When I was growing up I wasn't allowed to have a dog, though I dreamed about it and was one of those kids that got excited every time I saw a dog. We had fish, turtles, at one time I had a garter snake, and then when I was in Junior High I was allowed to have a hamster. I really wanted a "real pet" that I could do something with. Something more than just holding it and (in the case of the hamster) petting it.
Now I have dogs and we do a lot together. And because I really enjoy training dogs and have a vast network of friends (both real life and cyber) who are also training geeks I have access to more training information than I know what to do with. Additionally, when I was growing up we didn't have that wonderful thing called the internet -- which has allowed a great exchange of information and videos.
Some of the most amazing videos I've seen of trained animals haven't been with dogs, but with small pocket type animals. The same animals that many kids are resigned to having in lieu of having a "real" pet like a cat or a dog. Who know that hamsters, guinea pigs and rats could learn so much and be so much fun?
If you have one of these types of pets watch the videos I've posted below and be inspired. And if you don't, watch anyways and be in awe.