Sunday, February 10, 2013

All Creatures Great and Small

With some help from some tech friends, I was able to get my scanner again communicating with my computer, so now I can introduce you to, and have a nice record of the pets that have shared their lives with me.
Somewhere I am sure there are some better photos of Skipper.  He is the first dog I remember us having.  And this is him in front of our house in Eastern Washington when we first moved in.  Even before the fence was built across the front yard.  I'm guessing this was about 1955.  He was a wire haired terrier.  A great family dog, and if I could find another one just like him, I would make him mine.
He loved to chase anything you would throw for him for hours, until he was done, then he would take the ball and just go home.  Loved golf balls.  When we moved to the west side, and lived near a golf course, we had a pool membership and would walk up there to swim.  But we had to cross a couple of fairways to get there without going on any streets.  If we didn't lock Skipper in the house, he would sneakily follow us up there, and grab the first golf ball he saw and take off for home.  How many golfers were out there asking themselves where in the heck their ball was.  It was at home, turned into a slobbery mass of rubber band goo.  Once he got all the way to the pool, jumped in, and it was an exodus of fleas from him, and then from the pool everyone screaming!!
He was also super smart. He was put into the garage at night, and he figured out how to get the door open so he could wander at night.  A really wonderful first pet.

I must have been about 19 in this photo.  I moved back home before our wedding and brought this kitty, who was named Kelly.  The cat ended up staying at home since our first apartment did not allow cats.  And her name became Fluffo.  She was probably the prettiest cat I ever had.

And that is sparky.  Yes, a dalmation.  He was a good dog, though not terribly bright....

You know how it is when you get married, or move into your first home, you get pets to exercise your sense of freedom!!!  This is Edna.  The rat.  This was Lynn's choice.  I don't know why.  He hates rodents.

I'll use this space to briefly explain Jeff's first venture into entrepreneurship.  He decided to get a couple of gerbils and when they mated, he would sell them back to the pet store.
It worked well for the first and second litter of baby gerbils.  However....the day he came running up the stairs, gerbil cage in his hands, his blue eyes filled with tears and terror, and his yelling "MOM!!!  She is eating the babies!!!" that our adventure was over.

When we bought our first house, I answered an ad in the paper and brought home a pair of kittens.  This is Jessie.  She was a really sweet grey and white.  This must have been in about 1975.   We didn't have Jessie terribly long, less than a year.  And I do not remember what happened to her.

The afghan was made for me by my Candy Gramma.  I actually remember that bedspread quite fondly....

The other kitten from the litter was this guy.  This is Paco.

He was born with a very crooked tail, with two curves in it.  Poor guy must have been really packed in there with his litter mates.  They had named him Kinker.

We had Paco for 19 years.  Goodness what a long, life he had.  We actually got him a year before Kyle was born.

Never a wanderer, never really caused any trouble.  Loved Lynn totally.  He had a spot on his back near his tail that if you scratched it just right his left leg would start going crazy.  So of course the kids were constantly scratching him there.  He moved with us twice.  The move from Lake Sawyer back into Federal Way was tough.  We had the entire house empty and Lynn had to go back to the Lake Sawyer house to retrieve him.  He so wanted to stay, that he had burrowed himself underneath the three step staircase from the garage into the house.  Lynn had to actually the the steps apart to get him out.  He must have really liked it out there.  I still miss him at time.

Lynn had grown up always wanting a Collie.  So I thought I would fulfill his dream and get him one.  I checked the newspaper regularly, and finally there was an ad for Collies at a place near Lake Sammamish.  This was actually during the time that Ted Bundy was around and the girl had gone missing from there, so I was a little freaked out. Though I was pregnant with Kyle at the time, and even though I had the required long straight hair parted in the middle, I didn't stay away.  This is Shep.  She was a beauty.  Cost I think about $125.  And she was the dumbest dog we ever had.  We thought maybe she was just lonely, so Lynn brought home this puppy pictured with her.  He was enamored with the puppy because he was in a pen with some rabbits at the pet store.  This is Scout.  More on him next.
I took Shep to obedience classes.  I have a photo somewhere of me in all my pregnant glory with Shep on a leash.  She never "got it".  We had a 6 foot cedar fence in the back yard, and she would get out.  Finally I caught her climbing over the gate.  She would get her front paws up on the top and her feet on the cross bracket and then climb over.  And off she would go.  And never come back.  I always had to go and find her.  We found her a new home on a farm.  Where she could run forever.  TRUE!!!  Not just a story to make the kids feel better.

