Are You Considering Owning a Lab Pet?
People who have never owned a lab pet or dream of having one think that there's nothing to it. They assume that raising a lab pet is like raising every other pet. In a way, it's true, but with a twist: raising a lab pet is raising every other pet. Lab pets have a unique quality to them: you'll never know what comes home to you. And if you're not prepared, it can be disastrous.
Since Zuseir has an internship at the Lab Ray, Mushaigo gets zapped for free. (Thank goodness, or we'd never be able to afford it!) I, like many other first-time lab pet owners, thought nothing of it. So she'll be a bit different; what does it matter? Mushaigo will always be the eldest and I will always love her. So imagine the hassle of buying her blush and eyeshadow one day (Mushaigo would like to point out that it was at Bibae's insistence), and the next day buying toy cars and trading cards because she's now a he. An owner can go insane trying to keep up with their pet's gender, species, and even colour changes.
So, after reading that intro, if you were considering getting lab pieces, you're probably trying to figure out if you should invest your money somewhere else, right? Don't panic. This is what this guide is for. I've gone through all the mistakes and challenges personally, so that now, you won't have to. I didn't say that raising a lab pet is impossible; I'm just saying that it will be tough if you're not prepared. So get your Wobbly Pens ready because here is the list of things you should have before owning a lab pet.
First, some key terms.
Lab Ray: a machine that can only be found with a map; it can make your pet both stronger and weaker while changing its species, gender, and colour.
Zapped: Having the Lab Ray used on.
Pet: You know that cute, often fluffy creature following you around and calling you Mommy/Daddy? That's it. Now turn around and give it a hug.
Now that you know those crucial terms, here's the list:
1.) Save for a nametag. It may seems like a small detail, but if your pet has a lot of friends, or if you even want to be able to recognize it, a nametag will be a blessing. Otherwise, people will come up to you and ask, "Where's that cute Poogle you owned? Did you disown it? Because now, all we've seen you do is hang out with this huge Grarrl," without realizing that that IS your little schmookie. And you'll feel better when you realize that the Darigan Lupe chasing after you isn't trying to rob you, he's your pet and would like to remind you to pick up some milk on the way home. So, to summarize point 1: Nametag = good.
2.) Prepare your pets for the changes. It is going to go through a lot of changes while being zapped, and it will help your pet greatly if it knows what to expect. Consider getting books that describe the daily life of a species, have a flying tutor on hand, and a sewing kit may be needed. Also, be sure to mention the Lab Ray to your other pets. Make sure they'll understand that some days, they'll have a big sister and others, it'll be a big brother. Let them know that even though their sibling may come home as a baby, it doesn't mean that it can't fight back when they tease it.
3.) Kiss your dreams of a colour goodbye. If you were hoping to paint your Pteri faerie, keep your money in the bank because it's a guarantee that those pretty wings won't last too long under the lab ray. You can either have that painted pet you've always wanted or a lab pet but you can't have both at the same time.
4.) Protect your house against, well, everything. Especially the following: fire, ice, snow, dung, stains (from the pets painted any type of food), sharp objects, random disco parties, blinding lights, odors, invisible or camouflage pets playing practical jokes, babies throwing tantrums, hula dancers, electrical shorts, stuffing, oil slicks, royal squabbles. As well, make sure you have high ceilings and lighting fixtures for flying pets, a huge fishbowl for Maraquan, and tissues for snot pets. But of course, being the typical pet owner that you are, you've probably done all of this already, haven't you?
5.) Invest in a Safety Deposit Box. Right now, you're probably reading this with an eyebrow raised, but you'll understand when your newly-changed Skeith is eating all of your precious plushies.
6.) Prepare for every possible combination. This point is particularly important for those who are hoping to win the Customization Spotlight. Have things for all the species, boy and girl, and that match any colour combination. Have things that are both flame-proof and can withstand cold temperatures. Any stone furniture would be a good investment.
7.) Learn to control your emotion. Another tip that may sound weird, but will be incredibly helpful: You may love to hug your pet every two seconds or so, but after you get burned for the twentieth time because the Lab Ray changed your pet's colour to fire, you may think twice. As well, this is good to learn if your pet turns into a colour or species that you may not be too fond of, so you don't hurt its feelings by wrinkling your nose. This is also good when your pet comes home painted either snot or skunk.
8.) Make sure that each time your pet goes to the lab or comes home from it, it knows that you love it. This should be pretty straightforward.
So by now, you should feel prepared enough to help your pet be the strongest it wants to be. Just remember that it's still your precious pet no matter what the Lab Ray turns it into. If you still feel worried, be reassured: you can't possibly be any worse than me. We're still trying to scrape the snot off the curtains.