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It's good to be back. Our internet connection took a nosedive the week of July 4th. It was earlier in the week and we were told that they could not get anyone out there until that Friday. The connection was fixed, but then I was unable to access some websites. This one was one of them.

There have been a few change of events during that time with my job and with the new pets. Long story short, I'm transferring to a new store with my store manager so I have a better chance of being promoted.

As far as the rats go, we kept Mila, but switched out Saya for Penny. Saya was...not a nice rat. She bit, she and Mila didn't get along. It was not a good situation. We took her back and I felt terrible, like I had failed her somehow. The pet store told us that she would just be retrained or taken back to the breeder to be socialized. Mila is fabulous. She's affectionate and LOVES shoulder rides and crawling all over B and me. She also loves grapes, yogurt and the dried fruit bits in her pet food. She will eat those first and then dig through her food bowl looking for more. I play "soccer" with her and Penny. I roll the ball toward them and they kick it around back to me and to each other. Yesterday, she sat here at the computer with me and typed "4444444444444444444444444444444444mmmmmmmm4444444". She loves my hair too. I now have to tie it up when I play with her since she got tangled in it! Now the ponytail fascinates her. And my 6-gauge plastic earrings which I'm trying to teach her not to chew.

Penny is a beautiful champagne-colored rat who is a little bit bigger than Mila. She's nice, but still really shy. She and Mila are the best of buds. They sleep together, they box each other playfully, wrestle each other and today, they both plotted how to pull down their water bottle! They succeeded, but we got it back up. Penny isn't so sure about her Mom and Dad though. The other day, she DID crawl onto my knee on her own. I petted her and she went back into her home that I named the "Rat Flat".

They have little pet treats inspired by the movie Ratatoullie that are little croissants. Mila likes to spin it around before eating them. Penny just eats right away. They HAD a little pet bed that they tore to shreds and managed to turn inside out. They did sleep in it, but they also thought it was a toy.

Damn, it's good to have pets again!

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Elizabeth Ashbury

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