This little family that Dave and I have (the 71toes one) hasn’t had much luck with pets.
I mean, we’ve had a couple. But they just haven’t stuck around long.
Our first real pet was Gabby the hamster who sadly passed away the second day she came to live with us after an unfortunate encounter with Max’s friend’s foot (more about that and the funeral here).
Yeah, that was sad.
We replaced her with Lily-the-Gabby-look-alike but sadly she somehow bit the dust too (here).
We were very tempted to take this stray dog home with us from a trip to Mexico once:I know that sounds crazy-nutty but it was honestly the nicest dog on the planet and we still think about it.
We’ve had random stray cats have babies in our back yard:
And lots of goldfish have come and gone over the years (funny one here).
We’ve had plenty of begging for a dog of our own:(to see those heartfelt reasons Elle wrote up so eloquently a few years back click here)
But since even after that we still don’t have a dog, maybe we just need to face the fact that we just aren’t really pet people.
Which is interesting coming from Dave and my families who always seemed to have pets.
I don’t know a whole bunch about the pets Dave grew up with but boy, we had some wing-dinger pets in our family. From beloved dogs like Barney who was gone before I could even remember him:(That’s my sister Saren with him.)
I think this is Barney with us when we were little:
To this cat who I’m pretty sure was named “Meow-Meow” who seems to always be in front and center of baby pictures.
See what I mean?I really think my parents were just so laid back they just rolled with whatever pets came their way.
We had so many pets I don’t even remember why or how or who in the beginning.
I think this dog was named “Nutch” and we had him when we lived in England:I know, great positioning going on there, right?
I vaguely remember one of our dogs having puppies at our neighbor’s house in Virginia and boy how we loved those puppies:We got to keep one of them and we adored it. It accompanied us to the bus stop each morning. One day as we sat at the bus stop it got run over by a car right in front of us. We were devastated. I remember turning around in slow motion and yelling and screaming with my brother and sister all the way back home to tell our parents.
We traveled around in a motor home one summer. Our current dog at the time had puppies in the shower. Crazy business I tell you.
I think at some point in the game, my parents made a contentious decision that it would be a good lesson in responsibility to have us each have our own pet to take care of.
We had a whole slew of gerbils who belonged mostly to my brother. He always named them things that described them like “Brownie” and “Blackie” and “Fasty."
Another brother had a turtle who lived in one of the two sinks in the bathroom for years. (And I really don’t think I’m exaggerating on that.) It was just so darn easy to change that water that way.
One brother had a snake (a little one) who somehow escaped in our house and was never found again. There was some kind of black stuff on one of our heat vents and in my mind I figured that mark was left by that snake slithering through there and that it must be living happily in our walls.
My older sister probably had the pet who was around the longest: a huge, fluffy cat named Geneva who was true to cat form and didn’t pay much attention to anybody except for Saren. When that cat died we had the funeral at Bear Lake. I remember it so incredibly well because of my sister Charity’s very serious and breathy rendition of “If I Knew Your Name, Would I See You in Heaven” where we all tried to be respectful while big tears plopped down her cheeks as she sang, but the gravity of her seriousness made it almost painful to stifle our laughs.
My little sister Saydi had a cat named Windy. She died one summer at Bear Lake and is buried there as well.
My littlest sister Charity had a cat named Lahaina who was completely crazy. Maybe that one was the one she sang at the funeral for??
My dog, of course, was my very most favorite pet we ever had.
I remember vividly the week we got her. Mr. Waldhouse, the 4th grade teacher at Indian Hills Elementary school asked all the 4th graders if they knew of a home for this dog he had found. My sister Saren was in his class. She came home and asked my parents if she could bring that dog home. Being the pet lovers they were, they quickly agreed.
So I have no idea how this dog became “mine.” Maybe because Saren already had Geneva the cat. But I remember proudly walking her home with Saren that first day she became ours. I don’t remember how in the world we came up with her first name “Caine,” (certainly no relation to the Biblical Cain), but I sure remember deciding “White-Socks” would be her middle name. I mean, her fur made it look like she was wearing white socks, you know, so how creative can you get on that one? :)
She was such a great, loyal dog and she slept with me every night.
I don’t know how long we had her but it was a LONG time.
And then one day, she was just gone. It’s still a mystery as to whether she got lost, got hit by a car, who knows. But she left a giant hole in my kid-heart and I sure missed her.
Some pets came and went. But Able (the dog who came along after Caine and another dog named Essie who got hit by a car), stuck around for a long, long, long time. She made it in pretty much every family picture: …and was so soft and gentle that she became an immediate favorite with the grandkids who were around by then.
Hmmmm…maybe we need to re-think the pet thing in our 71 toes family…