This is a long post, but with the number of pets we’ve had, and wanting to say something about each…it is so! Read if you will!
In our family of five we have had many pets. There have been a total of 4 dogs and 4 cats. We have loved each one of them for their different personalities.The sequence of having these animals overlapped in some cases but I’ll try to put them in some kind of order.
Our first pet was our cat Josie. We got her from a litter of kittens born to a cat of one of our neighbour’s. She was always a one family cat as basically she would hide when anyone visited our home. However, she was very loving to each one of us and we all loved her greatly. The last couple of years she was confined to our daughter’s bedroom, as she had a few ‘accidents’ and our daughter literally begged us in a letter, not to ‘put her to sleep’. She kept the litter box in her closet and faithfully cleaned it every day. One day it was obvious to us all that her time had come. She was going into renal failure. And so a hurried trip to the vet’s office and our beloved pet of 21 years had passed.
By this time we had added a canine friend ‘Tipsy’ to our family. She was one of a litter of dogs, along with the mother and father of the pups, who had been abandoned in the Caledon hills, where my sister and family lived. She and her neighbour heard howling for a couple of days and finally went to investigate where they found the animals just dumped by the side of the road, along with a cat as well. My sister phoned my husband ….
I was working the afternoon shift at the time…. and told him about these puppies. He and the kids went up to just see them, but he came home with three. He brought one for us and one for my sister and family, and one for who he didn’t know, but a friend ended up taking it. When I came home from work, everyone was in bed and these three little pups were in a box in the kitchen. Only one of them was awake and sniffed with her little nose, trying to look up at me. My heart had decided this little puppy was the one we would keep She was a border collie. It turned out she had ‘ulcerative colitis’, we learned after having her for only a short time and there was nothing that could be done except pills with each flare up, and only diet dog food. She was a family dog for sure, but she was especially my husband’s dog. During her life she knew exactly when she was about to have an ‘accident’ and alert us about it. Even at night she would come to my side of the bed and wake me up to tell me to let her out. Our darling Tipsy as we had named her lived to be 14 and finally went into heart failure and we had to let her go.
When Tipsy died we did not plan for any pet in the immediate future, but fate had something else in store for us. Not long after, when my husband made a trip to the vet’s office to pick up Tipsy’s ashes which he really felt strong about having, the vet said to him “Have I got a dog for you!”. Apparently some not so nice people had dropped off the dog to them to be groomed and just never came back, and they could not track them down. The dog had been there 3 months. At the time my husband did not take the dog, but came home and told us about it. Our daughter was elected to go and see the dog to see what she thought. She was in touch with her Dad and he agreed to let her bring him home for the weekend to see what we all thought. Well, T.J. as we named him was home to stay, as if there was ever any doubt. He was a blond Lhasa Apse, and lo and behold he became partial to me, though he was still loving to all of the family. I was going through a difficult time then, and he would lay with me and was such a comfort. He lived to be 11 years old when he died.
Before T.J. passed away, we got our second cat ‘Angel’. My daughter realized that I longed for another cat and brought me this little tiny kitten from a shelter. From the very first lick of my ear, sitting on my shoulder, we would remain as close as a pet and owner could possibly be. She comforted me greatly most especially when T.J. passed away. Again, she was a one family cat but she was ‘my’ Angel. She lived to be 15 and we just recently had to put her ‘to sleep’ this year because of medical issues which at her age were just too complicated. It was so difficult to do this but it was better that she ‘go’ in my arms, then to be alone when it happened.
Christmas of 1993 the family decided to get their Dad another dog. He had always loved Sheltie dogs and so a Sheltie it would be. My daughter took on the job of finding our new little puppy and it was quite a Christmas surprise. From the moment they were introduced ‘Tiffany’ as she was named, became my husband’s dog and followed him everywhere. She was a ‘lady’ for sure . She lived and was loved for 10 years.
A couple of years after we got Angel, we adopted a stray cat in the neighbourhood that had already had one littler of kittens in that summer and just before the end of the summer we realized she was pregnant again. We had been feeding her but she was aloof. But when we realized the fall was around the corner, I vowed I would not let her have another litter out in the cold. So one day we tempted her with some tuna which of course was a real treat, and by this time she had come to trust us somewhat. We took her inside and prepared the spare bedroom for her to have her kittens.
Just a couple of days before she had them, someone left the window open and she knocked the screen out and escaped. We were very upset, and didn’t see her at all for about 3 days, and then she turned up outside our door. My husband got some tuna again to lure her inside and then realized she must have had her kittens. We decided…..we were so smart… that we would put a leash around her neck and hope she would lead us to her litter. It took her only one jump in the air to get out of it, and she turned around and just looked at us. Then she calmly walked across the street with us following, and led us to a window well where she had her kittens. One little one had not survived, but we scooped them all up in towels and along with our little ‘mommy cat’ took them home.
We kept all of them till the kittens were 8 weeks old and had them all given their first shots and de-wormed as well. Then we decided to find homes for all of the kittens, but we would keep ‘mommy cat’ named by us ‘Hope’ (Actually we kept one of the kittens for a short time as my husband got attached to her. We named her Faith, but because of our living circumstances shortly after we got her….she was afraid of another cat that was in the same home….we had to for her own well-being give her to a neighbour who loved her too)….We advertised in the local newspaper and made sure each of the others were adopted by people who would take good care of them. Hope lived to be 15 and she too had to be put to sleep because of medical problems, just this year.
After just a few months it was I who longed for a little puppy. This time I pestered my husband and finally he gave in and we looked for a little ‘Lhasa Apse’ . We did search the shelters near us for a ‘small’ dog but unfortunately there were none, and our small house would have been hard to accommodate a larger one. We went to the lady who bred these puppies and there they all were in her kitchen. When she came into the room she placed one in my husband’s hands and the little guy started licking and would not stop. The woman said we could have any one we wanted but how could we put this little one down, after showing such affection. And so we took the little puppy home and named him Koko. He is mostly my ‘husband’s’ dog but I’m his second best. He is our last pet and the last one we will have. We are concerned that at this point any further ones we might be tempted to adopt would outlive us, and we wouldn’t want them to be left behind without us. There is also the fact that I am not able to look after our pets needs and it is becoming extra work for my husband who finds it difficult to keep up with it now that he is older.
So this indeed, has been a long post but I thought there might be some animal lovers that might like to read this tale of animals that lived and were loved and loved us in return.