Monday, November 07, 2011

Nostalgic November - Childhood Pets

I have had pets all my life.  Looking back I see pet ownership was different years ago.  My dad's family ran a farm.  Pet's had jobs on the farm.  The dogs helped heard animals and ran security.  The cat's took care of rodents.  I don't recall ever seeing pets inside at their house when I was a child.  My mom's mother grew up on a farm too, but didn't like animals very much.  I recall my grandfather having a hunting dog.  He ran away and honestly to this day I've always wondered if my gram let him go!   

My mom and dad both loved animals and my dad bought my mom our first family pet.  A little cocker spaniel.  He was jet black, hence his name "Inky".  Inky lived with us INSIDE.  He passed away when I was 6 or so.  My parents believed that our cranky old neighbor poisoned him. 


Inky 1956
I had bunnies a couple of different times.  I don't especially remember this pair.  I do remember getting a white bunny for Easter once and years later my sister and I had a pair.  Mine got eatten by a wild dog and my sister's got loose.  We spent an entire Summer trying to catch that darn rabbit.
Bunnies 1960
This was our first German Shepard.  His name was Prince and we got him after Inky passed away.  He was a great dog.  He used to bring my cat back into the yard if he got too close to the street.  There were no leash laws in those days.  We lived out in the country, so people didn't worry too much.  Prince sadly was shot by a neighbor's teenage son.  It was Winter and my dad tracked him by the blood in the snow.  He was in bad shape and had to be put down.  I heard something about maybe surviving if his leg was removed, but my dad didn't believe that was the right thing to do.  I was only 6 at the time.
Prince 9-61
 After Prince died my dad bought my mom another Shepard.  We named her "Lady".  She was a beautiful dog, but the paperboy kicked her when he delivered our paper and she HATED bikes.  She would chase anyone down on a bike. 
Lady 1962
 She had a litter of puppies and her tempermant got even worse.  She never went after any of us, but lord help you if you were a stranger!  We started getting telephone calls with people saying she had bitten their kids on their bikes.  We paid for lots of ripped pants!  I remember my mom dressed up in a wild outfit and riding my bike by our house.  Lady ignored her completely.  She never chased me either.  My parents got many warnings about her behavior and tried their best to keep her inside or tied.  Nothing seemed to work.  One day the police came and told my dad, either you destroy your dog or we will have to.  My parents were devastated.  My dad would not let them take her and said he would take care of it himself.  I remember my mom crying her heart out that day and I begged my dad not to.  I can't imagine how hard that was for him and he never spoke of it again.  For several weeks after we continued to get telephone calls that our dog had bite someone.  My mom was furious!  We know she did bite, but honestly think she may have been blamed for some events that she was not involved in. 
Lady, Prince II, dad and I 1964
Here is my first "Dusty".  Dusty was a kooky cat.  He actually slept with Lady and her puppies!  Lady might have chased bikes, but not cats!!!  Not sure how I came about getting him.  He disappeared when we left for vacation.  Our neighbors were feeding him and they told us the day we left, he left.  I always wondered if he followed us and got lost.
Dusty & I 1964
Here is Prince II.  He was one of Lady's puppies we kept.  I honestly don't remember what happened to him.  I think we had him for quite awhile.
Prince II - 1965
This is Dusty II.  It seems we weren't very original with our pet's names!  This Dusty was crazy!  He used to follow my dad out in the woods when he went hunting.  My dad swears he flushed out Pheasants for him!  This photo was from after one of those adventures!  He was a great cat! 

Dusty 1966
 When I was about 12 I had a big black cat and then was allowed to get a "show cat", a Siamese I named Sa-Boo.  OMG that cat was NUTS.  He used to hide and jump out and bite.  Anything that moved he went after.   My parents were having marital problems and sold our house when I was 15.  We moved into an apartment and cats were not allowed.  My aunt took Sa-Boo and my dad took my black cat, Sammy to live at his office.  I don't think Sammy could figure out what was going on and would not stay at the barn.  Eventually he disappeared.  I never quite could forgive my dad for that.  
Sa-Boo 1969
When my parents divorced my mom moved my sister and I into a house.  She got me a tiger cat that I named Troubles.
Troubles 1972
and my sister got this crazy little dog. 

I can not remember this dogs name at all. Not sure my sister does either. When my grandfather died my grama asked us to move home with her. My mom had to give away this little guy, but I got to take my cat.   Imagine my gram's surprise when my cat delivered kittens!!!!   Troubles got hit by a car right before I left for college.  Everyone tried to hide it from me, but my sister blabbed it. 

I am glad people are more aware of taking care of their pets.   Things have changed a lot since I was young!

3 comments:

Pam said...

Look at Sa-Boo!!!

Lola said...

Again, a wonderful nostalgic post! I am loving taking this trip through time with you.

Sandy said...

Punchy, you sure have had a lot of pets and a lot of heartaches when they had to leave. I loved seeing the pictures. LOVE the retro furniture and that lamp in one of those pictures is great! I'm glad things are different now for a lot of pets. If I had a farm, I don't think I could sleep at night from worrying about the animals.

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