- Week 17. Pets. Did you have any pets as a child? If so, what types and what were their names. Do you have pets now? Describe them as well. If you did not have pets, you can discuss those of neighbors or other family members.
The first pet I remember was a cat named Cigar. I have very little memory of her, as she died in 1972 when I was six years old.
After that, I left when I enlisted in the Navy. Once my new wife and I got settled, we got an aquarium (I've had freshwater aquariums since I was in high school) and birds. I got a cockatiel named Peepers from someone who was bringing him to the Humane Society to get rid of him. I saw them bringing him in his cage, and asked if they were giving him up. They said yes, and I said I was looking for a bird, so they handed me the cage. Win-win! Peepers lived with me for the next 15 years or more. He was raised as a hand-fed baby, and therefore was tolerant of being held, or perching on my shoulder.
We enjoyed the social nature of the hand fed babies, so got some lovebird babies and raised them by hand as well. Fed a mix of soaked dog food-like pellets in a mush, from a syringe. The babies bond to who feeds them from a very early age, so they become very attached pets if you go that route. But be aware, many birds love a very long time, some as much as 75 years or more. It's not uncommon to find exotic birds being willed to descendants if they outlive their owners.
We also got a dog, Zook. He was a mixed breed, I forget which. He was a really fun dog most of the time, but he had a quirky nature and could become aggressive at times. We eventually put him down after he bit our firstborn son. We also got another dog, a husky/Shepherd mix we named Shadow. We found Shadow at a mall pet store, and I fell in love with her immediately. She was adorable, and looked very much the Husky with blue eyes. Shadow lived with us for a long time, and died at the respectable age of 15 of a chronic bowel obstruction. I still miss her, she was my buddy.
Puppies are a bundle of fun, but also a bunch of work! They're very messy. I'm glad, in hindsight, that we decided to get both dogs and do the puppy thing, and the kids really enjoyed the process as well. Sapphire delivered a littler of 11 pups, of which 9 were alive. One of those later died at about 5 weeks old, so we ended up delivering 8 puppies back to the Humane Society. We told family all about it, and three of the puppies ended up being adopted by family where we can still visit them. They never forget their first people, and get very excited anytime we go to see them.
Sapphire developed the same chronic bowel obstruction that Shadow had, and passed away at age 5. Ruby is still with us, and has grown into a wonderful companion, very affectionate and responsive.
|Sapphire and puppies|