Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pet Rock Rescue

The 'pet rock' fad caught on quickly and flourished here in Canada back in the 70's as profiteers saw an opportunity to catch people's fancy with these cute cuddly aggregates. Unfortunately the enthusiasm for owning them soon dwindled and the whole 'rock-caring' phase vanished not long afterwards as public interest in anything to do with rocks, especially giving rocks a good home, dropped out of the public consciousness.

The brief enthusiasm the media generated to make people want to adopt rocks did little if anything to improve dry stone walling conditions here in Canada. Yes, rocks of all sizes were taken home and loved briefly, but soon after many of them were forgotten and abandoned.

Adopted without any thought to where these defenseless rocks would stay or how they would fit in, many stones and rocks were left uncared for on window sills and book shelves, or worse trapped in basements in sealed cardboard boxes or merely discarded a few weeks later in the trash. A lucky pet rock might be re-gifted and find a new owner who gave it a home in a wall or garden feature, but most rocks merely tossed. Like the pet hedgehog and the miniature pig, the pet rock has gone the way of the hoola hoop, no longer receiving the attention it once enjoyed with the Canadian public, as it lost its esteemed place to the more high-profile, more animate varieties of household pets.

In the next few days the whole subject of giving new homes to rocks will be revisited. The traits and characteristics of various rock breeds will be discussed and advice on choosing them, getting along with them as well as tips on training grooming caring and working with them will be looked at.

First it would be good to look at some of the original literature that came in the Pet Rock box. While every pet rock came with a useful instruction manual, not all the information was correct and some of it was a bit misleading in terms of not having owners being encouraged to develop their pet rock's full potential. It is important to understand too what each rock's unique needs are and tomorrow we will start with a brief overview of what to expect when you bring rocks home to stay with you .

It is hoped that this series will be helpful to anyone looking to understand rocks better and create a meaningful support system for, and with, them.

Again, as with other Thinking With My Hand blog themes, you are invited to make comments and suggestions concerning common rock breeds (and more unusual varieties too) that might be fun to discuss in upcoming posts.

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