Animal Rentals Blog


  1. HAIR-FREE BUT NOT CARE-FREE

    April 21, 2015 by Mindy the Monkey

    I know that Mother’s Day is not for a few weeks yet, but today I wanted to tell you a little bit about our “mama” here at Animal Rentals.  Her name is Mrs. Clean and she really takes care of me and all my exotic animal friends of Mindy’s Menagerie.  She is really loving, sweet, and small.  Mrs. Clean is a Hairless Rat.

    A lot of people are scared of rats or think they are unclean or carry diseases.  But rats are actually very clean  and friendly and incredibly smart…maybe even as smart as monkeys!  When I typed that Mrs. Clean just said, “Yes, dear, we are as smart as monkeys but it is not polite to brag about it.”   I won’t argue, we never argue with “mama”.   She is always right and besides that we wouldn’t want to do anything to upset her because we love her so much.

    Anyway, Mrs. Clean is like a cross between Mary Poppins and a schoolteacher and the world’s best grandma.  She loves all of us and she is always making sure we are comfortable and happy while we are traveling and that we have and do what we need.  She’s the one that always asks, “Did everyone use the bathroom before they got in the van?”  And, “Did you all remember to wash yourselves after touching the humans?”  And “Does anyone need a snack?  I’ve got some nice fruit and nuts right here.”

    Back home at Animal Rentals, Mrs. Clean helps us and reminds us too.  You will often hear her say things like, “Purse, be sure to brush those big alligator teeth so you can keep your nice, white smile.”  And, “Let’s blow a fan on Chi-Chi the Chinchilla so he is not so hot while the rest of us are so cold.”  And “Bugsy, you Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches need to stop stealing Mindy’s cookies when she’s not looking.”  Mrs. Clean is the best!

    She loves people, too…especially children.  She really enjoys traveling to all different types of parties, events and locations for our Animal Shows – she thinks birthday parties are the best because she adores kids and cake.  Her favorite part of working with Animal Rentals is meeting all the new people and hugging them while they hold her.  Most people don’t even realize that they are being hugged by Mrs. Clean – she is so light and gentle and soft!  They think they are just holding her but really, she is holding them right back.

    That’s our “mama”, Mrs. Clean the Hairless Rat.  She just loves and cares about and cares for  and takes care of all of us.  We are lucky to have her.  Next time I’ll tell you about Mrs. Clean’s favorite philosophy and why “Bald is Beautiful”.


  2. MISSING UNCLE MONK

    April 9, 2015 by Mindy the Monkey

    The past few weeks have been sort of strange and sad here at Animal Rentals since my Uncle, Mr. Adam Monk, passed away.   All of my human and exotic animal friends in Mindy’s Menagerie here sure miss him!  But it has been wonderful getting notes from people that knew him.  Uncle Monk was one monkey people never forgot meeting!

    Uncle Monk was 43 when he left us – which is pretty old for a monkey.  Even though he lived to a ripe old age, people say that it is never long enough.  The sad truth is, though, that most animals just don’t live as long as humans do.  A lot of my tropical bird friends – like Ruby the African Grey Parrot or Piwackett the Scarlet Macaw – can live 60 to 75 years or longer!  And there are some whales, giant tortoises and other animals that live for more than 200 years.   But most domestic and exotic animals have a much shorter time on earth.  So we should be happy that Uncle Monk had 43 years, and an incredible life.

    Dad, of course, misses Uncle Monk the most.  The two of them started Animal Rentals and built the business together.  Of course dad says he did it and Uncle Monk just helped, and of course Uncle Monk said that all the best ideas were his and he was the “real” boss.  I really miss all the great advice he gave me – like when I was learning to be an Organ Grinder monkey and Uncle Monk told me to never take the pennies from people, only the “big money”.  If someone ever handed him a penny while he was working he would actually throw it right to the ground.  If it wasn’t silver or green, he wouldn’t take it.  Lol!

    Uncle Monk retired years ago, so he never traveled with us for our College Entertainment shows. But he certainly did his share of touring and working with lots of people and celebrities doing Animal Shows, charity events, theme parties, strolling entertainment, fairs, festivals, corporate parties, birthday parties, commercials, tv shows…you name it and Uncle Monk was there putting on a show and making people laugh and smile.  I am happy and proud to continue the work he started here at Animal Rentals and to carry on his legacy of making people laugh and smile.

    Goodbye Uncle Monk…I love you and I miss you!


