since no one at Petco was helping us, we left the store and hit PetSmart - which incidentally, is like the Lowes of pet centers. People are eager to help you and are even knowledgeable if you ask them which rodent really doesn't smell bad. When we explained our plight to one of the Petsmart employees he instantly knew where we went wrong and even let us sniff all the tanks to show us what they smelled like before their bedding was changed. Incidentally, the prize for the worst smelling tank was awarded to a rat.
After rounding a corner and taking a look at all the different options in front of us, my kids set their sites on two dwarf hamsters. And while the argued briefly about where they would put the tank (it's now in the guest room), they scooped them up, put them in a box and we were on our merry way.
I am happy to report that Millie (named for Milford) and Munchkin are doing quite well in their new home. No foul smells are coming from their tank and they're having the time of their lives. As for Milford, I don't know what happened to that little white mouse - I only hope that he got the chance to re-join his family so they could all live smell-ily ever after.
Posted in: Blog on 04/11/2011