My first real pet was a bird. He was a darling blue budgie named Mookie who was trained to jump on my head and ride around the house on my shoulder. He’d give me kisses on the cheek and eat the dry cheerios floating in my morning cereal bowl. Cute, right?

Solly was a cat I owned twenty years later. The Hubby found me a free Siamese Snowshoe — someone to keep me company while studying in Montreal. This gorgeously funny, fluffy, dog-like beast ended up keeping three amazing women entertained for years with his nightly circus acts of hilarity. It broke my heart to find him a new home when I could no longer take care of him.

Recently we’ve been debating getting Eryn a pet.

A cat is out of the question since we’re already packed into a small apartment. A bird would be fine, but I’m not prepared for the mess or for the fight to keep Ivy from eating dropped bird seed shells. Hamster — too smelly and I’m afraid it would get swallowed by a couch. Fish — again, no room for the tank.

Since I’ve said no to every option so far, Eryn decided to get a pet on her own.

Introducing Schnecke the snail:


To say that I’m a little obsessed is an understatement. I’m determined to make sure this little guy survives.

I mean, it’s a grove snail Eryn and her Oma found in a flower pot. They can live anywhere between 7-20 years. That’s a HUGE commitment. He’s been entrusted to me, and like any pet, I have to look out for him. I’m hoping Schnecke makes it past the next two weeks.

So I’ve made him a fantastic habitat with shelter, hiding spaces, a stick, some soil, a water source, and a plate of food. The first night I freaked out because he refused to move — but beamed so proudly when he immediately took my offering of a plum and some cucumber. The Hubby is a bit put off only because I’m making sure we keep the lights dim at night.

You know. So we don’t bother the snail.

And today I noticed that he “cleans” his shell a lot. So I’m thinking he’s calcium deficient and will pop over to the local pet store to find out what kind of natural sources we can use to supplement the snail’s diet.

I’m also thrilled that only after 48 hours, he’s settling nicely into his new home. Eryn enjoys giving Schnecke a morning shower — but so far, I’m the only one who gets excited when he does just about anything. Move. Eat. Poop. Yeah…

It’s amazingly soothing to watch a snail.