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Parents: I'm sorry for leaving you with the goldfish. Can you PLEASE get over it now?

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    Ok, I need to be completely honest:
    You know that kid whose parents buy him a goldfish when he was five, gets bored of it in a few months and leaves his parents to care for them?
    Well, that was me.
    Not particularly proud of my goldfish-abandoning past, but then, perhaps I wasn't mature enough then. I'd like to think, however, that I've gotten more responsible since then (and I should hope so!). And indeed, my parents now think me a highly responsible person in just about everything except the idea of pets.
    However, having toyed with the idea of asking for another pet into my teenage years, I can only wonder: would my parents EVER let me get another pet? Because honestly, despite the decade and some that has elapsed, I think my parents will still see me as the five year old who dumped a goldfish on them.
    Am I to be eternally taboo'd, a perpetual abandoner of pets, in their eyes?
    Ignoring that melodramatic line, please share any personal experience you've had of a similar kind or how you dealt with it.
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    (Original post by Djembe)
    Ok, I need to be completely honest:
    You know that kid whose parents buy him a goldfish when he was five, gets bored of it in a few months and leaves his parents to care for them?
    Well, that was me.
    Not particularly proud of my goldfish-abandoning past, but then, perhaps I wasn't mature enough then. I'd like to think, however, that I've gotten more responsible since then (and I should hope so!). And indeed, my parents now think me a highly responsible person in just about everything except the idea of pets.
    However, having toyed with the idea of asking for another pet into my teenage years, I can only wonder: would my parents EVER let me get another pet? Because honestly, despite the decade and some that has elapsed, I think my parents will still see me as the five year old who dumped a goldfish on them.
    Am I to be eternally taboo'd, a perpetual abandoner of pets, in their eyes?
    Ignoring that melodramatic line, please share any personal experience you've had of a similar kind or how you dealt with it.
    It happens with every pet in my house.

    "Mum, if we get a hamster we'll promise to look after it!"
    Mum has three years of cleaning out cages and hamster poop on the carpet.

    "Mum, if we get chickens we'll promise to look after them!"
    Mum gets up at 6am every morning to let the chickens out.

    etc.

    However, she does grow to love them. She spends so much time with the animals that she now loves them more than she loves us.

    As for your problem, you are pretty much doomed. It's the sort of thing that parents never get over.
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    I got 3 guinea pigs when i was a kid and didnt look after them properly (e.g. left the cleaning out to my mum and didnt pick them up so they became a bit feral!) but i really cared for them!

    So when they died i didnt get another pet for a couple of years...then i finally got the dog i always wanted..... I dont think my parents can say that i dont look after my dog....She is my best friend and i love her to pieces!

    I dont really know what to suggest, but i reckon having grown up you are more responsible (hopefully!) you have a lot of responibilities already (such as money etc) so you just gotta prove to your parents that you really really REALLY want another pet

    Not very helpful, but i hope my enthusiasm helps a little
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    Louise, thank you for your enthusiasm.

    As for being "pretty much doomed"... well, at least I can thank you, Sammy, for your honesty.

    Admittedly, it's not like we ever tried anything that existed outside of a tank (so no chickens, hamsters etc.), but that won't win any points with the 'rents, will it?

    Better just keep looking for ways to manipulate parents.
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    Just tell them it was their fault for letting you get a pet before you were ready. My mum made me complete a certain period of doing chores before I was allowed a hamster so that I had some responsibility before I looked after an animal. Shifting the blame is the best way. Perhaps.
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    I would suggest trying to find something vey basic which will let you show that you can be responsible. Once you do get it you need to make sure you show how you can look after it. I had a similar situation since we have always had pets but when I was younger I wasn't very good at caring for them. Thankfully my parents allowed me to get my ferrets and I've managed to show I'm capable of looking after an animal.
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    The problem that you've got now (if they think things through) is that in three year's time your parents are going to end up looking after the pet in question, when you move into halls and can't take it with you. My dad very nearly ended up looking after the chickens that he'd never wanted for an eternity (they can reach their teens), until the fox intervened shortly before my A Levels.

    You'd best hope that they either don't think things through, or suddenly decide that they've always wanted a dog / hamster / gecko . . .
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    That is a very big problem, but fortunately, I do have a solution: I am the eldest in my family, so there will be younger hands (who also desire a pet) who can take on the reins of care.
    And I'm still liking the whole "shifting blame" idea from ArtGoblin. It makes sense.
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    Why not volunteer to foster an animal from a rescue centre so you only have it short term and can show your responsibilities. Alternatively volunteer at an animal shelter to get an idea of care requirements and amount of effort for each animal?
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    Or be a guide dog puppy walker? You get the puppy for a year, and you have to train it and get it used to lots of different situations, and then you hand it back so that it can continue the training.
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    Goldfish have always struck me as the kind of pet that people tend to get bored with (my friend and her brother did); maybe suggest a pet such as a cat or dog that I don't think are associated so much with that problem.
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    I had the same problem with my parents not wanting a pet. My advice is to just keep nagging them untill you get your way. It worked for me and I now have a lovely cat who we all adore
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    Tell them the goldfish abandoned you. You were heart broken but decided it was for the best. Then make them feel guilty about not allowing you another pet in which you could find solace.
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    Get a jack russell! You wont regret it and neither will your parents!! Promise!!
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    tell them to man up,
    I have 30 snakes, 10 lizards, 100 rats and mice, a Dog, 10 fish, 10 amphibians and a hedgehog. to myself
    and they are ALL staying with my parents in the first year of uni, after that i will look for a flat for them.
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    (Original post by Origami Bullets)
    ... until the fox intervened shortly before my A Levels.
    Do you think there's a chance he arranged the fox's visit?
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    Personally I think they just don't want a pet in the house and are using that as an excuse not to allow you to have one. My parents did the same thing saying we all killed our goldfish as once my youngest sister fell asleep early so I stuck pencils up her nose and my other sister put pens in her fishtank which then leaked.

    We did eventually convince them to get us a hamster though, after spending ages begging for a dog/cat they suggested trying a smaller pet first. We thought they were going to insist on starting with goldfish again but instead said a hamster would be suitable as we can take it out of the cage and stroke it instead of it just being something to feed and clean out. That hamster then lived for several years and longer than its life expectancy, and so about a year after the hamster died we were allowed a cat. Now we have two cats.

    Perhaps try begging for an animal bigger than the one you want for a while, then make a more reasonable suggestion of the pet you do want and they may see it as compromising with you. Alternatively suggest something like a hamster if you've already been asking for a certain pet for ages.

    Edit: Though if you'll be going to uni in the next couple of years and don't have siblings who also want the pet then it may be better to wait. They probably won't want to look after it whilst you're in halls and if you get your own place after then you can then get your own pet as and when you can afford looking after one.

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Updated: June 13, 2012
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