The joy of animal companions!

DogsNicola here talking about animal companions. Something I’ve noticed quite a lot during lockdown is the number of people who have been getting a dog to keep them company. The prices of pedigree puppies have soared; lots of people have posted excitedly on social media about the pleasure of getting new pets. It’s wonderful if caring for an animal has brought people the benefit of companionship, exercise and uncritical love (maybe not in the case of cats) but this did also set off some warning bells for me.

We all know that a pet is forever not just for Lockdown.

There is no doubt, though, that the antics of various animals have lifted the spirits of a lot of us. My new favourite online stars are Dandies
Olive and Mabel
, two Labradors belonging to the sports commentator Andrew Cotter. His deadpan commentaries of their various activities are very funny and the dogs are utterly adorable. Lots of people have dropped into my Facebook page to see various photos and videos of Angus as we go out and about together, and my writing friend Kate Hardy is posting a diary of her progress training her new spaniel puppy, Dexter. I spend a lot longer that I should watching cute cat videos on Twitter and I’m sure there are plenty of other pets out there doing wonderful cheering things – rabbits, ferrets, even fish making their owners happy.

220px-Cat_birds_MAN_Napoli_Inv9993We know that animals at pets have been around for a long time. Not all domestic animals are pets, of course, if you define a pet as an animal kept purely for pleasure. Whilst dogs were the first domesticated animals, it’s not actually clear if they were the first pets. Generally, they had to work in some capacity, as did cats. There is archaeological evidence that both dogs and cats were buried with their owners and sometimes in their own high-status graves, but there is no way of knowing the reason for this special treatment.

We do know that the Romans kept lapdogs as pets some 2000 years ago. The most popular was the Melitan Melitan which is depicted in drawings and described in texts. From this we know that it was small, fluffy and white with a pointed, fox-like face. Lap dogs continued to be popular pets, for ladies in particular, through the middle ages and into the 17th century. Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, was frequently pictured with a small dog and was famous for the anecdote that when she had been forced to flee for her life in 1620 she had accidentally left her young son behind but had made sure all her pets were safely in the carriage with her!

Men preferred to claim that they kept dogs for working as hunting or guard dogs. However, the role of a “working” and a pet dog often overlapped. Prince Rupert’s famous dog Boye was a type of standard poodle that was supposedly a hunting dog but was also very much a pet and a mascot for the Royalists during the English Civil War. Rupert was also famous for having tamed a pet hare whilst in captivity! How the hare and the pet dog got on together is not recorded.

800px-The_Cat's_LunchPet-keeping became more widespread in the 18th century but it was the Victorians who really popularised pet dogs and the establishment of the Kennel Club and Crufts dog show date from this period. But what about cats? Whilst dogs were domesticated first in order to perform specific tasks, research suggests that cats took the decision to become domesticated, changing their temperament (slightly) from being solitary animals to tolerating human interaction. I love that cats chose to become pets because they could see the benefits! If dogs were kept initially as hunting animals, cats became useful to humans when they settled and needed animals to control pests like rats and mice. However, the cat decided to move into the home rather than existing alongside humans in its wild state; we all know that a cat chooses to be a pet whilst a dog is grateful! The 19th century picture on the left is called "The Cat's Lunch" and just about sums up the cat's expectations and also the relative position of the dog in the household!

Squirrels became popular as pets in America in the 18th and 19th century. Benjamin Franklin Animals-5-Holbein-001wrote an ode to one in 1722. Squirrels were sold in markets and found homes with wealthy families. Many portraits show children posing with a squirrel on a gold chain leash. People loved their cheeky attitude (as exemplified by Squirrel Nutkin in Beatrix Potter’s books) as well as their cute fluffiness. The picture on the right is by Holbein and shows a 16th century lady with a pet squirrel. She also has a starling on her shoulder; both were kept as pets by the aristocracy in the period but in the painting they are also symbolic, as animals in paintings so often are.

Johann_Georg_Seitz_Gemüsestilleben_mit_HäschenOther animals such as rabbits came late to being pets. Kept for their meat and fur, the rabbit moved into the pet world in the 19th century and these days is popular as an animal that can be house-trained and answer to its name. Ferrets also moved from being working animals to pets in the Victorian period.  In contrast the guinea pig became a pet much earlier, in the 16th century, when they were especially popular at the Elizabethan court! (Picture below of a Tudor child with a guinea pig, and her brother with a pet finch, which he looks as though he is holding rather tightly!)

After the dog, it is probably the fish that has the longest history as a domesticated pet, since they have been kept for over 4000 years. Like so many pets they originated as food animals but the more decorative ones such as goldfish were bred and kept simply for their beauty.

Various eccentric people have, of course, had eccentric pets through history.  Lord Byron, having been banned from keeping a dog Earliest guinea pig whilst at University in Cambridge, chose to share his lodging with a tame bear instead. The 16th century astronomer Tycho Brahe had a tame moose which would trot alongside his carriage like a dog. It also attended his parties and developed a taste for beer. French poet Gerard de Nerval had a pet lobster whom he walked on a blue ribbon leash.  He said: “lobsters are peaceful, serious creatures, who know the secrets of the sea and don’t bark”.

