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Switch to Forum Live View How did you become a pet lover
5 years ago  ::  Mar 18, 2009 - 4:32PM #1
appy20
Posts: 10,165

Was it one pet?  Or did you always have an attraction to animals?  Was it a family value or were you the odd duck in your clan?  Are we born or are we made to be pet lovers?

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 18, 2009 - 8:15PM #2
lil_lamb
Posts: 2,898

that's an interesting question. i have no idea. it may just be part of my ghetto preppie lifestyle. it may be that i'm bothered by a house where people are the only living thing - i have to have plants too. i really don't know.

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 19, 2009 - 11:05AM #3
rasphila
Posts: 784

 



When we were kids, both my wife and I had pets. Growing up in England, she had a dog named Sally, a West Highland terrier who was a devoted member of the family. She still has lots of Sally stories, like the time the police came to the door to ask about a report that the family had a vicious dog. Sally ran to the door, nuzzled the constable, and licked his hand, whereupon he almost fell over laughing.


My pets were a dog and cat, Snippy and Puss'n respectively. They were great friends, co-consiprators, and devoted family members as well. Snippy regularly saw off neighborhood dogs when they were threatening Puss'n. Puss'n would get up on the kitchen counter, throw food down to Snippy, and then share it with him. They slept together much of the time.


When we moved into our first apartment, there wasn't room for a dog, and having one would have broken our lease. On a visit to a local farm, we acquired the barn kitten, whom we named Arlo. Arlo was a handsome, affectionate and very clever tuxedo cat. He also loved other cats, so when our second cat, Lisa, needed a home (she and her old kitty housemate really didn't get along), he was delighted. By that time we were hooked on pets generally and cats in particular.


Unfortunately, Arlo died early, but the vet offered us their office cat, who became Tigger. After that, cats who needed homes just seemed to find their way to us (generally through neighbors), and over the years we have usually had three cats. We're down to two at the moment, but will probably get a third in the not too distant future.


That's the story of us and pets. We like dogs, but cats were easier to manage when we were starting out, and bringing a dog into a cat-owned house isn't the easiest thing to do. So we've had cats, and a great series of characters they have been.



 

"Prediction is very hard, especially when it's about the future."—Yogi Berra
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5 years ago  ::  Mar 19, 2009 - 1:29PM #4
appy20
Posts: 10,165

My father was a breeder of hunting dogs.  One of his dogs taught me to walk.  It is a favorite family story.  The dog would let me hang on to her rump and would walk at my pace.  If I began to stumble, she would stop.  She would let me pull myself up on any part of her anatomy. 


My parents divorced and we moved into a house for a short period of time and we had Rosie, a cocker spaniel.  Then we had to move into an apartment and my mother  gave her to my uncle who had a large farm. In the apartment, my brothers gave me a box turtle.  I was enamored with that turtle.  It did not live long.  My brothers had found it on the side of the road and it may have been hit.  Then my brothers bought me a small water turtle. I had that for a while and adored him.


My mother has always been rather disinterested in pets.  She did grow fond of my pomeranian Spenser.  I was an anomaly in my family of 2 brothers and mother with one exception.  One of my brothers had a labrador retriever that he trained as a hunting dog.  The dog became an excellent hunter. I can't stand hunting but I do appreciate the brilliance of hunting dogs and to watch a well-trained lab in action is an amazing thing.  Labs, unlike many other hunting dogs, do a lot of their work out of their owner's sight which means they have to be super obedient.   One reason labs are such good family pets is because they were bred to be trained that way.  They routinely do the most astounding things.  They also problem solve on the trail.  Often, their impromptu problem solving becomes more entertaining than the hunt to the hunters.  My brother's dog claim to fame was that he was an idiot where life was concerned but put him in the field, he was a genius.  My brother was offered $10,000 for him after a hunt once.  I remember the dog as being very badly behaved as far as licking and jumping on people.  He used to soak my jeans and shirts to the point I had to change clothes a lot when he visited.  Other than that, I liked him.  He was exceptionally devoted to my brain damaged niece.  He had a special bond with her and taught her to walk.  She didn't walk until she was 4 and all had given up on her.  She would pull herself up by Zeke's tail and hair.  Zeke would stand perfectly still and even block her falls.  Eventually, she could walk holding on to Zeke.  Then finally, on her own.


With the exception of Zeke, my brother never bonded with any other dog. My other brother just can't deal with the bother of dogs.  Same with my mother.  My mother would like a cat but she does not want the responsibility. 


My first dog of my own was Prince.  My brother gave him to me when I was six.  He became the love of my childhood.  He and I were glued at the hip.  I had a few cats shortly before Prince but they would always disappear. 


