Today @WeGoHealth asked us to write a thank-you letter to our four-legged, furry, feathered or otherwise so-called Creature Companions! I LOVE MY PETS! I could write a book of love letters to them! They help me cope with my illness daily, with my mother’s illness. Sometimes I even feel they’ve saved my life, with all the joy they bring to it.
I have always been fascinated by animals. In fact, until I was about 22, I wanted to be a dolphin trainer or an exotic animal trainer. I actually did go through the application process at Sea World San Antonio but chickened out when I realized that at 22 with a bachelor’s degree, I was already four years older than most of the staff and most of the applicants! I felt too old at age 22 if you can believe that! But in many ways, it’s not unlike being a professional athlete. The amount of physical strength it takes to swim and train underwater is daunting. I was in good physical shape, but I felt that ultimately I had missed my window of opportunity.
As I grew older, I began to understand that life dreams like that can become hobbies and don’t necessarily have to be one’s primary vocation. So I get my fill now by adopting and training animals. Over the years, I’ve mostly trained my own cats & dogs, but we’ve had the occasional hamster and Guinea pig as pets.
Every close friend and family member knows that I love my pets about as much as anyone can. They bring animation to our home with their funny antics. They bring joy to a room with the pitter patter of their little paws. They bring endless hours of humor with their playful intelligence and the purity of their sweet lil’ souls.
Our inventory of creatures is low right now in my opinion. We only have three dogs. I am hoping that soon I can start my modern day Noah’s arc with about two of everything. Next to “friend,” two of each – parakeets, tiny pigs and two horses. For right now, Gabby and the Insane Clown Posse keep our hands full!
Our 9-year-old German Shepherd, Chow mix named GABBY BEAR:
Our 5-ish-year-old “Porkshire” Terrier, BROOKLYN NEW YORKIE:
And our 3-year-old American Redbone Coonhound named JUNIPER P. COONIE
When our entire pack is together, I call it the “Rodeo Clown Car.” Each pupper dog has such a different personality, and they all keep life interesting and hilarious!
For example, because of JUNI (“Juni” for short), we now have the “Dog of the Month” contest because she is the youngest and often needs the most correction and positive reinforcement (Um, see picture above!). Poor Juni has lost the contest again for April because she found some of Mommy’s flavored chapstick. She put the lime in the coconut and ATE IT ALL UP! With all her purebred grace, power and might at 80 pounds, she is the one who most believes she is a lap dog. To sleep alone with no crying, she requires a cushioned above-ground bed and at least two blankets. And she WILL NOT let you forget to tuck her in before 9 p.m. each night.
BROOKLYN brings our family constant joy with her hilarious terrier capers. In fact we often call her “The Terrierist,” because she is relentless and will do anything to get what she wants! Once she’s satisfied, you won’t find a sweeter or more loyal companion. In fact, she is so attached to me, that even though she loves food more than anything in the world it seems, she will not get up to go to the kitchen and eat if I am feeling unwell and have been bed-bound. She won’t let her daddy pick her up. I have to get up and go with her to tell her it’s ok to eat, or she’ll skip meals!
We also sometimes wonder if she is a Muppet or possibly a Fraggle, posing as a dog. She is the one who has brought the most new vocabulary into our lives, including:
1. verb – the action of flipping over on your back and rolling back and forth swiftly while making piglet snorts, squeals, grunts and snarfs.
2. alternate definition – the action of flailing about in ridiculous movements until you’ve dislodged your hair bow.
Usage in a sentence: Brooklyn is pigletting about, trying to get her new Easter bow out of her hair.
Steak Finger Feet
1. noun – the quality of having such cute feet that it creates in humans the desire to squeeze them, dip them into gravy and then nibble on them.
Usage: Brooklyn New Yorkie has the cutest cat-like feet. They are so deliciously-sweet, I could dip them in gravy and eat them.
The Grrrr Scale
1. noun – a scale of “Terrierist Threat Level” including the nano grrr, pico grrrr, regular grrrr and the grrrr of all grrrrrs, Alien Super Grrrr!
Usage: Brooklyn gave Daddy the full on Sigourney Weaver, Alien Super Grrrr when Daddy tried to move her away from Mommy.
Then there’s THE GABBY BEAR. We have heard from most every person who’s ever met her something like, “Oh my gosh, this is the most well-behaved dog I’ve ever met.” And it’s true. She is smart, loyal, obedient, friendly and a beautiful mutt! She often draws attention on walks and people think she is some kind of exotic purebred or a giant Pomeranian (which continues to elicit a belly laugh from me when I think of all the times she’s been mistaken for a giant rendition of a toy breed).
When she and I were both younger, she would be content to lay on the floor at my feet all day or go on a five-mile run. She is the most flexible, chilled out dog on the planet. She never gets too upset, but she does live up to her name. She’s the first to bark (hence the name Gabby) to alert us that someone new is near. I marvel at how she picks up so quickly on changes in our environment. I sometimes think about how I will miss finding her balls of fur on the floor when she’s gone. She literally makes an impression every where she goes. 🙂 When I travel with her, kids will often ask if they can take a “Selfie” with Gabby. So, I guess Gabby is the super star of the family. Her Dad and I are just here to manage her career and keep her admirers from going overboard. 😉
I am a very firm believer that, for all the sacrifices – expensive food, vet bills, ALL that fur, the work-arounds we adopt to accommodate them – pets are one of THE BEST PREVENTATIVE MEDICINES for everything that ails we humans and THE BEST CURE for the blues and loneliness.
No wonder we consider them family members. Honestly, I like to call us all a pack though. After all, they do outnumber us in our household. Every night, we check for 16 legs, 5 heartbeats, 3 dogs and 2 humans. Then we know our whole pack is safe.
This Pack Post is dedicated to all the pets we’ve loved before, who’ve snouted in and out our doors! Bill, Bob, Popeye, Chia, Gretchen, Isabella I, Isabella II, Bill Cosby, Princess Petunia, Cherokee, Skeeter, Edie, Peyton and Sammy.