When I was in the first grade, we bought two hamsters. They were the first pets I can remember having. I noticed that one had especially long whiskers and proposed he be named Whiskey. My parents began to object, but I continued, "Yes! And we'll name his twin Frisky, since it rhymes!" Nothing my parents said would convince my brothers or me. So, we had two hamsters, Whiskey and Frisky. They ran away after a few months of hide-and-seek behind the cabinets.
The next pet I can remember came when I was about 10.
It was a Betta fighting fish, named Abu. My cousin, Kiera, had conducted a college science experiment, wherein they had set up a bracket tournament of death, battling the fish against each other (no idea how this idea was approved or what the aim of the project had been). Abu won and she had no more use for him. So she gave him to us. We enjoyed holding a mirror against the bowl and watching him ram into the wall. Our fierce warrior. What a life he led.
Next, we bought a cockatiel and named him Homer. Ty loved him; he'd shower with him. Homer sat on our shoulders and flew around the house; we felt too bad to clip his wings. We should have done it though, because one day he flew away when my mom forgot he was on her shoulder and walked outside. We ran throughout the neighborhood, calling his name. He loved us, and I think he'd have come back, but simply didn't know how to find us. That night was cold and we moved on with our lives, thinking sadly that he most likely died from the cold or a predator. Months later, some friends who lived down the street heard us talking about Homer and said they'd found a cockatiel in their yard about that time. They'd kept him a few days and then turned him into a shelter.. or wherever it is you take lost domestic birds. I hope he found a good home, though I don't think anyone will love him as much as Ty did.
And now, we have Copper. He is a toy poodle, but looks nothing like one.
He had copper red hair as a puppy; now it's strawberry blonde. Ty and my mom picked him out because he had a sweet, loving disposition. No one will make you feel the way Copper does. He will cuddle up with you and love you more than anyone else can. But he will still play chase with you. He doesn't bark or shed or smell. He's not messy. (Unless you leave the bathroom door open--he does love toilet paper.) He is IN LOVE with my mom. She is his mother. When he hears the garage door open, he dances waiting for her, unable to sit still. As she walks in the door, he runs up her body and onto her shoulder. He follows her around the whole day. Even sits in the bathroom while she showers.** It's adorable how in love with my mom he is. EVERYONE who comes to our house falls in love with him. A few months ago, I saw a friend of my brothers who hadn't been to our house for about a year. He showed me that he still had a picture of him and copper as the wallpaper on his phone. That is Copper. And I love him.
** Funny story. Copper is like my mom's new baby. And Ty is my younger brother, the baby of the family. So sometimes she accidentally calls Copper Ty and Ty Copper. Well, once she was headed up to her bathroom and said, patting her thigh, "Ty, I'm headed up to shower. Want to come?" "No, Mom, I don't."