A variety of pets have been our companion animals for a long, long time. When times are tough they give us particular support and comfort. They are special; members of our family, close to us and much loved. It's rather nice to look back through history and see that the relationship between people and their animal companions has such a rich and affectionate past.

Do you have any animal companions or have you found any new online stars like Olive and Mabel to lift the spirits during lock down?

 

115 thoughts on “The joy of animal companions!”

  1. I found the “squirrels as pets” interesting. I can see that. I think they are pretty smart. They have done well adjusting to modern life. Their only natural enemy seems to be cars. Even the hawks have a hard time catching them.
    I wish I could have a dog, but it wouldn’t be fair to the poor thing. I do have a sweet little calico cat though. She is very loving and very vocal. She talks to me all day long. Sometimes I think I even know what she is saying (smile).
    Also, videos of babies and animals cheer me up quicker than anything.

    Reply
  2. I found the “squirrels as pets” interesting. I can see that. I think they are pretty smart. They have done well adjusting to modern life. Their only natural enemy seems to be cars. Even the hawks have a hard time catching them.
    I wish I could have a dog, but it wouldn’t be fair to the poor thing. I do have a sweet little calico cat though. She is very loving and very vocal. She talks to me all day long. Sometimes I think I even know what she is saying (smile).
    Also, videos of babies and animals cheer me up quicker than anything.

    Reply
  3. I found the “squirrels as pets” interesting. I can see that. I think they are pretty smart. They have done well adjusting to modern life. Their only natural enemy seems to be cars. Even the hawks have a hard time catching them.
    I wish I could have a dog, but it wouldn’t be fair to the poor thing. I do have a sweet little calico cat though. She is very loving and very vocal. She talks to me all day long. Sometimes I think I even know what she is saying (smile).
    Also, videos of babies and animals cheer me up quicker than anything.

    Reply
  4. I found the “squirrels as pets” interesting. I can see that. I think they are pretty smart. They have done well adjusting to modern life. Their only natural enemy seems to be cars. Even the hawks have a hard time catching them.
    I wish I could have a dog, but it wouldn’t be fair to the poor thing. I do have a sweet little calico cat though. She is very loving and very vocal. She talks to me all day long. Sometimes I think I even know what she is saying (smile).
    Also, videos of babies and animals cheer me up quicker than anything.

    Reply
  5. I found the “squirrels as pets” interesting. I can see that. I think they are pretty smart. They have done well adjusting to modern life. Their only natural enemy seems to be cars. Even the hawks have a hard time catching them.
    I wish I could have a dog, but it wouldn’t be fair to the poor thing. I do have a sweet little calico cat though. She is very loving and very vocal. She talks to me all day long. Sometimes I think I even know what she is saying (smile).
    Also, videos of babies and animals cheer me up quicker than anything.

    Reply
  6. Wonderful post, Nicola. Animals are such a source of comfort and joy, aren’t they.
    My next-door neighbor got a new labradoodle puppy, who is adorable and quite a rascal. He delights in racing up and down the back lawn behind our houses, turning somersalts and and being an all-around ham. I love watching him from my writing room,and of course have to take a break to play with him.

    Reply
  7. Wonderful post, Nicola. Animals are such a source of comfort and joy, aren’t they.
    My next-door neighbor got a new labradoodle puppy, who is adorable and quite a rascal. He delights in racing up and down the back lawn behind our houses, turning somersalts and and being an all-around ham. I love watching him from my writing room,and of course have to take a break to play with him.

    Reply
  8. Wonderful post, Nicola. Animals are such a source of comfort and joy, aren’t they.
    My next-door neighbor got a new labradoodle puppy, who is adorable and quite a rascal. He delights in racing up and down the back lawn behind our houses, turning somersalts and and being an all-around ham. I love watching him from my writing room,and of course have to take a break to play with him.

    Reply
  9. Wonderful post, Nicola. Animals are such a source of comfort and joy, aren’t they.
    My next-door neighbor got a new labradoodle puppy, who is adorable and quite a rascal. He delights in racing up and down the back lawn behind our houses, turning somersalts and and being an all-around ham. I love watching him from my writing room,and of course have to take a break to play with him.

    Reply
  10. Wonderful post, Nicola. Animals are such a source of comfort and joy, aren’t they.
    My next-door neighbor got a new labradoodle puppy, who is adorable and quite a rascal. He delights in racing up and down the back lawn behind our houses, turning somersalts and and being an all-around ham. I love watching him from my writing room,and of course have to take a break to play with him.

    Reply
  11. What a great post, Nicola! I particularly like you comments about cats. *G* And I’m wondering about the walking speed of pet lobsters. And how long are they healthy outside water????

    Reply
  12. What a great post, Nicola! I particularly like you comments about cats. *G* And I’m wondering about the walking speed of pet lobsters. And how long are they healthy outside water????

