February 27, 2011

Your Childhood Pets - Week 9 of 52 Weeks of Sharing Memories

Pets. This is our topic for Week 9 of our Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey I hope you're sharing your memories along with me. Make them private or public in your own blog or comment here on this blog post, but please write! Your memories are important and should be shared with future generations. Think how excited genealogists are when we find a long-ago ancestor's journal or letter or diary. Now it's your turn to record your memories and thoughts for your descendants.

* What pets did you have growing up? A dog? A cat? A turtle? Goldfish? Birds? Hamster?

* What were your pets' names and who named them?

* Who was your favorite pet?

* Did your pet do any tricks?

* Who took care of your pet? You? Your mom? Someone else?

* Where did your pet sleep?

* What ceremony (if any) did you have when a pet died?

We always had dogs. My father loved dogs and was always bringing home a puppy. My mom wasn't too crazy about having a dog since she had to do most of the work, so she'd eventually find a reason to have the dog put down. A few weeks would go by and in would come dad with a new puppy!

The new puppy slept in a cardboard box with a towel, alarm clock and hot water bottle. The box was always placed beside our oil furnace which was in the living room.

The first dog I really remember well was Tinker. He was a small dog, what my dad called a Heinz 57. He bit me once and I still have the scar on my finger. But he was a great dog and I remember sitting on the stairs crying the day my dad told me Tinker was sick and had to be put down.

I also had the traditional goldfish and turtles. I loved my goldfish, and would put them in the bathtub (a big old claw-foot tub) to swim while I cleaned out their bowl. I'd watch them for hours!

My turtles were fun. I had a tiny plastic tray for them. I think it was a typical turtle "habitat" with an island in the middle and kind of a moat around the outside. That was back in the days before people knew that turtles could give you a nasty disease.

We never had cats as my mom was allergic and my dad hated them. But when I was about 9 a neighbour was giving away kittens so I fibbed and told her I was allowed to have one. I brought it home and put it in a suitcase in my bedroom closet. I propped the lid of the suitcase open a bit for air and brought the kitten bread and milk.

Eventually my parents found out, I suppose because my poor mother was having bad allergic attacks! Or perhaps they heard it meowing.... I do seem to recall that the neighbour eventually came by to ask how the kitten was working out - maybe that was when they found out!

In a true case of poetic justice I developed a severe allergy to cats in later life and can't go anywhere near them now.

As an adult I have almost always had a dog as a pet. Now I live in the country on a hobby farm and have a donkey (I used to have two but one died), pigs, chickens, guinea fowl and two dogs. We used to have rabbits, turkeys and sheep too. We became the dumping ground for unwanted or found animals - ducks, geese, rabbits - you name it. We often came home from town to find new animals, especially baby animals, in our barn. I guess you could say animals are a pretty big part of my life.

What about you?

No comments: