Saturday, August 1, 2009


A number of my friends have lost their pets lately, and it started me remembering. Over the years I have had a number of pets....some were what I call successful, or a good match...some were not. An aside: If you don't know it, the worst time to buy a cute little puppy or fuzzy little kitty, is while you are pregnant...unless you have had LOTS of pets before. Your maternal instincts are in high gear...and you need something to hold and cuddle and love...while you wait for the baby. The problem arises after the baby is born, when you would rather hold the baby and the pet tends to get shoved to the side, if it is lucky. I learned that the hard way...and sad to say so did the puppy I had gotten.

I had a bird once, since living in an apartment usually limits you on pets. He was the meanest parakeet I ever met. He bit me all the time, and attacked me if I let him out of the cage. But when he passed, I cried buckets...because he had been a part of my life.

The best remember pet, was the dog I had as a child...he was the typical stray that followed us home...and amazingly my parents let us keep him! He looked like a fox to me...but then I had never really seen a fox up close. We named him Frisky, because he loved to play.

This is the only picture that I have of him...tho' my parents may have more. He was a beautiful reddish gold color, with highlights that just seemed to glow at times.

I was not a particularly popular child, and we lived in a neighborhood of mostly I became a tomboy; I think I would have anyway, I never did really like girl-type games or dolls. Frisky became my confidant and best friend during a time when my social skills were lacking, and it felt like no one cared. We went for long walks...or I rode my bike and he ran along side. When ever my heart felt like it was breaking, he would curl up with me, and lick away my tears. He filled a void that was deep inside; the only problem was that he could not talk, and tell me what to do or how to cope.

I remember, as a child, we would go back the lane from where we lived, and climb this one high hill...and lay up there and watch the clouds. Of course the best time was when the Blue Angels would come for the air shows...there turning point was right over this hill...and they would come in so low we just knew they saw us!! Frisky would jump and bark...not really understanding our excitement, but participating anyway.

As I grew up, I needed him a little less, my brother moved away, and then I graduated from high school, and went to college for two years. Sad to say, I cannot remember the year he left us. I know that as we kids grew up and became involved with other things, he became my dad's dog. Now they went for walks, and Frisky would watch him garden. As he grew older, he had a lot of arthritis, and once my dad and a neighbor had to dig him out of a culvert that ran under our drive...he had chased after something and gotten caught. No one knows quite how long he had been trapped, and he was never really the same after that. He always slept in the basement, just in case of accidents. I remember once I begged my mom to let him sleep in my room, and for some reason only mothers know, she said yes. He had to be coaxed in, as he was not really allowed in the house, except for the kitchen and basement. As soon as I got back in bed, he snuck out; I tried 5 or 6 times, and realized that he was just not soon as we opened the cellar door, he happily ran downstairs.

As he grew older, and less able to move, my dad had to carry him in and out, and he knew how much pain he was in. My dad said he was his dog, his friend, and his responsibility, and no one was putting him down but him; so they went for their last walk out into the thicket behind our house, with daddy carrying his gun, and a blanket and shovel. He did it all, my dad, bore the burden and the sadness. I wish I had been able to say goodbye. I am not sure that I would have had that strength.

We may heal, but we never forget those we lose. It doesn't matter if they are your human friends and family, or your canine or feline ones. I am not sure the love is any less...or the pain of loss. I know there is a debate over whether there is heaven for animals....but it surely is a comforting thought that somewhere Frisky is still playing; that my mean old bird, flies free; that the burros I worked with in the summers and the jug-headed, ugly gray horse that gave me the very best ride of my entire life, are running thru' green fields; and that one day, those I knew, people and animals, will be there to greet me when it is my time to take that last walk.

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