    Reply
  13. What a great post, Nicola! I particularly like you comments about cats. *G* And I’m wondering about the walking speed of pet lobsters. And how long are they healthy outside water????

    Reply
  14. What a great post, Nicola! I particularly like you comments about cats. *G* And I’m wondering about the walking speed of pet lobsters. And how long are they healthy outside water????

    Reply
  15. What a great post, Nicola! I particularly like you comments about cats. *G* And I’m wondering about the walking speed of pet lobsters. And how long are they healthy outside water????

    Reply
  16. There is such joy in videos of babies and animals! Your cat sounds adorable, Mary.
    One of our neighbours has a pet grey squirrel named “Squirrelina” by her children. She’s a vet and it was a rescue that became domesticated. I do think they are extremely cute!

    Reply
  17. There is such joy in videos of babies and animals! Your cat sounds adorable, Mary.
    One of our neighbours has a pet grey squirrel named “Squirrelina” by her children. She’s a vet and it was a rescue that became domesticated. I do think they are extremely cute!

    Reply
  18. There is such joy in videos of babies and animals! Your cat sounds adorable, Mary.
    One of our neighbours has a pet grey squirrel named “Squirrelina” by her children. She’s a vet and it was a rescue that became domesticated. I do think they are extremely cute!

    Reply
  19. There is such joy in videos of babies and animals! Your cat sounds adorable, Mary.
    One of our neighbours has a pet grey squirrel named “Squirrelina” by her children. She’s a vet and it was a rescue that became domesticated. I do think they are extremely cute!

    Reply
  20. There is such joy in videos of babies and animals! Your cat sounds adorable, Mary.
    One of our neighbours has a pet grey squirrel named “Squirrelina” by her children. She’s a vet and it was a rescue that became domesticated. I do think they are extremely cute!

    Reply
  21. How wonderful, Andrea! There is little that can match the fun of a puppy exploring its new world. Plus they have such adorable soft paw pads and that lovely puppy smell…

    Reply
  22. How wonderful, Andrea! There is little that can match the fun of a puppy exploring its new world. Plus they have such adorable soft paw pads and that lovely puppy smell…

    Reply
  23. How wonderful, Andrea! There is little that can match the fun of a puppy exploring its new world. Plus they have such adorable soft paw pads and that lovely puppy smell…

    Reply
  24. How wonderful, Andrea! There is little that can match the fun of a puppy exploring its new world. Plus they have such adorable soft paw pads and that lovely puppy smell…

    Reply
  25. How wonderful, Andrea! There is little that can match the fun of a puppy exploring its new world. Plus they have such adorable soft paw pads and that lovely puppy smell…

    Reply
  26. Apparently a lobster can survive happily for six or more hours out of water, Mary Jo, but it does seem rather weird to take them for a walk. I’d much prefer a cat. I thought that the idea of cats choosing to bless humans with their companionship would appeal to you!

    Reply
  27. Apparently a lobster can survive happily for six or more hours out of water, Mary Jo, but it does seem rather weird to take them for a walk. I’d much prefer a cat. I thought that the idea of cats choosing to bless humans with their companionship would appeal to you!

    Reply
  28. Apparently a lobster can survive happily for six or more hours out of water, Mary Jo, but it does seem rather weird to take them for a walk. I’d much prefer a cat. I thought that the idea of cats choosing to bless humans with their companionship would appeal to you!

    Reply
  29. Apparently a lobster can survive happily for six or more hours out of water, Mary Jo, but it does seem rather weird to take them for a walk. I’d much prefer a cat. I thought that the idea of cats choosing to bless humans with their companionship would appeal to you!

    Reply
  30. Apparently a lobster can survive happily for six or more hours out of water, Mary Jo, but it does seem rather weird to take them for a walk. I’d much prefer a cat. I thought that the idea of cats choosing to bless humans with their companionship would appeal to you!

    Reply
  31. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Kareni. Yes, the poor old moose was known to get pretty drunk on occasion. Apparently Audrey Hepburn also had a pet deer!

    Reply
  32. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Kareni. Yes, the poor old moose was known to get pretty drunk on occasion. Apparently Audrey Hepburn also had a pet deer!

    Reply
  33. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Kareni. Yes, the poor old moose was known to get pretty drunk on occasion. Apparently Audrey Hepburn also had a pet deer!

    Reply
  34. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Kareni. Yes, the poor old moose was known to get pretty drunk on occasion. Apparently Audrey Hepburn also had a pet deer!

    Reply
  35. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Kareni. Yes, the poor old moose was known to get pretty drunk on occasion. Apparently Audrey Hepburn also had a pet deer!

