Man’s Best Friend? Mavericks share their unique pets

Dogs and cats have always cast a shadow over the many different and unique pets that are just a great as any cute golden retriever.

Reptiles, hamsters, birds, tarantulas and ferrets are often overlooked, because they are more difficult to care for or the animal itself has a bad reputation. But there are a number of students at Morton Ranch with unique pets that can tell you that owning the animal is not as hard as it seems, or the struggle for caring for them is worth the price.

Reyna Germer (11) owns a Thoroughbred mare named Flower, who she takes care of with the help of her family. 

“They’re very stubborn,” said Germer about her strong headed mare. “Like, they won’t do what you tell them. You gotta break them early kind of.”

Thoroughbreds are mostly found as race horses and often considered as “hot-blooded” horses, known for their agility, speed and spirit. 

“They still gotta be broken, because they’re strong headed,” said Germer. “They don’t want to do what you tell them to do.”

Donnie Smith (12) owns a Red-Tailed Bamboo Viper that he named Brett. Red Tailed Bamboo Vipers are a species of venomous pit viper that originates from India, Burma and Bangladesh.

“They’re pretty cool if you’re willing to take care of it. They make really good friends to have and like, to me, they’re better than dogs,”  said Smith. “Snakes are an exotic type of animal and having an exotic animal as your friend is really cool.”

Snakes, in general, do not require much care, according to Donnie. They eat about every two to three weeks, shed once a month and have their substrate replaced at least once a month to clean out poop.

 “It’s really easy to do, and you get used to it over awhile; it just becomes simple,” Smith said. “Like it becomes easier than taking care of a dog.”

Mrs. Jennifer Greenland is an aquatic science teacher at MRHS, where she teaches students everything they could possibly know about fish. She personally owns four fish at home and five fish at the school. 

“I had cats and fish growing up, because we were allergic to most pets,” she explained. “So fish are an allergy-friendly pet.” 

Fish are also very easy to care for depending on the type of fish you get. 

“The saltwater fish are a little bit more difficult; it takes some skill and some work,” Greenland said. “You have to be a little bit more careful about like water changes and evaporation and all kinds of other stuff.”

But that doesn’t ruin the experience for Mrs. Greenland. She’s had her fair share of enjoyable moments that make the hard work worthwhile. 

“When I taught at Lamar-Consolidated, I had a saltwater tank and had this sand-trout,” she explained. “When AP Physics came in, he would jump out of the tank. Only when AP physics came in.”

Greenland said she has also noticed that watching the fish glide in the water has helped her students that have ADHD. Fish are very tranquil, and seems to put their minds at ease while watching them. 

“They’re fun and soothing; anyone is welcome to come in during tutorials and just sit and watch fish,” she said.

Not all of our favorite pets have to have fur and four paws. These animals are often overlooked in the pet trade, because they seem foreign or too much work, but to those who own unique pets, it’s all worth it. 

Anyone could learn from these animals, whether that’s the dedication of taking care of a horse or retaining the peace and tranquility fish provide in their travels around their tank.