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okay so I wanted to know everyone's story about how they obtained their first rat.

My mom picked me up from school on halloween '06 and asked me if I wanted to go get another pet. At the time my tarantula had already passed and I had a pet gecko.

So I was going through all the pet stores and I was looking at snakes and a tarantula...my mom looks at me and says "why don't you get something cudly?" She was trying to talk me into getting a rat and was telling me about when she had a pet rat.

So I looked at the rats, and they were all little babies and the future Adie runs up to the glass and stares at me lol, one of the clerks handed her to me and I ended up buying her.

and I had no idea what I had gotten myself into...she pretty much took over my life lol. So I started to look up about rats and realized 'hey, she needs a buddy.' and thats when Sweet Pea came into the picture.

My rats have changed my life, I dunno what I'd be doing without them. They make me feel better when I come home from a crappy day of school.

So, whats your story?

Nikki >.<
 

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Well what seems like a long time ago I wanted to get rats because I loved the animals in Harry Potter (only the second book had been released), and since my mom wouldn't let me get an owl she let me get a rat instead. I'll admit that I wasn't the best rat owner back then, and after two sets of rats who lived for a while, but not as long as I would have liked, I got out of rats an into horses.

So last year around this time I went into a petsmart to pick up some rabbit food and they had a pathetic little hairless rat for sale. My mom told me that if I held her I'd bring her home. She was right. It was a spur of the moment idea, but I bought Betty (named right then and there) and a cage. Since I had never owned a hairless before I decided to research what sort of special care they might need and ended up here. By some luck I was actually doing somethings right (decent sized cage, not the worst food), but I was amazed at how much more I could be doing to make her happy (by this time I was thoroughly wrapped around her little paw). So I adopted her two companions in the form of neutered boys, a much bigger cage, and the best food I can find. But I stick around here to learn more and hopefully make her even happier!
 

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I think there's already a thread on this somewhere, but that was a while ago, it probably got buried.

Anyway, my story is that I really wanted mice when I was little. So I must have been about 7, and my parents finally let my sister and I get pets- she got a fish tank, and I almost got mice. But the pet store guy managed to talk me into rats, saying they were so much more friendly and better pets. Boy was he right! So it all started 14 years ago with a pair named Zippity and Ellie. Sadly, Ellie was a girl and Zip was a boy, so Ellie went to a friends, and I got Zappity, and history was started. Since then I've had a whole line of rats, girls and boy, usually in pairs but sometimes alone, right up till my current trio!
 

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Hahaha, you're mom was in for the idea of rats in the first place, you lucky duck.

Mi padre y hermano y yo (My dad, brother, and I, I guess it means) were wandering around a strip mall. I love pet stores, so we went in. They had this huge cage of ferrets, and I, of course, tried to talk my dad into getting one- again. Fruitless, as always. Almost got me grounded again. But then I saw all the rats they had (now that I think about it, in bad conditions), and the sign said some interesting stuff. So I went home and researched. And researched. And researched summore. And you know what? Forget ferrets, I wanted a rat. (Well, I still want a ferret, but my parents won't even budge a smidge, and I have my rats, so I'm fine) It took long enough to get them into the idea, with a bunch of help from this site (THANK YOU GUYS), but I eventually got Mimzy and Zita, my lovely pews. Now they've got a cage that could fit 5 rats (quite the upgrade from that fishtank, although they were the only two sharing it, unlike the other overcrowded cages) and a loving family.

Oh my gosh, I absolutely love them. They're smart and cute and quirky and friendly and the best.
 

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I had evolved beyond hamsters and bought some mice which I loved to death! But they weren't enough. I practically begged my mum to allow me to get a rat, but she said no because she was terrified of them (yeah, but she liked mice?! - that was my reasoning at the time).

As I worked in the cafe at the garden centre which sells rats - I knew exactly where I could get one.

I decided there was no way, left to her own devices, she would agree to let me have one. I had to take matters into my own hands!

