Friday, January 04, 2008

The Pet Chronicles

As GB said to me: "How is it that every time one of the kids heads off to college, we gain another animal???"

We used to obtain pets the normal way - well, only if you call my getting a puppy on the eve of our wedding, at our rehearsal dinner, from my groom normal........ Actually, come to think of it, we've NEVER gotten a new pet in the "normal" way.

Sheba was our first. She was an adorable black lab puppy that became a part of our family before we even were a family (see above). She was a dear who was with us for just short of 16 years. When Sheba was six months we moved from Chicago to New England and into an old old house. It immediately became apparent we were in desperate need of a cat. The mouse problem, scratch that, infestation was terrible. Off to the Humane Society we went and came home with a wonderful all black cat we called Spooker. Hmmmm...looking back, I now realize I should never have told GB, (or our kiddos for that matter), where the Humane Society was.

When Sheba was two and I was pregnant with our first kiddo, GB called to me from the front yard of our house: "Ann, come out here! There's a surprise for you!" I'm thinking "yipee, new car!!" Nope, it's "yipee, new dog!!" If there ever was a Disney dog, it was this big half Irish wolfhound half old English sheepdog GB was standing next to. Of course, Waldo had a terrible past and was a rescue from the Humane Society so what was I going to do, send him back??? (This is a question I've been forced to ask myself often over the years.) I'll tell you about The Waldo Chronicles another day.

 came our cat Tinkerbelle, a lovely lady who replaced Spooker. We were in a new house and though we didn't have an infestation of mice it was obvious having a cat in residence was a very good idea. Next came our beloved and still sorely missed Doofus, a German shepherd muttley mix. GB found him on the 18th green of the golf course. Every time someone hit their ball on the green, Goofy Doofy would pick it up and drop it in the sand bunker. Then he would hide when the golfers came up to the green. GB was watching all this from the 19th Hole. When he got ready to come home, GB went out and called to the puppy. He immediately came over and home they both came. Doofy was with us just over 16 years. And yes there are The Goofy Doofy Chronicles.

Next came Jordan. Off to the Humane Society the kids went because they just knew Doofy needed a companion. Home they came with the tinest puppy I've ever seen. Off to the vet we went to have said puppy checked out. Turns out, she was way too young to be separated from her mom, and because of this, she was the most neurotic dog we'd ever seen! Who has a dog that has to rock back and forth to store up courage before scrambling up stairs? And coming down them? Amazing she didn't break all her legs doing so!

Our eldest daughter, Remy, went off to college petless. She came back at Christmas break with, you guessed it, another pet. Tally HOO-Hoo, The Crooked Kitty (because of a congenital ear issue, his head was always cocked to the side) was the most wonderful cat that ever graced the earth, 'tho he did have a habit of getting stuck in trees (don't worry, all will be revealed some day in The Crooked Kitty Chronicles). We still miss him!

When Tally had been with us for about a year our two girls, Remy and Brynn (youngest daughter), decided to go to the Humane Society "just to look, mom". They came home with a cat. The folks at the Humane Society told them Good Girl was a year old cat who had just had a litter of three kittens. The next day, our veterinarian told us she was at least 12 to 14 years old and had obviously been a kitten-producing stray her entire life. She only had three teeth and as it turned out, breast cancer. Our dear vet. never charged us for a penny of his time because he felt we were giving her the only good time in her life. She was only with us for about a year. One day she just disappeared. I was upset, obviously, but when I called our vet. he told me that this is typical of cats and dogs when they are about to die.

Our next acquisition happened when Brynnly came home from her first year of college with, yep, another kitten. Trey-you (second picture down) never did go back to college and we have him to this day.

The top photo is of our Pippen (also pictured with Stella in the third photo), again gotten when Remy and our son, Bly, went to the Humane Society "just to look mom!" Of course there was this adorable, most likely abused and most definitely malnourished puppy that had just been transferred to our Humane Society from New York. Of course, she came home with the kiddos. Of course, GB and I couldn't say no. Well, we could have, but we didn't. Pippen is a dear doggy. However, in the three years we've had her she still can be skittish, and she still looks very anorexic tho the vet. says her weight is just fine (I wish I had that problem: "Oh yes, Ann, your weight is simply perfect!!).

Finally, Bly came home for the summer in June of '06 after his junior year of college. He brought a dog with him. A very big dog. He said he was walking his friend's dog one day when this big puppy came barreling out from under a bush at the two of them. The dog scared the hell out of him (and his friend's dog) at first, but then he saw that her tail was wagging and she was whimpering pathetically. She was just desperate for someone to take her home. From what we and the vet can tell, Stella (second and third picture) is a purebred German shepherd. Bly (he's so responsible!) phoned all the local vets to see if anyone had called about a missing dog and, of course, he also phoned the dog pound, Humane Society and newspapers. Miss Stella has been with us for two years. No one ever claimed her. I take that back. GB and I have claimed her!

Bly is not getting her back............ever.

And yes, as I write this The Stella with a bit of Pippen Chronicles are being lived.

However, I have informed all family members that if anyone brings another animal into this house, I'm leaving! I'm hoping they all view this as a threat and not an invitation.


Our pond, still frozen
Our ducks, winging their way south
Come back here soon. Please?


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