Year Round Petting Zoo… In Your Yard?

If you love animals, you should definitely move out to the country. I’m not talking about adopting lots of pets or owning livestock. Between other people’s animals and those that roam the area, we have had nearly every animal you can imagine in our yard, over the past decade.

From various pets like cats, dogs, and yes, even pot bellied pigs, to goats, wild deer, raccoons, possums, coyotes, pheasant, turkeys, and armadillos, you never know what you might find. Really. We even found a fish one time when we had a flash flood and the wet weather creek overran our yard. Fish!

Of course, there is nothing like walking outside to find a black shape with a white stripe running down it. It takes a minute to comprehend that you have just seen a skunk (especially if you were born and raised in the city and never saw one in person before). When you realize what you have seen, you instinctively begin to back away… slowly. No sudden movements!

It’s kind of like having Noah’s Ark or a year round petting zoo… in your own yard. My kids love it, but sometimes it can be a little startling. I’ll never forget the morning I opened my living room drapes to see a horse staring in at me. There were three others besides him. I was so shocked that I screamed. My kids just jumped up and down yelling, “Can we keep ’em? Can we keep ’em?”

We soon found the neighbor who owns the horses and his number is now on speed dial, since the horses seem to like us and occasionally come back to visit. And, you think you have it bad when a neighbor’s dog messes in your yard!

Having all these animals around can be a great experience at times. Sitting quietly and watching deer scamper around or watching birds, squirrels, and rabbits, play is great, but you just haven’t lived until you’ve pulled into your driveway and come face to face with a cow. Trust me; they’re much bigger than you might think, when you get that close!