If playing with animals all day sounds like your forte, you might want to investigate a career in zoology. A zoologist or animal keeper will work closely with wild animals on a daily bases, whether it be in the actual wild, or at the local zoo.
Animal keeper positions at a zoo, will most likely require a college degree in Zoology or a similar field. In the past however, on-the-job training was allowed. While it is fairly hard to obtain one of these positions, if it's your calling, than it's possible.
And, yes it's hard work but the reward is fantastic. Image being able to interact with orangutans all day or play with penguins.
Keep in mind though, just like your mother warned when you wanted to get a puppy - you'll have to clean up its mess. Yup. While animal keepers are in charge of enriching the lives of the animals they care for, they're also responsible for maintaining a healthy living environment for their charges.