The members of my immediate family are animal lovers. Most of my cousins and my Aunt Linda all love animals, too. If we happen upon a stray dog or cat, we take it in and care for it, or we make sure it goes to a good home. We will happily dog sit, or cat sit, feed your fish or lizard, and you can go and enjoy your holiday knowing that we are caring for your animals.
I was thinking about our history with animals. I didn’t have a pet until I was ten years old. My parents would not allow a fish bowl, much less an indoor dog or cat. I remember when I got my first dog. Some kids from the next block were carrying some adorable mutt puppies around the neighborhood looking for a home for them. I took one in my arms and fell in love with him. Fortunately, my mom was inside on the telephone, so when I went in to ask her if I could keep him, she smiled and nodded. She really wasn’t paying any attention to me and didn’t realize what I was requesting. The nod was a “yes” to me, so that’s how I got Lucky for the first time in my life! Yeah, I named him Lucky. He was so cute and I loved playing with him. I made him a bed on the covered patio in the back yard and spent many hours outside with him. He wasn’t allowed inside. Sadly, Lucky didn’t live up to his name. He was killed three months later by the tornado that ripped through our house and only left us alive by the grace of God and sturdy bathroom walls. That’s a whole ‘nother story, though. A neighbor later told me that she had found him and buried him for me.
A year later, my parents gave us a Cocker Spaniel for Christmas. My little brothers names him Kris Kringle and we called him Kris. He was blonde and beautiful and he lived outdoors, also. Dave and Don were constantly sneaking him in and playing with him in their room, and Kris loved it because he always found lots to eat under Don’s bed. In the summer he would take a dip in the pool everyday, then dry himself off on our mom’s azaleas. He loved our neighbor’s Golden Retriever, he loved beer, and he especially loved cheese. He could be running after a squirrel, going seventy miles an hour, and we could say “Cheeeeeese?” and he would stop dead in his tracks. Often he would run away and end up a couple of miles away, across a busy highway and in some office supply store where they always fed him doughnuts before they called us to come pick him up! Kris was with us for about seven years and then one day he disappeared. We never saw him again. Dave thought he had found him, once, across town, but it wasn’t Kris.
Part Two tomorrow.