Interviewing pet owners, breeders and lovers is something I recently considered including on here, I figured it’ll be a great way for readers to learn a thing or two from fellow animal enthusiasts. When I eventually decided to start off, Lanre Sunmonu came to mind immediately.
I have known slimbone for a while, he’s an ardent and amazing animal lover. I dropped by his place on Saturday to have a chat with him about his love of animals, and also spend some time with his pets. Enjoy the read
Did you have a dog as a child? If so what breed?
My family is an animal-friendly one. I grew up with dogs all around me, at a point we had about 13dogs all at once and it was fun. There was a particular Male that was 6years older than me, he was the oldest we had, he eventually died at the age of 14years.
Do you consider yourself a dog breeder?
I am not a breeder, am just a passionate animal lover which lead me to what I majored in during my university days (Bsc Zoology, MSc Natural Resources Conservation). To me, having dogs is more of passion than breeding/business, but that doesn’t mean I don’t make money off them. Before you can qualify to be a breeder, you have to abide by all breeding rules and ethics e.g space, aim of breeding (which is to improve and maintain breed standard of the desired breed you intend breeding, both genotypic and phenotypic) time, finance, setting a standard, etc.
How many animal species have you owned so far?
I have owned so many species of animals, just name it. From domestic to exotic, to weird to cute to scary.Let me just mention a few: Monkey, Dogs, Parrots, Chameleons, Pythons, Rabbits, White Rats, Owls, Hawks, Falcons, Bush rats, Hedgehogs, Different species of birds, Scorpions, Tortoise, Crocodile, Goat.
Have any of your dogs participated in a dog show before?
Sure, my dogs go for dog shows are they mostly win awards.
What are your pets’ names? How did you choose the names?
My Dogs: Havoc, Anton, Suzie, Jessica, Bella, Lizzy, Lilly and Treasure. My Parrots: Michelle, Acapella and Manny Coco. I name them according to circumstances surrounding them for example, if I have a new set of pups (new litter), their name starts with the same alphabet.
What sort of relationship do all your animals have together (do they get along fine)?
My animals are well socialised and they all get along, pretty well.
What do your neighbours think about your animals?
The animal lovers amongst them, admire my animals so much, I see some look through their windows, watching with so much admiration. Some that don’t really like animals are curious to what exactly I derive from owning them.
What do you think makes a good pet owner?
First thing first, passion, then time, sacrifice and finance. You have to love animals to really understand their needs, it’s not about you being able to afford one. You have to sacrifice the desired time and money to make them happy.
What have you learned so far from keeping animals?
I have learned a whole lot that I couldn’t have learned even from we humans. Keeping pets teaches you patience, perseverance, controls your temper, brightens your mood, makes you see life in a whole different perspective and finally, makes you appreciate God more.
What advice will you give someone buying their first dog?
My advice is, ask yourself these sincere questions: Are you ready for the task you about to embark on? Do you really need a dog? Are you ready to sacrifice your time, money, space and comfort? If your answer is NO, then don’t bother.If YES, then this advice is for you:
- Get a dog that suits your lifestyle.
As a first timer, study extensively on what breed you would like to own and see if it’s appropriate for a first timer. Some breeds are hardy, big and full of energy, some are prone to some illness, which you might not be able to handle as a first-time owner. So, do your research properly and consult a certified canine behaviourist when making your choice.
After you have chosen the desired breed, it’s very important sourcing your dog from a reputable breeder that breeds healthy pure breeds. There are so many dubious people out there that parade mongrels and mutts as pure-bred dogs, so you need to consult a sincere canine enthusiast when buying your first dog. Some people think it’s just about buying a dog and feeding it, but there is more to having a dog.
- Your dog needs to be vaccinated appropriately by a certified veterinarian.
- Feeding the right diet is very important so that you don’t end up with an obese or a malnourished dog.
- You need to have proper housing for your dog.
- You need to clean your dog’s housing and environ, properly.
- You need to bond with your dog and you can only do that when you spend appropriate time with them. Dogs are emotional, they have feelings too.
If you can guarantee all these steps, then I can boldly say, you are ready for your first pet dog.