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Photo: German Shepherd Perla, simply...the best. (perlaroques)

Morning routine 2 MIN, 30 SEC

UnFictional host Bob Carlson talks about the animal living in his house. Her name is Lucy and she has one job.

Kirby the biter 9 MIN, 23 SEC

First, every family's got one. That mostly friendly, affable relative who just might turn on you in an instant. And, in Chris Piehler's family, that relative was Kirby. Kirby, the dog.

Christopher Piehler is a playwright, comedian, and storyteller who has made audiences laugh at the Comedy Store, the Ice House, Flappers Comedy Club, and The Moth. He has written and performed two solo shows, and his play, The Triangle Factory Fire Project, was published by Dramatists Play Service and is performed around the country. He has an MFA in playwriting from Columbia University.

Kirby the biter
Photo courtesy of Chris Piehler

Rat house 10 MIN, 3 SEC

Next, when Alex Ward was in college, he lived in a co-op with a bunch of other idealistic kids, trying to build the kind of world they wanted to live in. Then, the rats showed up -- and ripped that idealism to shreds with their sharp yellow teeth.

Alex Ward is a writer and producer based in Portland, Oregon. You can hear his work at soundslikepictures.net.

Alex Ward back when he lived at the Lorax
Photo courtesy of Alex Ward

Law and order and goldfish 6 MIN, 34 SEC

Finally, a humble story of law and order. In the corner of any given elementary school classroom, there's usually an animal of some kind – a hamster, or a hermit crab – to teach the kids about loving and caring for other species. In Jennifer Kim's elementary school classroom, there was a goldfish tank. And, in trying to teach her kids to care for another species, Jennifer discovered something about taking care of a species that was entirely foreign to her – children.

Jennifer Kim on a field trip with her students
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Kim

Jennifer Kim's classroom
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Kim

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