BubTar's snake, Sticky, died on Friday (the 13th). I don't know if I even mentioned his snake here, but Josh and BubTar found him in our yard one evening and decided to keep him. He was a wild rough earth snake and was never very friendly. His only defense was defecation, so naturally we didn't handle him too much because...SNAKE POO. BubTar liked him, though, and took good care of him...right up until he found him dead on Friday. We aren't sure what happened, he might have been old, or maybe captivity didn't agree with him. We never SAW him eat, so we don't know if he was eating or not. Whatever the reason, BubTar was very, very sad. It was our first real encounter with death here, but the kids handled it well enough. KayTar didn't seem broken up about it, but she did say, "Wasn't it so horrible to hear BubTar cry like that?!" I don't know if horrible meant sad or annoying in that context...with KayTar, it could have gone either way. At the funeral, BubTar said, "I'm sad that you died, but glad that you taught me I could be responsible for a pet all on my own. You were my first pet and I'll miss you." We buried him in the fenced-in area near the garden, so no other animals will mess with the little grave, that was BubTar's idea.
He decided he wanted to spend his birthday money on a pet store snake and the additional care items, so we did our research and some comparison shopping on Saturday. He got quite a haul for his birthday and I had no idea what he would end up spending it on (because we surely don't need more toys!), so this was an amicable and responsible choice! From what we read, the best bet for kids was a corn snake, so that is what we went looking for. We made sure BubTar realized a snake was a VERY long term pet (about 20 years!), he might still be around when BubTar moves out of the house, and he assured us that he was in it for the long haul. At the pet stores, both kids held a few different snakes and the snakes were so friendly and docile! He ended up choosing an albino corn snake, who still doesn't have a set name...he's trying out a few names before settling on the winner. He (or she, we can't tell until the snake gets much bigger) is very social and seems to like being handled. I've even held him and I don't think of myself as a snake person. BubTar said that the new snake already likes him more than Sticky ever did.