So, when I had a day off from exams (it was my GCSE exams - biggies!) instead of revising I walked 3 miles through country lanes to the garden centre. I had took one look at my first boyo, Kain, and fell in love. I walked all the way home with Kain in my hands, enjoying the sunshine of the best day EVER!

We stopped once, so I could get a bottle of water. I popped Kain in my backpack for a few moments while I went into the shop. I came out again and we sat on the bench outside the shop drinking water (me from the bottle, he from the bottle cap).

I got home and dreaded mum getting back from work. She came home - got really REALLY mad for a day or two until I decided to tell her to stop being a baby and hold him. If she didn't like him after she held him; I would take him back (or so I said). So she held him, enjoyed it (he gave her a kiss on the hand) and she's never gone back since. Both my younger sisters were afraid - now the youngest loves my guys and gals. The middle remains a pain in the ass and makes a big song and dance whenever I let them free range around her.

BUT! Yes. That's the story of my first little buddy, Kain and how he cured (most of) a house of rat-a-phobes.

I'm so glad I took the risk of my mothers wrath - I couldn't imagine my life without El Rattos. They give so much - I just hope one day I can give back half of what they've given me :)
 

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my daughter has social anxiety, so our doctor suggested she get a pet. we live in an apartment complex where the leases clearly state "no pets", so that eliminated a dog or a cat. one of her friends had a rat, so she suggested that perhaps she get one, too. i told her to do all the research, costs involved, etc, before i would even consider it, so she did. she learnt that rats need a friend or two, so that would mean getting at least two, instead of the one that she wanted. so, after making a few phone calls to different pet stores around town, we found one that had little girls, so off we went. almost $200 later, we were on our way home with ginger, loco, a cage, water bottle, ceramic bowl, a few toys and a seed mix.

of course, ggmr hit, so we got soot & ash, then daughters friend decided she didnt want her rat any more (her toddler was torturing her), so meggsy came to live with us... then cirrus, nimbus & spazz.

my daughter wanted some little boys after that, and thats when our neighbours got ratties too. one of them had a "pet store" litter (they didnt get them from the same store we go to), so we took ****** & specks when they were old enough to leave their mum. not long after that, ginger died.

about 3 months ago, someone posted on another list that i belong to, that she had some boys that needed a good home as she was moving overseas to pursue a music career with her band, so i emailed her. along came stumpy, sproccy, spritely, sherbet & monkey.

then last week, i brought little myst home.

and thats how and why i have rats :)
 

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I never really considered rats as pets before. I don't like hamsters.. too... er.. lacking in the brains department, dwarf hams are too aggressive, mice smell bad, gerbils are too skittish, and while guinea pigs ARE very cute, they're not really my kind of pet. No, rodents just didn't really interest me.

For the longest time I planned to get a ferret, but then after moving to Virginia to live with the love of my life I started thinking about getting a rat instead.. For one thing, they're a lot less expensive than ferrets, and they're just plain easier to take care of in general, but I didn't really know that much about rats, so I had to do some research.

First I posted on my Deviantart Journal asking if rats can be litter trained. I don't like to be pooped on. Lots of rat owners replied saying that they can, or that they haven't tried litter training their rats, but they've heard they can.. and a few replied with the most important bit of information of all: Don't get one--get two!

I didn't want two rats though, and thought that if I just pay enough attention to one, it would be able to live happily. I did more research, discovered and joined this forum, and found that even 24 hours of attention wouldn't be enough to make up for the company of another rat. Then I started thinking of how I would feel if I didn't have my fiance. I'd be depressed all the time, so it was settled: I would get two girls to keep each other company.

After a month or two of reading, buying a Martins r690 and cage accessories, we both took a trip back to Washington state to visit my family for the... late holidays. The day after we came back we went out to find our rats. Stopped in at a local pet store that breeds their own animals, and they had the cutest little pearly girl. I asked the employee if I could hold her, and she nervously pulled the rat out by her tail. :( She handed me the girl that would be OzDust, and seemed nervous that I wasn't holding on to Dust's tail, and with every move she made, the girl would jump to try and catch her (even though Dust never once tried to jump out of my hands).

