It was only a matter of time before it happened. Miss K called me into her room the other day to give me the news. “Mom, I think I’m ready for a pet.” Her sister got a parakeet for her birthday last year but only after she completed reading a book about parakeets and committed to being responsible for the bird’s care. Whether Miss K was going to ask for a bird like her sister did, or something from the rodent family like the neighbors had, I wasn’t sure. I cautiously asked what type of pet then braced myself for the announcement.
*Sigh* While I have no doubt she can be responsible for the care of a dog while she is at home, I’m not ready for the responsibility when she’s not home. It has been a few years since our dogs passed on but I still grieve. I miss them terribly. I told her that I thought she would be great. I knew she would take care of it. Feed it. Walk it. Clean up after it. When she is home. Unfortunately, she goes to school all day and often has activities after school. We go places, travel, go to the movies, run errands. A bird or rodent is in a cage. A dog… is not.
We talked for a bit and I told her a dog is a family responsibility and it isn’t something we’re ready for right now. This didn’t come on the heels of her latest animal shelter donation so I asked her why she wanted a dog. Her answer surprised me. “You and Dad have work all the time. (Miss M) plays video games and I don’t like those. I just want something to play with when everyone else is busy.”
Not that I’m encouraging video games over human/animal interaction, but in this case this solution can help a little. Video games aren’t her first choice of play, however when I gave her Petz Beach for Nintendo 3DS, she sat down and gleefully created a pet for herself.
So you’re probably asking yourself what exactly Petz Beach is. Well, it’s an interactive world where the user creates a pet of their choice (28 breeds of dog, 6 breeds of cat and a variety of ocean-themed animals, including polar bears!) After that, they explore the world, visit friends houses, participate in activities and perform quests.
Quests are a variety of activities. Sometimes it is as simple as delivering a package. Other times it involves teaching the pet tricks or caring for them. When a quest is completed, the person who assigned the task gives the pet owner some kind of reward. Sometimes it’s a gift for the pet or the home, sometimes the rewards are coins that can be used to buy new pets, accessories, clothes, food/water or other things needed to maintain the health and happiness of the pet.
It isn’t all quest-based though. Other activities involve everyday care like feeding, bathing and walking the pet. Pull up the world map and find places or people. Navigate the way there and engage in a conversation or go shopping. As the game progresses, additional activities and areas open up. As an example, there may be a new home or neighbor/friend to visit or interact with.
Of course, when educational materials are wrapped into a game, kids don’t even realize they are learning while they play. Petz Beach incorporates a variety of animal, plant and insect facts from Encyclopedia Britannica. These little tidbits of information pop up as different pages are loading. That’s much better than seeing a screen that says “Loading”!
Petz Beach offers kids (and adults) a little escape from the real world and into a digital world revolving around pets. If you’re ready to add a real pet to your family, stop by your local animal shelter. If you’re like me and need to opt for a digital one, you can pick up Petz Beach on Amazon. As an alternative, Petz Countryside is also available.
What kind of pet is part of your family?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.