I finally settled on work.
It's called AT Home Pets. I raise and sell rabbits and guinea pigs. It's a lot of work to care for them. I help my son raise mice.
I am also in the process of learning to make worksheets and curriculum. I made my first this week. The goal is to hone my skills and eventually start to sell them. I was talking with my lad about this last night about how I am going to hire him to help me create graphics for this endeavor. He thought that was a great idea. :)
I mention all this because like may people in the world it is sometimes a struggle to make ends meet. To purchase curriculum, to buy supplies, and clothe children. My hubbies work provides for necessities in life like shelter, food, medical issues, gas and such things.
My business stuff provides for curricula, clothes for me and the lad, treats "just because" and so forth. Without my income it would be a LOT more difficult to manage the other necessities in life.. like food... we like eat. :)
Working with animals as a business has provided me with
1. opportunities to teach my son good animal husbandry skills. Healthy animals make for easier to care for critters, easier to find them homes, better food sources for animals that need them.. remember he raises mice.. his biggest buyer is the local raptor rescue. He gives them a discount because they help birds of prey get healthy after running into trouble. He's had to help me think through the type of bedding we use, housing issues, what colours to pursue and such like.
2. opportunities to learn good customer service. How to be nice with people, friendly, help them discover the joys of owning a pet mouse, to figure out what size of mouse their snake can eat, and so forth. To write good animal care sheets for the rabbits and guinea pigs and to continually learn so that one can properly educate people when they ask questions.
3. opportunities to do real life math. If 10 mice cost "X" amount and the guy asks for a deal, what are you willing to do? Are you going to ask him to buy two more and throw one in for free? Will you say no? What if they want free delivery on top of that? He's learning that good customer service doesn't mean saying yes to every request. I thought I would need to teach him to save for a rainy day... but this boy is a natural money saver. He weighs out his purchases carefully which is really nice to see. He hates that I make him pay part of the mouse food bill but it's part of having them right? He gets the income, shouldn't he bear part of the price or raising them?
4. opportunities to deal with the less than polite people. Granted I've shielded him from most of this, but he sees how some people react to the selling of rabbits and guinea pigs (and to a certain extent the mice). Animal Rights Activists aren't the funnest people to deal with, and he's seen how I've learned to be protective of where I live and how we do things.
5. Opportunities to teach others about animals we know and love. It amazes me how often people will leap into something without first doing their research. Selling animals allows us to interact with people, teaching them how to care for their animal, what should and shouldn't be done and guiding them to good sources for information. There is so much misinformation out there about how to care for animals it's great to guide people to reliable sources.
6. Opportunities to learn time management. It's not always easy. Currently I am dealing with a person who wants to buy an animal on Sunday afternoon. I don't do business on Sundays until after 6 p.m. This individual is struggling to work around that and it's hard to stand firm.. but family and God is important you know? It's hard to work around homeschooling needs, family needs, faith issues in a "we want what we want when we want it NOW" society. Sometimes it means lost sales which used to be upsetting until we learned this.. the instant gratification people won't have done their research and do we really want our animals going to people who are like that? Teaching that long term perspective has been eye-opening for my lad.
7. Opportunities to learn new skills. Whether it's learning how to put together worksheets or curricula, or finding out the latest research on mites in guinea pigs, or how to deal with malocclusion in rabbits, finding out what threatens birds of prey... there are always ways to think and improve and do what needs to be done. Right now we are dealing with a rat problem which with the help of the internet, friends, neighbours and other business people we WILL tackle and keep our animals safe from harm. We are happy to live and let live, but causing harm has repercussions.
8. Opportunity to be your own boss. I HATE, yes indeed I will freely admit it. I hate to be ordered around. I love being able to be responsible for my own decisions and the running of my own business. Being told what I can and cannot do irritates me to no end. So working a job for someone else gives me added stress (which if I have to I deal with) but the freedom of choosing what I feed, how I care, and such like.. I love that freedom. I disliked working a 9-5 job and dealing with the politics and rivalries you get in a workplace. Here... the rabbits don't argue with me.. they may stomp their feet for "FOOD NOW! ME FIRST!!" but they don't talk back or jockey for importance. Most customers are easy to work with and doing this is a joy.
The Importance of Family.
You will find other members of the TOS crew participating in this five day blog hop. The whole list can be found here, or you can start with the folks listed below.