Saturday, July 18, 2015
Today I am grateful for pets. I have had countless pets in my lifetime. If asked to name them all, I doubt I could, but I’m going to try right now just for fun. . .the cats first – Inky (dozens of kittens who all found homes with my mom’s piano students, but we didn’t name), Fifi (Inky’s baby-also a prolific producer), PeeWee, Mrs. Beasley, Barney Braun, Katie, Murphy, and O’Toole. The dogs – Pepper, Sandy Bottom, Copper, Hershey, Clancy, Paddington, and Frieda. I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but you get the picture.
Only once have I had to send one to live someplace else by giving it away. Sandy Bottom was a beautiful Basset Hound who came from a farm and was impossible to housebreak. She went to another farm and was blissfully happy all her days. I cannot imagine abandoning an animal on the side of the road. That’s just heinous. When I get a pet they live with me for the duration of their lives and are full-on members of the family. Even thinking about them gives me joy.
Pets don’t care if your ugly or your breath stinks. Pets don’t care if you’re the size of a pencil or if you’re fat as a refrigerator. Pets don’t care if your cranky. Pets don’t even care if you sleep all day. In fact, they kinda like it and might even let you share your bed with them. They might seem indifferent a lot of the time. . .but start crying and they’ll come through. Every time. They just know. They step-up!
In nursing homes I’ve seen resident cats go to sleep on the bed of someone ready to pass. . .a bit creepy, but also heartwarming. Dogs make fantastic therapy pets for the elderly or people with handicaps. They will let children crawl all over them and endure much unintentional abuse. . .out of love. They will fuss and worry over kids if they are in a pool. Plus, they’ll wag themselves like windshield wipers on-full-out EVERYTIME you walk in the door. And is there anything in the world more fun than startling a cat? I don’t think so. They puff up like dandelions gone-to-seed and shoot straight up in the air. Slapstick at its finest!
The proper care of pets is expensive, so for now we are no longer adopting them permanently. But it gives us great joy to take on occasional, temporary boarders. If a friend is going on a trip, often one of their biggest concerns is leaving their dear pet behind. We love animals but don’t have the means to own one. That sounds like a no-brainer to me. Maybe I should start counting the “temporary rentals” into my mix of pets. What do you think, Ziggie & Leo?