Pets… Over the Course of a Lifetime


What’s Really Important?

Almost everybody has had a pet. When we are young, some of our most treasured moments involve memories with pets. Each pet takes us through  different stages of our life.

Each stage, with every pet we’ve owned becomes a wonderful illustration of our connection with the little creatures that are woven into the fabric of our family unit.

The earliest pets I remember (when I was much shorter) was our dog, Pierre, and our cat, Leana Horne. Pierre was a Cocker Spaniel and the Leana Horne was a black tammy cat. I remember the cat being very independent and the dog very loving and faithful.

Pierre was blonde, drooled a lot, and was always so glad to see us. He loved to chase Leana Horne. This drama would  usually end up with Pierre in full retreat after getting swatted in the nose, and then running to the safety of his dog bed.

The next pets came in a group after we lost both Pierre and Leana Horne to different circumstances. First we got Chico, (very loveable, but a real idiot). He was a large white Chihuahua that would hump anything that moved. This was especially satisfying to watch when unsuspecting guests would come to the house.

Using a stealth attack, Chico would set his sights on a leg (usually a women’s leg). Then he’d pounce… holding onto the victim with his front paws, jowls back, and moving his hips back and forth like a Brazilian samba. Then he’d launch something resembling a large red pepper extending from in between his cojones.

Of course I was laughing hysterically as my parents were in utter shock, embarrassed beyond recovery. My dad would then yell at Chico and grab him and dispose him from the festivities.  This made Chico a legend to me and an utter disgrace to my parents.

Then there was Coco, a chocolate Chihuahua. He was like the accountant with no personality. The only time he showed any semblance of emotion was when you tried to mess with his food supply. That’s one place he drew the line, and would become ferocious. Other than that he was like a lump of clay. He barked on occasion when enticed by the other barking dogs in the house.

In that group of animals was our lone female dog, Francita, Marmita, Papita, Lolita, Chavez, Jenkins. It seemed every Christmas when we would have a get together with friends and family this little dog would have puppies. This of course drew attention away from the festivities and brought focus upon our little dog. Usually somewhere between four and six puppies would come out of this little dog…AMAZING!

Those were fond memories that brought beautiful little puppies into our home for Christmas. I will never forget the joy I felt, and the love our little Francita gave to those newborn puppies. Viewing this event gave another wonderful layer of connectivity to our pets and our family as a whole.

My dad’s favorite pet, Jack’s Little Samson was supposed to be my little dog. However, after a tumultuous period in my life (I moved to Florida then New York), that little black and white Chihuahua became an integral part of my dad’s life.

My dad would carry that little dog around in his robe for most of the day until he got dressed for chores. Then the dog would either sit in the window and watch my dad or follow him around the house waiting to be fed for the 10th time. After a tearful goodbye, Samson passed away.

The next pet we got (when I came back from New York) was a Schnauzer appropriately named, Jack. This caused some confusion as to whom my dad was calling. Jack, (the dog) was quarantined when he bit a neighborhood hooligan in the crotch. This lasted until the evidence revealed the kid had been teasing Jack and deserved the retribution.

Then, a student of my dad had a dog named Casper. He was a white Chihuahua with a calm and sweet personality. Their son was allergic to the dog, so my dad took Casper into his care. My dad would carry that little dog around in his robe all day. My dad was in his eighties at that point and not inclined to go outside much.

Casper ended up outlasting Jack (the dog) and also my dad. Towards the end of my dad’s life we took over the responsibility for taking care of Casper. At least twice a week we would bring Casper to the care facility where my dad resided. My dad at this point was in our new home state of Nevada.

Casper would always know what room my dad was in at the care facility. He would run to greet my dad with such a loving demeanor and enthusiasm, it was beautiful to watch. Later on, when my dad passed away, we took over full responsibility for Casper. As in all relationships there are beginnings and endings. Poor little Casper had some type of seizure that led to his ultimate demise. However, all the joy that little dog brought my dad and eventually Nancy and I was not to be overstated. He was a gift.

Along with Casper at our house we had a cat named Katy. Katy would love to watch football with me. Katy was more gregarious then most cats and loved being the focal point of the party. The week Casper passed, we decided to get another pet to keep Katy company. That’s when we got Grayson, a little grey and white kitty. Then when Katy passed we got Grayson a friend, Baily.

Baily is scared of his own shadow and doesn’t really play well with others. But, as we’ve found with all of our pets, each one has a gift they offer us. That gift is unconditional love… worth every moment of every day.