Pet of the Day

September 7, 2003

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Nino, the Pet of the Day
Name: Nino
Age: Nine months old
Gender: Male
Kind: Dumbo hairless rat
Home: Huntington, West Virginia, USA
   Nino had a tough start in life. A friend in Indiana found him in a pet store. His back and sides were cut up, and he had a sneeze and head tilt and a swollen leg. She picked him up and took him to the vet where his respiratory infection was treated. His sores healed as well with care and patience. A few weeks later I picked him up. I never had a hairless rat before. I was worried that he'd need lots of extra care, but he didn't need anything but a loving touch and a safe home. His head tilt got worse, and I was worried it was a losing battle, but he saw my vet and was treated with different medicine. The tilt got a little better, and never worse again. His cuts are healed. The physical scars remain but he is free from the shyness and fear he once had.

    My special naked guy is happy now, enjoying daily treats and being scratched behind his big saucer-like ears. Nino is never sad or sick now, just a bright and happy animal who seems to appreciate even the smallest things. If I just say his name, he is happy and "smiles" in his own way. He runs to greet me every morning and his adorable pink face always makes me smile, too. I can never have a bad day as long as Nino is there to cheer me up. He is an animal who beat the odds and brings happiness to everyone who sees him.

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