Dogs and other family pets

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During the 1980s, whenever I was out in the garden, a cross/retriever used to let himself in to our back door which I left part open. I'd find him fast asleep on the hearth rug. I'd let him out and tell him to go home. Then he started turning up waiting for me on the front door step when I came home off night shift. We made enquiries but couldn't find out who owned him so we kept him and vowed to let his owner have him back if he turned up.

He was a real darling, so loving and friendly and adored the kids. Eventually this chap knocked on the door. He had been in prison but had let his dog out when he got arrested. He told us that we could keep him and we never saw the young man again. The dog would stay in the back yard in summer, only jumping the fence if he could sense a bitch on heat anywhere, then we had to keep him in. One such day he managed to get out. When he came back he was very ill and so we took him to the vet who told us he was suffering from warfarin poison. He had to be put down. Apparently a neighbour had a plague of mice and the council had put poison down which our dog had managed to get. It broke our hearts and it was years before we had another dog.

We now have a cat which was a mouser at the local quarry. When it closed we took her in. What a character. Always chasing shadows. She loves to gallop up and down the stairs in the middle of the night.

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When our pets needed to take tablets we used two spoons to crush them and sprinkle the powder on their food.  Surprisingly the cats never made a fuss but Jack (the Jack Russell) was suspicious and gav

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I've had loads of cats thought my life and have loved every single one.

When I lived in the country about 14 years ago, I had five. All totally different personalities but equally loveably. I miss them still.

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This was by baby, Duke, short hair German Shepherd, kennel club name Silberwaid's Zeus.
Born 1985 and died too young in 1995, with the usual back/rear leg problems. I still miss
him, I have had GSD's before and after Duke but he was so special to me.
Both his parents were international champions and his GG-parent Ramacon Swashbuckler was
Crufts Supreme Champion.

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When we moved in this house in 1999 a black & white cat hung out under the pampas grass on the front garden, it looked really skinny so gave it some ham, it became brave & came to the back door & then came in the house. I then went to the co-op for proper cat food & it wolfed it down. She started to get fat so thought she was preggers, took her to vets for jabs ect & she turned out to be a he, put weight on coz scoffing too much. We had Cufur till he died in 2006, that broke our hearts.

In 2007 we took on a 15 year old ginger & white cat as her owners had emigrated to Australia, she was lovely. My mate who hates cats would spend ages fussing her, his Wife stood there gobsmaked as she'd never seen him fuss a cat before. We lost Tiddles last October when she was 22, our hearts were broken again. We don't have any pets now but next doors cat Shadow comes round to see us most day, we have a key to their house & feed him when they go on hols..

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This is Sam, next door neighbour moved out & left him behind ! Nine years ago. He was always a bit of a loner.

Sadly had to say goodbye to him a year ago, (heart defect). Age about 11 years then.


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This is Sooty, absolutely as daft as a brush !

We had him from a kitten about 8 weeks old untli he died age 10, another genetic heart defect.

A lovely cat.


Also from the same litter was his sister Tiger, she was totally different to Sooty, being very mischievous & cheeky.

We said goodbye to her three years ago, kidney failure, she was nearly 16 years old.



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One of our cats, Stripe, arrived at our house after a man up the road came home from work one day to hear a strange sound under the car bonnet when he stopped. He worked about 6 miles away. He opened the bonnet and there was this young cat looking up at him. He didn't want a cat so he brought him round to us. The story and Stripe's picture werein the newspaper, with an appeal for his owners but no-one came forward, so he stayed with us. He was a lovely cat and immediately got on with the 2 we had at that time. He was very sociable and had a little friend who called round to play with him most days. This cat used to jump up on our windowsill and keep staring inside till Stripe went out. Then they used to rush into the garden, roll around together and play chase in our yew trees. When the little friend died his owners asked if we could bury him in our garden. This we did, accompanied to the grave by Stripe and one of our other cats. They even jumped down into the hole that my husband dug!! Maybe this sounds a bit fanciful but it's absolutely true. When we left that house 6 years ago, I had to tell the new owners not to dig too deeply if they removed the gooseberry bushes at the bottom of the garden as there were 4 cats there.!

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They really grow on us, don't they?

Before she died my mom lived in Stapleford for a few years. She had a big ginger tom that actually belonged to neighbors a few doors up, but they were mostly out. He took up residence with her and they didn't mind. She did not know his name and just took to calling him, Catto.

We were so amused by this we often refer to Jake as Doggo. He even answers to it LOL.

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Our first dog was Cindy, a small black haired mongrel of which I was extremely fond. I was perhaps 3 when my father bought her, and she died when I was serving in Notts Police. I was interviewing a suspect at the time my father called me to explain that Cindy was very ill.

