Welcome to your very first lesson of Care of Magical Pets! This month we will learn basic things about pets, as well as some unconventional pets. Hope it is of your enjoyment and interest. Let's begin!
What is a pet?
Ok, I know this may sound like a very dumb question but it is a good and easy way to start with the class. When you think of a pet, the first thing that comes to your mind is, of course, an animal. Then, I’m pretty sure you will also think about company, and other words like care, responsibility, affection, joy, love, or friend, may also pop into your head.
So, what is a pet? A pet is, according to an online dictionary, “an animal that is tamed or domesticated and kept as a companion or treated with fondness”. Among the most common animals that people like to keep as pets we have: dogs, cats, fishes, birds, mice, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, frogs, snakes, and hamsters. In this class we will only focus in pets that are allowed in our school: toads, cats, and owls. You will be learning more about them in the following lessons.
A pet is a good buddy that can help you relieve some stress or avoid feeling lonely or sad, and can make an excellent friend too, but you can’t treat it just as a beautiful ornament in your house! A pet implies a great responsibility and to take good care of it. The way that you care for your pet will determine the good or bad relation between you. Do you feel ready to know what will make your pet happy? Well, let’s continue with the lesson!
Basic Pet Care
The following are just some essential cares that your pet will need. Keep in mind that each pet is different and thus will require more, less, or special care.
Identification: Identify your pet with a tag, which clearly indicates your address, telephone number, and your name, so in case it gets lost, people will know how to reach you and give you back your loved pet. In our school is less likely that a pet gets lost but it can run away (Neville’s Trevor does that all the time!), you can paint with your wand a special mark or tattoo on your pet which will identify it as yours!
Food: Your pet will need to eat to regain energy everyday and to keep healthy. Each pet has a special diet, so it is important that you don’t feed it with “people” food or table scraps, you may cause health problems to your pet!
Water: Like any other living beings, your pet will require drinking water to rehydrate after the activities of the day and it will keep your pet’s organism working correctly. Remember to change your pet’s water whenever it gets dirty and every day. Clean water will avoid your pet to get ill.
Housing: It will protect your pet from the sun, wind, and rain. Also, a place where to rest and sleep will be appreciated by your pet.
Exercise: Pets need exercise. It will help them to stretch their muscles and improve their health. Every day find some time to play with your pet; it is also an excellent way to exercise yourself!
Love: A loved pet is a happy pet. Demonstrate your affection! Tell your pet how much you love it, pet it, talk nicely to it, play with it, spend time with it, communicate with it, and take care of it. Through these actions you will be nurturing your relation, and your bond and friendship will grow stronger.
Having a Pet
Are you ready?: Take into account that a pet will require a high level of commitment and responsibility. Taking care of a pet is not an easy task! Before acquiring a pet ask yourself the following question: Do I have the time, money, living situation, and level of commitment to raise a pet? If you do, then go ahead and look for your pet!
Choose Wisely: Choose a pet that matches your lifestyle. If you don’t you may end up getting tired of it, or feeling unable to continue taking care of it, and, eventually, wanting to get rid of it.
Treat your pet well: Remember, identification, food, water, housing, exercise, and love, are some basic cares that will make your pet happy!
Get to know your pet: This will help you know how to better treat and take care of your pet, and how to satisfy better its needs. Get to know your pet´s character and personality! Pay attention to your pet and let him/her tell you what s/he wants!
Make a life commitment: Your pet needs you and it is counting on you to take care of it for its whole life! Commit to your pet and don’t let it down!
The following is a list of some fantastic beasts that can be kept as pets. We will look at them very quickly because part of your homework for this lesson will be to look for more information about a specific beast. My reference for this part of the lesson was Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander.
Augurey: Or Irish Phoenix is a thin, greenish black bird that resembles a vulture, and it is native of Britain and Ireland. The Augurey is shy and it eats large insects, fairies, and flies. Its cry was believed to foretell death but now it is know that they only sing at the approach of rain. A wizard, Uric the Oddball, was known to have at least 50 Augurey pets, with whom he slept one whole night, only to wake up and believe he had died and was a ghost, due to the moaning of his Augureys.
Crup: A wizard-created dog that looks like a Jack Russell terrier, except for its forked tail, which is very loyal to wizards. A license, which can be obtained from the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, is needed to own a Crup. A requirement is to remove the Crup’s forked tail with a Severing Charm, so muggles will not notice it. Crups eat anything from gnomes to old tyres.
Fire Crab: Native to Fiji, a fire crab resembles a large tortoise but with a jeweled shell. As you may suppose, this shell is highly desired by both, muggles and wizards. When attacked, fire crabs shoot flames from their rear end. They can be exported as pets but a license is required to do so.
Fwooper: An African bird which can be orange, lime green, pink, or yellow. Though the Fwooper’s song drives the listener to insanity it can be kept as a pet with the required license and with a proper Silencing Charm upon the bird, which has to be reinforced every month.
Ghoul: An ugly creature that looks like a buck-toothed ogre. It lives in wizard’s attics or barns, and eats spiders and moths. In wizarding families it often becomes a family pet (The Weasley’s can tell you about it!).
Hippogriff: Hagrid, and later Sirius Black, had Buckbeak, the hippogriff as a pet. Hippogriffs are beasts native to Europe with the head of an eagle and the body of a horse. They can be tamed by a wizard with experience, which have to maintain eye contact when approaching the Hippogriff, and bow. If it bows back, it is safe to approach. Hippogriffs eat insects, birds, and small mammals. The owner of a Hippogriff must enchant it with a Disillusionment Charm.
Kneazle: A small catlike creature with outsize ears and a tail like a lion’s. Bred in Britain, Kneazles are intelligent, independent, and may be aggressive also. If a Kneazle likes a witch or a wizard it can make an excellent pet, though a license is required to own one. They can interbreed with cats. Hermione’s cat, Crookshanks, was part kneazle. Also, Newt Scammander has three Kneazle pets: Hoppy, Mauler, and Milly.
Phoenix: Found in Egypt, India, and China, the phoenix is a swan-sized scarlet bird with a long golden tail, beak, and talons. Phoenixes regenerate from their own ashes and eat only herbs. Their song is magical and their tears posses healing properties. Albus Dumbledore kept a phoenix, Fawkes, as a pet.
Puffskein: A spherical creature covered in soft, colored fur, and possessors of a very long, thin, pink tongue, which they use to eat, anything from leftovers to spiders. Puffskeins are found worldwide and they are very docile. They are beloved by wizarding children, and are a popular wizarding pet.
Runespoor: Once a favorite pet of Dark wizards because of its intimidating appearance, the runespoor is a three-headed serpent originated in Burkina Faso, Africa. It is orange with black stripes, and can reach a length of six or seven feet. Each of its heads serves a different purpose, and the fangs that are found in the right head are very venomous. Runespoors don’t live a lot because the heads attack at each other.
Streeler: Native to several African countries, the streeler is a giant snail that changes color every hour. It is kept as a pet by wizards who enjoy kaleidoscopic color changes.
Winged horse: The Abraxan, the Aethonan, the Granian, and the Thestral, are some of the breeds of winged horses. Wizards that own a winged horse must enchant it with a Disillusionment Charm, so that muggles won’t see them. These charms must be done every day because their effects wear off.
That was all for this month!! Hope you liked it! Now it is time for you to do your assignment! :)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander