Jenny at Our Daily Bigtop tagged me for a pets meme. So, let’s get on with it…
1. What is the first pet you remember?
Yasha, our husky. I don’t remember a lot about him, honestly, I was pretty young when we had to let go of him. My mom says he was a very gentle, but very wild dog. He needed a lot of activity, being a husky. You know, they’re working dogs.
2. How many different kinds of pets have you owned?
Najo, a long haired guinea pig. This guinea pig was unlike any other. She was really wonderful. My 3rd grade teacher gave her to me, and I adored her. And then we got another one, Docker, and one afternoon we were surprised to find they had multiplied. Go figure.
Ace, Deuce and Jack, my mice. Ace and Deuce were your typical white snake food. Sweet things, really, but also really stinky. Jack was black and white. Oh, he was CUTE.
Frisbee, my little cocker spaniel/terrier mix. She was also a dandy of a pet. Unfortunately, she developed a terrible skin condition which made her hair fall out, and she smelled awful. I think now it was mange, but at the time, the vet said no. I still think it was mange. Because you know, I know a lot more about canine skin conditions than veteranarians do. I’m savvy.
Dieter, my black lop-eared rabbit. Now, folks, this rabbit had some personality. He would lay like a baby in your arms. That is rather unusual for a rabbit, in case you didn’t know. And he would lick my neck when I held him. Now, this is apparently akin to a cat dropping a half-dead mouse at your feet…it is a real honor. Whatever, it was funny. I’d never heard of a rabbit licking a person affectionately before. He was also particular about his treats. He would not eat a carrot whole; I had to shave it for him. And when we left him out of his pen for too long, he would get territorial and lunge at you and growl. Yes, he would growl. Have you ever heard of a growling, licking bunny?! He was great…
I also had a fish in college, he was a brackish fish, a spotted puffer. Beautiful fish. He had a white belly and a yellow back with black spots. He didn’t actually puff, so not sure why he was called a puffer. I named him Puffer, because remember, I’m very clever with the names. For fun I sometimes called him Puffy. He had personality, too. Whenever you walked into a room, he would dart over to the side of the tank and follow you around. And he would eat from you hand. He was great.
Then, there was Coco, my chocolate lab. I could write a book about this dog. I loved him with all my heart. And I still miss him every single day. He’s the reason I want another dog. He’s the reason I don’t want another dog…I’m afraid no dog will ever measure up to him.
Finally, Sonny. Our black lab. Sonny was tough. I miss him, and I wish we had done better by him. But he is very happy now, and very well behaved. And a beautiful, beautiful dog.
3. What was your strangest pet?
Strangest…I’d say Dieter was strange in the sense that he just didn’t fit the bunny mold. The whole growling, licking thing was quirky.
4. What is your dream pet?
A big ol’ dog. A big ol’ sweet dog. Coco. If I could have another Coco, that’s what I’d pick. He had his little problems, too, like the hair…the hair was just, well, hairy. But he was really something special.
5. What is your nightmare pet?
I don’t really know…
6. Your best/ funniest pet story…
I could tell you a million stories about Coco, I really could.
When we used to go to all the Hokie games (before we had kids), we would come home from work on Friday night, pack up the car and head out of town. Coco knew we were leaving and he would run and jump in the car and wait. He would sit in there for an hour, or however long it took us, just waiting, watching us pack. He was always so excited to get in the car with us. He would go everywhere with us. We actually had to use words like “automobile” and “vehicle,” because if he heard the word “car” he would freak out and start barking and jumping and running around like an animal possessed. Good times. For real.
7. Tell your worst/saddest pet story…
Too painful. I watched him go out of this world. But I wouldn’t have let him go alone.
8. Did you ever have a scary animal experience?
Yes. Once, when I was in elementary school…maybe 12 or so, we had gotten our Frisbee, and hade her spayed. Well, I guess it was a day or two after, stitches still fresh, and she yanked them right out. Her innards slopped out, and thank goodness my dad was home from work for lunch. They took her to the vet, stitched her back up and she was fine.
9. What was your favorite pet?
I guess that’s obvious. Coco.
10. What did you really want to tell us about pets that didn’t fit into the other questions?
Right now, we don’t have a dog. I can’t remember a time in my life, other than this, that we didn’t have a dog. I want my kids to have a dog. I want that presence in our house. I really do. It’s just not the right time, and I’m not foolish enough to think I can pull it off. In a couple years. The kids ask all the time, and each time I try to explain to them that it wouldn’t be right to get a dog now. It wouldn’t be good for any of us, even the dog. I don’t think they understand how much it takes.
What I’d really like to do is surprise them one day. That would be awesome.
And now I must tag four people…so the lucky four are: