Pets have always been a part of my life. I grew up with dogs. I think I was about 9 or 10 when we got our first dog. It was a toy poodle and was a complete bundle of nerves. Who wouldn’t be with 4 kids trying to dress you up in doll clothes, running around in total chaos and constantly interrupting your peace and quiet? Ok so maybe that was just me. No wonder he didn’t seem to want to come when I called.
When we moved, unfortunately he kept trying to go back to the old house and didn’t make it across the busy road in front of our house. Mac, our first Sheltie came into our home. He was big for the breed which helped him hang with our growing family better. He could keep up with the bike riding and skateboarding no problem. He lived to the ripe old age of 17. Then came McDuffy. His stay was brief, shortened by Lymphoma.
These guys were all family pets. They weren’t really mine; they bonded most closely with my Mom and Dad. Partly because my siblings and I weren’t permanent residents in the house anymore but most likely because Mom and Dad were ones feeding and caring for them.
My first pet that was just mine was a Sheltie named Lily. She was my sister from another mister. Just as bossy and nosy as I am. We were inseparable, until cancer shortened her life just shy of her 11th birthday. It broke my heart to say goodbye, but I was looking into her eyes as she drew her last breath.
It took me a long time to get over losing her but I think I’m finally getting ready for another fur baby. I’ve had a few practice sessions recently with a friends Lab and most recently my Mom’s Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He’s been a trip. Still a puppy, his training isn’t the best and his primary focus seems to be loud squeaky toys. Needless to say we’ve had a few accidents on the floor which I seem to have conveniently forgotten puppies do. And when I’m trying to work, his drags in his squeaky toys into the studio. If I don’t pick up on the hint, he proceeds to either consistently depress the squeaker or put it under something where he can’t retrieve it and then bark until I get down on my hands and knees to fetch the errant toy. Who’s training whom here?
Having him around reminds me how much companionship dogs offer. I miss that. It’s a lot of work though and I’m rethinking that part of the equation. No decisions yet but it does give me pause.