“Do you have animals in your life? If yes, what do they mean to you? If no, why have you opted not to?” —WordPress Daily Prompt
The Lioness and I have been blessed with the company of 4 dogs and 6 cats, in one combination or another, over the last 37 years. They have been, and still are, a wonderful addition to our lives and they have been a source of continuity in the greater tableau of life. Their presence and antics have been a way of marking time and defining events as life goes by.
It all started innocently enough after a night with friends at a German wine-tasting event. Our son was 7 years old and had asked us to get a dog, any dog. I was dragging my feet about the idea for no other reason than it was new and I was unsure if the dog would affect his allergies. I finally agreed to get a pup, but I had one stipulation: I always wanted a Weimaraner, if we could find one we would bring it home.
The Lioness didn’t know anything about Weimaraners, she was even unsure what they looked like – advantage to Allan. We happened to live across the street from a Public Library – game, set and match to the Lioness.
The next day we were at the Humane Society looking for a dog – advantage Allan: what were the chances of finding a Weimie at the Pound? Better than you would think, my friend.
As we walked through the Pound we were greeted by barking, bouncing, manic dogs. They seemed to know what the Final Solution was if they did not get adopted and they were doing their best to sell themselves to prospective families. We approached a cage that housed 2 dogs, a cute, furry mutt bouncing at the gate and a sleek brown hound with a white blaze on her broad chest. She was sitting quietly, wagging just the tip of her tail on the ground and we were both smitten.
That is how Goldie entered our lives, quietly and with pure love. She was a Weimaraner/Great Dane mix who topped out at 110 pounds and she never had a grumpy day in her life. One might say that she was a dumb dog but she got us to do whatever she needed to have done and, in return, provided companionship and security to us 24/7.
The arrangement worked for 11 years and when her heart gave out at the emergency vet clinic it marked the end of a chapter of life for me. I realized for the first time how my thoughts of the past were bookmarked with excerpts of Goldie’s life:
- Goldie loved to ride in the car. The Lioness drove a ’72 Monte Carlo and she could be spotted around town driving with the windows down, her long hair blowing behind her in the breeze, while across the seat Goldie’s head was out the window and her long ears were flapping behind in that same slipstream.
- Goldie stopped an intruder from breaking into our house one night while I was away from home working.
- There was the time we were camping above Telluride when she and Daisy (our German Short-haired Pointer) engaged in a baby chipmunk-eating contest.
- Goldie even alerted us to a fire that started in our furnace, with a low, blood-chilling growl and a menacing crawl down the stairs toward the flickering light.
I have come to realize that, for me, our pets are time capsules. That is to say that I look at them and think of times past, of friends lost and found, and quiet times spent together with feelings, not words. Something that they do today reminds me of something that happened back-in-the-day. Perhaps it is my age or perhaps it is that I am starting to pay attention to life, I find a lot of love and hope in our furry friends.
We now have 2 cats, the Krazy Kalico and Squeaky, the Russian Blue. They keep each other company and keep us entertained and awash in affection. The Kalico spends about a third of her day showering me with attention and then devotes the rest of her day to my wife.
Squeaky is totally enamored with the Lioness and spends about 10% of her time with me. She seems to have issues with men, as if something happened in her former life before we found each other. We are getting better, together, at her pace and that is enough for now.
The Krazy Kalico was adopted at our local Humane Society and Squeaky was adopted from a private Rescue center. If you, or someone you know, is considering adopting an animal, I recommend going to your local Humane Society/Rescue Center first. There are a lot of wonderful animals waiting to be placed in loving homes.
Photo notes: Both of these photos were taken with my iPhone 5 using the Camera+ app and then edited with Snapseed.