Pet Tips 'n' Tales©
Samantha, the New Years Slug's, 1st Birthday!
Courtesy Photo by Rick©
Pippin, a dignified black cat, tolerates a photograph with his human parents' 13-month-old pet white slug, Samantha.
With her unexpected arrival, a year ago, Samantha has changed the entire household. The family made a New Year's resolution to change their diet and began eating a diet much like Samantha's. Lettuce is now a staple in their meals; even Pippin loves to eat it. Right after this photo was taken, Pippin stole the lettuce leaf from Samantha and, like a naughty sibling, ate it right in front of her!
"Do not follow where the path may lead.
Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
- Harold R. McAlindon -
This may well be the first time since the inception of the Cottage Grove Sentinel, in 1894, that a slug is featured! You would think that sometime in last 117 years, an area famous for slugs would have seen the benefit of at least one of them!
Sue, a Tips 'n' Tales reader in Los Angeles writes, "You will be surprised to hear of our unusual low-maintenance house pet! On December 6, 2009, we purchased an Oregon Christmas tree complete with a baby slug. We named her Samantha, The Christmas Slug. She was the size of a grain of rice and adorable.
Samantha is a nonnative slug species so we could not release outdoors, and we felt responsible for caring for her."
Those with slugs consuming their garden vegetables and flowers or who have read the Harry Potter book describing Ron Weasley's failed experiment when he had to spit out slugs until a curse wore off, might not find slugs as tasteful pets.
People might laugh at a pet slug, or scrunch up their faces, but consider the advantages--no vet bills!
"Samantha lives in a plastic container that we wash out each morning," continues Sue. "We add fresh vegetables moistened with water. She loves spinach, lettuce, cucumber slices, and is gluten free.
Samantha is a conversation piece; we keep her in the living room on a small table out of direct sunlight.
She is fascinating to watch. Like a Zen sand garden, not much goes on, but you get quiet, waiting. My husband, Rick, calls her 'mobile feng shui' because her slow movements spread peaceful energy, teaching us to slow down and appreciate life."
Our friends are squeamish of Samantha and ask, 'Um-- exactly what do you do with a slug?'
Over the years, I had gained weight, so a few years ago, I lost it to avoid taking medication after developing Stage II hypertension.
With the 2009 holiday treats, I regained a few pounds. With Samantha's unexpected arrival and her diet, she has helped our family in unimaginable ways! Making a New Year's resolution to lose the holiday poundage, we joined her and began eating healthier. Now we eat veggies and salads daily! Samantha is a slug ahead of her time--we just learned that Weight Watchers revised its plan to include unlimited fruits and vegetables as 0 points!
A few months later, I lost enough to be 'no longer unhealthy' in terms of blood pressure, etc. I've also reduced my food intake by 25%, and am now successfully maintaining the weight I was twenty years ago! We have undergone a complete lifestyle commitment and feel so much healthier!
Who would have thought that a small slug from Oregon could change a life?!
Pippin, our male cat, enjoys Samantha's diet! He likes eating spinach, arugula, and romaine! He even steals them out of the salad bowl! (His cat-sister, Hannah, eschews greenery and prefers potato chips.)
Samantha was the perfect Christmas gift under our tree. You never know what kind of gifts will arrive on your path, so keep your eyes and heart open.
I never knew I was capable of becoming fond of a slug, but we are all capable of love toward all of creation. (Well, maybe not mosquitoes or fleas... I'm only human!)
When you print our story in Tips 'n' Tales, please mail us the newspaper so we can show all our friends, including Tanya who 'slug sits' when we go on trips. Oh! Please don't include my address in the article! We don't want any readers shipping us their slugs!"
"Apparently slugs/gastropods have a lifespan of 7-12 months," said Sue. "As proud slug parents, we knew Samantha was better, smarter, and healthier than most slugs, since she has already celebrated her first birthday!
We attribute her longevity to many things: A healthy diet, love, and I put her container, including her, on a vibrational charging coaster after I change the lettuce/spinach out. I love the coasters and so does Samantha! http://vibesup.com/store/vibrational-charging-coaster-p-207.html
Relaxed, Samantha has not grown any longer since she was 7 months old. She is now 2 inches in length, and when she crawls she stretches longer and thinner, almost to 4 inches. Most women would have slug envy if they knew her trick--who wouldn't like to be taller and more slender at will?" adds Sue.
Mary Ellen's friend of 16 years, Randy Peyser, author of Crappy to Happy, as seen in the movie, EAT PRAY LOVE said, "We live in California and also had a pet slug! Sluggo's little mouth was fascinating to watch as he vacuumed the algae off the inside of the fish tank he shared with my goldfish.
One time, we were cleaning the fish tank and dumped the tank's dirty water down the sink. Shocked, we realized, we washed Sluggo down the sink drain, and were relieved when he crawled out of the pipe back into the bathroom sink! As I wrote in, Crappy to Happy, "If Sluggo could crawl out of a deep, dark, crappy mess, so can you!"" www.CrappytoHappy.com
Eugene, Oregon holds a Slug Queen Festival to select the unofficial city ambassador. This year, "raining" (because it is always raining here) Queen Slugasan, wearing a rainbow colored wig, won the coveted crown. www.slugqueeneugene.com
Start Your New Year Right!
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Mary Ellen & Miss Wings
Pet Tips 'n' Tales Newspaper Columnist
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