Pets I Have Loved
In no particular order except that I saved the best for last.
- •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."
- •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.
- •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.
- •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.
- •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.
- •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.
- •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.
- •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.
- •Madison Leigh. American Staffordshire Terrier.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.