Ok, I’ll admit it!  I don’t have any pets nor do I want any.

At a very early age I was attacked by a strange dog who didn’t realize that I was only showing affection by pulling its tail. That was the catalyst for my fear of dogs bigger than 5 pounds.

My parents thought that having a dog running around the house would cure my fear so we had a whimpy boxer, a Dalmatian with a brain tumor (poor thing did not last long) and 2 toy poodles — not at the same time, of course.  Yes, I am cured to a certain point, but I avoid untrained dogs who are bigger than me. I do like cute well-trained little dogs, just for the record.

Over the years I have gone into many homes that had pets, some experiences not so pleasant.  There was the German Shepard who insisted that he was going to rummage through my tote, the twin Great Danes who used the carpeting as a bathroom and the furniture as a work out gym, and the Doberman as a guard dog.

These pet owners gushed over their dogs not caring if anyone didn’t appreciate being licked and jumped on.

My most memorable experience was when I walked into a home to remodel the master bath.  Innocently I looked at a small fish tank without water and asked if there was a baby snake in there hoping the answer was NO!  For the record, I do not like snakes, nor do I want to see them from any distance. 

Back to the empty fish tank . . . The answer was, “No, the snakes are in the living room in the 12’ glass tanks.”  The homeowner had 2 boa constrictors, each in its own tank.  I have no idea how long they were nor did I care.  Added to that was their dog who was over 6’ when standing on its hind legs. This was not going to be my ideal customer!

To this day I wonder why people have pet snakes.  They don’t have play dates with other snake owners, they can’t be taken for a walk, they don’t play frisbee, they don’t bark when a stranger comes to the door, they don’t make good running mates and they can’t be trained to fetch. 

The bottom line is that I respect animal lovers, but I don’t have to like their animals, so I greatly appreciate being warned about what kind of animal or animals my clients have and caging them before I get there.