In no particular order except that I saved the best for last.
  1. Beauty. A Parrot.
    My great-grandmother's parrot came to live with us when she went into a nursing home. Beauty sang "Char-lie!" (Great-grandma's brother's name) and "If I had a talking picture of you-oo."
  2. Silver Baron III, German Shephard.
    Silver came to live with us after my grandfather died, when I was three years old. I've been told I used to ride him like a pony. In his later years he was troubled by hip dysplasia. He was a beautiful and loyal dog.
  3. Irish Setter: Red Baron aka Rusty aka Rustoleum aka Garbage.
    This last one my cousin and I routinely called him (and worse) to prove that he'd answer to anything. He was just that dumb and lovable. He also had fleas. Often. After I went to college, and our parents died, my uncle found a nice farm for him upstate. He's still there chasing rabbits.
  4. The rescue mix: parts German Shephard, Labrador Retriever, Collie and Saint Bernard.
    A big dog that shed everywhere and had a deep-rooted fear of abandonment from previous owner/abuser. Literally tore our place apart when left alone. Would rip the bars off a crate until his paws bled. Became an "outside" dog despite Chicago winters. Moved to PDX.
  5. Charlie Parker, the Bird. A Cockatiel.
    Officially my son's pet. We taught him to sing the Addams Family theme music, complete with tongue clicks. He liked to hang out perched on a shoulder. I believe he caught an upper respiratory infection from me that we didn't realize was serious. It killed him. I take full responsibility. I've been forgiven.
  6. Ginger. A "teddy bear" Guinea pig.
    Ours was a nice pet for children. Didn't bite. Loved to sit on your lap (on a towel) and be petted. But she only lived 3 years.
  7. Assorted Hamsters and Gerbils.
    I didn't love these but my kids did. Nutmeg, Cocoa, Sugar, Spice, Cinnamon, Pepper, etc. I suggested Cardamom for one, but my daughter did not want to name her pet after me, haha. They would eat their babies unless separated.
  8. Snappy the Alligator.
    Bought at a roadside stand driving home from Florida. When that was legal. Snappy lived in a large aquarium in our basement. Grew to about 15" long; survived at least one winter. Contrary to some rumors, we did not flush him down the toilet into the NY sewer system: Snappy died and was buried by the swing set.
  9. Madison Leigh. American Staffordshire Terrier.
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    Smart, loyal, playful, independent, stubborn. Hated the water but loved the beach and boating. Chased rabbits and snowballs. Stoic through her cancer treatments. We were heartbroken to lose her. Wish everyone knew what a great family pet a pit bull can be.