hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


February 22, 2012

Poor Tom's Almanac: Animal behavior governs our own

Thought for the day: Be kind to animals. Otherwise you'll grow to be like them.

Ever notice that some people represent the pets they keep, especially canines. I remember taking notice of such a resemblance when I photographed dogs with their owners. In some cases, it was so remarkable I did a double take.

Never had a dog, as much as I wanted one. Neither did my children, despite their occasional pleas. Instead, we relegated ourselves toward a cat. Pebbles came from a litter and became part of our family for 11 years before disappearing one afternoon.

I was always led to believe that he knew when his time had come and didn't wish to burden anyone with the consequences. We never had him replaced.

Just got done reading about this guy who housed 94 hamsters. He had them in aquariums and buckets, Tupperware containers and who knows where else. So he decided it was too much to handle and took his problem to the animal shelter.

I give the guy some credit. At least he didn't display cruelty and put them down. Knowing the MSPCA and the fine work they do, it's my guess that most or all were adopted into caring homes.

People who love animals can't be all that bad. We sometimes live for the animals we keep. But to each his own. I could never tolerate the idea of an iguana or boa constrictor in my house. Nor an alligator. Yet, in speaking with those who harbored such reptiles, they vouched for their gentility.

An architect in my city had an iguana named Iggy who turned into an office mascot. Imagine paying him a call and having an iguana greet you at the door. He served the reptile red cabbage from the supermarket and it was as docile as a cloth doll.

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