    Reply
  36. Lovely post, Nicola! Not sure I’d go for a pet lobster either – it’s difficult enough handling live crayfish, never mind claws that size! My little dog is my constant companion and as he’s getting old now (he’s 18 1/2) I treasure every moment with him. The lockdown has meant that I don’t have to leave him at all, which is great! To cheer me up I also follow various animals on Instagram – my favourite is a Griffon Petit Brabançon called LilGriffyBob. According to his bio he’s a “tiny influencer” who likes tacos. Not sure he should be eating those but he’s so cute I’d give him anything! (https://www.instagram.com/lilgriffybob/?hl=en)

    Reply
  37. Lovely post, Nicola! Not sure I’d go for a pet lobster either – it’s difficult enough handling live crayfish, never mind claws that size! My little dog is my constant companion and as he’s getting old now (he’s 18 1/2) I treasure every moment with him. The lockdown has meant that I don’t have to leave him at all, which is great! To cheer me up I also follow various animals on Instagram – my favourite is a Griffon Petit Brabançon called LilGriffyBob. According to his bio he’s a “tiny influencer” who likes tacos. Not sure he should be eating those but he’s so cute I’d give him anything! (https://www.instagram.com/lilgriffybob/?hl=en)

    Reply
  38. Lovely post, Nicola! Not sure I’d go for a pet lobster either – it’s difficult enough handling live crayfish, never mind claws that size! My little dog is my constant companion and as he’s getting old now (he’s 18 1/2) I treasure every moment with him. The lockdown has meant that I don’t have to leave him at all, which is great! To cheer me up I also follow various animals on Instagram – my favourite is a Griffon Petit Brabançon called LilGriffyBob. According to his bio he’s a “tiny influencer” who likes tacos. Not sure he should be eating those but he’s so cute I’d give him anything! (https://www.instagram.com/lilgriffybob/?hl=en)

    Reply
  39. Lovely post, Nicola! Not sure I’d go for a pet lobster either – it’s difficult enough handling live crayfish, never mind claws that size! My little dog is my constant companion and as he’s getting old now (he’s 18 1/2) I treasure every moment with him. The lockdown has meant that I don’t have to leave him at all, which is great! To cheer me up I also follow various animals on Instagram – my favourite is a Griffon Petit Brabançon called LilGriffyBob. According to his bio he’s a “tiny influencer” who likes tacos. Not sure he should be eating those but he’s so cute I’d give him anything! (https://www.instagram.com/lilgriffybob/?hl=en)

    Reply
  40. Lovely post, Nicola! Not sure I’d go for a pet lobster either – it’s difficult enough handling live crayfish, never mind claws that size! My little dog is my constant companion and as he’s getting old now (he’s 18 1/2) I treasure every moment with him. The lockdown has meant that I don’t have to leave him at all, which is great! To cheer me up I also follow various animals on Instagram – my favourite is a Griffon Petit Brabançon called LilGriffyBob. According to his bio he’s a “tiny influencer” who likes tacos. Not sure he should be eating those but he’s so cute I’d give him anything! (https://www.instagram.com/lilgriffybob/?hl=en)

    Reply
  41. I certainly have enjoyed your post. About 10 years ago, when our last cat died, my husband said that we were beyond the pet keeping stage. Keeping up with the cat pans was too much! Reluctantly, I agreed with him. (Although I did doubt his ability to withstand the offer of a free kitten and kept our cat paraphinalia on hand for two yesrs.)
    We do miss our furry friends, but he was correct. We owe them all very GOOD care, and should no longer share our houses when we reach the stage of being unable to guarantee this.
    So now our pets are virtual, like our travels.

    Reply
  42. I certainly have enjoyed your post. About 10 years ago, when our last cat died, my husband said that we were beyond the pet keeping stage. Keeping up with the cat pans was too much! Reluctantly, I agreed with him. (Although I did doubt his ability to withstand the offer of a free kitten and kept our cat paraphinalia on hand for two yesrs.)
    We do miss our furry friends, but he was correct. We owe them all very GOOD care, and should no longer share our houses when we reach the stage of being unable to guarantee this.
    So now our pets are virtual, like our travels.

    Reply
  43. I certainly have enjoyed your post. About 10 years ago, when our last cat died, my husband said that we were beyond the pet keeping stage. Keeping up with the cat pans was too much! Reluctantly, I agreed with him. (Although I did doubt his ability to withstand the offer of a free kitten and kept our cat paraphinalia on hand for two yesrs.)
    We do miss our furry friends, but he was correct. We owe them all very GOOD care, and should no longer share our houses when we reach the stage of being unable to guarantee this.
    So now our pets are virtual, like our travels.

    Reply
  44. I certainly have enjoyed your post. About 10 years ago, when our last cat died, my husband said that we were beyond the pet keeping stage. Keeping up with the cat pans was too much! Reluctantly, I agreed with him. (Although I did doubt his ability to withstand the offer of a free kitten and kept our cat paraphinalia on hand for two yesrs.)
    We do miss our furry friends, but he was correct. We owe them all very GOOD care, and should no longer share our houses when we reach the stage of being unable to guarantee this.
    So now our pets are virtual, like our travels.

