Thursday, November 13, 2008

the love of a pet

Some of you know that I have a husband and kids, but you may not know about the other half of my family, the furry half. When I first got married, I was fine never having dogs and cats. It never occurred to me either way. My husband grew up around Boxers though. He's always had a fondness for them. When Kati, my oldest daughter, was born we found our first doggie. I admit we didn't have the best luck at first, not until we found Luke. He was the best dog ever, so well behaved, great with Kati and very loyal. After Alisha was born, Luke treated her like she was his own baby. If she cried while I changed her diaper, Luke gave me this look like, 'okay, but hurry, you're pissing me off'. Truly, he was so protective of her. Whenever she wanted to take a nap, she'd search for Luke, pounce on him and soon the two of them would be fast asleep together.

When we moved to the new house, and more property for the kids and Luke to run, we lost Luke to a car accident. It crushed us for awhile. He will always be remembered with fondness.

Later came Buddy. He wasn't quite the good doggie Luke was, lol. He was very hyper, didn't housebreak easily and played way too rough with the girls. Or so I thought. Once when Buddy nipped at Alisha, she frowned at him and punched him. Yep, punched him right in the jaw. Luckily, Alisha was too little to do any harm. Buddy just licked her and ran off the other direction. Alisha and Buddy both got a time out for that one. Buddy did learn, but it took us a loooooong while to train him. (I'm still working on Alisha, lol)

Then we thought, 'gee, maybe we should breed him!'. Along came Betsy. Betsy was the exact opposite of Buddy. She was so smart it was eerie. She'd give me this look and I swear I could read her mind. It was borderline creepy. Betsy became my companion. She slept on her little bed next to my desk while I wrote. She tattled on Buddy if he decided to run off and took extra special care of the girls. We did breed her. Buddy and Betsy ended up having three litters of puppies. We sold them all to Boxer lovers like us, but we kept one. One that sort of slipped inside our hearts when we weren't looking. We called her Cinnamon. You see why, right?

Cinnamon has been with us for 8 years now. She and Alisha are best buds. They sleep together, eat together, and most of the time she even goes to the park with us when we go hiking. She really loves to hike, or should I say, she loves dragging our sorry butts up the hill. LOL

Cinnamon's mommy, Betsy, died recently. It wasn't easy on any of us to lose her. The girls are old enough now to really understand the concept of death and it was really difficult for them to accept. I figure Betsy and Luke are together now, romping around in the big park in sky.

Now, onto the other half of our furry family. The cats. At first, my husband did NOT want any cats. Then Kati turned 7. She'd been asking for a kitty for something like three years. I finally broke rank and talked to my husband's mother, sneaky aren't I? lol Anyway, my mother-in-law was all over that one. She started calling shelters and vets. She found out about a tiny kitten who'd come in to the vet on the engine of a car. Yes, you read that right. She shouldn't even have lived, yet she did somehow. She had a mangled tail and her eye was messed up. We fell in love instantly.
Sassy came home with us that day and it was the best move we've ever made. Kati and Sassy are inseparable. Absolutely inseparable. I've never seen such a close bond. Well, the bond Alisha shares with Cinnamon is about the same I think. Anyway, Sassy, rules. She's the queen and dogs damned well know it. She does as she pleases and they bow to her every wish.

Then along came Mittens. Mittens was a drifter. Like a little flake of snow she drifted right up to our house as Alisha and her cousin Justin were taking down the Christmas tree. She peeked in the front door, meowed and our hearts melted. A little begging and pleading and Dad relented. Mittens can stay. Yay! I'd swear that Mittens knows that it was because of Alisha that she now has a warm cozy home and all the love she could handle because she stays glued to Alisha's side.

You'd think enough is enough, wouldn't you. Well, now it's my turn. Summertime and we're doing our daily 2 miles up the road, when what do we hear? A kitty. A very small kitty too. She came right up to us and started purring. I picked her up and fell in love. Kati named her Max, after Maximum Ride, the character in the Patterson books. When my husband saw her he shook his head. No! Absolutely not! We aren't having another animal in this house! Weeeellll, Max is, as you would expect, a part of our crazy family. And she's the craziest, let me tell ya. Don’t let the sweet face fool you. She's so bad, I swear every single time I see her I hear that song 'Bad To The Bone' in my head. LOL

Now, we're done. For sure. No more pets. None. Theeeeen Sugar came along. Sickly, starving, sneezing, barely had a meow left when she found us. A vet visit, some antibiotics and Sugar is beginning to look less like road kill and more like a cat. She's got a little ways to go, but she is doing very well. I expect in a few weeks she'll even be able to meow!

So, that's the other half of my family. Yes, we crazy. Would we have it any other way? Definitely not.

Do you have pets? Cats, Dogs, a pet snake, an iguana? C'mon, spill!


Anonymous said...

Wonderful blog. lol. Seems you have your hands full but wouldn't have it any other way. We have our odd-weird assortment of pets too. Our furry friend can touch the heart like no one else can. Bless you and yours!

Liane Gentry Skye said...

ROFL, I blogged about one of my darling pets the day before yesterday, too. Only because I was tempted to shoot her. :D

Great blog. Our homes are much the, dogs, cats, verious vermin the boys have carried in....whatever monster is currently growing under the veggie drawer in the fridge..

Anonymous said...

Wonderful blog - I love animals. I have three cats of my own. I actually just posted pics of them last night - here's the link:

Taffy, Punkin & Hershey are my kiddoes.

Anonymous said...

Opur landlords have never allowed dogs, so we've had a series of cats - Midnight, TC (died from feline leukemia), Chloe, Cassie (died from fibrosarcoma FROM the feline leukemia vaccine!), and now Chandra. The 3 C's are all calicos. We also have 3 half-Arab mares we board out. Got Moolight last year for the kids - she's 16 & very sensible. Sassy we've had since she was a yearling - she'd a lot of fun, and also good w/the kids even though she'd only 4.

Kelley Nyrae said...

Aw, love all the pictures. You're animals are too cute! We have one puppy named Barkley.

Regina Carlysle said...

What a beautiful little family you have! Oops. Did I say LITTLE? Ha. You're practically 'overrun'. lol. We have an elderly Himalyan cat who it absolutely gorgeous and a law unto herself. Her job is to look pretty and she does it very well. The love of our lives is Gypsy, a two pound miniature Yorkie. She's beautiful and FUN and loving. Only 8 ounces when we got her and we were scared to death we'd sit on her or step on her. She's adorable.

BrennaLyons said...

Great stories. I won't share stories about mine...much, since I could write an entire book on the subject.

At the moment, we have three big dogs (two Siberian Huskies and one Akita), a Bengal cat, a mostly-tuxedo fluffy kitten with a heart murmur, and two leopard geckos...from top to bottom...Fenris, Abbadon, Artemis, Zeus, Simi Xiamara (Simi-Kee...for those who read Sherrilyn Kenyon), Stripes and Spot. (Yeah, the kids named the geckos Stripes and Spot). They belong to (again front to back) my son, my husband, my younger daughter, my older daughter, me...and the geckos are also my older daughter's.


Anne Rainey said...

Lisa, I agree, those furry creatures become such a huge part of our family. I really would be lost without them.

Liane, I've felt that way a time or two myself. Lordy, they can try my patience. Mostly Max, but she's so cute I find it hard to scold her.

Anne Rainey said...

Greta, I love your cats, esp. Taffy. I want a kitty like that!

Renee, I love the names you've picked! When we took Sugar to the vet she got checked for leukemia, we were so grateful she didn't have that.

Anne Rainey said...

Kelley, how's Barkley doing? I've been thinking about him.

Regina, Kati wants a chihuahua. She loves the little guys. We'd rather wait awhile to get another dog though.

Anne Rainey said...

Brenna, I LOVE Siberian Huskies! I really want one. They're so gorgeous!

BrennaLyons said...

They are gorgeous...and very smart. If you love Huskies, you'll love Akitas, as well. They are as smart, have the same basic body style (curly tail and everything) but heavier-muscled and broader across the shoulder. They are also VERY loving and protective of family. The only complaint I have about Huskies, in comparison with Akitas, is the amount the Huskies chew when they are young. I'll post some pics in a bit. Working on an edit now.


Amy Ruttan said...

