Let’s take a moment to fantasize about off-limits offbeat pets

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I grew up in the country. Pets were whatever I could bring home. I raised some baby mice, had a sand piper for a spell, and dreamed of having a pet raccoon like in Rascal.

I’m a grown-ass lady now, and know that I would never, ever keep a non-domesticated animal as a pet (and now I understand why my parents were strict about making me set that sand piper free when she felt better). But it’s still fun to have fantasy pets. There are too many amazing animals in the world NOT to imagine what it would be like living with them. I TOTALLY understand that wild animals are not pets. This is fantasy-land, where I also have a tail and very large yellow wings.

But in fantasy-land, I have a pet tortoise:

And this little guy is SO CUTE but what I really want is a giant one. Like an Aldabra Giant Tortoise:

Source: sunsurfer.tumblr.com via Mellissa on Pinterest
Source: sunsurfer.tumblr.com via Mellissa on Pinterest

Can I ride my fantasy tortoise like a very slow pony? I can.

I’d also score myself a pet flying fox:

Source: concretescarecrow.blogspot.com via Cat on Pinterest
Source: concretescarecrow.blogspot.com via Cat on Pinterest

And feed it milkshakes all the time.

I wouldn’t kick a Fossa pup out of bed, either. Though they are related to civets, so they have scent glands and might make my bed smelly. But it’s MY fantasy, so I’m going to have a Fossa who smells like flowers.

Source: zooborns.com via Meg on Pinterest
Source: zooborns.com via Meg on Pinterest

They also eat lemurs, and I am definitely opposed to lemurs, so I’d be glad to have an anti-lemur force in the home.

I absolutely need a Capybara in my imaginary menagerie.

Source: zooborns.com via Stephanie on Pinterest
Source: zooborns.com via Stephanie on Pinterest

They’re basically GIANT guinea pigs!

Last — and definitely not least — what fantasy pet list would be complete without mention of an otter?

Source: i.imgur.com via Erin on Pinterest
Source: i.imgur.com via Erin on Pinterest

I would name him Ollie and we would be best friends and my husband would never speak to me again because he’d be mad that our house smells like fish.

Take a fiver and brainstorm your no-holds-barred fantasy pet — I want to hear. Since this is totally imaginary, unicorns, triceratops, and the like are TOTALLY allowed.

Comments on Let’s take a moment to fantasize about off-limits offbeat pets

  1. This might be my favorite Offbeat Empire post ever. *insert squee-fest here* I was just talking about riding a giant tortoise, so that’s definitely number 1 on my list. Also a sloth, teacup pig named Mr Pigglesby, and several marmosets. Those finger monkeys are the cutest. And everything would be hypo-allergenic.

  2. Everyone mentions the non-smelly skunk. When my dad was a teen/in college, he had a descented pet skunk. He used to walk it on campus to pick up girls (he’s a little odd).

    I want a pet red fox. Under the laws in my state, I could have one, but finding a vet would be impossible, therefore it’s a no-go.

  3. I want a black tip reef shark in a moat surrounding my house!!!

    And I want a big-ass hippo to ride around to run errands.

    I want a teacup stingray to put in the fish tank since I already have a few dream pets in there right now. Care if I brag? I have a senelagus bichir, 3 Bala sharks, and a dragon goby. And randomly we have a tetra living peacefully and happily in there. We have no idea where he came from or why he hasn’t been eaten… Ah well, long as they’re all happy. I just so badly want a teacup stingray!

    All that and an African serval.

  4. I want a koala to snuggle with, a wombat as a lap warmer, a fox to chase around, a baby elephant to play soccer with, and a white tiger to scare away the baddies.

  5. DOLPHINS. And also, a merperson (or several, so they don’t get lonely) who speaks both Dolphin and English, so we could all talk to each other and they could teach me how to do backflips.

    Also, a few bats, that are litter-box trained and distinctly un-rabid. And a sloth, for the aforementioned sloth hugs.

  6. I so madly want the Mini Giraffe from the DirecTV commercials. Too. Frickin’. Adorable.

    I’ve always, since I learned there were such things, wanted a pygmy sperm whale. I’d call him Ahab and keep him in my bathtub. With the penguins.

    Other potential fantasy pets; a direwolf, a cheetah, a very friendly non-fire-breathing European dragon, a harbour seal or two, a sea lion, a red panda, a zebra. And, even though they’re domesticated animals they’re still a fantasy because I live in an apartment – a Frisian, a couple of those black and white Gypsy horses with the feathery feet, and those cool Icelandic sheep with six horns.

  7. I want a red panda for sure! They only get cuter with age. I also want a polar bear! I would ride it to work. Yes, I am Canadian, why do you ask? 😛

    Also, I would have like 6 dogs. At least.

    And a hedgehog that doesn’t bite me all the time!

  8. I have desperately wanted an echidna since seeing one in a zoo on my first trip to Australia. They waddle and it’s the CUTEST THING EVER.

