Staff picks: Dream pets

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Editor’s Note: Assuming it wouldn’t run away, destroy your house, or maul you in your sleep, what pet – living or extinct, real or mythical – would you want to curl up by your side at the end of a long day? Our staff answers that question on this week’s staff list.

Having a giant panda as a pet would be kind of a pain. They’re huge and they eat a lot of bamboo. That’s okay, though, because the animal it shares its common name with is more manageably sized and more adorable. The red panda isn’t actually a panda at all; it’s more closely related to the weasel family and it looks like a rusty-colored cat-fox-raccoon-thing, but it still eats copious amounts of bamboo. Red pandas are about the size of a cat, and they can do a bunch of cool stuff: stand on their hind legs, detect artificial sweeteners, eat a bunch of different foods, climb trees, etc. [Jack H. Evans]

Let’s be honest. Elephants are the greatest animals on the face of this earth. Baby elephants are even better if that’s even possible, so it’s only logical to say that an elephant that would stay the size of a baby forever would be the best pet ever in my opinion, but it should be everybody’s dream pet. Side note: I would name mine Chubbles. [Kelsey Kinzer]

I know all the other writers want weird, mostly fictional dream pets like Pikachu or Stitch, but all I want is simply a dog. So the obvious question is why a dog and not the most amazing creature I could possibly imagine? I haven’t had a dog in over two years; my former canine was the sweetest, most lovable German Shepard a person has ever met. Obviously no dog could ever replace her, but I always feel like there is something missing whenever I come home from a vacation or school. A dog is someone to share your bed and cuddle with and someone to sneak “human” food to when your parents aren’t looking. A dog gives you unconditional love no matter what stupid thing you’ve done, and it’s scientifically proven that people who have dogs are less stressed. A dog is someone who will always take the blame when you don’t complete your homework. So basically a dog is a way better pet/friend than any other dream pet could possibly be… No offense to my cats. [Hannah McElroy]

My dream pet would definitely be Pikachu for obvious reasons. Who wouldn’t want an electric mouse bunny thing!? He would be extremely loyal. If someone was breaking into my house Pikachu would just fry him. Plus, he could pop popcorn for me and charge my cell phone. If I had a pet Pikachu, I would finally enjoy life. [Graham Benefiel]

My dream pet, hands down, no competition, would be a Tyrannosaurus Rex. If T-Rexes were still alive, I believe they would be the animal to have because of their big heads and cute little arms. I mean, who wouldn’t want a giant carnivorous animal as their pet? If you have ever seen any of the Land Before Time movies, then you know why a T-Rex would be the best pet ever, primarily because it scares off and hunts for everyone and everything around it. The T-Rex was top dog in the Paleolithic era and if any genius mind ever decides to create a real life Jurassic Park, then I call dibs on the T-Rex. [Litza Craig]

If I could have any pet, it most likely would be the Kaibab squirrel. The Kaibab squirrel is a squirrel that lives in the northern region of the Grand Canyon National Park. It is one of few squirrels in the United States to have a black fur coat and a unique white tail. I feel like it would be humorous to have a squirrel as a pet, especially given the squirrel’s unique looks. [Ed Dudrick]

Having a pet you can ride is nice as it is, but an ostrich can run at 40 miles an hour, which unless you’re on the highway, will easily fit in on the road. But if that’s not enough, think of the self-defense an ostrich can offer. A seven-foot velociraptor-like bird can be pretty terrifying, trust me. Plus it would be a nice conversation starter at a dull get together. [Allie Gruszkiewicz]

What’s more frightening than a bear? A shaved bear. It really would make a good guard pet. Protection for yourself may also be necessary. [Taylor A. Johnson]

In my fantasy world, I’m a museum curator and Indian Jones-esque artifact collector. Whenever I’m not escaping thousand-year-old booby traps and outrunning cannibals, I can come home to my dream “pet:” a saltwater aquarium. Although both types of aquariums are lovely, saltwater aquariums are much more colorful and fantastic than their freshwater counterparts. Reef fish evolved to have fascinating colors and shapes, and there are far more organisms to choose from. However, the reason possessing a saltwater aquarium remains a whimsical fantasy to me is because they require extensive maintenance and have a considerable price tag. Perhaps one day in the future after amassing the money, time, and experience, I will be the only marine tank owner whose clownfish isn’t named Nemo. [Helen Law]

Tea cup pigs are the ideal pet. These snuggly, little creatures stay the size of piglets so they are all the fun of owning a pig but they’re just fun sized! These fuzzy animals are guaranteed to warm even the coldest of hearts with their sweet, loving gaze and little snout. Their little curly tails will melt your heart and leave you wanting one. [Zoey Line]

Stitch (of Lilo & Stitch fame) is my dream pet for obvious reasons. First of all, he’s blue, and who wouldn’t want a little blue guy as their bestie? He is also protective and loyal, making him the ideal pet and best friend. Even though he is quite destructive and evil at times, he is also cute, fluffy, from outer space, and, again, an amazing shade of blue. I know he would never leave because he fully believes in ohana, which means family, and family means no one gets left behind or forgotten. To sum it all up, Stitch is extraordinarily magnificent and anyone would be lucky to have him as a pet. [Katie Matthews]

If I could have any animal as a pet, I would pick a capybara. Who wouldn’t? I mean, why would someone NOT want an animal that is basically a hamster the size of a dog? Sure, they’re a little weird looking, but it’s totally worth it. [Emily Price]