I think the rat is the best idea, but of course dad doesn't like that. Rats make wonderful pets!! So....he doesn't like herps or rats. Maybe he needs to be a little more open minded?
'He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.'-Author Unknown