Sunday, January 23, 2011

Memoir Monday--Week 17

Here we are, at the start of another week. Hard to believe that January is almost over!

Our questions this week are pet/animal related. Oh, April, you don't know what you're asking here!! You thought my list of places I've lived was long! This list will be longer than that; probably even longer than the list of states I have been in!! LOL

What pets did your family have while you were growing up?

Well, my folks raised and showed dogs before I was born, and very early in my childhood. And we have always been very big animal lovers. My pets were my babies!...Then I had children of my own, and, well, my love for animals kind of took "the back seat."

Anyway, from my best recollection, these are the pets we had while I was growing up:
  • Heidi, a beautiful Burnese Mountain Dog. She was such a sweetheart. She had to stay behind when we moved from Michigan to North Carolina, because we knew the climate would be too hot for her.
  • Tinker Bell, Mom's Shetland Sheepdog (which she got before Mom and Dad were married).
  • Several Siberian Huskies; I don't remember how many now, nor all their names
  • A nanny goat, Gold Dust, who had triplets: Kent, Karl, and Karen; and Kim
  • Cats: Boots; Midnight; Fluffy....and I don't remember how many others
  • Guinea Pigs; we raised them to sell
  • Chickens, and Pigeons
  • A couple sassy little ponies
  • Two Welsh Corgis: Dixie and Buster, brother and sister
Most of these animals we had to get rid of when we moved from Michigan to North Carolina. I know we took Dixie, Buster, and Fluffy with us.

After that, we also had:
  • A couple Guinea Pigs, don't remember their names
  • A rabbit, I think; hamsters and gerbils
  • Chilly, a Chinchilla
  • Various cats, whose names I don't recall
  • Kirin and Gidget, Pekingeses, sisters. Kirin was my very first dog.
Buster died from ingesting rat poison or something. We were sad, and angry, over the fact that someone poisoned him like that! I know we had a baby Opossum, and a litter of baby squirrels, that had been rescued.

When we moved to Texas, we had Kirin and Gidget, maybe Dixie; I can't remember for sure. Chilly literally rode on ice, because our car had no air conditioning. Poor little guy, he got so hot, we almost lost him! I am sure we had a cat or two, but I don't remember their names now.

Soon, we also had:
  • Sears and Roebuck (whom I called Bach), brother and sister cats. One day, when my dad was backing out of the driveway, he ran over Bach, who was my kitty. I was so sad about that.
  • Sally, a rabbit
  • Snowball, an Old English Sheepdog
  • Victor, a black Persian cat
When we moved to Alabama, we still had: Kirin, Gidget, Snowball, Victor, Sears, Sally, Chilly. In Alabama, even though we had our yard fenced in, and kept our dogs confined there, neighbor dogs got in, resulting in Snowball and Gidget both having litters of puppies, at the same time! I think we may have had some hamsters, gerbils, a guinea pig or two there, too.

By the time we moved to Louisiana, I think we had just Kirin, Snowball, Victor, maybe Gidget. I am sure we had another cat or two. When we were in Louisiana, I think I had a Parakeet or two. Sometime, Mom got a Balinese kitten, named Elizabeth.

I know while I was away at school, in Tennessee, they gave my Kirin away to an elderly neighbor. A few years later, when I came back home from my brief time in New York, I brought a little dog with me, whom I named Twinkle. She came with us when we moved from Louisiana to Kansas, along with Snowball and Elizabeth. While I was up in British Columbia, my folks moved from Topeka to Shawnee Mission. They gave away Snowball (she went to a farm! where she had animals to herd!), and my little Twinkle to the man next door. They took only Elizabeth.

And that brings us up to the time I was married (the first time.....). When he and I were married, he had a sweet black female kitty, named Charcoal. And I had inherited my uncle's dog after he died in a car accident, just about 3 weeks before our wedding. Chrysanthemum was one of Gidget's puppies.

Describe your best or worst experience with an animal.

When we lived in Texas, my best friend was horse crazy, and introduced me to the love of horses. They had horses, so whenever I went to her house, we rode every chance we had. They were animal lovers, too, just like we were. It was a sad day when we moved away from there!

Probably the worst experience I had with an animal was when I was in 8th grade, when we lived in Alabama. I went over to the house of one of my classmate's one day after school, to go horseback riding with her and her sister. We had a good time riding. Then it was time to put the horses away, and head home.

I decided I wanted to take one last gallop, so I headed down the driveway, turned, and galloped back toward the barn. By this time, the horse was anxious to just get back to the barn, for it's feed, and began galloping faster and faster. Suddenly it began bucking, and threw me off. Totally knocked the wind out of me, and hurt my back so that I literally could not bend over for a week afterward. I've had back problems ever since.

Please stay tuned for more episodes of Memoir Mondays!

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