The Care and Management of OPP’s – or . . . Feeding Frogs



If you have children, if you have step-children, grandchildren, step-grandchildren, foster children, adopted children .  .  . in fact, any sort of children what-so-ever, you probably have pets. They go together like, well, dogs and fleas.

And it doesn’t matter if they are little kids either, or adult children well into middle-age. You will still have pets. Even if you decided many long years ago you didn’t want to have pets no more, you ‘re still gonna have them. I call them OPP’s, or, Other People’s Pets.

If you’re lucky, it might be a really cool dog that loves you a lot, will take naps on the sofa with you in the afternoon, or perhaps go for a long walk in the woods and fetch sticks, just like on the Hallmark cards. Fun stuff.

Even a cat isn’t too bad. Especially if it lays in the living room corner and twitches away the day, as it chases mice in it’s sleep. Cats will leave you alone, which isn’t too bad at all. I had a cat OPP for years. I really kind of liked her. She died of old age while still in my care. It was a sad day. Sometimes OPP’s will get under your skin. That is, if you’re lucky.

Or they might be frogs.

African Pygmy Frogs.
African Pygmy Frogs.

Frogs are what I have now. The gift of a currently homeless relative, who knew even before she bought the darned things for her kids that she was going to soon be out of a house. But hey, what the heck, no problem, they can always be dropped off at Grampy Schmucko’s house for a year or so. That’s what dummies are for.

Blood worms

I feed them blood-worms. Yeah, you heard that right, and it is just as gross as it sounds. I have watched the frogs mate, right there under a bright light in their gallon or so of semi-stagnant swamp water. I didn’t recognize the activity for what it was at first, and I thought I knew things. I have cleaned the yucky filter and tried to determine on a daily basis, if the snail that also inhabits the tank is alive or dead. And no, it isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Another relative likes to take long vacations in Europe once a year. My wife and I get to watch the dog. No stick fetching though.  He’s a good old guy, but he’s also a runner, so we need to block the door like a NHL goalie, even when bringing in arms full of  groceries. I have determined however, that he is not going to escape on my watch. For this gig I wear my prison warden hat.

Then there was the twenty-nine gallon fish aquarium. Had that one for several years, as a bitter divorce played out. Yucky things, fish tanks. The fish too. Especially fishing out the dead ones. Gives me the willies, and I once worked in a morgue.

I once watched a dog for a week, a Kerry Blue Terrier named Casey, that belonged to my brother. He had more teeth than a Great White Shark and wasn’t afraid to use them (Casey that is). The only way I could get Casey in and out of the house for potty-time without losing an arm, was to hook the tines at the end of a garden rake onto his collar and pull him out. After he did his business, the process was reversed. I might as well taken a job as an animal control officer.

Memories. Thinking back, sometimes I can mark the different years by the OPP’s.

Bottom line .  .  . I’ve probably had three or four OPP’s in my life for every pet of my own. I’ve enjoyed a few of them, hated some of them (Casey) and spent a fortune on and never made a penny watching even one of them.

The moral of today’s rant?

If you don’t particularly like Other People’s Pets .  .  . you have better really love your children.

Because if you have kids,  old age is going to mean .  .  . Feeding Frogs.

And that I can promise you.

Have a GREAT day !!!