  3. HORACE THE HEDGEHOG: IN HIS WORDS

    March 20, 2015 by Animal Rentals

    Hi everyone, my name is Horace, although many of my Animal Rentals friends like to call me “Pokey Junior”.  If you have seen a picture of Pokey the Porcupine on Mindy’s Menagerie on our web page you can figure out why they call me “Junior”. I am an African Pygmy Hedgehog but I have no idea where Africa even is. I was born somewhere near Cincinnati,Ohio. My great great grandparents were bred as pets to stay small.  Great great grandma was an African hedgehog; great great grand-daddy was a Syrian. I am the result of their breeding.  As a baby, I was called everything from “hoglet” to “Hey You“   before the good people at Animal Rentals gave me the name Horace.
    With our small size came some genetic quirks.  Most members of my family have poor vision. A strong sense of smell and keen hearing help to compensate. In my younger years when I was lean and mean  and could run over 6 feet a second and up to 3 miles a night on my exercise wheel.  I still jog but its more like 6 feet a day.  While travelling I run laps in the room until someone yells at me to stop or I run into a wall.   Recently, I was told by our vet that I am lactose intolerant.   There goes the nightly milk and cookies.

    Being the curious animal that I am, I researched my history and found that my ancestors were domesticated as early as Four BC. Problem was we were raised for our meat and quills.   I could find nothing, however, on how we got the name  “hedgehog.”   A few days later the mystery was solved.  I passed by the kitchen and heard mom and dad eating lunch. Hearing the grunting noises and the racket they made while pushing their food around sounded like two pigs eating out of a trough. It was not a pretty sight.

    I must confess I am a lover and not prone to fighting. I follow a simple motto:  When the going gets rough, I get going. In the event of a confrontation, though, I pity the fool who goes against me and my 5000 sharp spines that surround my body.  Thanks Mother Nature.

    I’m kind of a loner, sleep most of the day and prefer to be by myself except for when we do our exotic animal show display.  To keep me fit I eat a diet consisting of insects, slugs, earthworms and a nasty tasting commercial hedgehog diet. I sometimes wonder what a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach would taste like.  I know its wrong and I feel bad.  After all, they are members of Mindy’s Menagerie and Bugsy is a friend. But in my defense he also is a BUG.  I take comfort by telling myself that Bugsy would be the last roach to be eaten.

    One of the perks of being a hedgehog is that the venom from an adder, a poisonous snake, does not affect me.  But how many adders will I run into while walking the streets of Chicago? The guys around here don’t believe me and are attempting to convince Mindy the Monkey to ask her dad to add an adder to the show.  So not funny!

    LIKES:  ANIMAL RENTALS, a clean cage, fresh water, good food (maybe including some Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches), entertaining our audiences and a heavy duty toothbrush for my 64 teeth .

    DISLIKES: a dirty cage, anyone who calls me “Pokey Junior” and those times when I have a “bad spine day”.

     


  4. POKEY AND SCARLET: WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

    February 15, 2015 by Animal Rentals

    Here is a list of the Strengths and Weaknesses of our candidates.  Notice how many of them are very similar to our human candidates.  Interesting. If you had to vote, who would you choose.  Please use the COMMENT Section

    WHO WOULD YOU VOTE FOR?

    “POKEY” THE PORCUPINE (Erethizon dorsatum) born March 30th, 2011

    Pokey is a home body who enjoys the quiet life.  He is a team player when working with his companions in Mindy’s Menagerie but once the work day is done, he retreats to his solitary lifestyle.

    STRENGTHS: Thrifty, Practical, Creative, Witty and Sharp.

    WEAKNESSES: Shy, Small Stature, a Loner and painfully Sarcastic.

    POKEY possesses a very pungent and disagreeable odor that is quite unpleasant, a result of either hereditary or just poor hygiene.  He also possesses a rather “prickly” attitude especially when he is upset, which makes his body shake resulting in more than one of his sharp quills to loosen and stick someone.  Not a great people pleaser.

    “SCARLET” THE BOA CONSTRICTOR (Constrictor constrictor) hatched in 1999

    Scarlet is a laid back and cautious reptile who knows her large size may be intimidating. Her seductive, come hither look makes her very popular in Mindy’s Menagerie where she considers herself to be an interactive and “hands-on” specimen.

    STRENGTHS: Quiet, Intelligent, Calculating, Stoic, Charming and an uncanny ability to adapt to change.

    WEAKNESSES: No arms or legs and a forked tongue make travel and communication difficult. Not someone you would want to dine with. She looks slimy and hugs too hard.

