My Life with Pets

6 Jan

Today I was watching an Oprah rerun.  It was an episode I heard about when it originally aired and I really wanted to see it, but I’d missed it.  It was about animals–how smart they are, how they communicate, what they can learn, and a couple of feel good stories for good measure regarding their companionship with humans.  And, I most definitely cried during some of the more heartfelt stories.  Not all that shocking because I hold a special place in my heart for animals. 

When I was a kid, I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian because of my intense love for animals.  My grandma lived in Mississippi and always had a ton of animals on her property including cows, horses, goats, chickens, a rumored alligator and a fox or two.  And of course cats and dogs.  But, I remember one particular cow that I spent hours with trying to get it to trust me enough so that it would take the feed directly from my hand.   I would make a lot of progress, get to the point where I thought it was just about to eat from my hand and then someone would come out and tell me lunch was ready or some other comment, and the cow would get nervous all over again.  Finally, I got it to trust me enough to eat from my hand. 

Growing up we always had animals at our house too.  We had cats, dogs, hamsters, ducks, turtles, frogs, rabbits, and of course some fish.  But we didn’t have all of these at the same time.   I’m pretty sure we asked our parents for a new pet monthly.   Most of the time they said no, but every once in a while we would break them down and they would say yes.  Then we’d spend some time contemplating names for our new pets.  My brother was the youngest and would often come up with what we considered ridiculous names, like toothpaste.   We still make fun of him for that.

So now we have our pets.   Sean says they lucked out big time since we picked them from the shelter.  Molly has what you might call a wee bit of an anxiety problem, and we work with her to ease it.  She’s also the smartest dog I’ve ever had.  And Belle came from a high kill shelter.  And now they get to things like this with their white lab friend:

So, this was my long-winded way of saying if you’re contemplating a new pet, I highly recommend getting a rescue.  They are the sweetest, snuggliest pets!

13 Responses to “My Life with Pets”

  1. serena @bigapplenosh 01/06/2011 at 10:47 pm #

    Such cuties! We also had a menagerie growing up (turtles, chickens, gerbils, guinea pigs, a dog, fish, just to name a few!). Our family dog was a rescue, as well as my current cat, and they are the sweetest, funniest animals. 🙂

  2. Kate 01/06/2011 at 11:24 pm #

    Oh I second this so whole heartedly. Growing up, all of our pets were rescued, and Chris’ and my dog now, Boomer, was rescued from a high kill shelter as well. She does have some anxiety, but she’s so loving and sweet and wonderful. This post made me happy 🙂

  3. Abby 01/07/2011 at 9:04 am #

    Aww, so sweet! Both Joel and I had animals growing up, and we were just talking this morning about how we agree that it’s important that our future children grow up loving animals — we’ll always have a couple of dogs (and a cat!) roaming around our home.

    Our current cat was a rescue, and had been at the shelter the longest. She’s the sweetest cat ever, and runs to the door with the dogs at night to welcome us home!

    • Steph C. 01/07/2011 at 9:53 am #

      We’re planning on getting a pup in October sometime, and it will definitely be a shelter pup (or 5.. because it kills me every time I walk into one and I just want all the animals).

      Also.. love the first picture!!

      • kelsey@mintedlife 01/08/2011 at 7:02 pm #

        Ugh, I know it’s so hard to go in there and just pick one! I feel so sad for the others. 😦

  4. bienliving 01/07/2011 at 9:58 am #

    Our little Derby girl is a rescue dog as well…we love her SO MUCH!!

    • Lea 01/07/2011 at 3:33 pm #


      Our dog is “Derby,” too! I brought her home on Derby Day, 2007. Derbys are the best! (-:

  5. Amy 01/07/2011 at 10:14 am #

    Aww I love the group hiking trip! Buddy is not a shelter pet. He has had a very privileged upbringing, spoiled brat. I hope to adopt a rescue for our 2nd dog (when Buddy is older).

  6. Mina 01/07/2011 at 2:16 pm #

    aw, sweet babies! they look so happy.

  7. Lea 01/07/2011 at 3:31 pm #

    Agreed! Absolutely! Life without a pet (well, okay– a dog) would be a less full life. At least to us.

  8. Jessica 01/07/2011 at 6:39 pm #

    I loved this post. I have been begging hubs for another dog and since we have the room now, it’s the perfect time to adopt a shelter dog (or two.)

  9. Marissa 01/07/2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Aw, this post warms my heart. We have a rescue girl w/ a bit of anxiety. One on one she is great, a complete lover. When its time for another K9 we’ll def. be going to the shelters. (PS – I don’t think there’s an Oprah episode that hasn’t made me cry.) Have a great weekend!

  10. morgana 01/07/2011 at 10:50 pm #

    Those pics came out great! Such cute pups 🙂

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