Four-legged friends

Molly is the fourth canine to have come into my family. She is a beautiful German shepherd mix with a touch of wolf. Molly is Roger's dog, but she has adopted me, too. She is very protective, watching carefully to make sure I am safe when Roger is not around. But this isn't a Molly story, it's a story about the other furry friends I've had.

Dozo, a collie/shepherd mix was my first four-legged friend. I found him in a small cage at the pound. He looked up at me with huge brown eyes when I said, "Hey, boy, you want to go home?"

Dozo lived with me and my first husband through the birth of all our daughters. He was so good with the children. They would nap on him and he would not move until they woke up. If I tried to move them, he got upset, sulking under their cribs. When I brought home my youngest daughter, Dozo met me at the door, took one look at the new baby and gave a huge sigh as if to say, "Ok, come on in, another one isn't going to matter."

When Dozo was quite old and getting feeble, the vet advised me to get a puppy to help the children with the "eminent loss" of their cherished pet. We found Lovey, another German shepherd mix. She was the runt of her litter. Dozo loved her like all the other babies in the family. Dozo lived another four years, dutifully following Lovey around the house.

Lovey, we found, was the runt of the litter due to a hole in her heart. The vet told us she should have open heart surgery. With four babies and a new home, there was no way we could afford the thousands of dollars it would have cost for her to have open heart surgery. So, putting my faith in the Creator of all, I asked the Almighty to protect Lovey and let her live a long happy life. Lovey made it to her ninth birthday before she died of congestive heart disease. For those who don't think that is a big deal, Lovey in human years would have been 63 years old. Pretty long life for someone with a hole in their heart!

Daisy, the Alaskan husky mix, was brought home as a tiny ball of fluff. Frisky and playful, she was as smart as the girls. Daisy demanded attention. If her bowl of water was empty, she wouldn't sit around and look sad; she would pick up the bowl and toss it in the air. The clang it made always sent someone running to fill the bowl before she would do it again!

After all these years, I can't imagine a home without a pet. In addition to the dogs, I have had numerous cats and my daughters have had rabbits, gerbils, fish and turtles. Sharing our lives with these fellow creatures always felt special. They gave us so much unconditional love, that it was impossible to deny their connection to us.

Last summer Calico, my beautiful calico-tiger cat, left this existence. She was 22 years old. She died while I was away attending to the birth of my granddaughter. The circle of life spun around me very closely at that particular time.

Funny thing is, every once in a while, I think I see Calico scooting under the sofa or rounding a corner of the house ahead of me. After 22 years together, our connection to each other cannot be severed by death. She lives in my memories and in the sideways glances into eternity.


An Kaya said…
Dear Linda,
I received my first furry friend when I was 4 years old: a beautiful Boxer called Vicky. Since then my life has been full of dogs and cats.
They always found me and they have a special place in my life, my house and my love.
The only condition to live at home is to be friends: so cats and dogs live together in happy community.
You made me remember so much the ones that left the Earth, the ones that are with me and those who will surely come in the future.
doris3m said…
Dear Linda! After reading about your little friends makes me happy to know there are people in the world that care and love animals so much. I have three cats now. Cremita , chocolate, and gordo are their names. They are like children playing around my house. They bring so much joy to our lives. We are thankful to god for have them with us. And the ones that have been with us before, we remember with love and from time to time we call their names and those memories fill our hearts with pictures of them.
A warm hug from Venezuela!
Nora said…
Dear Linda,
I still remember the day my parents allowed me and my sisters to accept a pet dog from my grandparents' neighbour. As we didn't live near my grandparents, we found a little box where to put the dog for the journey. We named it Lola, but it became too big and we couldn't even go out into the park so we took her to a bigger place in the countryside. Some time later we convinced my father to have another dog. This time it was a pointer that lived with us for many years. But that was not the last one, then Alex came home. He was a Breton that we had for about 15 years...

Now I am married and have two children. As we live in Buenos
Aires and do not have enough 'green spaces' for a dog my husband and myself didn't want to adopt any dog pet. My children, now aged 7 and 10, were always asking us for a pet...
And a couple of years ago we came across Skippy, a poodle. I will never forget the happiness in my children faces the first night they slept knowing they had a pet to look after... they both wanted to sleep in the livingroom next to the dog and the boy thanked us so much that I still fill my heart bumping with his excitement...
Now Skippy is one more lovely member of our family.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts...

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