MargieH

Dogs and other family pets

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We bought our first dog, Scamp, from the market. It was in 1949. He was in a little cage with some other puppies and we paid 7/6 for him. We carried him back on the bus - he sat on my knee and shivered all the way home. He was a mongrel (of course) but everyone said he had the markings of a Manchester terrier. He was black with a tan spot over each eye and tan 'socks'. His tail curved over his back as he grew up although it was more like a little rat's tail when we bought him. Mum said he was really too young to have been taken from his mother. It was in the days when dogs didn't have to be on a lead when they were out and he used to follow me everywhere, even once following me to my primary school nearly a mile away. I think I probably encouraged him! When I went into my classroom, I told him to stay outside but of course he didn't, and he was running up and down the corridor looking for me. I remember being fetched out of the classroom to tie him up to a post in the playground. I can't remember how long he was tied up but we could hear him howling. I was told to take him back home so I did. I felt quite important that day! He died when I was 18 and at the time I was living and working at Harlow Wood hospital. My mum wrote me a letter to break the news and I was so upset, I had to be sent off the ward as I kept crying...

What was your first dog or other pet?

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My Parents always kept dog's but the one I remember most was Thunder a Great Dane. He was a gentle giant

and we all loved him dearly. I have photos of him with my brothers, sisters and me when I was about four or five

and he was bigger than me. I think if you are brought up with dog's in the home you tend to keep them yourself.

As I do.

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First pets as a child were two ginger tabbies, Bimbo the mother and Tibby her son. Then came Lassie, a whippet cross alsatian who just appeared in our coal bunker one very wet Good Friday, was never claimed and by then was a member of the family. And so it goes on, numerous guinea pigs, rabbits, gerbils and hamsters, plus two rats, another german shepherd cross (with Omani waddi dog...similar to a dingo), four cats, a patterdale, a greyhound, several ponies and a very special horse have all passed through my life. They have all left their mark and all still reside with me in spirit. No pets at the moment though as I don't feel our lifestyle is fair to any animal. Plans for more when we retire however.

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You don't see many Great Danes nowadays, at least not round here. Perhaps it's because they eat a lot? I like cats too. About 20 years ago, we had 2 dogs and 5 cats - 2 of the cats were feral (we lived in the country and there were farms fairly near) and it took a lot of time to get them to come into the house. One of them had been eating the bird's bread and it turned out she was pregnant so 3 kittens soon arrived. We found homes for them as we couldn't take any more in. Scamp, my dog, actually wasn't my first pet. We had a female tabby but she wasn't very friendly and didn't like being picked up, possibly because I was not very good at it. My Mum had said we could have a dog when she was no more and apparently it was several months before I noticed she was no longer with us!! We've only got 2 cats now.

Darkazana, our 2 cats are mother and son and even though the mum is smaller, she is still the boss!

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One cold, wet, windy night about sisteen years ago I went downstairs to make a cup of tea for me & Mrs Catfan. When I walked in to the kitchen I saw a strange cat sitting on the fridge freezer, he was wet through, very cold & still hungry, he had eaten all the cat food what had been put out for our four cats. He came in to the kitchen through the catflap.

After I had picked him up, he gave very little resistance in fact he had been living rough for quite a while we thought & was ready to give up. Starving, malnourished he also had an injured eye. We made many enquiries & no one knew him.

So, we decided to give him a home, fist thing was to take him to the Vets to have him scanned for a microchip, none, then we had his eye looked at then he was "Done".

We called him "Gus".

He fitted in perfectly with us & would never venture far from me, if I was in the bath he would be laying on the floor nearby.

Gus was with us for 12-13 years until we had to say goodby to him 3 years ago after he started having seizures, can be common in cats we were told.He was the most loyal cat that I have ever known.

Here's a picture of the lad himself.

p1010132-web.jpg

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Speaking of Great Danes, my daughter's first one was 11 when she had to be put down, the present one just turned 12. Both grand ages for the breed, when the expected life span is around 7.

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Catfan, Gus looks very much like our two cats. It's a lovely photo.

Katyjay, it seems strange clicking 'like' on your post as it's about the dogs dying but I hope you know what I mean!! Wonder why some dogs have shorter lifespans.....

