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Walks of Life

Super pets


“Pets. Can’t live without them…. Pass the peanuts.” That’s the attitude of many pet lovers, who wouldn’t want to imagine life without the warm affection of a beloved four-legged housemate. Most of these animals tend to be cuddly canines or cats, but some brave central Iowans have opted for something a little more exotic. The following four households have undertaken just this sort of fun adventure. 

Megan Caves

Loves animals

A mini menagerie of pets resides in the Caves household in Polk City. Megan and Eric Caves, along with their three children, consider themselves animal lovers. Their pets consist of a parrot, a dog, a bearded dragon, two cats, one hermit crab and a half dozen fish.

Ku, the parrot, is their newest. 

“We both liked birds and knew someday we’d get one,” Megan says.

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Ku enjoys sitting on several perches in their home and has free rein within the home to fly, free as a bird. In the summer months, Ku and Dexter, the bearded dragon, will sit contently in the sunny patio together.

Despite the joy that all of their pets bring them, the downside is the clean up. 

Source: North Polk Living January 2022; By Jackie Wilson

Scott and Michelle Hanson

For the birds

After moving to Urbandale five years ago, Michelle Hanson decided it was time to liven things up around the home with some birds. Shortly thereafter, she and husband Scott adopted Buster, a 5-year-old blue Quaker parrot. Two cockatiels later, the family, which includes twin sons, Spencer and Corbin, was complete.

Boko lives in a huge flight cage in the living room with the other cockatiel, the yellow-tinged Banjo. Buster lives in a separate cage nearby.

It’s a full house for fun.

“When the kids were doing online school last year,” remembers Michelle, “they were in the living room, and the birds were sitting on the laptop. Boko was whistling ‘Dixie’ and started tapping on the laptop screen. Everyone got a kick out of that. When he heard them laughing, he started his little peek-a-boo routine.”

Source: Urbandale Living January 2022; By Darren Tromblay

Anita Christensen

Has hens with quirky personalities

The Christensen family has lived on a rural acreage for almost 20 years. They are animal lovers in general and have a miniature schnauzer, a parakeet, barn cats, horses and chickens.

About a year and a half ago, some friends were moving to town and needed to find a new home for their chickens. Anita couldn’t pass them up. 

At first, Anita would sit and watch them while they were free ranging. She says it was interesting and fun seeing their personalities and how they interacted.

Some like to “talk” more than others. Some, like “Repecka,” like to be held or stroked, and some just like to eat treats out of Anita’s hand. 

“Chickens have a pecking order, and Repecka is definitely the boss,” Anita laughs.

Source: Indianola Living January 2022; By Becky Kolosik

Janice Kennedy Davison

Keen on tortoises

The holidays were coming early. That was Dave’s message for his wife, Janice Kennedy Davison. When UPS dropped off a white box, “Merry Christmas,” he said.

“Basically, my husband chose the tortoise,” Janice remembers, “and I’m the lucky recipient.”

The couple’s new leopard tortoise, named Shasta, is between 3-6 months old. It is thought to have been born in captivity, but the species comes from South Africa.

“They are a dry, savanna-type tortoise,” says Janice. “From what I’ve read, the size varies, but she could grow up to 16-24 inches in length and weigh 29 pounds or more.”

Janice says her favorite interesting facts about tortoises are that they are ancient creatures.

“A tortoise is a turtle, but not all turtles are tortoises,” she says. “They live between 50-100 years in the wild.” 

Source: Norwalk Living January 2022; By Rachel Harrington ♦

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