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Author Topic: How much money to spend on a pet?
Dan_raven
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Banna--you are not included in this discussion. I've seen what you do for your dogs.

My dog of 14 years died a few months ago. We recenlty replaced him with a chow/sheperd mix that is fun, freindly, and mostly well behaved.

I was worried that we spent to much money. It was almost $75 to pay all the separate fees and charges at the animal shelter we got him from.

THen we had to take him to the vet for rabies and to get over his kennel cough. Another $50 or so.

He jumped our 5 foot tall fence, so I built it a bit higher. Then I was really upset that I wasted another $20 to buy him a harness and run line so he wouldn't climb out of the fence again.

We've lost candy and knicknacks when we had him locked in the house waiting for me to build up his fence.

So last Saturday afternoon we tied him to his new dog run and I began loading the car for a day's worth of errands, and a Christmas party we were attending.

As I got to the car, Buster, the dog, aka Mr. Hudini, met me there.

His new bright orange $15 harness was missing. It was hanging from the dog run in the back of our house, on the other side of the 6 foot tall fence.

I took him into the house and locked him in our basement, closing the doggie door so he couldn't get outside into the fenced off back yard.

We got home at 11pm. While my wife put Sasha to bed I went to let the dog out of his confinement. He was missing.

A quick search of the surrounding woods found him, crying, about 20 feet from the road.

He had been hit by a car.

We live in the country, an hours drive from St. Louis. We didn't know of any local animal hospital open that late at night, so taking the advice from our vets answering machine, my wife drove the poor animal into a big animal hospital an hour away.

He wagged his tail the whole trip. He was happy that we saved him.

Almost $700 later, we transferred him the next day to a closer, and less expensive animal center. They called in a canine orthopedic specialist to look over the x-rays.

There are Canine Orthopedic Specialists?

Yes, and they don't come cheap.

Both vets and hospital staffs were amazed that our Buster was so well behaved despite the pain and discomfort. He had the spirit to get better, with only a few hours of surgery.

$2,300 worth of surgery, medications, advice, and time served in the doctors pen.

And the dog just wags his tail and looks so cute, I had to write the check.

Someone suggested that perhaps it was time to put him out of his misery. More like out of my wallet's misery, but his injuries are not life threatening. He will go on to play and eat and cost me more money for many years to come.

And the toggle bolt they put in his hip, and the plates, screws, and Ace Hardware store they installed in his leg, will prevent him from being as agile and climbing out of our large fenced yard.

I don't need a 6 Million Dollar dog, escpecially when his bionics won't even let me ride him to work at 60 mph.

So how much money is too much money to spend on the health of a pet?

ps. as of this morning the dog is doing very good. My bank account, however, is suffering severely.

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festivus
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I just have to say I love my vet.

This is breyerchic04

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Stephan
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www.petinsurance.com

Saved me some money on my dog's medical bills.

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aiua
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Are you a glass half full or half empty kind of guy?

My dogs have done some seriously stupid things, and to make matters worse, they do them on purpose. But after all they've done and what, no doubt, they will continue to do, I could never ever entertain thoughts of giving them up, let alone killing them.
Sure, he's a pain in the butt and in the bank account. But if you let yourself, you might come to see that it's worth it.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
So how much money is too much money to spend on the health of a pet?
I can only answer the question "How much money is too much money for me to spend on a pet?"

I'm not sure exactly what the answer is, but it's obviously considerably lower than your answer.

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Valentine014
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How much do you love this dog? I know I would sell my soul to keep my dogs healthy and happy. I see them as my children. I've also had one of my dogs for 12 years. We've had lots of time to bond.

I think you need to evalute how attached you are to him. If you can see a future without him in it and not get all weepy, I'd say you might want to consider finding him a new home. He sounds like he has been very expensive. That can make the decision very difficult.

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Zeugma
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How did he get out of the basement?

Edit to say: In other words, I would have a very difficult time spending $3000 on my dog's medical bills if she, say, got cancer. But if she got hit by a car when I could have prevented it, man, I'd be selling my possessions to pay for it.

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Synesthesia
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Dogs... But what can you do? They're are friends, and they are very cute, and if they could use money, I'm sure they'd spend a ton on us.

I had to spend abunch of money on my rabbit back in october, not as much as you did, but it was a ton for me.
like $188 bucks on him. He wasn't eating one morning so I just grabbed him and dropped him off at the vet on my way to work. He had to have an x ray, i had to wrestle medicine into him, but at least he's doing better now, but who knows?
Is there another way to keep the dog from getting out of the yard so he doesn't get hit again?

