Life with Pets – the good, the bad, the ugly, and the heartbreak
Having pets has always been a huge part of my life. I remember having cats, dogs, hamsters, rats, gerbils, birds and guinea pigs growing up. I’ve always been a huge animal lover and wanted to bring that very same love into my family. My husband really didn’t have pets growing up so, he was completely on board when I said let’s get a cat or pup or …. two or three!
The running joke in our house … we seem to always end up with the rejects, the runts or the un-adoptable
First the cats
Our first pets as a married couple before kids were cats. My childhood cat Teddy Bear was still alive at the time and I went home to ask my parents if I could take him and of course, they said YES! I remember picking Teddy Bear out from a basket full of cute little fluffy kittens when I was only 6 years old. I wanted the big orange cat! He was grumpy, miserable, naughty, spunky, loving, and just simply the best! Teddy was with me for 20 years! He saw me through elementary school, middle school, high school, college, marriage, and my first born! I still miss my grumpy old man, losing him was probably one of the most difficult days in my life.
Then came the dogs
When our daughter was a year old we decided to get a puppy. We wanted a puppy that no one else had. Something big, unique and very rare in our area. So, we settled on a Rhodesian Ridgeback. When we arrived at the breeders over 2 hours away (by car), we had picked out a female pup, but seconds later, a male pup came along and he picked us! He climbed into my husband’s lap and started licking/nipping at his face. The breeders had told us that this male pup had been very attached to the female we picked and has been really shy around other folks coming in to pick our a puppy. So, my husband gave me this look of “hmmm, what do you think about two?” I gave him that look of “yep – we are going home with two!” We started out with only wanting one puppy but ended up taking two! We had an amazing journey with these two that ended with a devastating heartbreak. Learn more about their story.
And Then came the horses….
It all started when our daughter was 6 years old and had a track-record of quitting every sport she tried. She did gymnastics for 4 years and quit, she then tried several different forms of dance from ballet (lasted one day!), jazz, hip-hop, and even African dance. She did them for about a year and then quit. She then tried soccer and hated it! She hated all of it! Until – one day a friend of our daughters started talking about how she rides horses and asked our daughter if she wanted to try it. Of course, my kid lit up and jumped up and down shouting “YES”. We hopped in the car and drove off for nearly an hour until we arrived at her first horseback riding lesson. My kid was on cloud 9, errr horse… This horse was uber tall and my little peanut was up there just as happy and fearless as could be. When we came home she begged and begged to keep taking lessons. I did some research and posted on Facebook about my kid wanting to take horseback riding lessons. A bunch of recommendations came pouring in and we settled on a place where I knew the owner from High School.