We are lucky enough to be able to share our lives with Prairie dogs. Sometimes I think in a past life, I was one. Since seeing them in Colorado in 2006 for the first time, I've fallen in love, we both have. Most people hate them, consider them varmits, pests..... yet they are smart, loving, family animals. They are so smart, not only do they have their own language, they can create NEW words for new or different things in their environment. This is an interesting link on their language: http://www.petroglyphsnm.org/wildsides/pdlanguage.html
Because of these creatures, I wish I lived in the West. Their safety and wellbeing and educating people about them is an important mission. The Prairie NEEDS Prairie dogs as much as they need the prairie. And preserving both the prairie and the dogs, should be something everyone in North America is concerned with.
This is a great website: http://www.prairiedogcoalition.org/
Our animals yahoo whenever we come home, whenever I yahoo, or if Kevin sneezes. It's an acutal "YAHOO" and they throw their hands up in the air. Talk about feeling loved when someone greets you like that. They would like to spend their entire lives being held and cuddled, that really is their only goal in life, getting cuddled. They know our moods, we know their moods. I would consider the bond with them similar to something you would have with a dog, but yet, different. Unique.
Prairie dogs were popular in the pet trade in Canada and the U.S. in the late 90's early 2000-2003.... when there was a ban put in place because of a monkeypox scare. Research has shown the real trouble was not caused by Prairie dogs, but by the African Pouched Rat. I have a love/hate relationship with the pet trade. We love having them in our lives and it's hard to imagine our lives without them.... but I hate to think of the large numbers of Prairie dogs captured from the wild, taken from their burrows, their families, and often sold into homes that knew nothing about them, gave them improper care, and insufficent attention. They need a lot of attention, more than one could imagine. I don't agree with it, just as I do not agree with the mass killing of them that goes on each and every year to rid the Prairies and ranches of them.
Our guys were all born in 2002-2003. So they are 8 and 9 years old now. All of our guys had to be rehomed from their origional owners for various reasons. We are grateful to be able to have them in our homes, our lives, our family. We've done large amounts of research on them and I always continue to do so... the more I learn about them, the more fascinated I become. They are amazing little animals.
4 more Prairie dogs joined our family this past Saturday. They are adjusting to their surroundings, new Pd neighbours, and family. They are doing well. We are thrilled to be able to welcome them into our home and family. Our house has finally turned into dog town!