Move Over Teacup Pigs – I Want A Teacup Elephant
We love our pets and they love us. And for all their noise, occasional unpleasant odours, and their ability to leave fur on every available soft furnishing, we wouldn’t change them for the world. Well, maybe a bit. I mean, they look very cute, but how much cuter would they be if they were just a bit smaller.
If YOU could have a miniature pet, what would it be?
In recent years there has been a trend towards miniaturising our pets. Dogs have been selectively bred for years creating a myriad shapes, forms and peculiarities with the teeniest one being the little Chihuahua.
And then there are the miniature horses (not miniature ponies as the breeders keep telling us). Shorter and invariably fatter (is that bred in purposely?), and most definitely cuter. Surprisingly, miniature horses have been around for a lot longer than you think (or should I say, than I thought.) There are records from the 17th Century of these miniature beauties being kept as companions for the Hapsburg royalty.
And what of our feline companions? Can cats get any smaller – yes, meet the dwarf cats. These pets don’t seem to have become as popular as our little dogs. Maybe because the miniature cats being breed aren’t appreciably smaller than a common small-sized moggy. Not yet anyway, but I guess cats are pretty small to begin with.
Of course, the most popular miniature animal of recent times is the teacup pig. A bit of a misrepresentation there in the name as the fully-grown adults are going to break your tea-cup if they try and sit in it. Nevertheless, they are a small pig, selectively bred from New Zealand’s own Kune Kune cuties. They grow to be spaniel-sized which means they can easily live indoors (if you love them that much).
We just can’t get enough of the incredible shrinking pet. SMALL = CUTE. And we love cute. Nothing is going to change that. They’re usually quite pricey though these special breeds, so I won’t be spending my money on them. What I will be doing is saving up and patiently waiting for the time when I can buy a miniature wild. Don’t tell me it won’t happen, I’ve been dreaming of owning a miniature elephant since childhood. If we can selectively breed a dog down to the size of a pip-squeak woofer, then the same principles apply for selectively breeding wild animals. Just imagine (like I have), being greeted by tiny, trumpets of happiness; watching your teacup elephant joyfully playing in the bath, squirting water everywhere; and thundering up and down the hallway in the middle of the night.
Of course you may choose the miniature giraffe, miniature gibbon, miniature panda. Which one would it be? Or is it too morally unsound to even consider? For some reason, it is not deemed acceptable to tamper genetically with our wild cousins, whilst manipulating our canine and feline pet friends into a form that suits us is apparently okay. Something to ponder. But whatever your point of view, I believe the day will come when we’re once again looking for the newest toy animal and miniature wilds become the must-have pet. Until then, my childhood (childish?) dreams of owning a mini-ele continue. Sweet dreams everyone.