My oldest daughter came home from her Young Women's church group excitedly asking if she could have a mouse. One of the girls there said that her sister was coming home from college with a pet mouse, and her parents said she couldn't keep it in their house. So she was asking if there was anyone who would take it. My daughter clearly wanted to say yes, she'd take it, and wisely consulted us first. My husband and I debated back and forth, and decided that if SHE was willing to assume full responsibility for the creature, then we didn't mind if she got the mouse.
The mouse arrived last Saturday, a cute furry little brown thing that slept the whole day away. It arrived with its own cage, complete with plastic running wheel, a hanging bottle of water, and some food. My daughter was thrilled, and made a place for it in her room in spite of the smell. Some air freshener made that more palatable, and we all happily introduced ourselves to the new pet. The only person who had a problem with the mouse was our dog. She knew there was a living thing in the cage on my daughter's dresser, but couldn't see it from her low to the ground vantage point. She HATED it that we were all standing around looking at the living creature that wasn't HER, and whined and fussed whenever anyone got close to the mouse.
We were out with friends Saturday night, and didn't get home until very very late. We had early morning activities, so we quickly went to bed and fell asleep. I remember having a dream that someone was pouring marbles on the roof of the house. It morphed into a serious hailstorm, and I was wondering in my dream if there was really a storm going on outside. I woke up shortly after that to hear the dog whining, and glanced at the clock- 3:30. I'd had two hours of sleep. I blearly staggered out of bed and let the dog out- that's usually what she wants. I had enough presence of mind to check her water. If she didn't want to go out, that's usually the NEXT thing she wants. I let the dog back in, and went back to bed.
My husband spoke as I crawled back into bed, "The mouse woke you up too, huh?" The mouse? It was my dream and the dog that woke me up, not the mouse....and that was when the mouse hopped on his plastic wheel and began to run. It sounded JUST like marbles being poured out on the roof of the house. The dog went insane. She started to whine and run back and forth between the two bedrooms trying to tell us that there was something GOING ON over in the other bedroom. She hadn't needed to go out at all. It was all the mouse. We had known that mice were nocturnal, but hadn't really thought about what that meant when we signed on for the new pet.
I went back to sleep finally, but ended up waking again and again as the night went on, unused to hearing the loud wheel. The next day was awful because it was a busy day, and I was exhausted. We're a few nights into it now, and I've only been awakened by the mouse a couple more times. The dog has gotten used to it, and I think my oldest is ignoring the sound better now too. Still, we might be visiting the pet store to see if there's such a thing as a QUIET wheel....something I'll probably have to pay for given my daughter's limited income and her need to provide things like, oh, FOOD for the rodent.
So much for her taking sole responsibility.