Is My Spouse Normal: Ron and Angie

Angie's Ark
Dr. Phil weighs in with guests who want to know if their spouse's strange behavior is normal.

Ron thinks his wife, Angie, is turning their home into a zoo. "We have three dogs, three cats, five mice, two rats, one hamster, three chinchillas, one 65-pound tortoise, two cockatoos, a parrot and about 40 other small birds. I'm afraid I'm going to come home and find a donkey or a goat in my backyard!" exclaims Ron. "My wife's animal collection is driving me crazy!"

Angie doesn't see a problem. "When he met me, I had over 40 animals in a one-bedroom condo. He still called for a second date!" she justifies. "I could easily have five more cats," says Angie. "I say the more the better. I love my animals. I would say it's just like my own little Angie's Ark. It's completely normal to me."

Ron thinks Angie is taking advantage of his good nature. "She just can't stop bringing them home," he says. "Every time she brings home another animal, I lose it. We have huge vet bills. The neighbors think we're insane! I try talking to her about my feelings, but she just doesn't get it. Dr. Phil, can you help me tell my wife that taking care of this many animals at home is not normal?"
Dr. Phil asks Ron, "What's your job?"

"I'm the senior elephant trainer at the San Diego zoo," he admits, and the audience laughs.

Dr. Phil asks about their first date: "You go to her house, which is a one-bedroom condo, and she has 40 animals inside. So didn't you have kind of fair warning going into this deal?"

"You know, love blinds all," says Ron, "and I was just looking at her and I never saw much of the other things."

"It's a little hard to miss 40 animals!" exclaims Dr. Phil. He runs through the list of animals. "Doesn't it cost a lot to feed them?"

Ron nods. "It depends on where you get the food," says Angie, explaining that sometimes her animals get her leftovers from dinner. "For the tortoise this morning, I got the salad from dinner last night."


Responding to Dr. Phil's confused look, Ron explains, "The tortoise came with us. They were very happy in the limo when we brought him."

The audience erupts in laughter as the tortoise is wheeled out on stage!
Dr. Phil leans in to smell the tortoise, and asks, "Doesn't it really stink at your house?"

Ron and Angie explain that Sheldon is their garden tortoise and stays outside. Upon Dr. Phil's baffled expression, Ron says, "That's the same look I give her all the time! Just like it, that's my look."

Dr. Phil eyes another one of the their creatures off stage. "That's my chinchilla," says Angie.

"Is a chinchilla like a big rat?" asks Dr. Phil.

Angie explains that it is from the rodent family, and although she has three of them, she hopes to soon get a "wife" for one of them.

The chinchilla is brought out on stage and Dr. Phil holds it.
Dr. Phil confesses that he loves animals, and has had cats all his life. "But don't you think you can go to excess?" he asks.

Angie agrees, but says she's "not anywhere near" excess yet.

Dr. Phil wants to know if Angie is taking advantage of Ron's good spirit. Angie agrees it's probably true. "Isn't there some way for y'all to negotiate a balance in this?" Dr. Phil asks. Ron explains that they did: He wouldn't gripe about her animals if she didn't complain about his golfing. "But of course I come back from vacation and now we have two more dogs and two more love birds tomorrow," says Ron.
"And you guys just learned that you're going to become foster parents?" Dr. Phil asks.

Ron explains that they were just informed that a 2-day-old baby girl is waiting for them. The audience applauds.
Dr. Phil explains that when he read all their information, he did wonder if maybe Angie had abandonment issues because she comes from a divorced family. "Whatever you're trying to achieve, the animals aren't doing it because you need more and more and more," he suggests.

Angie agrees. "I need to put a cap on it."

Dr. Phil asks if they'd consider putting some of the animals in their neighborhood petting zoo, so all children could enjoy them.

"All my children enjoy the animals," argues Angie.

"Well, but there are a lot of children who don't get to enjoy them because you're hogging them at your house," Dr. Phil jokes.

When Ron adds that the children at the school think they are the coolest parents because of their animals, Dr. Phil shakes his head and tells him he's not helping his own case. "You made your cage, now you need to live in it," he tells Ron. Dr. Phil turns to Angie: "Seriously, think about the fact that you may be trying to meet a need in the wrong way."