Pet of the Day

January 14, 1999

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Josie, the Pet of the Day
Name: Josie
Age: Three and a half years old
Gender: Female
Kind: Prairie Dog
Home: Downingtown, Pennsylvania, USA
   This is Josie, our female prairie dog. We purchased her at six weeks of age and have enjoyed her ever since. She barks when we walk in the door and when we talk to her... also when we sneeze she blesses us with a bark. Scratching her ears and back are a source of pleasure for her. Josie hates her bath but loves being cooled down with a garden hose in the summer time.

    Favorite foods are watermelon, sunflower seeds, unsalted peanuts, blueberries, timothy and Wheat Thins. Any other kind of cracker ends up on the floor. In her two story condo cage she is constantly nibbling at the bars and rearranging her blankets. Josie sleeps in a flower pot and will cover herself with a towel so she can't be seen. She does not like strangers in our house but loves her family (and little kids, too). The birdbells hanging in her cage provide a source of noise which she loves to make. Josie constantly punches at these bells like Muhammad Ali at a punching bag. She could wake the dead with the noise she makes rolling her PVC pipe in her cage.

    Josie is not really litter trained, but she does piddle in only one corner of her cage. We do not take her out to run free very often because we have to be right behind her or she can be quite destructive. In the flash of an eye she can take a nibble out of the wall. And she loves to shred cloth. She takes the shredded cloth and makes a nest in her flower pot. Once I moved her cage too close to the couch and when I came home there was a hole in the side of the arm the size of a softball. She was sleeping in the shredded foam stuffing. I cried, but knew it was my own carelessness.

    Otherwise she is a riot to watch. She loves to have her back and tiny ears scratched. She just flattens out and closes her eyes. When she is too warm in the summer she lays on her back with her feet up the air, with her eyes wide open. At first glance she looks dead. As many people's pets, we think she is priceless.

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