We have been pet sitting for the past few weeks. The kids have always wanted a pet. I am finding that having a guinea pig on loan is the best way to go. Not only can my friends leave the state for a month without worrying about their pet, my kids get to enjoy the love and work of a pet with no long term commitment.
And they do love him! Sparky lives in the laundry room so most of his days are quiet, even in our busy house. We feed him lots of kitchen vegetable and fruit scraps and we are learning what he loves. When the kids play in the basement we often let him out to explore and play along. He isn't too adventuresome but that works for us.
Pet on loan. This might be one of the best ideas ever!