Here I am with Paco in my lap, and a fully coated Shep getting some attention.  In my orange caftan.  Remember those?  Loved it.  Oh, and our book case made of bricks and boards.  So 70's.

Love how I put that plant in that salad bowl...

Remember that little brown puppy on the pillow with Shep?

He grew to be an ENORMOUS dog.  Dear Scout. Here with Kyle.

Kyle might have been about 1 1/2 in this photo.  They did play well together.

Look at that happy face.  And Kyle seems pretty happy too!!!

So, we had Scout for many years, including two more babies.  We moved him out to Lake Sawyer with us.  And somehow he just became too much.  He would run with the kids as they rode their big wheel bikes and knock them over.

I had "won" a rose while selling Tupperware.  I planted it, tended it, watched the buds start to develop and then one morning I walked out the front door to check on it and it was gone.  Right out of the ground.  Scout thought it was a great "stick" apparently.  So Scout had to go to a new home at that point too.

Oh, I almost forgot.  This is Buford.  He was a full
grown pure bred German Shepherd.  Someone was looking for a new home for him, and Lynn said sure. This was before Shep and Scout.  And Kyle.
We had a deck in the back yard, and this dog would run around the perimeter and I was on the deck and bark his head off at me.

Scared the heck out of me

He went to a farm also.

This is Bear Kitty.  This cat.......he was actually the Boy's and Girl's Club cat.  Tammy had brought him in and put him on the pool table one day, and he was chasing the pool balls and immediately adopted to be the club cat.  He lived there for years.  He would sit on the top row of the bleachers and watch basketball games.  If he didn't come in when Lynn called him at night, he had to spend the night out in the woods, and boy would Lynn hear about it in the morning.  He would hear Lynn's car coming down the driveway and would dash out of the woods and YELL at him all the way across the parking lot.  Occasionally he would actually walk out onto the gym floor DURING the game.
As he was getting older, he was getting grumpier.  He made an aggressive move to a little girl when she was reaching for him, and so Lynn thought it would be better to bring him home....with our three boys.  First thing he did was back up and spray the speaker area of the big RCA TV we had.  A few days later, Jeff was running up the stairs, past Bear, and he didn't like it so he jumped up and attached himself to Jeff's back side, and bit him on the butt.  But we persevered.  Turned out he had a bad allergy and his skin was a mess, so we had to medicate him and shave him.  He looked like a LION with his shaggy head and tail, and shaved everywhere else.  Totally humiliated.  We had him for many more years.  He died also at age 18.  The vet wondered how we grew such HUGE cats that had such long life spans.

Funny, I never remember Lynn wearing pj's, but here is the proof.  Maybe I should find another pair. This is Lynn with Kyle and Muffin.

And what a beautiful couch!!

I've always loved orange cats.  Lynn had an orange cat named Puff as a child, so he has loved them too.

He wasn't with us as long as others.  But he wasn't our last orange kitty.

This is a classic photo.  Lynn with his buddies.  Paco, Muffin and Quantas.  Yes, Quantas.  He had the face of a koala bear.

He was abandoned at the Boy's and Girl's club one day.  On the pool table.  So home he came.

Look at those dining room chairs.  And again with the pj's.  And man, look at that hair!!!

Oh my dear Rosie....Truly, tears in the eyes.  She was just the best dog ever.  Lynn and Kyle went to the humane society to get me a dog as a birthday present.  She was in a pen with a sibling, who was very cute, but already spoken for, so they brought home Rosie instead.  She was really MY dog from the get go.  They all made fun of her, saying she was a "dogface".  She was so smart.  This window behind her had two side angled windows.  They had a portion at the bottom that opened out with a hinge out.  You had to pull the handle up and that would unlock it and then push the window open.
One morning when I came home from work, I noticed that the window was open, which was pretty unusual. Also, Rosie had started appearing at the Boy's and Girl's club which was about half a mile from home.  She would go in, look around for the kids, and if they were not there, she would come back home.  If they were there, she would just sit with them, until they brought her home.  Or she would sit in Lynn's office until he came home.  Well, one day, I heard an odd noise and discovered Rosie opening the window, and off she went.  What was really interesting is that about two weeks later, I discovered that Wendall, the CAT could also open the window and leave......So who taught it to whom??????
We moved Rosie to our home in Sterling Park.  It was a two story house, and she would sleep on the step where she could see the front door, while I slept, working graveyard.  If I was in the yard, she was in the yard.  If I was in the sewing room, she was in the sewing room.  It was when no one was home that she would go looking for her people.
One Fourth of July, we were gone and she had gone looking.  A friend of ours spotted her wandering.  He couldn't corral her but he was able to coax her to run alongside his car as he guided her back home.