    SCARLET, while very approachable and personable, faces a very uphill battle.  She tends to lash out when cornered into situations she is not familiar with. She is tired of the insulting phrases “snake in the grass” and “lower than a snake’s belly.  She has had to live down the misconception that she was responsible for the debacle with Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden. (She said it was a porcupine who tempted Eve).


  5. UNCLE MONK’S AMAZING LIFE

    February 11, 2015 by Mindy the Monkey

    The other day was bath day here at Animal Rentals, and I got some great pictures of my dad and my uncle, Mr. Adam Monk.  I love seeing the two of them together, and dad loves reminiscing with Uncle Monk about “the old days”.  Uncle Monk is over 45 years old!  And he and dad have been together a REALLY long time…working, traveling and playing.  Uncle Monk doesn’t travel with us doing Animal Shows or College Entertainment any more, he says his days of being on the road are done and he just wants to relax and enjoy his retirement.  I LOVE traveling and don’t think I will EVER want to retire!  But Uncle Monk and I are completely different.

    I guess Uncle Monk is really more of my brother than actually an uncle, since he was dad’s first monkey son.  But he is old and sort of crotchety – which dad tells me is a nicer way of saying cranky, lol – and certainly more like an uncle than a brother.  So he is Uncle Monk to me.

    Uncle Monk has had an amazing life – even before he met dad.  He was born in the wild in the jungles of South America, and he was captured and kidnapped and SOLD when he was very young!  He traveled from village to village in small, bamboo cages being sold and traded until he finally came to America and met dad.  Dad likes to say that it was NOT love at first sight – lol.  But he and Uncle Monk grew to first respect then love each other, and together they built Animal Rentals from a highly demanded Organ Grinder act to a business that focuses on bringing people and exotic animals together in an educational and entertaining way.  I even think that it was Uncle Monk’s idea to do our Petting Zoos and Pony Rides. At least, HE says it was.  Dad just rolls his eyes and laughs whenever I ask him about it.

    Anyway, I guess after such a long life filled with work and adventure Uncle Monk deserves to relax and be pampered in his retirement.  And he sure does love his bath time!  I don’t blame him, I do too!  What about you?  Do you love bath time too?


  6. “TAKE A SWIPE AT BREAST CANCER”

    February 10, 2015 by Animal Rentals

    DID YOU KNOW? Right after his participation in Woodstock, Illinois last week to celebrate Groundhog Day, Woodstock Willie traveled to Rockford, Illinois. Willie took part in the “Take A Swipe At Breast Cancer” where Illinois Bank and Trust presented a check to the Crusader Clinic for the Pink Ribbon Awareness Campaign. These fantastic people made a donation every time a customer used their “Pink Ribbon Debit/Credit Card”. ANIMAL RENTALS is proud to have participated in this worthy cause. PLEASE LIKE, SHARE, AND COMMENT


  7. OH NO !!!!!! 6 MORE WEEKS OF WINTER!

    February 2, 2015 by Animal Rentals

    ANIMAL RENTALS very own “weather guru” WOODSTOCK WILLIE battled the 5th worst blizzard in Chicago history and made his yearly trek to Woodstock, Illinois. After a few speeches and stories WILLIE, with some help from his driver Mark, announced to the festive audience that, “YES, I saw my shadow today and YES, there will be 6 more weeks of Winter”. Regardless of the forecast, WILLIE spent the rest of the morning posing for pictures and did interviews with CHANNEL 7 and THE NORTHWEST DAILY HERALD. Though the weather was frightful, the crowd was delightful. See you next year people of Woodstock.


  8. TIME IS MONEY AND “GIA” THE SHELTIE COMES THRU!

    January 28, 2015 by Animal Rentals

     ANIMAL RENTALS has been the source for animal models   for photographers, modeling   agencies, booking agents and   production companies in search for the perfect animal to compliment products they are promoting.  Their clients are looking for well behaved     professional models because as they are  quick to say in the advertising circles, “Time is money”.  Calls are made to potential models followed by emails, interviews and auditions.  Some will make it, but many will receive a simple reply of  “Don’t call us. We’ll call you”.

    ANIMAL RENTALS contacted their friend “Denise” who has a well trained female Shetland Sheepdog named “Gia”, who would be used as a “prop” in a photo shoot involving a sofa protector.  The shot called for the little dog to sit still on a sofa.   This is very difficult for any animal to do as they are in a unfamiliar area with bright lights and strange people all around.   There was concern that this would be a lengthy shoot.

    On January 23rd, Denise walked into the studio with Gia.  They set the scene and took some “test” shots”. Satisfied with the results, the final photos were taken.  Before you could say “sofa protector” they had the picture they wanted. The job started at 10:15 and was completed at 10:35.