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They always used to say, the bigger the dog the shorter the life.

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Great topic. We got our first dog from the pound in Calgary, Alberta. He was a Blue Heeler cross, we called him Fred. He was a clown but a very quick thief. First night we got him my wife was eating a bacon sandwich. Suddenly. I heard a howl. "He got my bacon sandwich." The next event was on Monday, I went off to work and she stayed home with him. She said that they looked at each other and she thought, "what do dogs do all day." He showed her by peeing on the kitchen floor. LOL. He was with us sixteen years. I wept like a baby the day he died. I won't bore you with the ones since. We found Biblical names for them. Samuel, otherwise known as Sam. Solomon, Solly for short. He was a big Black Lab. We got him a week before my wife died suddenly. He kept me sane for a couple of years living alone together. Although some might question my sanity now. (Grin). Also gave me the idea for the name Loppylugs with his big floppy ears. When he died of cancer four years ago it was another rough time. He is buried in my backyard, i made him a nice concrete grave marker with his name and birth / death date on it among the trees that he loved.

We now have Jacob, commonly known as Jake. A Crazy Beagle, another thief, we have to babygate him out of the kitchen or he will clear the counters. He is a born hunter and I swear his bark / howl can be heard for miles.

We have loved 'em all. As others noted there can be real grief involved, they are part of the family. Sometimes they can be a pain, and definitely an expense, but I would do it again. The unconditional love and friendship is worth it all.

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We also have a cat I "rescued"

She was discovered in our outside loo nearly three years ago very cold & wet So I picked her up & bought her inside.

Had the vet look her over and there were no underlying problems so we decided to keep her.

She is as black as your hat so my stepson called her Marmite( I had other ideas)

She is a wonderful cat and often brings us mice as a present..................usually alive :(

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#3 sueB, I can picture Thunder even now. He/she? was even the star in a dream I had in my childhood and will stay with me forever.

The first pet I can remember having was a "Mad Cat'' that used to sit on the chair arm and take a swipe at anyone trying to pass.

Many other small pets along the way, including a rescued Rook!

After moving to the "Pit Estate" we took in a neighbours cat, left by them when they moved!! Her name was Tibbles. I believe most of Gedlings Cats are related to her, If you know what I mean?

In later years, I fell in love with Irish Setters and we had Three. Our second one died at eighteen months of age of Parva Virus. I was broken hearted and it took me nearly two years before I got over it. Their Kennel names were. Salasard Safron, Millicent of Birchy Coppice and Charmaine of Synfare. Sorry, I might have spelt their names wrong.

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Cliff Ton, I've just trawled through the previous 'pets' posts from a few years back - thanks. Some great stories ... Sorry if I've offended anyone by starting a new topic when there was already a similar one in existence, but being a newbie, I didn't realise... I love all the stories of your pets..

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Margie, how could you possibly offend anyone by starting a great thread.

After I got married my first dog was a rescue whippet 'Sunny' and he was. Very gentle and a good rabbit dog, great pet for my young son who grew up with him.

My favourite was 'Jack' named for 'Jacks Game' a TV program and Jackshill farm where he came from he was a black and white springer and what a character. Two years to train him to the gun, a little bit every day, I think that's where our bond came from but his field work was something special to watch. I retired him at 12 years and a year later I came down one morning to find he had had a stroke, nothing could be done. Oh how I cried for that dog.

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You haven't offended anyone, MargieH. There's a search option in the top right hand side of the page but I've often found it a waste of time. I've started threads before and been informed that there's already one on Nottstalgia. Cliff Ton was pointing out that there is already a thread on pets. He does this so that we are aware of this and can read these posts as they will be of interest to us. Sometimes he, or another moderator, will merge the two threads.

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My wife and I grew up with dogs so have had them most of our married lives. My first was a wire haired terrier bitch she lived a long life till I was 12, then I talked a great aunt into buying me a puppy for my 13th birthday, got her from Central market, a little black and tan "bitsa" (bits of this, bits of that), she was very faithful but got distemper and we had to have her put down, which devastated me at the time.