I was always fascinated by pets and animals.  I loved all the animal tv shows of my generation.  Lassie, Flipper, Rin Tin, Tin, Gentle Ben.  I loved books by Walter Farley, of course, Lassie Come Home and every other pet book, fiction and nonfiction in my school library. 


They are a major source of joy for me and always have been.

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 22, 2009 - 3:28AM #5
lil_lamb
Posts: 2,898

my mother hates pets. i don't blame her. there's something about her that just begs to be bitten. we only had fish... and yet i managed to grow up with dogs and cats. my family home wasn't the house my nuclear family lived in, but the house by grand-dad built. it came with a kennel of german shepherd guard dogs. i remember calling them *the bad coggies,* lol. when they were let out for feeding and so forth, everybody had to go inside. the inside house dog was a standard poodle. as a teenager, i did dogsitting... for cocker spaniels, but not on purpose. just worked out that way. also used to run around in the country, that was sheep and border collies. i also hung around with hunters, each of whom had a dog named max, haha. and then for every dog (excluding the pack of german shepherds), there were also at least a couple of cats.


i wonder if all the working dogs in my life had something to do with why i didn't end up with the lapdog i was aiming for. my dog, tho small, is a trooper. i'm back out roaming up close and personal with the cows and horses because of her.

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 23, 2009 - 1:53PM #6
appy20
Posts: 10,165

My earliest experiences were with hunting dogs but I have enjoyed my lapdogs the most.  I will always miss Spenser.  He was a character and a sweetheart. 

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 23, 2009 - 4:52PM #7
natrlvr2
Posts: 5

It was natural for me. My mom was a nature/animal lover and that is how my life always has been. I have a 'connection' to animals.

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 24, 2009 - 1:50AM #8
lil_lamb
Posts: 2,898

my life is a huge crunch right now. and my new dog is turning out to be kind of sickly trooper. i'm leaning on 1/2 b.f. pretty heavily and have also now persuaded my goddaughter-once-ward to come and dog sit this week during the day.


anyways, the point is, my goddaughter is a natural. she is the first person, besides myself and 1/2 bf., that lily has let pet her on first meeting. as i knew she would be. it's so funny how that works. my best friend, oh dear, he's like my mom...

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 24, 2009 - 6:15AM #9
Gelene
Posts: 6

I have always loved animals as far back as I can remember...I was brought into this world with folks that had two boxers and a parakete.  At four, I got to pick out "the pick of the litter" kitty cat from the Doctor's wife of one of the Doctors where my Mom was a nurse at the clinic.  I had numerous dogs before the age of eight, Redman, Pepper, Pudge (a retired police german shepard) and Heidi dog, (my schnauser)  I had horses growing up, Cappy and Queen, and always have stuck my hand out without thinking, to get to know an animal, unless it exibits unfriendly behavior. 


I seem to have a calming effect on small  children and animals. I think they can sense me.  I currently have four cats, and am thrilled with glee when friends and neighbors say they can't smell them in my house or on me!  I used to have a bed full of stuffed animals growing up, and vowed that when I had my own place, my animals would be real.  Well, in keeping with that, I have Zeus, Georgie, Precious, and Snicklefritz,...along with varied "Build-A-Bears" that keep me very happy!  At least with animals, you know where you stand.  They aren't doing some happy dance to maniluplate you, they have no reason to "one up you", or try to prove anything other than they love you.  they either take to you or don't and can sense how you feel.  Besides, folks that don't like animals...I don't like - its like something is wrong with them..how can anyone begrudge a harmless little animal?  Folks that disregard animals disregard their fellowman as well.


It is said that pets take after their owners...Hmmmm...at times, I guess I am rather "chatty", and I have felt gloriously fabulous a time or two, and who doesn't like to be a pampered princess occasionally...and yes,...I am loving, kind and faithful to a fault, and never too busy to have a good time!  It is for certain that animals do have personality,..for each of my kitties exhibit the characteristics just mentioned.


There you have it...quick question:  What is it exacly that separates us from the animals?  The ability to reason?  Well...one thing we all have in common, is our instinct for survival mode.  Frankly, sometimes we should take more advice from the animals...think about it.

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 24, 2009 - 6:52AM #10
natrlvr2
Posts: 5

The last post mentioned a 'calming effect on small children and animals'. That is EXACTLY me too. I was never really a 'kid friendly' person growing up but ALL little kids and babies would be mesmorized by me. All animals have alwaysd liked me.If they were shy...I 'made' them like me.LOL.

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