    Reply
  45. I certainly have enjoyed your post. About 10 years ago, when our last cat died, my husband said that we were beyond the pet keeping stage. Keeping up with the cat pans was too much! Reluctantly, I agreed with him. (Although I did doubt his ability to withstand the offer of a free kitten and kept our cat paraphinalia on hand for two yesrs.)
    We do miss our furry friends, but he was correct. We owe them all very GOOD care, and should no longer share our houses when we reach the stage of being unable to guarantee this.
    So now our pets are virtual, like our travels.

    Reply
  46. Wonderful post, Nicola! I used to have a dog. I’ve had 5 in my life. And then I inherited a cat in 2010, which totally terrified me, since I had no idea what to do with the alien,non-dog creature. Thanks to several multi-cat owners, I was educated into the mysterious world of cat ownership. Sadly, my kitty, Mitzer, died in May of 2019. But thanks to the internet, animal rescue organizations such as Cat House on the Kings, Love Meow and The Dodo, among many others, I am entertained by cat (and dog) antics throughout the day. I read so many animal stories that I am certain my phone is shedding dog and cat hair!

    Reply
  47. Wonderful post, Nicola! I used to have a dog. I’ve had 5 in my life. And then I inherited a cat in 2010, which totally terrified me, since I had no idea what to do with the alien,non-dog creature. Thanks to several multi-cat owners, I was educated into the mysterious world of cat ownership. Sadly, my kitty, Mitzer, died in May of 2019. But thanks to the internet, animal rescue organizations such as Cat House on the Kings, Love Meow and The Dodo, among many others, I am entertained by cat (and dog) antics throughout the day. I read so many animal stories that I am certain my phone is shedding dog and cat hair!

    Reply
  48. Wonderful post, Nicola! I used to have a dog. I’ve had 5 in my life. And then I inherited a cat in 2010, which totally terrified me, since I had no idea what to do with the alien,non-dog creature. Thanks to several multi-cat owners, I was educated into the mysterious world of cat ownership. Sadly, my kitty, Mitzer, died in May of 2019. But thanks to the internet, animal rescue organizations such as Cat House on the Kings, Love Meow and The Dodo, among many others, I am entertained by cat (and dog) antics throughout the day. I read so many animal stories that I am certain my phone is shedding dog and cat hair!

    Reply
  49. Wonderful post, Nicola! I used to have a dog. I’ve had 5 in my life. And then I inherited a cat in 2010, which totally terrified me, since I had no idea what to do with the alien,non-dog creature. Thanks to several multi-cat owners, I was educated into the mysterious world of cat ownership. Sadly, my kitty, Mitzer, died in May of 2019. But thanks to the internet, animal rescue organizations such as Cat House on the Kings, Love Meow and The Dodo, among many others, I am entertained by cat (and dog) antics throughout the day. I read so many animal stories that I am certain my phone is shedding dog and cat hair!

    Reply
  50. Wonderful post, Nicola! I used to have a dog. I’ve had 5 in my life. And then I inherited a cat in 2010, which totally terrified me, since I had no idea what to do with the alien,non-dog creature. Thanks to several multi-cat owners, I was educated into the mysterious world of cat ownership. Sadly, my kitty, Mitzer, died in May of 2019. But thanks to the internet, animal rescue organizations such as Cat House on the Kings, Love Meow and The Dodo, among many others, I am entertained by cat (and dog) antics throughout the day. I read so many animal stories that I am certain my phone is shedding dog and cat hair!

    Reply
  51. I’m with you, Christina – lobsters and similar crustaceans should stay in their natural environment!
    You little dog is gorgeous – I love seeing pictures of him!
    It seems to me that a lot of the most successful “influencers” are either animals or pet owners! We;re obviously very susceptible to cute animals.

    Reply
  52. I’m with you, Christina – lobsters and similar crustaceans should stay in their natural environment!
    You little dog is gorgeous – I love seeing pictures of him!
    It seems to me that a lot of the most successful “influencers” are either animals or pet owners! We;re obviously very susceptible to cute animals.

    Reply
  53. I’m with you, Christina – lobsters and similar crustaceans should stay in their natural environment!
    You little dog is gorgeous – I love seeing pictures of him!
    It seems to me that a lot of the most successful “influencers” are either animals or pet owners! We;re obviously very susceptible to cute animals.

    Reply
  54. I’m with you, Christina – lobsters and similar crustaceans should stay in their natural environment!
    You little dog is gorgeous – I love seeing pictures of him!
    It seems to me that a lot of the most successful “influencers” are either animals or pet owners! We;re obviously very susceptible to cute animals.

    Reply
  55. I’m with you, Christina – lobsters and similar crustaceans should stay in their natural environment!
    You little dog is gorgeous – I love seeing pictures of him!
    It seems to me that a lot of the most successful “influencers” are either animals or pet owners! We;re obviously very susceptible to cute animals.

    Reply
  56. Isn’t it lovely that we can all have a variety of virtual pets, Sue (and virtual travels). Both can bring such pleasure!

    Reply
  57. Isn’t it lovely that we can all have a variety of virtual pets, Sue (and virtual travels). Both can bring such pleasure!

    Reply
  58. Isn’t it lovely that we can all have a variety of virtual pets, Sue (and virtual travels). Both can bring such pleasure!