Nope, no pets.

I'm still mourning the loss of my first family dog a chihuahua Pepper. Very intelligent and very protective of my first born.

Pepper died about three years ago Boxing Day now.

Since then my Dad has gotten another dog, a beagle who is crazy hyper.

I just haven't felt the urge to replace Pepper.

I'd take a beautiful farm kitty from my MIL if it wasn't for the fact my mother is deadly allergic to cats, and since I like her visiting my house we don't have a cat.

Unknown said...

Well we have 3 male cats and 2 fish. We didn't want all male cats but that is how its ended up. They are part of our family.

Molly Daniels said...

I grew up with pets...dogs of all breeds, and several cats. When I married, I adopted a stray cat who blessed us with a litter of 4 kittens before she ran off. We had them for 12-14 years (one ran off in 1998; two died in 2004; the last one died in 2006). We've also adopted 3 dogs. Keisha, the German Shepherd had to be put to sleep in 2007 due to failing health; Shadow the Norwegian Elkhound died a week later. Now Lucky, our Black Lab just turned 10 and had surgery the other day to remove a tumor from her front paw. She's getting lots of TLC until her stitches come out in 10 days:)

My childhood Black Lab lived 12 1/2 years, so I know we only have a few years left with Lucky. It will be very hard on my daughter and youngest son, who have spent the most amount of time with her.

We also have rats, Pinky and Mikey. NEVER thought I'd ever hold another rodent in my hand after losing my hamsters in hs...but if I put them on my shoulder, I'd better be wearing a sweatshirt! That tail just gets me...(shiver!)

Anne Rainey said...

Brenna--seems one of the girls' friends have an Akita. She came home talking about how pretty she was.

Amy--I'm so sorry about Pepper. They become so important to us and when they pass it's horribly heartbreaking.

Anne Rainey said...

bethre--somehow we've managed to have all female cats. Like you, we just sort of ended up with them.

Molly--I admit, I'm a little afraid of hamsters and the like. Too much like mice. Ack. LOL

Asylumgirl said...

I have two dogs, a turtle and a conure parrot. Combined with my husband and three kids, my life is quite full. LOL


Collette Thomas said...

I love the reference about your husband not liking cats. My husband "hated" cats. He did not want to be around them no way, no how. Yet, when my sons started bringing them home, first Spunky, then Tabby, then Misty, by the time we got to Misty he pretty much came around. In fact Misty turned out to be his favorite. She would sit on the sink in the bathroom every morning and watch him shave. Sammie was my cat, more human than not. Spunky, Tabby, Misty and Sammie have all passed over to the Rainbow Bridge. I envisioned Misty greeting my husband when he passed on, and is still watching him shave as she always did here on earth.

Collette Thomas

Julie said...

Great blog. At our house we have 2 dogs, Louie a German Shepherd/Bassett Hound & Sunshine a yellow Lab. Both are rescues. Then there's Miss Scarlett, the Eclectus parrot. She stirs up trouble by teasing Louie. LOL She has a fairly good vocabulary even if she doesn't use more than a couple of words. ;-0 I'm working on that. Then there are 2 fancy mollies (fish) in one tank and 2 guppies in another. I'm currently looking for a small fluffy puppy. That will stay small, so far no luck. I miss having a small dog that I can cuddle without having my kidneys stomped on. LOL

Dann Saint Augustin said...

In high school I had three cats, Midnight (black), Shadow (grey) and Elvis, a domestic shorthair tabby. Mom and Dad got rid of them.

Now that I'm on my own, I've had a cat named Emerald (grey and white, she bit and clawed me to death, so I gave her to my bf). And now, I've got a sweet black cat named Onyx. I'm partial to black cats. He's half Persian, so he's really fluffy and big. I mean, he's a BIG KITTY! He's 15 pounds already!

I love my cuddly one to death, and I do miss my old kitties. Hopefully they had good lives.


Anne Rainey said...

Deidre--LOL, I hear you about the kids and hubby!

Collette--Isn't it funny how easily the cats can wiggle inside their hearts? My husband so did not want any cats, and yet we have three. He gets a kick out of them too. :)

Julie--LOL, yeah those German Shepards aren't exactly lap dogs, even if they think they are!

