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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Oh The Fur Babies I Have Known!

Probably most people don't spend a lot of time reflecting on all the pets in their life, but for some nostalgic reason, they all paraded across my mind today, as I watched our Molly sleep. Fur babies whether dog or cat, are like human babies when they sleep. No matter how active, or mischievous they may be awake, when they sleep, they are the picture of innocence. I got my first dog when I was about two years old. I don't remember him, but I saw one picture of him. He was a little black terrier of some kind. I don't even remember his name, but I was told I liked to eat his dog food, out of the dish with him. Of course the first time my aunt witnessed that, she was horrified. I guess it didn't hurt me, and I grew up with no special cravings for Purina, or doggy treats. My next pet was a Shetland Sheep Dog. He looked like Lassie, except with a shorter nose. I got him as a bribe for going to Sunday School when I was five. Shep grew quickly into a big, lovable, playful pup. He loved playing with me and my friends. When he stood on his hind feet, he was taller than us. Shep had a dog house my Dad built for him. My Dad was a home contractor, so Shep's  house had siding, a shingled roof, wood floor, and was quite homey. When Shep wanted in the house he would lay across the door step, and would not move until his wish was granted. Perhaps his one claim to fame was when he tried to eat my mom's fine silk robe and nightgown. She had washed them and hung them on the line outside to dry. We went somewhere, and Shep evidentially was bored, so he proceeded to shread the things on the line. My Dad and I laughed, but Mom, not so much. I quess Shep was lucky to survive that incident.

When we moved to Iowa, Shep went to a ranch family where he could run, and play, and do what he was bred to do, shepherd cattle. Once settled in Sioux City, I missed not having a pet. After begging and pleading piteously, my Mom relented and let me have a cat. This little Kitty was coal black, and I named her Cinders. She loved car rides. She would lay in the back window of the car, and willingly go wherever I went. In the mornings when I left for school, she would walk me to the door and when I came home in the afternoon, Mom said she always knew when to run to the door, and sit patiently until I walked in. I think deep down, she thought she was a dog. She was the first fur baby I truly was old enough to be totally attached to. One day, while she waited by the door to welcome me home, my Mom opened the door to go out on our porch. It was then that Cinders darted out the door. I think she was going to try and find me, but she never came back. We searched the neighborhood, we called, and called for her, for weeks, but she was gone. I was heart broken for a long time.

Next on the scene was a miniature  Dachshund  called Sweetie Pie. She was an excitable little girl who drove my mother crazy. She also was very nervous, developed Mange, and when someone came to visit, she got so nervous, she pottyed on the floor. We finally called the vet, who found a good home for her, where the lady who raised Dachshunds, and fell in love with her. That was the last pet I had growing up. The next pet I had was a female Siamese cat. Tia was a sweet girl, and she was bred with another Siamese. When she had kittens, I kept one of the boys. Caesar and Tia were great cats. She was very petite, he was big for a Siamese.  Caesar was always in trouble. He managed to get sprayed by a skunk, he got chased by a big dog, and little Momma Tia went to his rescue, and his curiosity almost killed him. When I did laundry he liked to jump on the warm clothes in the drier. I would get him out, except one day after I did that, he jumped back in with the wet clothes. I did not see him. After I got upstairs, I kept hearing a banging in the dryer, like drying tennis shoes. I ran down, opened the door to a very banged up, burned, dizzy kitty. I rushed him to the vet. He was in shock, but we got there in time. The vet said even a few more minutes would have been too late. He and Tia lived to ages  17 and 18.

There were always a lot more dogs and cats at our house. Kitties saved from a life on the street by our compassionate son, dogs, including a small poodle, a beagle, a Bassette Hound, and an Afghan Hound. Our little Pomerainian mix, Killer was another sweet dog. We had him for many years, until he developed cancer. That's when we traveled to Iowa for our beloved Samson.
This Fox Terrier was our fur baby for 17 years. When he left us, we were so sad, we could not imagine another dog. God had other plans. Through friends, Molly came to us. Her mom had cancer and could no longer care for her. We had a hole in our heart that needed a fur baby. The rest is history. She is a delight, and we will love her, and care for her, as long as God leaves us all together.