Bundles of joy await prospective pet owners at area humane societies

December 05, 2012 01:20 pm
My father came to speak to me one afternoon when I was 6 years old. He asked, “What would you like more than anything?” I quickly answered, “A horse.”

Apparently that was the wrong answer because he then said, “What else?” So I answered, “A dog.” We had a cat ... where was he going with this line of questioning, I wondered.

“How about a brother or sister?” he asked. No, I thought, I don’t want one of those.

Suddenly the reality of what my father was trying to tell me gelled. I was getting a brother or sister whether I liked it or not.

At the time, I was obsessed with horses. My friend had a Shetland pony named Sarge that we rode in her pasture after school. I had even invented my own horse appropriately named “Horsy.” He fit in the car’s hatchback and was my constant companion — which raised an eyebrow or two with strangers.

We did have a flesh and blood black cat named Cinder. She didn’t like to be held or cuddled and refused to eat the peas I dropped on the floor for her during dinner, but she was a good pet and lived to be 19.

A couple years after my brother was born we finally got a dog, Dover. In high school, I was taken in by a “box of puppies” in the city park. I borrowed one and took it to Dad’s office to show her off. Ananda came to live with us and was my heart’s delight.

As an adult there were five long years when I did not have a dog. Eventually I had the right house and lifestyle to support a pup. 

I picked up my 15-pound chocolate lab puppy, Finnegan, when he was 9 weeks old and took him home along with his 40-pound bag of food home. Juggling the two, it dawned on me that I was now a single mom.

Finn and I have been through everything in our almost 14 years together, but the most life-altering event was the unexpected addition of the miniature chow-hound we call Bridey. Poor Finn was 8 when this tiny ball of fluff, teeth and claws was thrown at us. She was found running down a highway, all of five pounds and about 6 weeks old. She wasn’t weaned and didn’t understand food or water.

Bridey turns 6 next month. I “rescued” her, a tiny stray who still enjoys a good game of “You can’t catch me,” as she did when she was a pup. She eats heartily, sleeps next to me if it’s cold and beside the bed if she’s too warm. She loves to be outside and gives me the Chow stare down when I suggest she come inside before she’s ready.

And Finnegan? Well, the old guy wasn’t thrilled when the Red Menace came to live with us, sitting on his head, chewing the scruff of his neck, sprawling next to him on his dog bed ... but Finnegan endures.

Taking in a stray to live with the well-bred, “planned” pet really put things in perspective. I can’t look at the Blue Mountain Humane Association’s full-page spread in The Observer without wishing I had more money, time and a kennel so I could take them all home with me.

I moved to Lostine three years ago and the house came with a cat. I named him Moghi, “Stray Cat” in Scottish. After a year, I let Moghi move in and mayhem ensued, but we all got used to each other and some rules like “no killing the cat” and “stay off the counters or you get tossed out.”

There are billboards in Portland that say, “End Petlessness” and encourage people to adopt their own fur baby. If you are considering bringing some love into your home, I highly recommend checking out the Wallowa County Humane Society’s website at www.wallowahumanesociety.org or Blue Mountain’s at www.bmhumane.org to pick out your own bundle of joy. There’s nothing quite like bringing a needy animal into your heart.

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