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erosomniac
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For dogs: the answer is easy, ANY amount of money is too much to spend. Dogs are stupid, and annoying.

Cats, on the other hand...if your cat wants every penny of your life savings, well, I hope you have it in cash and don't have to make the cat wait for a check to clear.

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Dan_raven
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The truth is out. Erosmniac is a cat.

He got out by breaking the closed doggie door.

The choice of paying for the vet or putting him to sleep was not easy. We now are going to have to borrow for the adoption we are working on, as we also need to replace our roof, our septic tank, and my 16 year old van is about to die, leaving us with but one vital car.

We are now about 1 or 2 emergencies from being in trouble. We are not in trouble yet, but we are close enough that its not comfortable.

But Buster is too cute and fun to let go of.

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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by erosomniac:
For dogs; the answer is easy, ANY amount of money is too much to spend. Dogs are stupid, and annoying.

Cats, on the other hand...if your cat wants every penny of your life savings, well, I hope you have it in cash and don't have to make the cat wait for a check to clear.

But cats are cheap to take care of anyways. When they get sick, you just throw them off a bridge. Doing that to a dog would just be cruel, hence expensive vet bills.
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Vamp96
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I've spent nearly $400 on vet expenses for my Red ear slider turtle in a year and a 1/2...and she's not even cuddly! It has made me seriously regret buying her. However, I feel like it is my obligation to take care of her since I made the commitment...although I really didn't know what I was getting in to when I bought her. Why oh why are baby turtles so cute?!?
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Lyrhawn
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Amen to that Stephan.

I'd seriously take a look at pet insurance if it's a new dog. It can save you a lot of money down the road. And look into getting medications, like flea and heartworm stuff from an alternate source than your vet, who will charge you an arm and a leg for it.

Incidentally, the flea pills really do work. My dog took them from 12 years, then we didn't have the money this past year, and a month after she went off them, fleas magically appeared and infested the whole house. It was a pain in the butt to finally kill them all.

Anyway, as for how much to spend, I agree with some others. If it's cancer, it may not be worth it to spend thousands of dollars for an ailing pet who won't really live long enough to enjoy the benefits of being healed, IF it gets better at all. If he is hit by a car and still has a good decade left in him, I'd spend whatever I had available to me to get him better.

Cats are easy to say no to, they have no feelings, and are stuck up, selfish, prissy little things. Dogs on the other hand, are cute, and lovable, and you clearly know they love you back. It's hard to make a concious decision to let him die when he's standing there with his tail wagging, staring at you with those cute little demanding eyes, when all he wants to do is be alive, run around a yard all day, and snuggle up next to you at night.

I'd have a hard time pulling the plug. This from a 12 year owner of the world's best Cocker Spaniel.

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Strider
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the largest single vet bill i had for any of my ferrets was in the $900 range. Followed by a $700 one. Over the years though I've spent thousands.

My personal belief is that when you get a pet, you take on the responsibility of any or all expenses that come up. Otherwise don't get one(not trying to be blunt to anyone, this is just my personal belief. I don't have a dog right now, and one of the reasons is that if something went seriously wrong I couldn't feasibly afford a major surgery without putting it on the credit card). The situation get's sticky though when the quality of life issue comes up. I don't think it's right to keep a pet alive "for your own benefit" when their quality of life is below a certain point, i.e.-they're in constant pain or always miserable.

I agree that sometimes surgery or more monetary expenditure may not be worth it. I've personally never come across that situation yet, and hope I never do. That would be an incredibely hard decision to make.

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Strider
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quote:
If it's cancer, it may not be worth it to spend thousands of dollars for an ailing pet who won't really live long enough to enjoy the benefits of being healed, IF it gets better at all.
One of my ferrets has had cancer now for over two years. The doctors gave him a prognosis of maybe 6 months when they found it. Now, other than the exploratory surgery that was done in which it was determined he had cancer, there have been no extraneous expenses other than approx. $30-$50 a month on medicine, dietary supplement and check ups maybe twice a year.

I'd be lying if I said he was at 100% health. He does his fair bit of moping. But while he's still eating, drinking, and playing, I can't in good conscience think about putting him to sleep. I check in with the vet semi regularly and his advice remains to just watch him for drastic signs of change and when that happens a decision will have to be made. In the mean time, i spoil the crap out of him.

