A number of the e mails I have been reading lately have been about furred family members. I have always loved dogs and cats. There have been very few years of my life that have not been graced by the company of either furry friend and usually both. My first dog was a black lab mix who, not very imaginatively, I named, Blackie. I was about two when I chose him from a litter and he stayed with us until we moved when I was eight. I never did know what happened to him. Was he abandoned, taken to another home, put to sleep? I never forgot him and never had an answer to my question. By the time I asked my father, he couldn't remember.
We had various other dogs and cats while I was a home but the first that was my very own was Lady, a very intelligent mixed breed. She was a pretty dog about the size of a spaniel and the markings of a collie. She was the smartest dog I have ever owned. (Sorry, Heidi but it is the truth) She lived to be almost 20 and I thought I would never get over having to put her to sleep. A stray tortiose shell cat, Morris was already part of the household and she missed her companion as well. A few years later, I got Missy, a Maltese. They both lived to a good age and then joined Lady. And I once again grieved. My son brought me a lovely little orange kitty, Sandy, which helped. When I married and moved west, Rick took him back into his home and he grew into one huge cat.
In Edmonton, we took in another stray who we named Pascha which gradually changed to Tascha. Tascha was a real gentleman who never pushed but always was there to give a cuddle when it was needed. He used to wait by the door when I came home, walked on a leash and would sit and come on command. We were blessed by him for pver 18 years but when we decided to move east, we knew the trip would be to hard for him. We had him cremated and his ashes and photo sit where I can see them when I wake up. His photos are everywhere and I still find strands of his white hair on my fabric. It has been over a year and I still miss his dear face.
And now we have Heidi, a very energetic and stubborn westiepoo. Not, perhaps, the best choice of dog for an aging couple but she seems happy and healthy. I know the day will come when we will have to do what is best for her and send her on her way. Until them, however, I will enjoy every minute that we have her although a little less when she chews up my shoes.