Thirteen Pets I Have Loved
- Ladybird – I am loathe to admit that I don’t remember her real “official” name. She was a purebred Irish Setter and my first real pet. I did have a pet dog named Tippy as a child, but he was make-believe so it doesn’t really count. Anyway, Lady got the name Ladybird because not only was she crazy but she jumped off the second story porch at my grandparents cabin. And flew. Then landed, yipped and ran back up the stairs.
- Marshmallow – My dog at my dad’s house. A truly beautiful English Setter who had a brain no bigger than the head of a pin. He ate my 16th birthday cake. He had allergies and had to get shots weekly. He hated everyone except my Dad.
- Thai – When I was 16 and just re-dating Mr. Vixen, I moved in with my Dad from my Mom’s. One day while visiting the future Mr. Vixen at a friend’s house I saw an abused dog in the front yard of the next door duplex. It was starving, had it’s tail docked (and not by a vet), and all his whiskers had been cut off. The friend said the people had got the dog because they thought it was going to ‘look’ like a Doberman and it didn’t. Now they didn’t want it and had tied it up in front until it starved to death or the neighborhood kids killed it. I told Mr. Vixen to go over there and get him. I then called my Dad and told him I had a dog. He said no. I said I wouldn’t come home then. A lifelong love was born that day. Thai and I became inseperable. Years later he took my first born as his own and guarded her like a the secret service. He lived a long and well loved life. Myself, Mr. Vixen, Nannygoat and MacDougal adored him and let him go when the pain of cancer became when he was 15.
- Tara – I adopted her from the pound to be a companion for Thai when the kids took too much of my time. She was a runner. No matter what we did, she would escape. The neighbors called her a kangaroo due to her ability to jump over anything no matter how high. Once, when Nanny was only a few months old, she escaped and was gone for days. When she finally came back (much to my surprise) I was so angry. Then I noticed the blood dripping from her head. The vet said someone had hit her over the head with a 4×4. He could feel the indent in her skull. She still never stopped running and years later disappeared for nearly three months before the people who had found her found us. She was 10 years old when she escaped one last time. We never found her.
- Duchess – The first pet we got ‘for’ the kids. It was their Christmas present. Duchess was one of the finest dogs ever. She joined our family in 1992. She deserves a post of her own and will get one soon. The one year anniversary of her passing was just this past March 11th.
- Maryanne – We lived in Utah and there was this cat (note: I am a dog person) that kept running under the garage as I closed it on my way to work in the morning. Apparently, my oldest child had been sneaking cat food into the garage for the poor homeless cat. Eventually, she started sneaking the cat inside. Maryanne had the longest hair of any cat I had ever seen. But it was matted and dirty. I caved and she lived inside, but she would not let anyone near her. Having been feral for so long, she was just too skittish. After many months of running and hiding from us one day I was lying on the couch watching tv. She jumped onto my stomach and laid down. I was stunned . I was even more surprised when she let me pet her. As I stroked down, she rolled onto her back….OMG she was pregnant! She had three kittens. All girls. A few weeks after they were weaned, she disappeared.
- Forest Gump, Templeton, TC – The kittens. I had three kids at the time and they each claimed a kitten and named it. Within a few months, the kittens became mommies and had their own litters within days of each other and our house was filled with 15 cats. We found homes for each and every one (and named each and every one). As cats are wont, they all eventually disappeared. But heck, Templeton and I bonded. I miss that baby girl.
- Duke – After all the others were gone, we got Duke to keep Duchess company. Once day he went down to the creek and didn’t come back. When we found him he had a terrible gash on his leg. We had it treated, but he attacked the vet. We had him evaluated and he had turned. He could not be trusted. Something had happened. He even turned on Mr. Vixen. We could not trust him around our small children. He went to live on a ranch in Idaho where they had lots of land.
- Lady Guinevere of Camelot VI – I wanted a fourth child. Mr. Vixen said I could get a dog instead. I chose a purebred Basset Hound. No one loves this stubborn, beautiful, fantastic lady but me. You can see her pretty self here.
- Don Juan Ralphito – For Nannygoat’s 13th Christmas present she wanted a Chihuahua. The beginning of the end around here for big dogs. He was a fabulous dog who took on a rattlesnake on our behalf, yet lived and then a coyote, and lived. He saved us, loved us and was one of the best pets ever. You can read about him here.
- Pumpkin – One day our crazy, drug dealing, gun wheeling neighbors came over and said “Hey, you have a chihuahua right?” and Mr. Vixen said yes. I was at work. They said they had a friend who just got married and was moving into an apartment that didn’t allow pets. Could we watch Pumpkin for a night or two? They never came back. Pumpkin had severe separation anxiety and climbed into the kid’s backpack every chance she got. She also was not fixed and had a little fun with Don Juan resulting in five litters before we got her fixed. The money came in handy and was a great husbandry lesson for the kids. We kept two pups from two different litters. She is pictured in this header with her daughter, Chewy.
- Oso – The first puppy we kept. He looked like a polar bear cub when he was born and became MacDougal’s 8th grade graduation present. He resides with MacD now, but is very missed by Mr. Vixen.
- Chewy – In Pumpkin’s last litter there was a little long-haired runt. She looked like Chewbacca and I fell in love. I gave her to myself as a Mother’s Day present in 2002. She is still my lap dog and baby girl. You can see her here and here. Probably some other places too.
This hardly does any of my lovely pets any justice, but I can’t have this entry be six pages long. Just trust me that I love my pets. They are truly a part of our family, our history, an important thread in the tapestry of our lives.
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