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Noemon
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I'm glad that it's progressing so slowly, Strider. How old is he?
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Strider
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He's somewhere in the vicinity of 5 years and a few months. So he's starting to become an "old" ferret in his own right. He's a real trooper.

Also, added to say, I have 4 ferrets now, and had 5 at one point. So when I say I've spent thousands it's been split up among 5 different animals. I've also been unlucky in that pretty much every single ferret of mine has had something major go wrong with them. 2 cases of obstructions that needed to be surgically removed, 2 cases of cancer(my other ferret had her cancer removed completely, adrenal disease I believe), and one case of a wicked horrible infection all the ferrets caught while being boarded at a shelter(never again), one of which didn't make it.

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ketchupqueen
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Dan, sounds to me like you need to buy some lumber and chickenwire and build that dog a run. Sounds like it would be a good investement for you.
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Noemon
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Were all of your ferrets with cancer originally from Marshall Farms, by any chance?
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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_raven:
The truth is out. Erosmniac is a cat.

He got out by breaking the closed doggie door.

The choice of paying for the vet or putting him to sleep was not easy. We now are going to have to borrow for the adoption we are working on, as we also need to replace our roof, our septic tank, and my 16 year old van is about to die, leaving us with but one vital car.

We are now about 1 or 2 emergencies from being in trouble. We are not in trouble yet, but we are close enough that its not comfortable.

But Buster is too cute and fun to let go of.

You're working on another adoption? I am politely curious about that, adoption is all I can think about these days.

Also, what's up with the anti-cat attitudes?
Cats are great and totally have feelings. *thinks of all the cats that adopted me over the years even though they weren't my cats since I can't have one anyway because I am alergic to them [Frown] *

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ketchupqueen
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quote:
The truth is out. Erosmniac is a cat.

*sings*

Ev'rybody wants to be a cat
Because a cat's the only cat
Who knows where it's at...

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Seatarsprayan
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People shouldn't own pets if they aren't willing to take care of them. If it comes down to having to sell your house or car, that's a different story. I've spent thousands on vet bills in my lifetime. One cat mauled by pit bulls, another with heart and liver problems, 3 with dental problems... special diet food for overeaters... cats are expensive. But they are members of the family and while I gripe about the money, it's no more than I'd gripe about needing to buy new shoes for a kid. It's just life. No one has to own pets.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by erosomniac:
For dogs: the answer is easy, ANY amount of money is too much to spend. Dogs are stupid, and annoying.

Cats, on the other hand...if your cat wants every penny of your life savings, well, I hope you have it in cash and don't have to make the cat wait for a check to clear.

[ROFL] I echo your sentiments if only because I have the most amazing cat in the world. We had him one day and we had to drop $300 because he had the runs and they weren't sure why. But after having had him a week to say nothing of the 2 months that he has been with us as of today if I had to have all my things burn down to save him, I'd do it.

But then again, I still love me a nice big friendly dog, I can't stand little yappers, I'd give a dollar for everyone that was snuffed out of existence.

Dan: I can't say how much I'd spend until I've owned the pet. But your dog would most likely be in doggy heaven if he had been under my car, (I meant "care" but the mistake was just too funny). But then again, perhaps I would have become endeared to him and be just like you.

I hope your dog needs nothing but food and water the rest of his days because he has surely used up his/her spending money.

edit:

Have you considered how foolish it was to name the dog, "Buster?" Sounds like he is taking to the name quite enthusiastically. Try renaming him to "Profitable Investment" or "Treasure."

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Strider
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quote:
Were all of your ferrets with cancer originally from Marshall Farms, by any chance?
I'd guess so Noemon, aren't most ferrets?

Two I bought from a pet store. One I adopted from someone who had adopted it from someone else and I have no papers on him. And the last two I adopted from a ferret shelter but I'm not sure where they're from.

I don't think any of them were bread by private breeders.

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ludosti
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It is a difficult thing when a pet makes for tight finances. We recently had to take one of our cats in (why do animals never get hurt or start behaving strangely during normal business hours - it's always late at night when you have to take them to the pet ER?) for some emergency work. We spent a couple thousand dollars to help him recover from bladder stones, effectively cleaning out our meager savings. For me, when I adopt an animal, I am responsible for their care. My kitty's problem, while life-threatening, was not something that would seriously debilitate him for the rest of his life. We would have, perhaps, been reticent to spend large amounts of money had he not faced a good prognosis.