D.N--Now that's a big cat! LOL I love the name!

Anne Rainey said...

Oops! Four cats, sorry! I forgot Sugar. LOL In my defense she's new still and she stays in the garage so...

Jody W. and Meankitty said...

2 cats, but one of them is Meankitty who is totally in the doghouse right now. And we don't even HAVE dogs! She thought it would be funny to jump on and off the toddler repeatedly while the toddler was trying to nap. She just can't stand to let sleeping humans lie.

Jody W.

Caffey said...

So loved reading about your extended family!! I've never had dogs but have always had two cats with us over the years and just can't imagine being without them. Our first one was a stray my daughter wanted to take in and we did along with trying to keep her as an indoor cat only! That was hard for Flannel. We did try hard not to let her escape and she did one day and having not done that in so long, that we lost her from a car accident too. We had then adopted Patches who had a way of sleeping with me with her chin on my shoulders by being behind me!! After losing her 10 years later to illness, once in a while feel this heaviness as if she's on my shoulder still. Since then we had Misha with us as the second cat. Misha is right now attached to my hip. She rarely leaves my side and knows when I'm in pain and all. Hunter was a cat that came from a liter that I did not want to see heading out to the streets so I adopted Hunter and we've had her a year. So playful, but a indoor cat, as all of ours are, but somehow, and we still don't know, that she got out and this was 3 weeks ago and its been such a huge emptiness and we still hoping he finds his way back but he was never out before and we've looked so many times. We hanging on that hope still that Hunter will come back soon, and that he is ok.

Sorry on my long post, love my extended family too!

Jan Scarbrough said...

My dog is a vet so I have plenty of pets. I like to write my pets into my books. I put my Corgi in my latest book, Santa's Kiss from Resplendence Publishing (out now). It was fun. He added a bit of comic relief!

My pet count, btw, is 2 rescued dogs and 4 old cats!

Jan Scarbrough said...

Oops! I meant to write -- my DAUGHTER is a vet! It's early. LOL!

Anne Rainey said...

Jody--LMBO!!!! I can just see it! That sounds like something my Max would do.

(((Caffee)))--That is so sweet about Patches. And I dearly hope Hunter comes back to you. :)

Anne Rainey said...

Jan, LOL! My first thought was, 'that's one talented doggie. Well, my oldest daughter wants to be a vet. I can see it now. We'll have to have a house just for the pets she brings home! LOL

Genella deGrey said...

Jan - when you wrote that your dog is a vet I had to read it like three times going, "Huh?"

LOL! It's early for me, too! :)

I grew up with Dalmatians. We don't have any pets at present - honestly, we don't have room for a pet.

Although if a pet could help with a good share of the housework I may consider it.


Jen said...

I think the funniest thing about your pets is when I call and can hear the snoring in the background. I think Betsy by far was the loudest one of all. ; -)

We always had dogs but no cats because I'm allergic to them. It's hard when a pet dies. Where else do you get that unconditional love of a best friend?

Of all the dogs I've had, my favorite by far was our German Shepherd. I was sitting outside one day and out of the corner of my eye I see this dog and it was obvious he was starving. You could see his ribs. I went into the house and pulled a loaf of bread out of the fridge and took it back outside. It took me a while to coax the dog to me but he finally inched his way up long enough to snap up the piece of bread I had laid out. After a while he got comfortable with me and came up to me. My sister and I snuck him in to the house and kept him in my room until Mama got home from work. By this time he had made himself at home. She saw how skinny he was and said she'd talk to Daddy. He said since there wasn't a collar on the dog we'd keep him on a trial basis and see if someone was looking for him. So he went outside in the fence with our other dog and they became fast friends. We named him Hobo and his "trial basis" stay lasted for 17 years until he passed away. He was my buddy. When I would get upset I'd go outside and sit under the tree with Hobo and he'd just sit there and listen. Now you know he understood every word I said, right? lol It sure seemed that way. But as soon as I'd get finished talking, he would lick me on the cheek and then lay his head down in my lap. If I cried, he would face me and then lay his head down on my shoulder. Nothing like a doggy hug when your sad. And people thing German Shepherd are mean dogs....