Monday, November 8, 2010

This gets me every time…

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE animals.  Growing up we didn’t really have many pets, but if you ask my parents, they’ll tell you that didn’t stop me from begging – pretty much every day.  My dad didn’t want indoor dogs or cats because they shed, and hamsters and guinea pigs have messy cages (and are very close relatives to rodents, which are unacceptable pets).  When I was seven, I wore my parents down enough that they agreed to let me pick out a kitten from our next door neighbor’s new litter.  I chose a black cat and named him Midnight.  The catch was that he had to be an outdoor cat.  He stayed around for about a year or so, then ran away – as outdoor cats tend to do.  Our next door neighbors knew how devastated I was and just happened to have a new litter of kittens.  Knowing my father would probably not agree to yet another cat, they snuck over to our back yard in the middle of the night one night and put the kitten on the ledge of our back porch.  Of course the kitten began crying, which woke my dad up.  I wish I could have seen his reaction when he went outside to find this poor baby kitten stranded on the ledge.  I just remember waking up in the morning and my mom taking me out onto the patio to meet my new kitten, who we named Friskie. 

Friskie was also an outdoor cat (of course) and he stuck around a little longer than Midnight.  Even though he was neutered, every once in a while he’d take off for a few days – I’m assuming to pick up hot girl cats – and then come back home.  Well, unfortunately for him, one of his little vacations coincided with our family’s moving day.  Friskie was nowhere to be found, and once again I was devastated.  We let the new family moving into our house know to be on the look out for the cat, and to call us if he returned.  Friskie came back alright… only to find the family’s doberman in “his” backyard!  Somehow they were able to catch Friskie, and my dad and I picked him up and took him out to our new house in Melissa.  Two short weeks later, Friskie ran away again and this time didn’t come back.  My brother always told me he thought Friskie got eaten by the coyotes.  Nice, Ross. 

Seeing as how our cats wouldn’t stick around, I convinced my dad that it was time for a dog.  (This was not an easy task.)  Once he agreed, we went to the local pound and picked up a little cream colored terrier-mix and named her Ladie.  (Yes, with an “ie” at the end.  I was in 5th grade, and thought everything should end in “ie”.)  Once again, Ladie was an outdoor dog, and had a hard time not chasing things with wheels – cars, bikes, go-karts.  To fix this, my dad installed an underground electric fence around about an acre and a half of our property, and started trying to train Ladie to stay within the boundaries.  She did okay, but the problem was that she was smart.  She’d figured out that if she got a head start and ran fast enough across the border of the fence, the little shock wouldn’t hurt much.  She was constantly getting out, and then it was practically impossible to get her back over the fence.  After a few years of this, we ended up giving her to a family down the street that allowed indoor dogs.  She loved it there.

After Ladie, my dad refused to get another animal, and this went on for years.  Unfortunately for him, I was a little older… and a little wiser, and by my 16th birthday, I’d done enough research to convince him that we should get a mini-schnauzer.  After all, they didn’t shed, and we could keep it in the house!  To this day, I still don’t know how I got him to agree to this, but I’m so glad I did.  We found a mini-schnauzer breeder in the paper and drove a few hours to pick up our little girl puppy… we thought.  When we got to the breeders house, there were two girls and one boy left.  I had my heart set on one of the girls who was mostly black, but with white legs and white eyebrows.  When we got there though, turns out she was h-y-p-e-r.  She wouldn’t sit still long enough for us to even pet her.  While I was trying to coax her out from behind the couch, my mom called me over and showed me that the little boy puppy  had curled up in Ross’ lap and fallen asleep.  Smooth move, Toby – you just won yourself a new home.  Off we went with our new puppy.  Toby slept most of the way home… until nature called.  We were on the highway and couldn’t pull over in time, and since he was in my brother’s lap, my mom just handed him a huge wad of napkins to “catch it”.  The rest of the ride home smelled just awful, but I secretly loved it that Toby had pooped on my brother.  13 years later, and Toby is still hanging in there, living the good life in McKinney with my parents.  He has been the best dog – so well behaved, smart, and just a good snuggle buddy.  He really can’t hear anymore, and his breath is absolutely awful, but he still loves sleeping in anyone’s lap for as long as they’ll let him.13 Toby Logan and toby sleeping Toby! Toby sleeping And this brings us to Lucy… aka Lucifer.  Ahhh, my pride and joy.  During the last semester of my senior year of college at TCU I was living off campus in an apartment.  Throughout college I’d known people who’d gotten dogs the second they moved off campus, and this was secretly my plan as well.  Being a “grown up”, I could get my own dog and not have to ask my dad, right?  I did my research, and decided that since I’d be living in my own place in Downtown Dallas after graduation, I should get a bigger dog with protective instincts.  Since Toby had been such a good dog, I decided to stick with the schnauzer family and get a giant schnauzer.  I have such a soft spot in my heart for animal rescue, so I decided to adopt Lucy from the Dallas Giant Schnauzer Rescue Association.  She was 5 months old, and had been rescued with her brother and mother from the shelter.  Apparently her original owner was a backyard breeder and couldn’t sell Lucy (then called Lola) and her brother, and the mother was too old to breed anymore.  They kept getting out of her yard, and when the pound called her to come get them, she told them just to put them all to sleep.  The Giant Schnauzer rescue people found all three dogs homes.  (They are wonderful!)  Anyway, Lucy came to live with me, and our stories are now infamous.  She really is a great dog… she’s just a little nutty.  After quickly discovering her severe separation anxiety (she banged her body against the door of her crate until she got out, and destroyed my bedroom… several times.  I had to start padlocking the crate.)  I decided to try to focus her energy.  We worked hard and got her Canine Good Citizen’s Title, her Temperament Title, and then worked for her to become a Certified Therapy Dog.  But even with all that, she still has her issues.  In addition to her “crazy pills” for separation anxiety, she takes medicine for hypothyroidism, incontinence, dry skin, and to concentrate her urine.  She still tries to snack on small white dogs, and still can’t share toys.  But after 8 years together, I’ve learned to accept her quirks, and have decided that there is no other dog in the world quite like Lucy.  Sure, I get frustrated having to clean up all her messes and deal with the issues her first owner created – but I sure do love her with all of my heart. 
Lucy wearing swimsuit 5-25-08 Lucy opening present 1 Christmas Lucy Lucy big nose2  7-26-08 This brings me to my point… finally.  Being the animal lover that I am, I get so emotional over those ASPCA commercials!  They usually play them late at night, which is a good thing since I always at least tear up, and if Logan isn’t watching I have actually been known to bawl.  It breaks my heart that people could even think about being cruel to animals.  Animals innately want to love you and please you, and are just so innocent.  How could anyone abuse or neglect these sweet creatures?  I’m going to sign up to donate money to our local SPCA.  With an economy that isn’t particularly prospering, people have to scrimp and save, which means there are fewer funds for the animals.  And what absolutely breaks my heart is that since they’re “just animals”, if there isn’t enough money to help, they just get put to sleep. 

Here is the link to donate to the North Texas SPCA:

And here is the commercial that inspired this blog, including my reminiscing back on the pets that I’ve owned and loved…

1 comment:

Leanne said...

That dang Sara Mclachlan takes $25 from me every month. Im such a sucker! I hate that dang commercial.