Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Five: Pets

Sophia says:

My son's tiny beloved lizard, Elf, is looking and acting strange this week. His skin/scales are quite dark, and he is lethargic. We are adding vitamin drops to his lettuce and spinach and hoping and praying that he is just getting ready to shed his skin--but it's too soon to tell. Others in the ring have also been worried about beloved pets this week. And, in the saddest news of all, Songbird has had to bid farewell to her precious Molly, the amazing dog who is well known to readers of her blog as a constant sacrament of God's unconditional love. So in memory of Molly, and in honor of all the beloved animal companions who bless our lives: tell us about the five most memorable pets you have known.
This has been a difficult week. Sadly, Lutheran Chik's beloved Cassie went to the Bridge this morning too. I am sure LC would appreciate a kind word tonight.

I have been owned by five dogs:
1. Boots was a black puppy my dad brought home from somewhere out in the country (bought from someone who had a litter, I think--not a stray) when I was about six. He grew up rambunctious and wild, and I was too small to manage him. I don't think average families put the effort into training their dogs then, that most people do today. My dad used to recall Boots jumping on my friends and me and knocking us down, and would say, "He didn't have a brain in his head." My parents gave Boots to a family with several boys who could run and play with him and wear him out! I saw him occasionally when we happened to drive past their house, but never got out to pet him.
2. After Boots, we went to the local shelter and I picked out a friendly yellow puppy that I named Chips. We dropped him off at the vet to be bathed and wormed, but Chips never came home. Mama told me, very gently, that he had died. Years later I understood that, like most dogs at the shelter, he had probably been very sick and the vet had euthanized him.
3. Then we had Janie--short for Lady Janice of Elmwood (our subdivision). A big Beatles fan from an early age, I named her for Paul McCartney's girlfriend, Jane Asher. She was described as a "field cocker", some mix of cocker spaniel and a leaner, rangier breed. Janie was our companion for about nine years. She loved my mother and would follow Mama around the yard while she gardened. After we sold our house at the beginning of my senior year in high school (a story for another day), Daddy gave her to a farmer friend who gave her a loving home. Many years later Daddy told me that Janie had died peacefully in her new home about two years after she left us.
4. I didn't have an animal companion again for nearly twenty-five years. Then I found Zorra, my precious girl. Two years after her death I remembered her here. She was the most beautiful, funny, maddening dog I have ever known. There will never be another like her.
5. My sweet Amie is lying at my feet right now, waiting for her daddy to come home. In late 2004 I started looking for another heeler because we thought Zorra might need a companion (alas, Zorra didn't agree, but that's another story), and on I saw a sweet-looking dog described as a "quiet, unassuming, slightly overweight older dog who likes to sit back and watch what's going on." The dog was described as a male, and they had named "him" Frayser. Frayser's picture touched my heart, and as I told the Scientist, "No one is going to go to the shelter to get a fat old dog." So I took the car and the Scientist loaded Zorra into the truck (so they could meet on neutral territory) and we all headed to Lockhart, Texas to bring Frayser home. Well, he was a she, and much older than advertised. She took immediate possession of the Scientist, warning another dog to leave him alone before we ever left the shelter! Zorra kept her distance. I drove Amie home, softly talking and singing to her most of the way. She wasn't too sure about Zorra (and vice versa), but she became attached to her humans very quickly. She is still a quiet dog who likes to sit back and observe before getting involved. She has survived homelessness, shelter life, and cancer surgery with a sweet, loving spirit, and I love coming home to her every day.

Here's my favorite picture of Amie and Zorra, sitting on the back porch with the Scientist's mom:
Zorra, as always, is queen of all she surveys...poor Amie seems to be wondering, "When is this thing going to turn on me?"


Sophia said...

Thanks for the stories and beautiful picture.

DogBlogger said...

Poor little Chips... I'm glad your mom was so gentle with you about it.

And please tell Amie that we are very much looking forward to hosting her next month! Oh, and her people, too. ;-)

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Sorry I'm late to this. I loved your stories about Zorra and Amie best. That picture of the two is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard that story before. Great photo!