One of my daily highlights involves squealing with my kids over any cute animal video from my social media feed. No matter how good or crazy our day turned out or what different planes we’re existing upon, animals bring us together for a warm, fuzzy moment.

WTF: What Tiny Faces!

With every video, we dream of someday owning a property large enough to house every species we’re fawning over.  It’s no wonder, then, that we look forward to going to get a real warm fuzzy fix at the America’s Family Pet Expo.  In just a few weeks, the Expo will be flocking to OC Fair & Event Center Apr. 22 – 24, 2016.

May need to get a bigger dog house!

Here’s what I know about the Expo:

MOST OF US UNDERESTIMATE/UNDERUTILIZE OUR PETS:  With the exception of my high school horse, most of my pets simply eat, poop, sleep, drool, shed, bark/meow, run away, hide, play dead, play fight and ignore me until they beg for something they can’t live without right NOW. At the Expo, you’ll find animals showcasing skills and expertise – including Police dog demos, free-flight bird show and cat agility courses?!

Yay! Kids love a splash zone !

IF IT FOLLOWS YOU HOME, YOU CAN KEEP IT: Growing up, my friends owned cats, dogs, hamsters or fish. When we moved to California, I immediately met someone in our rural neighborhood whose goat maintained their perfectly manicured lawn and another family whose mallard controlled their snail population.  I love that at the expo you get to meet a wide variety of birds, exotic reptiles, and other pets. Plus, you may adopt them onsite – and learn proper care for your new family member. Over 600 pets were adopted last year. 
MINI MULTIPLIES ADORABLENESS: Everything becomes hugely adorable when tiny!  Come lay down in a field of mini donkeys, goats, sheep, and even mini cattle!  They’ll also have full-sized fowl, pot-bellied pigs and rabbits competing for your affection!

Enter the aquarium design contest!

SOMETHING FOR ALL*: Your kids will love the expo, your current pets will not. New pets would much rather meet your pets in a less stressful environment than in a crowded expo hall.  *PLEASE leave your pets at home.

To purchase tickets, click here.




I typed today’s entry without looking at the screen, hiding my eyes from the pictures. I hate fish – ichthyophobia.  I don’t mind living fish, I visit aquariums, crave sushi, but hate dead fish. I hope that acknowledging my fear lessens its hold.

Gives me the willies just looking at him.



– Fishing with Dad who makes me stick my fingers in the gills to hold fish for a picture
– I wake up to my dog licking my guppy. I don’t know which scarred me more: that my fish killed himself jumping from the tank or that the dog ate him
– Sea World Annual Membership – fed lots of dead fish to whales

Who’s hungry for fish ‘n’ chips? Pass the malt vinegar!

– My dad and I deep-sea fish! I love fishing and sit patiently all day casting and reeling in! Refuse to touch fish to bait the hook or release my catch
– Hand-pick 10 guppies from babysitter’s tank! Bonus: One births 14 babies! I change the water and later find a silver film

The horror!

– 24 carcasses castigating me
– My dad gets goldfish with buggy eyes. It lasted 2 days – 2 days too long

Making eye contact is unnerving.

– Next, Siamese Fighting Fish – Beautiful til it caught Yuck! and sunk like a rock
– Visiting China with my Grandmother, every meal for weeks had fish corpses on a platter. People scraped its meat right from its body with forks. I couldn’t even hold the plate holding the fish

So fresh, I know they felt my fork.

– Boy hangs dead fish on a rope outside my dorm window to show me he cares

– Horrified by music video with dying fish

– Buy a house: Receive welcome gift of mangled koi in yard. When my ex finally goes to remove it, it’s vanished
– To end the cycle of ichthyophobia with me, I bravely walk past grocery fresh fish displays for my children while diverting my attention elsewhere because if one moves I’ll scream

Eyeless fillets with skin on them, still a no-no

– Millions of silver fish beach themselves along our coast in Southern CA. While the sparkly silver would normally attract me, it’s horrifying to me.

What did this fish-astrophe mean?

Strangely, I eat fish, but only with no signs of fishdom – no skin, no bones, no head.  Next we’ll  cover my fear of eating things that look like they did when they lived. What fears do you have?

2010’sThe fishtales get longer – no exaggeration!

Share your story & you may reach the one person who needed to hear it most.


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