I listened to Dust's lungs, checked her face for porphyrin, then we put her back in the 10 gallon aquarium and picked out a cagemate for her. I wanted a hoodie, but there were none in the "small rat" cage, so we looked in the "medium rat" cage, and there was Gohma. The girl again pulled her out by her tail and reluctantly handed her to me (as if I'm the one who didn't know the right way to hold a rat). Gohma did try to jump out of my hands, but I held on to her, telling her it would be alright. Listened to her lungs as well, and checked her face for porphyrin too, then announced that these were the two I wanted.

The girl looked around for a box to put them in and ended up putting them in a used cricket box...probably where they picked up the lice from. Being strangers to each other, Dust and Gohma sniffed each other and huddled together in fear as we made our way home as fast as possible. We set them in the cage and they were both baffled by the multiple levels. They'd never seen anything like it, and at first didn't quite understand how to get from floor to floor. It didn't take them long to figure it out though, and soon they were right at home. :)
 

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I had one pet for most of my life. FooFoo was a part of my family since I was five when I found her on the street, until I went away to college. She slept in my bed all of her life, and she passed away the second semester I was away from home. It was super hard, and I didn't think I'd have room in my heart for another animal again. I didn't for a long time. It was probably a little over 4 years before I really started to think about adopting another pet but I still wasn't really ready for a dog because I was moving around a lot, and I was thinking of a cat but I'm really more of a dog person. I had hamsters when I was little, so I thought of adopting another but Dan (my boyfriend) suggested a rat. "A rat? Reall? I never thought of a rat as a pet I guess, and their tails kinda freak me out!" I can't even believe that came out of my mouth now. I frequented pet stores, and every time I'd ask a question or two about rats (not thinking I was misinformed) and I didn't really have the attention span for the internet at the time (this is actually the first real forum I've joined lol) Anyhoo, we went to visit Dan's sister in State College, and we went to Wegmans (for fun) I asked if we could stop in the local petco. I went to look at the rats like usual, and I saw this super spunky little black rat mixed in with the pews. I seriously think it was love at first sight. I asked to hold her, and she was plucked out by her tail. I asked if that would hold her, and I was told, "Noooooo it's fine! Doesn't hurt them one bit!" She ran up my arm and I was hooked. I went and picked up the My First Rat kit and some extra toys/food/bedding. I don't know if it was the excitement of my new little girl or the icky feeling I got from being told it was ok to pick her up by the tail but I got online. I honestly didn't know if I would find much information about pet rats because I figured they couldn't be terribly popular as pets (don't worry I could have smacked myself too :)) and boy did I find out everything I learned from asking people at the pet stores about rats was completely WRONG!!!!!!! They told me the small cage would be fine for a year, and then I might need to buy a slightly bigger cage. I asked that specifically because I wanted a GOOD cage that would last longer than a month. I was told to feed her forti diet. I can't believe what I was told now. I remember shouting to Dan in astonishment how wrong everything was, and that's when I noticed that every website mentioned they need a friend. I went back to the pet store but I didn't make a connection with any other rats, so we went to another small local pet store. There I met a really nice girl who took me to the back where they had been saving these cute little rex babies from being food :( and I adopted another "girl" for Penny. I named "her" Ostrich. I guess rat fever spread quickly because later that day Dan's sister decided to go back and adopt the two remaining litter mates of Ostrich. A few weeks later I noticed my "girl" might be developing tumors. That's about the time I joined a few forums to figure it all out, and by the time I realized the tumors were testicles, and after being very confused about separating them due to depression, they were separated. It was, of course, too late, and Penny gave birth to 15 cute eapers. Dan and I ended up keeping 5. 2 went to Jackie. 2 went to an ex-coworker, and 1 went to a member of this forum. The remaining 5 went to a rescue, and they all found homes. A few months, extra knowledge, and a Ferret Nation later I adopted a little hyper hairless.

I'll be a 1 year old rat mommy this April! YAY!
 

