For the first time since I was a child I own no pets. Not a dog, cat, or even a goldfish. And believe me, I’ve had plenty. As a child, I was always begging for more furry or feathered friends, and my parents indulged me. There were few city-style pets I didn’t own. Not to mention fish tanks aplenty.  And I took horseback riding lessons. As a young adult, I purchased a Borzoi (Russian wolfhound) and received great enjoyment from her, plus one of her pups. However, with the arrival of my first son, my priorities changed. When my oldest dog died I decided to downsize my canines, quite literally, to smaller breeds. And I moved to the city.

Along with two small dogs, one of our sons owned a rat named Flash, whom we became very fond of … But maybe that should be another story for another day, with fewer women reading. I figure most of you will cringe at the thought of a domesticated rat cavorting around our son’s room. We even took Flash to our beach place on weekends. My husband and I agree that the sight of Flash perched in his cage, along with four young boys in the back of our Suburban, saved us from getting a speeding ticket one day.

When our last beloved dog died about five years ago, I decided I’d had enough heartbreak. Plus, my husband and I could leave for a trip and not have to take our pooch to the kennel. But just because I no longer own a pet (or do they own us?) doesn’t mean I don’t keep a small stable of pet peeves.

I asked my husband if he had any pet peeves other than me, but he laughed and sidestepped the question. Clever man.

It occurred to me that there are some pet peeves for city-folk, like professional gardeners who blast leaves and clippings out into the middle of the street and don’t clean up the debris. On the other hand, up at our beach cabin, our neighbor’s rooster certainly used to give my husband and me a snarly topic of conversation at 4:30 AM. Those of you who live in the country could no doubt help me expand on the subject.

This cat’s pet peeve is its owners’ new puppy.

A neighbor’s dog barking at night doesn’t bother me as much as it irks my husband. Nor do slowpoke drivers. Two of my pet peeves that might sound insignificant are gummy tags, for instance on the back of a notebook, that can’t be removed without damaging the paper or simply can’t be removed. Another is the constant barrage of telephone calls from recorded robots or solicitors. These are minor inconveniences, but they are never-the-less two of my pet peeves. I dare not let rain become a pet peeve or I might be miserable for the next six months!

It started out a beautiful day…
Steps leading to my basement today.

How about you? Do you have any pet peeves? I’m speaking of minor inconveniences, not subjects that make you want to scream or break something. I’d love to hear what they are and how you managed to either avoid or make peace with them. (Nothing political, please)

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