Wednesday, August 12, 2015

My Pets

When I was a kid my grandfather, who lived with us, had a "Siamese Fighting Fish" he trained to jump out of the water and knock food out of his fingers when he tapped on the side of the aquarium. I named that fish Sir Velvet because he was the color of blue velvet.

I got a pet goldfish that kept jumping out of the fish bowl the first day I had him, so I named the fish Silly.

Later I got a pet hamster and named him Hampstead. The first day I left him outside and he escaped from the cage and disappeared so my mother got me another hamster. I named that one Hamstead.

I was allowed to adopt a stray cat my neighbors had taken in when they moved away. My mother told me it was a boy, but I couldn't see the usual body part that would show that. I wanted a girl cat so I named him Susie.

As an adult I had several other cats, because of my husband's extreme allergy to cat hair, all our pets were dogs after we got married.

We had two deaf dalmatians, Brenda and Buttons, and a story I wrote about one of them is in the Chicken Soup for the Soul book, I Can't Believe My Dog Did That. We chose their names because Brenda means fiery and dalmations are fire dogs, and the spots on their hair look like buttons.

Bungee was a terrier mix and probably half corgi. We chose that name because his tail was striped when he was a puppy and he bounced around a lot. He had a long body, short legs and an undercoat similar to the coloring of corgis. Terriers are bred to kill rodents but corgis are herd dogs. Bungee loved to herd rodents. He'd take care of my daughter's guinia pig when she let it out on the floor.

We got a black mutt on Washington's Birthday, so we named him George. He was a stray found on inner city streets and was apparently brain damaged. He'd jump in the air and catch flies. Even when he caught a yellow jacket and it stung his tongue, he kept on jumping after bugs.

Now a sweet, snuggly poodle-bichon mix sits on my lap a lot. We named her Suds because her curly, white hair looks like soapsuds when she's clean. But she never stays white for long with all the dirt in our yard.

Those aren't the only pets I've had, but those are the most interesting ones.

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