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When I was about to turn 15, I finally convinced my parents to let me get a pet of my very own for my birthday. We had had an assortment of family pets, but I wanted one for just me. I did a lot of research on small animals, trying to decide what the best fit would be. I decided a rat would be perfect (at the time I never saw anything about how important it was to have more than one rat). My mom flat-out would not let me get a rat, no matter how much I begged.. just because she didn't like their tails -_-; So I got a guinea pig instead ^.^

Fast forward to 7 years later (almost a year ago - I too will celebrate my one-year anniversary of becoming a rattie slave in April ^_^) - I made friends with a guy who had a rat, and she was adorable and awesome. It rekindled my interest in rats, and I re-researched them (so much information had changed over the years), decided that rats would still fit very well with me and my life, and then convinced my grandma (who I was living with) to let me get a pair of ratties.

Now I have 9 (and I'm very firm about keeping my numbers in single digits), and I don't think I'll ever not have rats in my life ^.^
 

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I grew up just inside the Everglades. We had a huge property of several acres & my nearest neighbor was over 3 miles away. I've always had lots of animals & took care of 100's of orphaned wild animals from as far back as I remember.

My first rats were wild babies & I was in Kindergarten or even earlier. My Father insisted that I release wild animals back to the wild & I did. I enjoyed the rats so much he agreed to let me get some to keep.

I've had rats ever since this time... about 35 years.
 

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All my siblings and myself had pet rats except my older brothers. We were terrible owners only having the Pet Rats Booklet to refer to (pine, aquariums, singles, hamster seed mix...but they got out a lot, and were fed veggies etc). My family stopped owning them in their teens and I kept going. I found the internet, realized all the things I was doing wrong, found my first exotics vet, and then found Rescues :)
 

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I took the exit by the last blue ziggerat.

*cough*


er... my roommate got Bacardi and I got Perry to keep him company and then found Guinness and then decided to look for a place to learn more about them....

Tada!
 

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Wow this threads good

Well my brothers budgie died infront of us - looked like it had a stroke and was paralyised down one side and just took its last breath - so there was a nice cage going big cage at that - i was like mum i want a cockatil ( i have kept many birds over the last 3 years but they all have died young) and she was like NO then i went ok then can i have a hamster (the last hamster i had bit me and i needed stitches and got spticemia) so she went how about rats (her friends had them)
at first i was like hmm
then i was like yeah thats cool , so the next day me and my bro went to the petstore Jollys and looked at the female rats i feel in love with two out the 3 and got told to buy stuff i didnt need and the wrong feed ect came home read this forum and fancyrats and learnt so much- and then felt guilty there was one alone female in the petstore so my brother got her for me.
Since then my mum has brought 6 rats and we are planning to turn the sun lounge into a rat room soon as well. so we will be getting a lot more.
I dont know how i lived without my ratties i love them so much - i swear they eat better then me - now there in a proper leveled cage with proper rat nuggets fruit and veg and treats and free range time in the bath tub - im not confident enough to let them free range anywhere there very curious girls and FAST
Jess x
 

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It was actually suggested to me. The house that I'm leaving in this school year allowes caged pets, so I was thinking about getting a hamster or something. I told my uncle (who has worked with animals for years), and he told me that I would be much better off getting rats, since they're a lot like dogs. I got Jay & Silent Bob in the middle of August and just fell in love. So I got Sweetness in the beginning of October and Gwendolyn in the end of October.
 

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well... mine is quite a long story really so I try and make it shorter!

We had a rabbit that died but we didnt have any pets for a few months, so without telling anyone, my mum popped off to the pet store looking for some gerbils. The pet shop didnt have any gerbils but the lass (helper) went, hang on there for a second, I think I have a solution for you, so my mum just stayed there thinking, eh?

Bear in mind, my mum HATED rats and this lass just practically through this rat (wish Ive been there, i would have laughed) onto her shoulder, my mum froze a bit and this lil rat started sniffing her ear and my mum went aaww, they arent as bad as their reputation and baught that rat there and then...

He was a typical brown rat called Rikki Tikki Tava (i named him! hehehe) and he has been a pleasure and ever since he passed away, we always wondered how we managed to live without rats and have owned them since he passed away.... miss him loads
 

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Well... my parents were having a garage sale, and my husband and I were helping them get everything straightened before we opened in the morning. I came across this huge box of my Da's hamstertrail tubes that he had lugged around from house to house since, like, 1970-something. Least they looked it--bright orange! My Da said we could take them if we wanted them. We had been thinking about getting a new pet, so we did.

I didn't know if I wanted gerbils or hamsters or mice, so I researched. After lots of research, I decided that nothing should live in those tunnels and we trashed them. (Da said he didn't want them back.) I had decided though. I wanted a ferret.

I researched and... well, we live in an apartment. I read about how destructive ferrets can be. I decided that wouldn't be good for two college students living in rented space, not to mention how expensive they are (much more expensive than rats)...

So I started thinking about rats. My husband and I did some research (here and GooseMoose mostly), and... we were sold. (Well, I was. I'll admit it: he didn't get to have much of an opinion once I had decided I wanted rats.) I ordered the cage, I ordered the food, I made hammocks, and I visited pet stores. (I know, not the smartest.) One day in Petco though, I was just totally disgusted by the condition of the rats in their little aquarium things. The bedding was at least three or four days old and there were about 20 "small" rats in the cage. Several had crusted eyes and weren't moving--even though they weren't sleeping.

As much as I wanted to save those rats, I couldn't save all of them, and I had decided that I wanted females. I didn't want pregnant rats, so I went back to the internet to research shelters or breeders. I found a breeder about an hour and a half away, picked out two about five months old from their internet site, went back and picked out a third (The breeder sent us the wrong pictures, and I found out they were littermates... and named her. :roll: Whimsy. :D It was done after that.). And after two weeks of waiting, we met with the breeder and took them home! FizGig, Pixel, and Whimsy.

I don't think I'll ever live without rats again. They are my babies! I love how Whimsy, FizGig, and Pixel all run up to the cage when I call to them. "Whatsa doin' girlies? Whatsa doin'?" Especially Whimsy. She always knows I'm coming and reaches her paws through the bars. <3 Loves her.

So... wow. That's a long post. Sorry guys. But that's how my husband and I came to be in the world of the rat.
 

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In 6th grade I became good friends with a girl, Ciara, who had a friend I never got to meet who had mice. We both decided we wanted mice and decided to do some research to help smooth over the proposition of rodents as pets to our moms.

Then we noticed rats, bigger and better! Yay!

So, my parents said yes and I got two lovely ratatats! After they passed I didn't get any more rats for a few years but late in my 9th grade year(I think) that I started having trouble with panic attacks so my parents decided to let me get more rats to help cope with the anxiety disorder.

The ratties have helped a LOT with the anxiety, I really do NEED them for the rest of my life! Lol. :D
 

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My boyfriend was studying, and therefore living in Portsmouth UK. I'm from London so it wasn't far to travel, and I stayed down there quite a lot. It was a hot day in May (I think) and we decided to take a walk.

We passed this little cute pet shop which always had bunnies running around on the floor so we decided to have a peek in so I could see them (I'm SUCH a kid). The guy in the store had ratties running around everywhere, PEW females, and I played with a couple and fell in love. He told me about the temperament of males and females, so I decided (after persuading the boyfriend) to get a husky/roan male, Addo!

Shortly after we moved into our apartment in London I got Edgar, and today I got Winston!
 

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Well my sister came with her rats last summer -- at first I was scared of my sisters rats, but then as the summer went on I came to love them. We were planning on getting our own--- but by the end of the summer-- my sister decided she couldn't handle the financial burden of 10 rats, so she decided to give us four of them. So I got Ira, Koi, Darla and Tara, who we had to put to sleep not long after my sister left. She was on two antibotics for wheezing. The vet seemed to think that she had a virus from her mommys breastmilk. Anyway we are left with three whom I love so much.. After talking to the vet he suggested not getting anymore rats right now because of the virus can be caught very easily because of the others grooming her, and her grooming them. I am planning on getting more rats soon though. I really want baby rats
 

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Haha...well, the story of how I got my first rat is somewhat boring.

