Cariadlet had been wanting a pet for years (literally). Although I love animals, I've always said no to her, because we are out all day (so it would be cruel to have something like a dog, which is a pack animal and needs company), and because we go away most holidays. I've told her that it would be unfair to expect her grandma to look after her pet whenever we were away. However, when we popped round to see her grandma today, Cariadlet took it upon herself to ask if she'd look after her pet when we were away. Her grandma said that she would be happy to look after an animal if it was one that could be kept in a cage and taken down to her. So now I've said that I'll think about it. I'm still not sure whether to let her have one. She's 9 years old, so old enough to have the animal as her responsiblity. She'd have to feed it, handle it and clean it out. She insists that she wouldn't get bored, and would look after it, but I'm not convinced. Have any other posters had experience of children this age and pets? How long does it take for the novelty to wear off? How much nagging to they tend to need to take care of their animals? If I do give in, what would be the best animal to choose? She's keen on guinea pigs, but my understanding is that they need a nice big outdoor run. We've got the space, but I don't know if (and how) we'd have to foxproof its home: we have a fox that we feed and also another couple of foxes that sometimes pass through, one of which recently took 2 of next door's chickens. I'd want an animal that would like being handled, and would be OK to be left all day (on average, we're out from 8 in the morning until 6 in the evening). I worry that an animal on its own would be lonely, but 2 together would fight (or mate, if we accidentally got a male and female). I don't like animals being sold from pet shops (they always seem to be in tiny cages, and I don't think it's right to breed animals when there are so many unwanted animals around), so I'd have to try and find a rescue centre near me that has small animals for rehoming. Sorry that this ended up being such a long post. Thanks for your patience if you managed to read through to the end.