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    Pooped Trying To Explain It All

    | Austin, TX, USA | Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals, Theme Of The Month

    (I have been working at a popular, well known pet store for about two weeks. It is my first night closing alone when my manager finds me to ask if I can talk to a family about adopting a small pet. I am lead to a family of two young boys, both under 10 years old, and their father.)

    Me: “Hi! How can I help you?”

    Father: “Yes, well, we have never had a pet before. They want something that doesn’t bite, will run in a ball so they can play with it without it getting away, something they can hold and play with, and something they can take care of themselves.”

    Me: “Well, sir, you will need to watch the kids and be sure the pet is being taken care of since they are so young. There is no pet we have that very young children can take care of alone.”

    Father: “Really? Not even the hamsters?” *points to our gerbils*

    Me: “No, sir. They all require daily care, food, water, cage cleaning.”

    Father: “What about the gerbils?”

    (He points to our mice.)

    Me: “Those are mice, and yes, they need daily care. I also would not recommend them to new, young owners who want something calm that they can easily handle. They are quick and tend to bite.”

    Father: “What about those? Are those mice?”

    Me: “No sir, those are dwarf hamsters and also bite.”

    Father: “What about those? Are those gerbils?”

    Me: “No, sir, those are bear hamsters. They are calmer but also bite and need time to warm up before they are easily handled and will need adult supervision before being allowed alone with small children.”

    Father: “Even the gerbils?”

    Me: “Yes, sir, even the gerbils… Maybe you would like to look at our guinea pigs? They don’t really bite and it’s kind of hard to lose them if they get out. But still need to be watched by adults.”

    Father: “That’s a guinea pig?” *points to the bear hamsters*

    Me: “No, these are. Would you like to see one?”

    Father: “How do you take of care of it?”

    Me: “Well, it needs to be fed and watered everyday, needs hay daily, and it’s cage bedding needs to be cleaned at least once a week.”

    Father: “Once a week?! How often does it poop?!”

    Me: “Every day. All our animals poop every day.”

    Father: “What about this hamster?” *points to the mice*

    Me: “Those are mice. They bite, and also poop daily.”

    Father: “And this? It’s small, it can’t poop everyday.”

    Me: “That’s the gerbils. Again, they also bite and poop.”

    (At this point I recommended a fish, which he turned down, so I got my manager to help me explain what pet care means. He ended up getting a guinea pig but not before I, my manager, and other staff, including the cashiers, reminded him of its species and needs, gave him numerous free booklets and phone numbers, and made sure he knew he could bring it back for anything. We even allowed him to bring it back past our normal 2 week return policy.)