My three-year-old wants a pet. I've tried the whole battery-operated dog that walks (shuffles) and barks, and I once painted a rather believable rabbit face on a decent-sized rock, but my toddler is smarter than your average preschooler. She wants the real thing.
This whole pet idea was weighing heavily on my mind. I don't know how to put this gently, but I dislike animals. Strongly. And the whole notion of having one under my roof was causing me to lose sleep at night. I made a pie chart (along with an actual pie), of the statistical life expectancy of numerous pets. If one was shown to live longer than four months, then I removed it from my list.
The only logical choice was a goldfish. Perfect. Easy peasy, thought I.
Turns out, I can't buy a solo goldfish in the country of Switzerland. Or a rabbit. Or even a filthy, snaggletooth guinea pig. The only way for me to be a proud owner of one of these varmints is to be a proud owner of TWO of these varmints. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Swiss Companionship Laws.
Apparently it's considered cruel to own a "companion" animal without providing it with a, you guessed it: companion. There is scientific evidence showing irreparable damage to the psyche of a goldfish if you force him to swim laps alone in his bowl. A rabbit may slip into a deep state of depression if he has no one with whom to share his carrot.
Here's my problem, guys. Doesn't the animal get any say in this? What if the hamster doesn't want a companion? Or prefers to chew his cardboard toilet paper roll all by his lonesome? What if the koi fish is, indeed, coy?
And to top it all off, what about ME? I would've given my last bottle of Ranch dressing for a companion when I first moved to Switzerland---all those lonely evenings sipping French wine and watching trashy television without the support of a gossipy girlfriend. Why is my psychological well-being inferior to that of a hamster?
I will tell you what happened when we gave my childhood hamster a companion. He ate him. Yes, Hammy the hamster dined on his associate, Whitey, and left only a bloody head to show for him. I wouldn't do that to my companion. I would refill her margarita. I would share my secrets and braid her hair.
I have yet to break the news to Amelia that she will not be getting a pet while we reside in Switzerland. One goldfish I could possibly handle, but two would certainly send me over the edge. And it's the principle of it all. Until you show me concrete evidence that Peter Cottontail resorted to Prozac after hopping down his desolate bunny trail, then I am reluctant to believe any mythical studies stating it's so.
ISO: a cocktail-slamming, shoe-shopping, binge-eating, female companion with a pet. If found, please invite us over for a play date. Pronto.