It continues to puzzle me why families do not have pets. I've heard the usual excuses, they're dirty, they're noisy, they're this, they're that, but to me, an animal lover from way back, that's what they are excuses.
Now that I've given my opinion on that, I'll proceed to tell you about my pets in my life since I've become an adult
I started to date the man who would be my husband when I was 22 and had no pets.
A friend of his had gotten a Boxer puppy for Christmas that year. First thing he did, according to what I later heard, was demolish the family Christmas tree. After several episodes similar to the first one, his wife declared her husband had to get rid
of the dog.
The friend decided to put it on a punchboard, which were popular at that time. The winner could have $100 or the puppy. Rollie was the winner and he chose the puppy and presented it to me.
He was AKC registered with some kind of a long name, but I called him Muggs, after the dog we had when I was a child.
Cajoling my landlady into letting me keep him in my room was not as difficult as I feared, but training him was.
I moved to a town eight miles away to accept another job. and of course Muggs went too. Training him to walk beside me was by far the hardest part of my job with him. I don't like to use a chain on any domesticated animal, but he was so big and so strong I had to. SOOOOOOOOO, I put his chain on, put a rolled up newspaper in my right hand, then when we walked up the street I released the chain and every time he moved away from my right side, I swatted him across his flank. Might not have been professional, but it worked.
He had one other trait I didn't like. Each time I left him alone for any length of time, when he saw me again in his excitement he would jump up on the front of me. Well, I couldn't have that, so I started stepping on his back foot (hard) when he jumped up. That too was not very professional but that too worked.
When Muggs was about five we were visiting my brother-in-law and his wife who bred and raised English bull dogs. During our visit we found out Julie, on of their bitches, was going to be put to sleep because she was not able to be bred any longer. Muggs and Julie played together well, so we decided to take her home. When I lost Muggs due to cirrhosis of the liver when he was about nine we still had a dog to greet us as we came in the house.'
But like Muggs was always 'mine' Julie was 'Rollie's' It wasn't long before Rollie bought me an apricot miniature Poodle which Ii named Koko. When we lost Julie we still had Koko, but that still wasn't enough so we got a toy apricot Poodle we named Amber.
Trouble with having two of the same breed they were insanely jealous of each other when it came to me that I had to go into training mode again. There came a time when Rollie's health started to fail and he was confined to Hamot Hospital, two hours away, for 68 days. I worked the lunch hour in our restaurant. As soon as I could get away, I went home, picked up the dogs, and headed for the hospital. The trouble was they both wanted to sit beside me. One day, I put Amber on my left shoulder and that is the way we rode back and forth to the hospital.
During this span of years we also had a pair of parakeets called Edie and Petie, a cat called Sandy, and two other cats, both strays we felt sorry for.
John and I had cats, one Manx we called Powder Puff and an orange cat Sandy II, until we decided to spend several months camping in Michigan where pets were not allowed. Then we found out John was allergic to cats, From 1996 until John died in 2001 we had no more pets, but after John died I got Jewely who I moved to Alabama
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Freda Douglas is a published author. Her first book "Cherish the Past", still available on Amazon.com, was published in 2004. Her second book "Winds of Change"
is now available at your local book store by using this ISBN # 978-1-60145-367-9