    This is just another reason why ANIMAL RENTALS is the professional’s choice for professional animal models.

    ANIMAL RENTALS is always looking for new talent.  Contact us at info@animalrentals.com if you have a pet that you feel could be the next super model.


  9. MINDY’S NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

    by Mindy the Monkey

    HAPPY NEW YEAR everybody!

    I am tired but happy from my big New Year’s Eve night out with dad and lots of fun, dancing and new friends.  I would love to be sleeping right now, but dad says I need to make a New Year’s Resolution and share it with everyone so that I stick to it…so here I am, writing to you all about my New Year’s Resolution.

    Ok, honestly, I don’t get the whole New Year’s Resolution thing.  Dad says it’s a promise you make to yourself so that you have a guideline and a plan to follow for the upcoming year.  Well let me tell you, a monkey brain doesn’t work like that.  Lol!  We live for the day…actually we live for the moment.  A monkey’s motto is “Do whatever feels good!”  We don’t do a lot of planning.

    The above was written on January 1st.  Today is January 27th.  This is the perfect illustration to my point.  I have been “doing whatever feels good” for the last few weeks and totally forgot about finishing my blog post!  Talk about living in the moment – hahahaha!

    Dad says I have the emotional maturity of a two year old child.  I’m not sure that’s a compliment, but I suppose it is true.  Us monkeys get easily excited and easily distracted.  It is such a big, wild, wonderful world out there how can anybody NOT get caught up in the thrill of the moment sometimes?  It is so easy to do!

    Ok so back to the New Year’s Resolution.  Mine this year is to spend more time telling you all about my wonderful exotic animal friends and family at Animal Rentals and about all the fun we have living and playing and working together.  Sometimes I get so busy traveling around with dad to our College Entertainment shows, or working locally doing our Animal Shows, Petting Zoos and other fun events, that I forget to get online and share our stories with all of my wonderful human friends out there across the country.  Bad Mindy!  Lol.

    The really exciting news that you may have already noticed, is that this year I am sharing my blog space with my human and exotic animal friends of Mindy’s Menagerie, and letting them post here too!  So one day you might read a post from me, another day a post from someone on our staff, and another day maybe even one from Casper the Albino Burmese Python or Cleopatra the Serval Cat or Mrs. Clean the Hairless Rat.  You never know who is going to want to pop in as a guest star here on my blog, so be sure to check back often and get to know us all better in 2015!


  10. “SAHARA” THE FENNEC FOX

    January 27, 2015 by Animal Rentals

    If you have looked at any pictures of SAHARA the FENNEC FOX you will usually see her perched comfortably atop someone’s shoulder.  SAHARA calls it, “being on top of the world”. Or you may find her snuggling contentedly in the arms of a delighted and equally contented bystander.   “My happy place” she will tell you.  Wherever she is, SAHARA is happiest when she is with people.  But if people are not available, her friends at ANIMAL RENTALS are just as good.

    People comment all the time about SAHARA’S sweet disposition and very laid back nature.  She will pose for pictures, be petted and handled with little resistance.  POKEY the PORCUPINE knows the true nature of the sly little fox, calling it her “Dr. Jekyll side.  All goodie two shoes and with a happy smile on her face. It’s when we return to ANIMAL RENTALS that the happy go lucky Dr. Jekyll turns into the crazy Mr. Hyde. She transforms into who she really is, a Fennec Fox.”

    A noted animal behaviorist wrote that the Fennec Fox is active 15% of the time, cuddly 20% of the time and asleep the rest of the time.  Evidently, they never met SAHARA.   This party girl lives to play and entertain. While the other animals rest and wind down from the activities of the day, SAHARA is busy searching for rubber balls, rope toys and rubber squeaky toys.  Her shouts of “LETS PLAY” fill the building and are quickly answered with replies a bit too harsh to print. Unfazed, SAHARA spends the next hour playing fetch alone, chewing on rope toys and purposely walking by each animal’s pen while biting down hard on the hated rubber squeaky toy all the time thinking, “That will show them”.

    Everyone tolerates SAHARA because they know that is her nature. And as all animals know, you can’t change your nature.  They won’t admit it, but her energetic and happy personality is contagious.  Even “SHERMAN” the stoic faced, slow moving RED FOOT TORTOISE steps it up a little bit when he sees her playing.  And was that a smile on his face?


Animal Rentals, Inc., licensed by the USDA, is fully insured and has been in business for over 40 years.