Before moving here to Minnesota in 1980, I lived in Ohio. We had a dog named Tiffany. She was a West Highland Terrier. I remember loving this dog with all the love a preschooler/kindergartener could give. Plus, I really liked the idea of walking the dog, and would frequently ask to walk this dog by myself. Mom finally reluctantly let me walk this dog around the block. The story goes...Tiffany got away from me, and I think the police had to bring us home. This did not hinder my love for walking dogs.
When we moved to Minnesota, Tiffany did not come with us. She stayed in Ohio with a family who loved her and treated her well.
Like most petless children, I begged for a pet. Mostly, I begged for a dog. I used lines such as, "it has been proven that people with pets live longer happier lives, don't you want me to live a long time?" I also would beg and plead and generally be annoying. I was always told that I could get a dog when I had my own house and my own yard.
Not giving up, I switched to wanting a cat. My sister Carol and I borrowed a tiny kitten from a friend whose cat had just had a litter of kittens. We wrapped it up in a box with holes and a big bow and gave it to my dad as a birthday present. It would be rude to say "no" to a birthday present, right?
Of course, we all fell in love with that tiny kitten. Mom and dad let us keep her. (We had to return her for a few weeks because she was too tiny to leave her mamma). We named her PJ. We, esp. me, loved her. She lived over 20 years. Friendly, beautiful fluffy orange cat.
Growing up, Erik had many cats, dogs, birds, snakes, reptiles, rabbits, chickens and other animals. He even worked at a pet store.
As soon as Erik and I bought our first house, I got my much wanted puppy. He was a beagle. Ryan, our 20 month child at the time, named him Goalbee. He was adorable. But, I had no idea how to take care of a puppy plus small baby Emily and toddler Ryan. We had him two weeks, but I was overwhelmed so we had to sell him. That was the right decision.
Our love for pets has continued and has been passed on to our children. To date our family has had:
* a water dragon. Erik and I got it when we were first married...sort of had a tragic death
*a hedge hog named Pokey who we ended up giving away when we moved apartments
* a teddy bear hamster named Hairball.
*another teddy bear hamster named Patty. We had her for years while the kids were young..she got sick and died
*random goldfish. Our first one was named Ernie, Emily loved to pick it up and hold it in her hands...that fish lived a surprisingly long time.
*a cockatiel named Savannah. HaHa Emily and Savannah had matching hair! Actually a cool pet...very messy though. We had to give her away because it kept biting little Ry and little Em. One day it cornered baby Em in the corner of the room. It was time for her to go...
*a Beagle..see above storyBut he was soooo cute!!!
*two fire-bellied toads..my biggest memory of these guys was that one got away and we could not find it. A few days later I found it dried up in a corner of the room. Yes, I freaked out. I don't like surprises like that!
*our beloved Ashley. She was an Australian Cattle (Blue Heeler) Mix. Sweet little face..patient loving. Still miss her.
* Marlin. Our cat who still lives here. As feisty as ever but when in the right mood, cuddly. In my mind, he keeps the mice out, so he gets to stay no matter how feisty he gets:)
* a corn snake named Alice. Actually turned out to be a fun pet...a neighborhood favorite. I am going to block out the night she escaped. Alice was traded to a family for Nutmeg.
*Nutmeg and Snirt (guinea pigs). We had Nutmeg and felt she needed friend. Snirt was given to us, but Snirt and Nutmeg did not get along..and were never able to be in one cage together. An experiment gone wrong. We gave Snirt to our neighbor down the street. They love her and she has her own cage.
*Hermit crabs. These guys did not last long...one died and the other two were donated to Emily's class. Hermit crabs are surprisingly boring pets. At the end of the school year, they were part of a class auction and Em's friend Natalie brought those home.
*Now meet Misty our newest addition.Misty is a Russian Dwarf Hamster. She is really friendly and very calm. She does not run around her cage when the kids pick her up. All three children are happy to have her around.
(Because we have a 1 caged animal at a time rule, Nutmeg has found a new home with Emily's friend. We saw her today, and she is happy as can be playing with her new family!)