P is for Pets
I've had many pets over the years including an iguana, a sheep, several mules, MANY rabbits, geese, ducks, chickens, turkeys, quail, guineas, guinea pigs, cats, and fish. But most special to me have been the dogs. As I write this, my thoughts are with Alicia and her husband as they have recently lost their dear corgi girl, Audrey.
My very first dog was a Shetland Sheepdog named Kelsey who was also my first obedience dog, though my mom did the training and I did the "let me show you what my dog can do" routine. Kelsie moved with us to the country and lived to a fine old age with help from medication for her thyroid and other conditions.
We had a few other dogs while we still lived in town. Choochoo was an Australian Shepherd hit by a train before we adopted him at the vet's office. Winston was a Bichon Frise I remember as being a little stinky (eye gook) and not that easy to housetrain.
When we moved to the country, we learned about puppy dumping. People think (Lord knows why) that if they dump a puppy (or box of puppies) along with a half-empty bag of food (if you're lucky) in the country, someone will either take care of them or they will get eaten and that will be that. They also dump adult dogs. And thus began a stream of dogs that either ended up staying with us or mom finding homes for them elsewhere where she knew they would be cared for. Millie was memorable for her size (HUGE) and demeanor (ever so gentle, she would nuzzle the tiniest chick into her soft fur and pretend to mother it). My dad had a penchant for beagles so anything that looked remotely beagle-ish stayed in the garage with dad.
Then I started dog training in 4-H. My first obedience dog was Trinka, a tiny balck and white Rat Terrier. (see picture of Trinka in her adorable Parka) Trinka was a sweet, shivery bed warmer and the highest-winning 4-H dog I would ever have, earning 3rd place in the State competition. She died entirely too young (3 years) of acute pancreatitis. I worked my mom's rescue Doberman Chelsea, who was so tired after pumping out God knows how many batches of puppies before coming to live with us that she slowly walked every inch of the obedience exercises but she got them done. She was also a very sweet, motherly like dog who, like Millie, would try to nurse anything smaller then herself. I tried a Jack Russel named Rickie but couldn't deal with her typical terrier dog aggression and we found her a new home where she'd never have to leave the house.
Then I got my first Corgi, Penny. Penny was handful, a very female corgi, which if you don't know corgis means obstinate, opinionated and bossy. But I knew then that I was a corgi person because I liked that about her.
It was at about the same time that my mom started rescue work for a small dog rescue. A slow but steady stream of Chihuahuas, Yorkies, Pomeranians, Poodles, and mixes arrived, were nursed back to health and either stayed with us for their life or found new homes.
To see a little set of photos of these dogs along with a couple of mule pictures (can't dive into the scrapbooks without scanning a few more mules!), check out my flickr.