Since then we have had Labradors that ate furniture ! 2 Rotty's, and my all time favorite dog a Rotty cross English mastiff ! she was 60kg of shear muscle, but was the most gentle and faithful dog I have ever owned, she was literally my best mate and I couldn't go anywhere without her. I was devastated when she was diagnosed with cancer of the leg after developing a limp, it had spread to all her bones and we had to have her euthanased at 5 years old.

I still suffer from losing that dog even though my kids bought me an English springer spaniel pup for my 60th which we still have with us, she is a real sook and very shy and considering she is supposed to be a gun dog, is petrified of noise or bangs !

But we love her dearly with all her misgivings, and she is great company for us when walking etc. she also loves to run at the side of me when cycling.

Pets have that ability to grab our heart strings though and when they leave us it is so hard, we say every time we lose one we will never have another, but one always seems to come along.

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Don't apologize for starting the thread, Margie. I for one had forgotten the previous pet thread. It was good to revisit it also. I had forgotten all about posting that pic of Jake. Memory seems to be becoming a problem for me in these days. I supose that it is inevitable that as the years pass we will start threads thinking they are brand new, only to find we posted there years ago. I did it recently on first dates. Totally forgot I had done that one before.

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Pets have that ability to grab our heart strings though and when they leave us it is so hard, we say every time we lose one we will never have another, but one always seems to come along.

They can spot an easy mark a mile away, Banjo.

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You are right Loppylugs. They know just how to get to us with their "Soulful Eyes".They get you every time.

Especially when they have just eaten the corner of a "New Padded kitchen Bench and Table set. Not once but twice"! At the same time as both corners of a brand new Bed! (All that new furniture, we must have been going through one of the few times we have had spare dosh).

See how they influence our lives.I forgot to mention in #13, that to call them by their Kennel names was a bit long winded, so for daily life they were called, Jade and Sharmy. I even named myself after one of them. Salasard Safron was the true Carni. I am just an imposter. :biggrin:

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So back to cats ...... we have had so many waifs and strays I can hardly remember them all, but a few were extra special. One little black kitten arrived at the door and immediately attached itself to our dog, Shep, who was a border collie cross. When Shep was lying down, the kitten would lie across his neck, start padding and then fix his mouth on one of the studs on Shep's collar. Shep was very good and didn't object at all. Unfortunately, that particular kitten - we called him Moggy - got run over a week after he'd had the snip.

A few years later, another little black kitten tottered over to me and Shep as we were out for a walk one rainy night. It was obviously not well so I tucked it inside my coat and took it home. I knocked on a few doors the next day and found out it was from a litter that had been born in a barn, but the owner said he didn't want it back. The kitten was very poorly with cat flu I think and for the next week, he just lay in a box by the fire. We spoon fed him milk and swabbed his sticky eyes until one day he decided it was time to get out of the box. It was lovely to see him start to play like a normal kitten. We called him Waifer because he was a waif. Again, he got run over a short while after his op. Perhaps he just wasn't meant to survive? What I particularly remember is the disproportionate amount of crying I did, even waking up in the night sobbing. Later I realised that I was actually crying for my Dad who had died a couple of months before. Mum and Dad lived with us at that time and when Dad died, I never cried. I thought it was strange because I cry very easily. But when Waifer died, I suppose I gave myself permission to cry? Not all of our cats died young - one lived to be 20!

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thanks for your message Carni I think i've replied to it right. sorry i'm not very good on computor.

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This is our cat....he was a stray that adopted us when we moved into our new house, that was over a year ago, he is now the boss. Here he is with Kev ( fynger )

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Cliff Ton, I've just trawled through the previous 'pets' posts from a few years back - thanks. Some great stories ... Sorry if I've offended anyone by starting a new topic when there was already a similar one in existence, but being a newbie, I didn't realise... I love all the stories of your pets..

Don't panic !! :cool:

One of the reasons I can do that is because I've been around here for a few years, and so far my memory is still functioning, so I can remember things which appeared several years ago.

And the "Search" feature on this site is worse than useless. There are several ways of searching for the same thing, and those ways will produce different results. I've often spent a long time trying to find something I know exists - because I posted it - and I still can't find it.

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