Chapter 6-4 Pets
I have had many pets during my life, many of these were family pets. I have five children who have always had hamsters, cats and dogs. We also raised tropical fish – although I don’t think I ever took a fish for a walk!
Before we moved to the farm during my 5th grade, we did not have pets. Once on the farms, I acquired a pet calf, a horse named scouts (a paint), and a Guinea Pig. I took him to school and left him in my coat pocket. He promptly chewed his way out.
We had many cats, but only my sister made pets of them. They were usually barn cats. My sisters cat Ricky was the only one allowed in the house.
I had pet dogs. Joy was a Collie, Babe was a Red-Bone coon dog, Sparky was a Springer Spaniel, and Sandy was a Cocker Spaniel. Joy and Sparky were killed by cars. I had to put Sandy down. He became deaf, blind and vicious. I found Sparky at Richwood Motor Speedway. He was running down the middle of the track during a race. I jumped the fence and rescued him. He only had three legs.
My grandfather raced and hunted coon dogs. My Red-Bone “Babe” was housed with Grandpa’s others. My grandfather purchased an abandoned one-room schoolhouse. He kept his feed and hunting gear, there and each dog had its own dog-house in an enclosed area. We would exercise them daily, but putting them on extended leashes, holding the leashes from the car window with the dogs running alongside.
The dogs we had after I got married were Sergeant a German Shepherd (died of throat cancer). Missy, a rat terrier. Both Sergeant and Missy were acquired in Utah. I left Missy with my parents on the farm when we went to England. When we got back, my Dad would not give her back. In England we had a pair of male dogs, Ruff and Rolf, a type of English Sheep Dog. Their full names were “His Lordhip, Sir Nigel Ruff, Earl of St. Clovius”, and “His Lordhip, Sir Basil Ralph, the Duke of St Clovius”. Our next door neighbor had a son named Nigel. She would call him in from playing “Nigel, Time to come home.” I would then call out “Nigel, Basil, time for dinner.” I don’t think my neighbor liked me!
After England, we went to Texas where we acquired “M’Lady”, a mixed breed. We named her after a character in a TV puppet show in England, Lady Penelope in Thunderbirds. Her chauffer always addressed her as “M’Lady.” We gave her away to friends when we left Texas.
Our next and last dog was Sebastian, a mix-breed, but small. He had an undercoat and was very hard to groom. He got very ill and we had to have him put down. Like Sparky, I also found Sebastian at a auto race, the Columbus 500 Grand Prix. He was trotting across the town street bridge during time trials. I jumped the barrier and scooped him up. Took him home, locked him in the garage. When I got home, Mary told me that a stray dog had gotten locked in the garage, but she turned him loose. I searched the neighborhood and found him. We could never housebreak him, so I built him a doghouse and he stayed outside.