I was 13, I do believe. I already had a few hamsters, a rabbit, and some fish. My friend also had some hamsters and mice and such. We were best friends then, and we both had our small menagerie of rodents. One day she came home with a male rat. I had never thought of getting rats before, but I fell in love with her big, squishy Moonlight pretty fast.

Then I wanted a rat. I went and bought a book on rat care, and I asked my mom if I could get one. It must not have taken much convincing, because in no time I had my own little agouti hooded girl. I named her Candy.

After I had read the rat book, we learned that rats should be housed in pairs. My friend got a friend for her rat and named him Starlight. Those two were such a riot. Such awesome little squishies. I'm thinking that my mom wouldn't allow me to get another rat, and I think the cage I had for her was barely big enough for two rats anyway, that's probably why I didn't get another one like she did.

Then I ended up moving to my dad and stepmom's place. They wouldn't let me get Candy a friend, either. After being there for a few months, we found out that my dad is deathly allergic to rats. Whenever he was in the same room as the rat, he'd get hay-feverish and his throat would start to close up. My parents decided that the rat had to go. My friend with the other two rats was somehow able to convince her dad to let her take in Candy, and before I gave Candy to her I finally got Candy a friend to live with.


As for the girls I have now...

I had been thinking of getting rats again, since I was 18 and out of the house. I still had Candy's old cage, after all. One day I went into a small, locally owned pet shop just to look around. I saw that they had some "hairless rats" for sale, and I asked to take a look. The guy showed them to me, and what they really were is double rexes. There were two agouti girls I think, and then there was a Himalayan. I fell in love with her sweet ugliness (haha, no kidding, she really is an ugly rat!) and brought her home and named her Anastasia shortly afteward.

Of course I knew that rats should be in pairs, so I started searching around for another little girl to fall in love with. I went to Petco and asked to see their female rats. I think there was only two or three rats in the cage. One was a cream-colored hooded (not sure on the technical names for all of the rat colors :3), and the other I saw was an agouti capped rat. I asked to hold the hooded, and she ran away over and over again while the lady tried to grab her. I told her, "Oh, that's okay, just let her be; let me hold the other one." She took out the capped with ease. I held her a little, and she was such a sweet little thing.

The second thing I noticed was that she was pregnant. I thought and thought about it, and finally decided to get her and raise the babies, since she was such a little sweetie and I would hate to have her babies grow up in a tiny cage in the shady back room of a pet store. I told the Petco associate that she was pregnant and I asked her if they would take the babies back once they were weaned. She told me that they would take them back, no problem.

I introduced Felicity to Anastasia, and they got along fine, like I expected. They weren't together for very long, though, before I separated Felicity into her own maternity cage. A few days after getting her, Felicity gave birth to 11 little eepers - 8 boys and 3 girls. All of them had little caps, and looked mostly like Mom. The father must have been a hooded rat or something, though, because their caps were rather...shouldery. And then there's Amber, who had a random splash of color on the middle of her back.

Once the boys were old enough to be on their own, I took them back to Petco to be adopted out of their adoption center. At first they gave me a bunch of grief, until I explained to them that I had purchased a pregnant female, and that these were the babies I was told I could bring back. I told them that I was being nice and bringing them one gender at a time, so that they only took up one space in the adoption center. Then they were like OH, OKAY, and finally took them. -_-;

Two weeks later I took in two of girls to be adopted out. I kept Amber.

After a while of just having those three, we were wandering Petco, and we noticed a small litter of rats in the adoption center. All of them were black hoodies, mixed genders, and I think all of them were rexes, but some more than others. We asked to see them, and found out there were two females. I handed my girlfriend, Heather, the smallest of all of them, a little girl, and I held the other girl.

Heather fell in love. We clearly were not leaving that store without Fiona coming with us (she was named in the store). Fiona has her own little story of what happened after we left Petco, but maybe I'll save that for another time. =P
 
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