Tomorrow a momentous event will be happening in the Wright household. We’ll be picking up our new Boxadore puppy from the breeder. Queen Annabelle, as she has been dubbed by those who have interacted with her, is almost 7 weeks old and is about as cute as puppies come…puppy breath and all. The event is momentous because it’s been almost 7 years since we have had a dog. It’s hard to replace the perfect pet so we’ve all been leery about getting a new dog. (ok Tim was opposed and the three girls were leery) The pet situation got me thinking about pets I had as a child.
The first pet I can remember having was a Beagle named Charley. There are pictures of Charley and I together at 2 or so. The only thing I really remember about Charley is when he ran away after we picked him up from the vet. It must have been extremely frustrating for my parents to have just paid an enormous vet bill and then have said pet runaway. Guess it ensured there would be no more enormous vet bills for Charley.
The second pet I remember (and my most fond memory because we had her for so long) was Cleo (aka Cleopatra) She was a chocolate point Siamese cat we received as a gift from a psychiatrist. My brother, Matthew, had been hit by a car when he was 4. The psychiatrist said the best hope for his recovery would be for Matthew to have a pet take care of. My parents couldn’t afford a pet at the time, so the psychiatrist said if my folks would cat sit her Siamese cat, we could have one of the kittens. I don’t know if the kittens were born under our supervision or before they came to stay with us but we have pictures of them in our basement. Cleo was amazing! She lived 18 years before she was hit by a car in our neighborhood in Arizona. Ironic that a car brought her into our lives and a car took her away. Our neighbor, Dr. Mowrer, found her and came over to tell our family the dreaded news. He was so sweet. He actually buried her right there where she had been killed.
The third pet I remember was our dog Brutus. He was a puppy of one of my grandfather’s hunting dogs, a Britney Spaniel. She was about the dumbest dog I’ve ever met—the reason I say so is she ate one of her puppies. I’ve been told that is normal and they usually do so because something is wrong with the pup and it’s going to die anyway. Brutus didn’t live long—we kids were out riding our bikes when Brutus got out of the yard and followed us. I had jaywalked across the street and Brutus had started to follow me but stopped midway through the intersection. Matt was on one side while I was on the other and poor Brutus was stuck in the middle while we both screamed at him. Matt yelled, “Brutus, come here!” while I yelled, “Brutus, go home!” He never had a chance and within minutes had taken on playing chicken with a car. Well, I’m sure you can just imagine who won that battle. Matthew carried Brutus home sobbing the whole way. Apparently, the dog was just as dumb as his mom.
The final dog I remember having in Illinois was Rex. He was part husky, part wolf and had more hair than a wholly mammoth. Rexy, as we lovingly called him, would lay out on the snow banks in the middle of winter during a blizzard. The memory of Rex I loved best was taking empty ice cream tubs from the ice cream shop, knocking out the bottom and placing the newly made ring around his neck like a collar. We had to find a new home for Rex when we moved to Arizona because there was no way he would have survived the 115 degree heat with all that hair.
So, while I’m looking forward to Annabelle coming tomorrow—Tim is dreading what might happen to Annabelle that will bring tears (think Cleo and Brutus) or what will bring frustration (think having to leave Rex behind when we moved). I’ve tried to encourage him to just enjoy each day that we have her while we have it. Pets are to be enjoyed and although we are extremely sad when they leave us we must remember today has enough sorrows of its own– and as Cori ten Boom said, “worrying about today doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sadness, it only drains today of its strength.” And we’re going to need all the strength we can get with all the shoes that will get eaten, baseboards that will be chewed on, and carpet that will be watered with uh, well, you know. So here’s to Annabelle…the newest member of the Wright family.