Novice Journal

A little this – a little that!

Pets are the Best

on December 3, 2011

Pets – they’re those special gems that enter people’s lives to teach them some heartwarming lesson. One that will probably then be circulated, published in a book, and given a Peace Prize. The owners consist of people who really weren’t looking for a lesson, just a gecko or two, and also would never describe themselves as writers. The animal’s powerful lesson was what granted them the power to write. Yeah, I think I’m going to stick with this story from here on out. Anyway, I’ve had a few pets myself (mostly in my younger days) and feel like posting about them. But first, let me tell you why. I’m dog sitting for the next three or so days for my neighbors. Two Pomeranians and one German Shepherd. All very endearing fuzz balls. Let’s get to that list, shall we?

1. Sarah, the Hermit Crab. My dad was never really one for having pets. Let’s just say he had his own back-story. Somehow or other, my two sisters and my mom were able to convince him to allow a few into the house, but only the low maintenance, very quiet, verging on minuscule kind. We would take anything, so there was a deal.  My parents bought us Hermit Crabs. We got four of them. Mine was named Sarah because I was obsessed with the name at the time. My twin sister gave hers an exotic….(yeah exotically exotic) name. My older sister named hers after my father (which we all used to try to get him to fall in love with the creatures) and the fourth… I’m not sure she or he had a name. No one could really get attached to him/her because our three attacked the poor thing before we really bonded. And then there were three….

2. Explosion, the Bunny. The Hermit Crabs didn’t last long, because 1.) We tried to race them like sledding dogs. And 2.) We forgot about them sometimes. We were way too young. Contrary to the name I just gave the albino bunny, that’s not what he was called. He wasn’t even ours. I don’t remember his name, but I do remember we took care of him for a very long while. Long enough to say we’d “owned” a bunny. I’m calling him Explosion here because he had a really crazy digestive system and his cage was a battle scene. In the end, my parents never bought us our own bunny because  my mom was the only person cleaning up the mess, and she was “never going through that again.”

3. The Three Musketeers, the Hamsters. We wanted a fuzzy animal to slap a leash on and go running around the neighborhood with. So we got hamsters. Bad move on our part – or rather – no move on their part. The only thing they did while in “the great outdoors” was sit and poop. With the front steps repeatedly soiled, we had to say goodbye to the hamsters, no matter how cute they were.

4. Boots, the Tabby Cat. Boots was a purring legend in our home. He was the first average size house pet we’d ever lived with. We got him as an early Christmas present. We were all thrilled. As time wore on, we found out more and more of his “less charming” features. He never listened to anyone in the house except for my father (who was still fine with having pets, but still more fine with not having them.) He went everywhere he was told not to go. He was extremely hard to find, and when found, he would greet you with a quick slash of the claw. I’m not sure he was the best candidate for a “family cat.” His last escapade involved him dukeing it out with my mother to see where her limits lay. When he relieved himself on my older sisters bed four times and then on one our our favorite couches out of protest (he wasn’t allowed downstairs for a spell) it was time for him to find a new family. And he did, so I’m happy. (Oh and to all you cat lovers out there, I’m not against the fur balls, it just that this one in particular was a bad choice to start with. I’m sure he’d do better now that I’m older and can show 1% more restraint.)

5. Buster, the blabadoxie -er- dog. Our first family dog! He made us all so happy. He was an older dog, who despised puppies and spent most of his time barking at leaves, twigs, the air, himself, other dogs, and anything within his line of vision… And anything outside of his line of vision. ANYTHING AT ALL. We called him Filibuster, and Shorty Pants, because he was super short. He was a definite mix between a Labrador, Corgie, and a Dachshund. But almost every time we went to the vet, they added a new breed onto the list. We just said he was his very own, special kind of breed. He brought the house so much laughter. One day (Christmas day actually) he had a hard time breathing. The next day, he ended up needing to be put to sleep because he had severe lung cancer. It was one of the saddest goodbyes I’d ever said.

6. Roxanne, the Rottweiler. We decided (as in, my sisters, my mother and I) that we needed another dog. So my dad allowed us (he’s such a great father) to get -what we called- a toy rottie. We adopted her, as we’d done Buster, and the starting point was rough. She’d been badly abused, and had serious trust issues. That, along with her super build, made it hard to really run around and play with her. It took six months to finally break her shell. And when she did, she was the most amazing, most gorgeously sweet thing we ever laid eyes on. She loved the family, and was a wonderful companion. She ended up having some very expensive illnesses though (she had lived such a hard life, and some things were coming back to bite her) and we ended up having to put her in more capable hands. (But not Allstate hands…haha gotcha.)

Right now I have no pets, except for the three I’m dog-sitting. It’s a really rewarding thing to let a pet into your home. They warm your heart. So I want to know, what pets have you had? And give me a funny/touching/awesome/strange moment that you’ve shared with said creature!

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4 responses to “Pets are the Best

  1. I enjoyed reading about your pets. Each one is unique with their own interesting personalities.

    My two dogs are both rescues. I adopted Keltie (German Shepherd x Whippet) when she was a year and a half from the pound. As we pulled out of the SPCA parking lot Keltie sat on the back bench of the van with me and looked out the back window at the pound, then she turned around to face the front, sat close beside me, pressed her cheek next to mine and gave a happy sigh. Keltie’s now 13 and still loves doing the things she’s always loved: playing chase, eating homemade treats, snapping at waves, going for walks and hiking, harvesting potatoes from the garden with me, playing tricks on people and laughing when someone plays a trick on her.

    Shandy was a stray on the streets. His breed is a guess of Golden Retriever x Border Collie. No one came to claim him from the pound, and the family that adopted him couldn’t keep him after all (because of allergies). I adopted Shandy from them. He was about a year old when he was pick up off the streets. Now at age 11 he’s still an intense ball of energy who loves playing fetch, swimming (and rescuing everyone who’s trying to swim), playing with Keltie, doing flips, being a 50 lb lapdog, learning tricks and obedience work.

  2. granbee says:

    MJ, I presently have 4 dogs (three Labs and one Malti-Poo) and a cat. Also, we have small farm where one or two ponies are boarded off and on. There are 5 dogs (a Great Pyrenees, 2 Labs, 1 daschund, and 1 toy poodle) out there. One of the most endearing (and continuously inspiring stories for me as a writer) stories occurred several years ago with our long-time female Black Lab named Lady Ember (she was black on the outside with a very warm heart on the inside and was ALWAYS a “lady”.) We had to give her the last loving gift of being put to sleep in her own hard by our vet after a bout with metasisized bone cancer)a few years ago. However, for years before that, one of her greatest joys was to befriend and communicate with several large turtles that would come up form our backyard creekbanks in high water periods. The turtles never ONCE withdrew into their shells in her presence! They would always repeatedly touch noses with her, then just watch her and blink after she lay down near them. One spring day, out for a walk, Lady Ember and I came across a torn up-up bunch of turtle eggs! Lady E. crashed into the bushes nearby with full hackles flying, growling and barking. I had to catch her by the collar at the entry to the culprit’s den and “reason” with her that it was probably just a tunnel that went who knows where. Being an extremely smart and well-trained Lab, she gazed at me with big soulful eyes and reluctantly went back home beside me. This deep, subliminal appreciation of her fellow creatures (the “good guys”, anyway!)will always remain for us a source of inspiration and instruction about how to be better “good guys”!

    • mjray926 says:

      Whoa! You must have so much fun with all those wonderful animals! And what a sweet story – one I will definitely remember. Thanks for sharing and checking out my blog!

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