Lauren is our host for this week’s TBT/I remember when
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Today’s subject: The Pets in My life
Ask most psychologists why pets are good for kids, and they’ll probably tell you it is because they teach responsibility. That may be true, but in my opinion, pets are the greatest way to share unlimited love.
Did you grow up with pets in your home? What do you think the best thing about having a pet was? Was your life changed by having pets? Were you allowed to choose a pet yourself, or were there “family” pets? Are you a dog, or a cat person? Did you ever have an unusual pet? Did you ever envy friends who had a pet that you wanted? How have you dealt with the loss of a pet?
Growing up, we had a dog and a cat, both of which were victims of dressing up and first aid practice. The cat was a mouser and would line up his catches in order of size on the back door mat. None were mangled or bloodied. He was very quick to kill and tidy. The last childhood dog lived to be 17 and a half and I wrote about him here
As a child, my sister had a rabbit, but I had a budgie. He would whistle away as I played the piano, hence his name Whistler. Dad found him on the bottom of the cage one morning, quite content, just a little unsteady so he dosed him up on homemade wine. Although he continued to sing, things still weren’t right so Dad took him to the vet.
After the discussion that the bird was drunk, Dad explained why and it turned out Whistler had had a stroke and would never perch again, so one extra sniff of the ether and he went to Bird Heaven a happy budgie.
In my adult life, it has always been a dog for me. I love them all regardless of breed, and the only one that bit me was my own when I foolishly got between her and ex-Partner’s GSD when they got into a punch up. Lucy was sold to me as a labrador cross collie when in fact she was a collie cross red setter and should never have been sold as a house pet. She was from working stock, very intelligent, highly active and easily bored. When I moved away and knew I would not be able to take her with me, my Dad helped rehome her and she ended up on a large farm so out in the open and earning her keep. She would have been in her element.
I had Kizzy when Hubby and I met. She was a rescue that had been tied up and abandoned at a breeder’s farm. She was five when I got her, a nervous wreck, but I gained her trust and brought her with me when I left the relationship in Bath in 1989. It was funny, but the only person she’d bark at was Hubby. Sadly I lost her to mammary cancer on December 31st 1990. She was 10 or thereabouts.
It was five years later we got Barney, a border collie who peed on my foot and when we got him home, curled up in front of the fire. We also brought home his brother Rubble at the time, but every time we closed the door, he was physically distressed, so we took him back. He was working stock and later adopted by someone with a sheep farm.
We lost Barney suddenly on March 5th 2005. He would have been 10 that June.
I lasted six and half days. We found a pup and brought her home on March 11th.
They say that everyone has one ‘special’ pet in their lives, one that stands out from the others, one that will never be forgotten. I have not forgotten any of my dogs. They were all special in their own way and all have a place in my heart, but Maggie was our baby.
It is still so painful remembering that last day, but we had to do what we felt was best for her, not us.
It is 10 months today since we lost her. She would have been 16 this past January and had been a part of our lives for half the time we were a couple. It was like losing a child, and I have never known pain like it.
Photos: Barney left, Kizzy centre, Maggie right. All you need is love and a dog.
We are hoping to get another dog, but none will replace our girl. The next furbaby will choose us, just as she and Barney before her did. For now, I am getting my puppy fixes from friends and neighbours pets, and Kela visits every day. It helps, but it’s not the same.