Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Humans are Pack Animals too.

When I was 8, my parents rescued a puppy and brought her home. She was a ginger and white coloured, floppy-earded dog with a beagle-like appearance. We named her Sandy. She was a mutt and I loved her. She had this weird behaviour when it came to milk bones. She'd bury them. The only thing wrong with that, is that she'd bury them in the house while we watched. I don't know if she wasn't too bright herself or if she simply thought that we weren't too bright. She'd take the milk bone, crawl underneath the tv cart and in full view of anyone watching tv, she'd pretend to dig a hole in the carpet, drop the milk bone into the imaginary hole and then kick imaginary dirt into the hole.

Sometimes, if she were feeling coy, I suppose, she'd take the milk bones and disappear with them; down the hallway to my parents' room. There, she'd pull the bedspread from my mother's pillow, shove the milk bone underneath and then attempt to pull the spread back into place. It ticked me off; she made bed better than I could.

I liked taking her for walks with my friend Cathy. Cathy had a dog named Ginger who was also a ginger and white coloured, floppy-eared dog with a beagle-like appearance. Except that Ginger was short and fat and always had something hanging from her teats... Professional puppy maker, that dog. And she thought Sandy was her spawn; and maybe Sandy was, because Sandy behaved just as if Ginger were her mother.

One day as I stepped out my front door, to take Sandy for a walk, the neighbour across the street let out his doberman pinscher puppy; which saw or smelled Sandy and made a bee-line for her. She went for Sandy and Ginger intervened. Ginger went straight for the jugular on that dobie. Which was really surprising because Ginger was less than half the size of the doberman. It took three of us to get the dogs off of each other and Ginger had gotten the worst of it, by far. But the doberman was going to think twice about going after one of Ginger's offspring again; that's for sure.

I went away on a trip and when I came home, my Dad took me into the living room and sat me on his lap. It was then he told me that Sandy had been killed in an accident. She'd been hit by Cathy's older sister's new motorcycle.

They say that losing a pet is like losing a child. I was just a kid when I lost Sandy, but as an adult I have lost another puppy this time to a fire, and although I've never lost a child, (in contrast to occasionally wanting to lose one or four), I imagine it certainly is at least as intense a feeling.

The relationship between people and their animals is one of companionship. One of love, of mutual need and respect and certainly one that truly epitomizes the concept of family. Ok, I suppose that a snapping turtle, which lots of people keep as pets, aren't about to cuddle up with you and lay their head on the pillow beside yours to sleep, still, they have a relationship with the people they interact with.

I've met enormous parrots with vocabularies that will put more than a few five year olds to shame. I've dealt with snakes who know their handlers by smell and are oddly friendly to them. I've held a mynah bird that calls its owner "Mommy". I've seen domesticated cats, dogs, chickens, iguanas and parrots interact as if they were all the same species. I personally, single-handedly populated Richmond, BC with gerbils that the current residents of the island simply believe are field mice and I've taught a pet rat named Ralph to drink beer and sit on my head.

Our pets listen to our troubles when we are sad and share our joys when we are happy and there is no better tribute to our domesticated pals than a website dedicated to loving our critter friends.

Now I must admit that so far, Petlvr.com [The Blog] has been primarily concentrating on standard animals; You know, cats, dogs and dolphins. From what I can glean from the blog, Hart and Yvonne are the proud family of two papillons, Maxie and Sophie and a cat named Zeus.

Personally, you couldn't pay me to have a cat. Not half because Greg and at least one child are allergic, but because I've only ever met one cat that was worth allowing to breathe my air and I believe that cat thought it was a dog. I like to joke that cat's would make a great fricasee, but sometimes when I get hungry, I look longingly at the neighbour's cat and my mouth waters.

Pet lovers will find some useful information and key resources at Petlvr.com [The Blog]. And you'll find a slew of photos of really cute baby animals. This one:



reminds me of a much older (read grayer) Ralph.

And this one:



reminds me of how I feel everytime I think about losing my webmaster.

2 comments:

Raven Magic said...

Guapo the Calico Cat thinks he's a dog, Tina. Surely this must mean there are 'two' cats that you are willing to suffer. ;-)

Of course, that cat being very doglike is obviously my influence as he was very catlike when he first arrived 2 years ago at the age of 7 years. Now he's very canine in his approach to life, does dog tricks on demand, and does a few other neat things ...

Oh wait ... as I'm thinking about this, I realize that with each passing day he's becoming more childlike as I use Magic 1-2-3 (discipline technique) regularly and successfully on the feline.

Hmmmmm, I wonder ... I wonder ...

;-)

FTS said...

You're right. Our pets really do become part of our families. I can't recall one single pet that didn't affect me when they died -- even the ornery ones.

The little feline that I ow-- er, that owns me -- is so human-like in her personality sometimes. She actually more like a dog with grace and arrogance added.