How Do You Pick A Pet?

Ransom Riggs

Some people claim to love their pets as much as their spouses or children, and given that, I can think of no other long-term love relationship that's initiated so casually. Sure, there are those who spend months researching breeders and visiting litters, but a lot of people, once they figure out what kind of pet they want, just walk into a roomful of the critters and point at one.

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There are various schools of thought on the matter, especially when choosing a dog. Don't pick the shy one, some say: they won't socialize with you, and when they grow up could become aggressive. (Could this always be true? I doubt it; even puppies can be tired.) There's plenty of advice out there about what kind of pet to choose, and much depends on your living situation (cramped city apartment or open land?), your financial situation (fish aren't as cheap as they seem), and even your emotional situation (how much attention are you willing to give your pet?).

But there's precious little advice on what to do after you've made all those decisions and you're faced with the litter -- which one will become your furry life partner? There's no interspecies E-Harmony to help you. So I ask you, fair readers: how did you pick your pet?