    Reply
  59. Isn’t it lovely that we can all have a variety of virtual pets, Sue (and virtual travels). Both can bring such pleasure!

    Reply
  60. Isn’t it lovely that we can all have a variety of virtual pets, Sue (and virtual travels). Both can bring such pleasure!

    Reply
  61. LOL, on the alien non-dog creature! I felt like that the other way round when we got our first dog. We’d always had cats! I had no idea what to do with a puppy. Fortunately as you say help is always at hand from more experienced friends!

    Reply
  62. LOL, on the alien non-dog creature! I felt like that the other way round when we got our first dog. We’d always had cats! I had no idea what to do with a puppy. Fortunately as you say help is always at hand from more experienced friends!

    Reply
  63. LOL, on the alien non-dog creature! I felt like that the other way round when we got our first dog. We’d always had cats! I had no idea what to do with a puppy. Fortunately as you say help is always at hand from more experienced friends!

    Reply
  64. LOL, on the alien non-dog creature! I felt like that the other way round when we got our first dog. We’d always had cats! I had no idea what to do with a puppy. Fortunately as you say help is always at hand from more experienced friends!

    Reply
  65. LOL, on the alien non-dog creature! I felt like that the other way round when we got our first dog. We’d always had cats! I had no idea what to do with a puppy. Fortunately as you say help is always at hand from more experienced friends!

    Reply
  66. I have had many cats over the years. Right now, I have a mama and her 2 sons whom I rescued from our backyard. It was a source of stress for me trying to get these kitties tamed to come inside. We live on a busy street and I would constantly worry over their safety. Once they were spayed and neutered, they were content to be inside although not truly lap cats! Oh well!

    Reply
  67. I have had many cats over the years. Right now, I have a mama and her 2 sons whom I rescued from our backyard. It was a source of stress for me trying to get these kitties tamed to come inside. We live on a busy street and I would constantly worry over their safety. Once they were spayed and neutered, they were content to be inside although not truly lap cats! Oh well!

    Reply
  68. I have had many cats over the years. Right now, I have a mama and her 2 sons whom I rescued from our backyard. It was a source of stress for me trying to get these kitties tamed to come inside. We live on a busy street and I would constantly worry over their safety. Once they were spayed and neutered, they were content to be inside although not truly lap cats! Oh well!

    Reply
  69. I have had many cats over the years. Right now, I have a mama and her 2 sons whom I rescued from our backyard. It was a source of stress for me trying to get these kitties tamed to come inside. We live on a busy street and I would constantly worry over their safety. Once they were spayed and neutered, they were content to be inside although not truly lap cats! Oh well!

    Reply
  70. I have had many cats over the years. Right now, I have a mama and her 2 sons whom I rescued from our backyard. It was a source of stress for me trying to get these kitties tamed to come inside. We live on a busy street and I would constantly worry over their safety. Once they were spayed and neutered, they were content to be inside although not truly lap cats! Oh well!

    Reply
  71. Cats really do come to us on their own terms don’t they, Maryellen. It sounds as though you have given them a lovely home, though, and that is wonderful.

    Reply
  72. Cats really do come to us on their own terms don’t they, Maryellen. It sounds as though you have given them a lovely home, though, and that is wonderful.

    Reply
  73. Cats really do come to us on their own terms don’t they, Maryellen. It sounds as though you have given them a lovely home, though, and that is wonderful.

    Reply
  74. Cats really do come to us on their own terms don’t they, Maryellen. It sounds as though you have given them a lovely home, though, and that is wonderful.

    Reply
  75. Cats really do come to us on their own terms don’t they, Maryellen. It sounds as though you have given them a lovely home, though, and that is wonderful.

    Reply
  76. Thank you for this post. I am a huge pet person. And I have passed that gene on to my children and grand-children.
    Right now, I live with a Pekingese named Sonny. He came from a less than wonderful background. He is not a fan of men, automobiles,getting his nails clipped and small children.
    I formerly lived with athletic dogs, Boxers and Cockers. I now live with an inanimate object who eats and must be walked. He has slowly learned to behave more like an actual dog. He has learned to wag his tail. He dreams and growls in his sleep. He has a remarkable sense of smell and timing. If I am eating, this small stealth dog appears right next to me. I am not sure if he actually moves or simply is capable of transporting his body from spot to spot.
    I am grateful that he is my companion during the lockdown. But, he has been with me for about 3 years now. I agree, a pet is your friend for a long time. They are not an accessory, nor are they a temporary form of entertainment. I hope everyone remembers that.
    I will say, I was just at the pet store this morning getting treats. (He gets a treat for the important things in life, like doing his thing outside rather than in the house) I met a young man who one month ago adopted the cutest little dog ever. And the man can’t stop smiling, the dog can’t stop wagging his tail and they are a match made in heaven. I hope that is happening all over the place.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.