Each person has to decide what "too much" is for them and their pet. Your dog has wonderful people to put up with his stupidity. [Smile] I hope he repays you with all the love you deserve.

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Synesthesia
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I say make the dog get a job.
I hope Bernie never get sick in the middle of the night.
I don't have a car. One time I took him to two vets because his stomach was sort of bloated.
I took him to a vet that didn't know a thing about rabbits. They tried to give him some sort of stupid antibiotics that would have messed up his system! So I took a cab all the way to Hingham just to find him a decent vet.
And one time he was breathing too fast, so I had to leave work, take a cab home, pick him up go to the vet, go back to work and do the whole thing in reverse in the evening!
And then there was the time I mentioned up there. What can I do? Bernie's my baby, but I want him to get a job or at least clean.

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Amanecer
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I think when pets get hurt, even the most stingy people can easily pay more than they mean. At first, you just take them to the vet. Then they want to run tests that will only cost a few hundred dollars. And then they want to try something that will cost a little more. And it keeps going, and by the time it gets absolutely ridiculous you feel like you've already spent so much on trying to save them that it would be a waste to give up now.

I'm scared to think about how much I'd spend on my dog. I think I wouldn't spend much because I'd have to charge it to a credit card to do so, but then again I've already moved so that my dog would have a backyard so who knows.

Dan_Raven, I wish you and your dog well.

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maui babe
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quote:
Originally posted by Seatarsprayan:
People shouldn't own pets if they aren't willing to take care of them.

I agree with this, but I would make the caveat that humanely putting down a pet IS taking care of them.

That said, I've also spent more than I thought I should have more than once on my pets through the years. I'm a cat person, and agree somewhat with erso, but I've never really HAD a dog of my own (I did have a "step-dog" for a while... ).

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MightyCow
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I've wanted to get a dog since I've been out of college, but the associated costs have prevented me. One of these days I'll make sure I have a nice, large, huge amount of income that I can devote to a dog. Dogs are awesome, but definitely expensive.
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Lupus
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I'd pay whatever it took. But for me, a dog is part of the family.
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Avadaru
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I work at a vet clinic to avoid paying vet bills. (Not the only reason I work there, but it's a big part.) I would probably not be able to afford pets if I didn't have this job.
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andi330
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I would definitely look into the pet insurance. Many vets and animal hospitals take it, and it might have brought your bills down. You might also consider a cage. (Yes, I said a cage.) At least until he understands that he cannot detroy your belongings/doors while you are out. Cage training worked well for friends of mine with a big, overactive dog. He's now very well behaved, at least in terms of not destroying property.
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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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I doubt pet insurance would cover my Chadwick, but I tend to spend very little money on him anyway since he is such a low maintanance pet.
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aspectre
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Fixing Chadwick.
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Tante Shvester
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I am even more convinced that I have no business having pets.
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pooka
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I balked at calling an ambulance when my daughter's finger was crushed. But I knew my husband would say hang the cost. It just seemed so hopeless. They stitched it at the ER and told me to follow up with a hand specialist. Fortunately for us we were able to apply for medicaid. We couldn't find a hand specialist who would take it, though, so we didn't pony up for the follow up and the finger healed well. We would not be able to pay medical bills for a pet, and so do not have any. Also my husband and I don't like animals very much.
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Little_Doctor
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quote:
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:
quote:
The truth is out. Erosmniac is a cat.

*sings*

Ev'rybody wants to be a cat
Because a cat's the only cat
Who knows where it's at...

You might say the cat's out of the bag?
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dean
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I too am lucky that my cats haven't been costly. But that's why I work at a vet too. One of mine (the almost-sixteen-year-old) is starting to develop kidney problems and needs food that is $20 for a 7-pound bag. She loves it (yay!). So do the other three cats (boo!).
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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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quote:
Originally posted by aspectre:
Fixing Chadwick.

But the Chad is a crustacean. =0
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pH
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You know, I honestly think that the lifespan of the pet plays into it too.

I mean, Count Elmer could outlive me. I think he deserves the nice long life his tortoisey highness would give him in the wild. [Razz]

-pH

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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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You mean the kind where I club him to death and eat him along with some nice turtle eggs?
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pH
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YOU BE NICE TO HIM! He's a sweetie. And he loves strawberries.

-pH

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