Homo sapiens is an odd species. We do things that clearly make no sense in hindsight, but in the moment we can convince ourselves that they are good ideas. Case in point: buying an Arctic fox as a pet.
Burton was adorable. He was a fluffy ball of snow white fur. He looked just like a little puppy, he licked faces just like a puppy, and he even had puppy breath. He was very curious and eagerly played tug of war. The desire to take this little fluff ball home was understandable.
Burton's owner had the money, had the time and had the space, or so he thought. He took excellent care of his dogs and other pets. Adding another "puppy" to his pack would be easy and fun.
But Burton wasn't a puppy, he was a wild animal. He didn't get along with the dogs in the house. Although he was at times playful, he was most often skittish and aloof. He was destructive and possessive, constantly stealing things like keys, phones and remotes. He also was inconsistent at best about house breaking, and his urine was very, very pungent. He ended up confined to a crate much of the time.
Burton's owner eventually realized his mistake and sought out The Creature Conservancy's help to give Burton a better life.
We've all done things that seemed reasonable at the time, then discovered differently later. That isn't a big deal when we're choosing a paint color. We think it's the perfect color when we pick it out at the store, but we regret the choice when it covers our walls.
Pets are not paint colors. We need to consider our decisions and motives much more carefully because we can't just paint over our mistakes.
(Click on the photos to enlarge.)