    Reply
  77. Thank you for this post. I am a huge pet person. And I have passed that gene on to my children and grand-children.
    Right now, I live with a Pekingese named Sonny. He came from a less than wonderful background. He is not a fan of men, automobiles,getting his nails clipped and small children.
    I formerly lived with athletic dogs, Boxers and Cockers. I now live with an inanimate object who eats and must be walked. He has slowly learned to behave more like an actual dog. He has learned to wag his tail. He dreams and growls in his sleep. He has a remarkable sense of smell and timing. If I am eating, this small stealth dog appears right next to me. I am not sure if he actually moves or simply is capable of transporting his body from spot to spot.
    I am grateful that he is my companion during the lockdown. But, he has been with me for about 3 years now. I agree, a pet is your friend for a long time. They are not an accessory, nor are they a temporary form of entertainment. I hope everyone remembers that.
    I will say, I was just at the pet store this morning getting treats. (He gets a treat for the important things in life, like doing his thing outside rather than in the house) I met a young man who one month ago adopted the cutest little dog ever. And the man can’t stop smiling, the dog can’t stop wagging his tail and they are a match made in heaven. I hope that is happening all over the place.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.

    Reply
  78. Thank you for this post. I am a huge pet person. And I have passed that gene on to my children and grand-children.
    Right now, I live with a Pekingese named Sonny. He came from a less than wonderful background. He is not a fan of men, automobiles,getting his nails clipped and small children.
    I formerly lived with athletic dogs, Boxers and Cockers. I now live with an inanimate object who eats and must be walked. He has slowly learned to behave more like an actual dog. He has learned to wag his tail. He dreams and growls in his sleep. He has a remarkable sense of smell and timing. If I am eating, this small stealth dog appears right next to me. I am not sure if he actually moves or simply is capable of transporting his body from spot to spot.
    I am grateful that he is my companion during the lockdown. But, he has been with me for about 3 years now. I agree, a pet is your friend for a long time. They are not an accessory, nor are they a temporary form of entertainment. I hope everyone remembers that.
    I will say, I was just at the pet store this morning getting treats. (He gets a treat for the important things in life, like doing his thing outside rather than in the house) I met a young man who one month ago adopted the cutest little dog ever. And the man can’t stop smiling, the dog can’t stop wagging his tail and they are a match made in heaven. I hope that is happening all over the place.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.

    Reply
  79. Thank you for this post. I am a huge pet person. And I have passed that gene on to my children and grand-children.
    Right now, I live with a Pekingese named Sonny. He came from a less than wonderful background. He is not a fan of men, automobiles,getting his nails clipped and small children.
    I formerly lived with athletic dogs, Boxers and Cockers. I now live with an inanimate object who eats and must be walked. He has slowly learned to behave more like an actual dog. He has learned to wag his tail. He dreams and growls in his sleep. He has a remarkable sense of smell and timing. If I am eating, this small stealth dog appears right next to me. I am not sure if he actually moves or simply is capable of transporting his body from spot to spot.
    I am grateful that he is my companion during the lockdown. But, he has been with me for about 3 years now. I agree, a pet is your friend for a long time. They are not an accessory, nor are they a temporary form of entertainment. I hope everyone remembers that.
    I will say, I was just at the pet store this morning getting treats. (He gets a treat for the important things in life, like doing his thing outside rather than in the house) I met a young man who one month ago adopted the cutest little dog ever. And the man can’t stop smiling, the dog can’t stop wagging his tail and they are a match made in heaven. I hope that is happening all over the place.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.

    Reply
  80. Thank you for this post. I am a huge pet person. And I have passed that gene on to my children and grand-children.
    Right now, I live with a Pekingese named Sonny. He came from a less than wonderful background. He is not a fan of men, automobiles,getting his nails clipped and small children.
    I formerly lived with athletic dogs, Boxers and Cockers. I now live with an inanimate object who eats and must be walked. He has slowly learned to behave more like an actual dog. He has learned to wag his tail. He dreams and growls in his sleep. He has a remarkable sense of smell and timing. If I am eating, this small stealth dog appears right next to me. I am not sure if he actually moves or simply is capable of transporting his body from spot to spot.
    I am grateful that he is my companion during the lockdown. But, he has been with me for about 3 years now. I agree, a pet is your friend for a long time. They are not an accessory, nor are they a temporary form of entertainment. I hope everyone remembers that.
    I will say, I was just at the pet store this morning getting treats. (He gets a treat for the important things in life, like doing his thing outside rather than in the house) I met a young man who one month ago adopted the cutest little dog ever. And the man can’t stop smiling, the dog can’t stop wagging his tail and they are a match made in heaven. I hope that is happening all over the place.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.

    Reply
  81. I’ve had cats and dogs all my life. Growing up we had a motley crew of them and when I had my own home I always had them too. I’ve had lots of cats but we’re down to just one. She owns us and is quite a queenly character. She’s fourteen now but still spry and always looks pristine.
    We also have a Labrador cross. He’s eleven and over weight. Very hard to keep his weight down. We lost his companion, an Irish Wolfhound, a year and a half ago. Pure old age. He’s fine on his own now and once he’s gone I don’t think we’ll have any more. There comes a time when you have to say enough is enough.
    Loved the post.