    Also, everything everyone else is getting. Yes.

    • You know, echidnas are pretty much the only native animal that will wander into the average backyard here in Aus. That and possums, but they hide. My Grandparents lived in rural Victoria when I was growing up, and we’d spend a lot of time putting out water and fruit (yeh, the mainly only eat bugs…) for them, and herding them off the road. LOVE echidnas!

  9. An ocelot. That way I can be all like “oh, have you met my MF OCELOT yet?” And then it could spring out from the shadows and everyone will be amazed.
    Also, the giant eagles from Lord of the Rings so that I would never have to drive again.
    And an otter. Definitely an otter.

  10. I’ve always wanted a wombat. It can live in my crawlspace. So soft… once you trim the digging claws?

    The person who wants a manatee is my new best friend. I have friends who do marine rescue and kept a real rescued baby dolphin in a specially adapted pool in their backyard. Florida has the best and the worst realities of fantasy pets.

    • Yeh, wombats are MASSIVELY destructive and really aggressive, more so as they age. They can literally break through walls. You’d need concrete reinforced with steel to keep him in, and I wouldn’t want to get anywhere near him anyway! Now, a wombat that stayed a baby forever? That would make a good pet!

  11. I’ve always wanted a baby sloth or a fennec fox. The fox could play with our pups while me and the sloth have a hug.

    The husband desperately wants a monkey. He kept threatening to smuggle one home during our honeymoon in Costa Rica (where they have a sloth reserve, OMG), and I’m not sure he was joking…

  12. Puppy-sized elephant all the way, since we’re on the topic of pets that don’t exist. Maybe some domesticated crows, a skunk, aaaaaand a sloth. My sloth would sit on my shoulders and nap while I painted.

    Also, I really want a goat. But since the hubs and I are looking for a house in the country, that could very easily become a reality in the future.

  13. An arctic fox, a deer, a dodo bird, a pygmy rabbit(the local kind went extinct a few years back), a baby snow leopard, a puffskein, a fluffy baby seal, a dolphin, a baby sun bear, a panda, and a prehistoric pygmy rhino.
    Mr. Bear wants a wolf, a 10ft boa constrictor, and a big, beautiful parrot.

  14. Pet raccoons, eh? I have a few stories in that area:

    Our next door neighbours growing up had a pet raccoon. Mick (named after Mick Jagger) was found on the side of the highway after his mother was struck by a car.

    Mick loved to play with our dog, Boots and vice versa. One day he got out of his cage, and came over to our place. Boots was inside and Mick decided to try and climb the patio screen door to try and get to Boots. He put huge holes in the screen with his claws.

    We knew another family that had a pet raccoon that they kept in the house, and they had to put baby locks on the cupboards to keep him out of things.

    When I was in Grade 2, someone brought a raccoon to class for some reason. The local paper came to document the event (The local paper spent a lot of time documenting my Grade 2 year. On the last day of school, myself and another kid took a thank you letter over to the paper, thanking them for featuring us so many times, and a picture of us with the letter ended up in the paper too. Small town.) and there was a big to-do made about who would get to hold the raccoon in the picture for the newspaper. One of the boys was chosen, and the as soon as he had the raccoon in his arms, it um, defecated all over him. The rest of us suddenly didn’t feel so bad about not being chosen.

    Anyways, I’d like a sugar glider. It’s kind of like a marsupial flying squirrel.

  15. An ankylosaur. One of the relatively small, Australian ones. I know they’re not very smart, but so cute!

    Also, children’s author Bill Peet had a capybara, and it didn’t sound like a disaster.

  16. My old roommate and I used to fantasize like this all the time. If we were still single when we graduated, we were going to get a house together. She wanted a dog, and I told her that if she got one, I got to have a cat. It spiraled downhill from there. If I remember correctly, our imaginary pets included: an elephant, a dragon, a penguin, a fennec fox, a tarsier, a flying squirrel (you may have guessed we’re suckers for the adorable), and some frogs.

    Also, another friend of mine wants a pygmy hippo so bad she can’t stand it. Some days I am not sure to what extent she is joking.

  17. We have ferrets which is a little weird my mother in law bought a tortise that turned out to be one of the largest species. Zula was one pound in 2005 and is close to 65 now. She has her own heated house with 1/2 an acre to roam on. Since her life expectancy is 60 plus years, I’m sure she will be living at my house some day.

    • Tortoise is high on our list as well. We have a little menagerie right now, but are reigned in by income restraints and the fact that we are still renting. When we buy our own place though, watch out. The torti-tat will be made and Herman (we’ve already named him) will be purchased.

  18. My guy and I joke about this all the time! Our menagerie would include . . . A monkey ( no specific type, the bf just wants a monkey)
    A penguin
    A polar bear (to ride to work . . ala golden compass)
    A koi fish in the bathtub and
    A giant anteater, I just want to cuddle one!

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