In honor of National Pet Week
May 6 -12
As I sit and write this post there are two snoring puppies under my feet. They are not really puppies any more - they are about 20 months old. If you are an animal lover, you know the comfort and companionship they add to your life. Please bear with me as I reminisce about both past and present pets. I will warn you some of this post is a tearjerker.
In my fifty-eight years I have had several pets . Growing up I had a parakeet named Blue Boy. On my fourth Christmas Santa brought me both a tabby kitten named Mike and a dachshund puppy named Frieda. Mike ran off to live in the woods behind the house after my mother put a pretty pink collar with a bell around his neck. He lived for years - coming to eat then leaving. Freida was our family dog for fourteen years - dying of breast cancer on the day of high school exams - the memory is burned into my brain.
After purchasing my first home, I rescued a cocker-poo puppy from under a shed, took him home (that was why I bought a house -to have a pet!), and named him Pepper. Pepper and I married Chucks in 1980, and we went to live at his house. Pepper was a smart, likable little fellow. He never let anyone play with his toys. They stayed in a basket. He also would organize the pine cones in the yard into piles. His daily joy was fighting the mailman for the mail being pushed through the slot. I think the mailman got a kick out of the tug-of-war, too. Pepper went blind at ten years old, but it did not stop him. When we moved, he quickly adjusted to the bigger house. Getting a pool installed was a different story. After walking into it several times, Pepper learned to calmly swim to the side and climb out. In his last year he developed liver problems and we had that awful decision to make. In the end, he made the decision for us - he collapsed one morning. We rushed him to the vet, but nothing could be done. We let him go.
We went two years without a pet until we walked into an adoption fair held by the SPCA shelter. In one pen was three chow mix puppies - two males and a tiny female. I held the small ball of fur and she snuggled. Chucks and I left, but my heart was with that puppy. We had to go back. I was downhearted when I saw the pen empty, but the volunteer said the two males had been adopted and they were loading the female on the van. She became ours! We named her Zoey. She was a black and tan beauty. However that little bundle of fur became a sixty-pound bouncy dog. She loved to walk, and it was not unusual for us to travel two to four miles each morning. She lay on the sofa every night with her head in my lap. As she aged, she developed medical problems including blindness. Yes, another blind dog. After having dealt with this before, we just continued to treat her the same as always, and she adapted. In her last years the vet had us do a daily checklist to assess the quality of her life knowing we would have to make that decision again. One day we came home to find her bleeding from a tear in her leg. We took her to the vet thinking it a small thing. Unfortunately her skin was so thin it would not hold the stitches. Our vet did not think she could survive an operation so the decision was made for us. She died last February almost exactly to the day thirteen years after we first brought her home. I know anyone reading this will forgive me for stopping to cry a bit.
|Zoey at thirteen snoozing|
UPDATE: Sadly Molly died on May 27, 2014. She lived with us for fourteen years. We miss her greatly.
|Molly getting her own water!|
|Rufus with his favorite string toy|
|Chucks and Azalee enjoy a rare snow event|
Gosh, she is a beautiful cat. Her eyes are actually a soft bluish-green. On one side she has white whiskers and the other whiskers are black.
|Willie's first day|
|Willie at the pool at the dog park|
At his first vet visit the questions arose -just what kind of dog was Willie and, most important, how big would he grow? Guesses ranged from terrier mix to shepherd mix to finally greyhound. GREYHOUND? Aren't they huge? Sizes ranged from twelve pounds to eighty pounds - they just could not tell. One of my neighbors reassured me that Willie was definitely a terrier mix and would probably not weigh more than twenty or thirty pounds. Thank heavens she was right. We have a hard time keeping weight on him - he goes from twenty-five to twenty-nine pounds. He is so active that we have to take him to the dog park to run and play with the other dogs. He loves it when he is being chased.
|Scout's First Day|
Of course, I took him home after Chucks and Willie came over to the store to meet and greet. Scout already knew basic commands and was housebroken. I hate to think of some family missing him, but he has a home with us now. He and Willie got along from the beginning. He is a pug and an Affinpinscher (not sure how to spell this) mix. He weighs about fifteen pounds and is just a few months older than Willie. Scout has a high-pitched squeak that can be embarrassing out at the dog park. He does get Willie into trouble like teaching him to dig up my ginger lilies and eat the roots. Willie will stand there and not look at me if he knows he has done something wrong. However Scout just looks and grins with his little monkey face and underbite!
Here is Scout digging up ginger lily roots. He is obsessed with them and refuses to stop.
Willie and Scout are forever hopeful they will be able to catch one of the lizards basking in the sun. The lizards have outwitted, outlasted, and outplayed them so far and survived!
Willie trying to snooze on his blanket on the sofa - he does not like the flash on the camera and tries to escape if he sees me bring out the camera!
I woke Scout up so I could get a picture of his face. He is so black, his features often don't show up. He is turning gray so I don't think he will be a black adult dog.
I know my regular readers will wonder about this post being so different from my others - I'm usually painting, hunting for rusty things, or shredding perfectly good cloth into ribbons. This post is in honor of rescue organizations and all the adopted pets.
All of our pets have been rescues including two birds -Dewey, a cockateil we had for fourteen years, and Beauregard Bernard, a parakeet rescued during a sleet storm while I was on bus duty! Our pets have helped us through death, despair, and depression - they have actually rescued us! Their faith that we will love and take care of them has strengthened our faith. Their love is without bounds and freely given.
Thank you for the time you spent reading this post -it has special meaning for Chucks and I.
I WILL BE OVER AT FUNKY JUNK TONIGHT, APRIL 26, TO HONOR DONNA'S TEDDY.