From Snuggles to Siegfried: One Student’s Animal Mishaps

Elin Lantz

(Warning: if you read this article, do not think of me as an animal abuser. I am generally good-natured to my pets except for any guppies I buy, which I can promise are always dead within a fortnight.)

My family’s first pet was a rabbit named Snuggles. We decided that rabbits were the perfect pet for the lazy family we were. The most strenuous exercise we did was whenever we put a hot pink leash on him and walked that lump of bunny fur through the neighborhood. At the time, I simply could not understand the confused stares and raised eyebrows pointed toward us. We thought that walking our long-eared friend was a common activity.

A couple years later, my rabbit’s death day came. It was a sad day, but then again, I never really did notice him on his death day. Nor the day after. Nor the day after that. Neither did my sister in whose room the rabbit was kept.

Just because Snuggles wasn’t moving around didn’t mean we knew he was dead. Every day it was my sister’s responsibility to replace his food and clear out his—well, you know. But for three days she noticed that the food was already replaced and the you-knows had already disappeared.

She thanked our parents for doing the job, and they responded, “What are you talking about? We didn’t change it.” It was then that we realized the truth. It took us three days. We ran up the stairs and found Snuggles’ body, partially decomposed on the bottom, sitting there, dead. We bought dogs after that.

My dog now, whose name is Siegfried, which translates to “victorious one,” is best described in the one word of “dumb.” He is always excited to see anyone who comes through our door—although perhaps a little too excited (if jumping on people were a sport, he would be a gold-medalist).

Siegfried is that awkward dog that you see every once and a while on a walk: he is fat, lazy, and never “heels.” To make it worse, he is desperately frightened of other dogs (especially small dogs) and often attempts to hide his bulky body between my legs while violently whining. I am therefore often forced to apologize to the other dog-walker and explain that Siegfried most likely has mental problems.

We believe that these “problems” stem from a few days after we bought him. While we were playing basketball, Siegfried ignorantly walked directly beneath the basket just as we threw the ball, and it pelted straight onto his face.

It is sad to admit, but I am fairly certain that my dog despises me. I know not why. All I know is that if I call for him to come, he never does. If I tell him to sit, he lies down. Perhaps I simply do not understand animals, for they surely do not understand me.