    Reply
  82. I’ve had cats and dogs all my life. Growing up we had a motley crew of them and when I had my own home I always had them too. I’ve had lots of cats but we’re down to just one. She owns us and is quite a queenly character. She’s fourteen now but still spry and always looks pristine.
    We also have a Labrador cross. He’s eleven and over weight. Very hard to keep his weight down. We lost his companion, an Irish Wolfhound, a year and a half ago. Pure old age. He’s fine on his own now and once he’s gone I don’t think we’ll have any more. There comes a time when you have to say enough is enough.
    Loved the post.

    Reply
  83. I’ve had cats and dogs all my life. Growing up we had a motley crew of them and when I had my own home I always had them too. I’ve had lots of cats but we’re down to just one. She owns us and is quite a queenly character. She’s fourteen now but still spry and always looks pristine.
    We also have a Labrador cross. He’s eleven and over weight. Very hard to keep his weight down. We lost his companion, an Irish Wolfhound, a year and a half ago. Pure old age. He’s fine on his own now and once he’s gone I don’t think we’ll have any more. There comes a time when you have to say enough is enough.
    Loved the post.

    Reply
  84. I’ve had cats and dogs all my life. Growing up we had a motley crew of them and when I had my own home I always had them too. I’ve had lots of cats but we’re down to just one. She owns us and is quite a queenly character. She’s fourteen now but still spry and always looks pristine.
    We also have a Labrador cross. He’s eleven and over weight. Very hard to keep his weight down. We lost his companion, an Irish Wolfhound, a year and a half ago. Pure old age. He’s fine on his own now and once he’s gone I don’t think we’ll have any more. There comes a time when you have to say enough is enough.
    Loved the post.

    Reply
  85. I’ve had cats and dogs all my life. Growing up we had a motley crew of them and when I had my own home I always had them too. I’ve had lots of cats but we’re down to just one. She owns us and is quite a queenly character. She’s fourteen now but still spry and always looks pristine.
    We also have a Labrador cross. He’s eleven and over weight. Very hard to keep his weight down. We lost his companion, an Irish Wolfhound, a year and a half ago. Pure old age. He’s fine on his own now and once he’s gone I don’t think we’ll have any more. There comes a time when you have to say enough is enough.
    Loved the post.

    Reply
  86. Annette. it’s wonderful to hear that the young man who adopted the dog is so happy – and so is his new pet! That’s such a lovely story. I also loved hearing about Sonny the Stealth Dog. What a character! Thanks for sharing his story.

    Reply
  87. Annette. it’s wonderful to hear that the young man who adopted the dog is so happy – and so is his new pet! That’s such a lovely story. I also loved hearing about Sonny the Stealth Dog. What a character! Thanks for sharing his story.

    Reply
  88. Annette. it’s wonderful to hear that the young man who adopted the dog is so happy – and so is his new pet! That’s such a lovely story. I also loved hearing about Sonny the Stealth Dog. What a character! Thanks for sharing his story.

    Reply
  89. Annette. it’s wonderful to hear that the young man who adopted the dog is so happy – and so is his new pet! That’s such a lovely story. I also loved hearing about Sonny the Stealth Dog. What a character! Thanks for sharing his story.

    Reply
  90. Annette. it’s wonderful to hear that the young man who adopted the dog is so happy – and so is his new pet! That’s such a lovely story. I also loved hearing about Sonny the Stealth Dog. What a character! Thanks for sharing his story.

    Reply
  91. Thanks, Teresa! I love the sound of the queenly cat. She sounds as though she rules the roost! It’s hard to keep a Labrador’s weight down, isn’t it. I sometimes wonder what would happen if Angus was left with the bag containing all his food. When would he stop eating? Would he stop at all???

    Reply
  92. Thanks, Teresa! I love the sound of the queenly cat. She sounds as though she rules the roost! It’s hard to keep a Labrador’s weight down, isn’t it. I sometimes wonder what would happen if Angus was left with the bag containing all his food. When would he stop eating? Would he stop at all???

    Reply
  93. Thanks, Teresa! I love the sound of the queenly cat. She sounds as though she rules the roost! It’s hard to keep a Labrador’s weight down, isn’t it. I sometimes wonder what would happen if Angus was left with the bag containing all his food. When would he stop eating? Would he stop at all???

    Reply
  94. Thanks, Teresa! I love the sound of the queenly cat. She sounds as though she rules the roost! It’s hard to keep a Labrador’s weight down, isn’t it. I sometimes wonder what would happen if Angus was left with the bag containing all his food. When would he stop eating? Would he stop at all???

    Reply
  95. Thanks, Teresa! I love the sound of the queenly cat. She sounds as though she rules the roost! It’s hard to keep a Labrador’s weight down, isn’t it. I sometimes wonder what would happen if Angus was left with the bag containing all his food. When would he stop eating? Would he stop at all???

    Reply

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