Are you the type of person who must have pets in your life? Or are you married to the type of person who must have pets in their life? Maybe both? Amy L. Peterson's latest non-fiction humor book, Something Furry Underfoot, paints a vivid picture of what it is like to share your life with a partner obsessed with pets. I know this critter filled life well since it is a life I chose in being with Bethany.
The first pets that the author's husband, Mark, brings into the family home are relatively low maintenance, a frogs and an iguanas, that live in cages. The cages, however, didn't always contain the pets in the book. This was especially true when ferrets were added to the pet collection. Coco the ferret in Something Furry Underfoot is exactly like Bethany's cat Amelia. I laughed out loud at Coco's biting habit, attention seeking destruction and crazy antics. While I was laughing, Amelia ran up and bit me with a large chunk of toilet paper from the roll she just destroyed still stuck in her claws.
Something Furry Underfoot is a heavily conversational book and among the most memorable to me is the conversation that brings up Mark's idea that the breeding of pets would be a money maker. It seems that everyone I know has always thought breeding their pets would bring in an income and they have always been wrong. Obviously, the same thing happened when the author and Mark attempted to breed and sell hedgehogs. There are various life tips scattered through out the book and the one here was "Tip #9: Breeding pets to make money doesn't always work out so well."
It's funny how animal lover's have the same memories. The first time the family in Something Furry Underfoot gathered around to feed crickets to the frogs reminded me of the first time I brought goldfish to my piranha's; a personal episode of "Wild Kingdom." I thought of all our years of work to keep Wilhelm out of the trash, cat food and many other things with the author's recounting of pet proofing their house in the book. Animal lovers spend humorous amounts of time on therapies and treatments for pets. Ms. Peterson rehabilitated a paralyzed ferret by working and massaging his back legs for several weeks and I once took an injured fish out of the tank each day to swab cream on it's wound. Then there's the reality of taking care of family members who have significantly shorter lives than the rest of us, recounted with tenderness
In a lighthearted way, this book helped me realize how lucky I am in choosing my animal filled life with Bethany. She already had a zoo when we first got together so I knew what I was getting myself into. ("Tip #5: If your significant other was ever denied a pet in his/her 'previous life, ' you may be in for a lot of fur.") And since Bethany is the one who walks, trains and grooms the one pet in the house that was (sort of) my idea I do not take offense at all to "Tip #20" in Something Furry Underfoot: "When a man (or child) promises to take care of the critter they want, don't believe them."
For anyone who has ever loved and shared their life with pets, Something Furry Underfoot is an enjoyable read. It unabashedly takes on the good and the bad times of life with pets, from the wonderful moment that you first lock eyes with your furry best friend to dealing with absurdly high vet bills. The book portrays the realization that all animal lovers have from the moment you bring the pet home; growing to understand that your pets will be leaving long before you and that knowledge helps to focus your effort and love into making each moment with your pet the best it can be.