When we moved to Lynden, she was blind in one eye, deaf and fading fast.  But I just couldn't bear moving without her.  It was so unfair.  She went from being in an environment where she could find her way around by smell to an area, where we had to walk her with a leash.  She was so unhappy.  And just about 5 months after we moved, she had a stroke and poor Lynn found her and had to take her to see the new vet.  She was just the best dog ever.  She was with us for 16 years.

This is Patches.  This was Jeff's cat.  He had brought her home, and then joined the army.    Payback I guess for the animals I had left at my Mom's.  Patches had one job.  Hunting.  I used to come home from work in the morning and first I found a HUGE earthworm on the kitchen floor.  EWE!!!  Then it was a garter snake.... turned out Patches was bringing in presents for me.  She brought in rodents which would drive Kyle and Lynn crazy.  They really would scream like little girls and jump up on chairs.  Thankfully, Rosie was quick, and she would catch them and hold them long enough for me to dispose of them.  The bunny population went way down with Patches around.  And the birds.  I would praise her when she would get moles.  We used to joke that one day  she would be dragging one of the horses from the pasture behind us through the cat door.
Sadly she disappeared.  Turned out, the neighbor spotted a huge owl up in a tree behind us, and we are guessing the Patches got what she gave.....

Ah Wendall.

He was such a fine cat.  When he was first brought home we were told he was a SHE.  And we named her Wendy, after the Beach Boy's song.  When she was about 6 months old and walking away from us, we noticed that she was ummmmmm....a HE!!  And so he became Wendall.

This was taken in the master bath at our house in Sterling Park.  We moved him to Lynden with us.  He was pretty happy.  But then he stopped eating for some reason.  He would act hungry, sniff at his food and lick it a bit, but then walk away.  Turned out his poor teeth were horrible.  His gums were infected, and despite a couple of rounds of antibiotics, the infection was too much.  I still feel so very guilty about him, and ALL my cats get an inspection of their teeth and gums every few months, and are required to eat dry food, which apparently helps to keep their teeth healthier.

Which brings us to Dutch.  Our next ginger kitty.
Once again, this was intended to be a Christmas gift to me.  Lynn had gone to the Humane society again, and said he was looking for a kitten.  As he as being shown throw the 'cathouse', a paw came out of an upper cage and tapped him on the shoulder.  The volunteer at the center turned and Lynn said, "looks like I have been selected"....and Dutch came home that day.  He was about 11 months old at the time.  If you look really closely you can see right on the top of his head a dark spot.  I thought it was a dirty spot and tried a few times to clean it off, until I realized it was just a spot of dark fur.  Good grief.  His name came from the fact that we lived in Lynden, a town that was started by a group of  Dutch Reformed.  We were never reformed, but he became Dutch.

And finally we have Rocco.  Once AGAIN, this was supposed to be a Christmas gift for me (just once, I'd like to pick out my own kitty).  Lynn chose her at the Humane Society again.  She was advertised to be a female, which they had named Holly since she was found on Holly Street in Bellingham.  Turned out to be a male, and they called him when they discovered this and said he could pick him up a few days early, since HE was already neutered and ready to go.  The weather was iffy at the time, but Lynn headed into Bellingham to pick him up.  And it started to snow.  And MAN!!!  It turned into a blizzard while he was gone to pick him up.  I didn't know where he had gone and he wasn't answering his phone.  Suddenly he came through the garage door looking like someone had died.  He said that he had gone to pick up my Christmas present and got caught in a white out situation.  The windshield wipers had frozen, so he had his head out the window to see where he was going and his favorite Husky ballcap had flown off.  The cat in the box in the back seat was meowing like crazy, but he finally made it home in one piece.  And here, this is your present......Poor Rocco.  He had that horrible cough.  Had to have another round of antibiotics.  And we had paid for a sterilization that he had already had...hmmmm......but we did find Lynn's hat a few days later, by the side of the road.  And Rocco and Dutch made the move to California and really love it.  Rocco has made more friends here in Yountville than either "Jay" or I.

We had a few more cats in and out, but I have no photos.

Jay keeps saying this is it!!!  Sadly he is always the one to take care of their end of life care.  But I think I have one more dog in me, and maybe at least one more cat.  We'll see.

1 comment:

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

wow - lots of pets and you have pictures too - that is great.