My next dog was some years later, he was Winston, a weimaraner, who was a big tough lad, but very loving, who lived to a good age. We had many adventures did me and Win, and he was actually treated by the vet who wrote under the name of James Herriott after Winston was attacked by another dog in Thirsk. I didnt know it was James Herriott, I had a dog with a bad bite to his nose and took him to the nearest vet. Only later did I realise who it was.

Then there was Paddy, another weimaraner, who was the gentlest and most loving dog I have ever had. He died before his time. Then there was Harvey. Mad Harvey, as almost to the day he died, he bounced and ran and was generally a mentalist, but not in any way aggressive. Harvey loved to run, and he was fast. I loved to see him run at full pelt. He was graceful. Harvey left us in Sept 2013. I dont think I have actually recovered from it.

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I just came across this topic and backtracked to the old thread to see what I'd had to say on there. It would appear that exactly 3 years ago today I'd posted that my old Jack Russell, Scooby Doo had been very ill but was well on the way to recovery. Well, he didn't get better, the infection had made him very weak and skinny, it also made worse his weak esophagus condition that made him black out when he got excited. He gradually stopped going for his walks and became unable to jump on the pine chest in front of the window and bark at passers by, he even gave up trying to jump on the settee to sit with me. He clearly wasn't suffering though, he seemed happy enough pottering about in the garden and to even chase the hated pigeons, and his gargantuan appetite was still there. Eventually, over a few months, he was clearly getting worse and his breathing became a problem. One night he keeled over and could barely breath, it was obviously the end, I sat up with him all night with our other JR, Jerry, who was licking his face, the next morning he went off on the last sad one way trip to the vets, I couldn't bare to go, I gave him a last kiss and took Jerry off to the allotment out the way, Scooby was 16, not a bad age for a JR.

He was a lovely looking dog when he was a puppy, very feisty though:-


Guarding the lounger, woe betide anyone trying to move him:-


Scrounging with Jerry at his last Xmas 2011:-


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At the beginning of September 2013, Liz's former boss asked us a favour, his sister was being evicted from her house and she wondered whether we'd be prepared to look after her Golden Labrador, Balloo, for a couple of weeks till she found a new place to live. Liz had been round there and knew this dog, apparently the poor thing lived outside in a kennel lined with wood shavings all year round and wasn't allowed in the house, it rarely went for walks and when she was there it had spent most of it's time slinking round the edge of the garden not approaching even her, 'Mrs Pet'.

We weren't sure of this, but asked her over so he could meet Jerry, to see how they got on. Well, they got on straight away, but poor Balloo was such a nervous dog, we took them for a walk and he seemed scared of everything, people, other dogs, strange noises, fortunately he seemed to take a leaf out of fearless Jerry's book and followed him around, learning all the time. When he got back, they went and he stayed, he took some persuading to come into the house though, and kept standing at the door waiting for permission to come in (he still does this sometimes). Of course the two weeks turned into him becoming our pet, he is such a love, a great big soppy dope, perfectly well behaved in the house and has never been any trouble at all. Jerry is clearly the boss, but there's never been any trouble between them, they're both curled up together on their quilt in the living room at the moment. Only two weeks after we got him, he came on holiday to Norfolk with us, he was very nervous on the beach and wouldn't go near other dogs and people, but we managed to get him to go in the sea. Since then he's relaxed almost completely, he still gets nervous at some noises and actions, but he's fine, particularly with people, and, unlike our naughty Jack Russell, doesn't scrounge food, unless it's a custard cream, he can't get enough of those. We think that he may have been badly treated in the past, we suspect by her husband, but we can't prove anything and we have to leave it at that. Funny, they had him for six years and have never been over to see him, how can anybody do that.

Balloo looking sad at his first Xmas in doors:-


First sight of the sea:-



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I wrote the following poem after our dog, Shep, died..

He came to live with us

when he was five months old.

A Border Collie - sort of -

leaping on the chairs

and trying to wash our faces

with his floppy pink tongue.

We loved him;

he became part of the family,

going out to play with the children,

stealing the cricket balls!

He always came on holiday with us;

five people and a dog sharing a ten foot caravan -

just a bit cramped!

But lots of room there was

on the vast Welsh beaches

for him to race like a greyhound

then flop down,

tongue lolling sideways,

a silly grin on his face.

We only had to say 'rats'

for him to start digging

frantically in the sand;

pushing his nose into the hole

then coming up for air

and looking at us for approval.

At first the years didn't seem to change him;

still 'silly old Shep' just as he had always been

even when he was a puppy!

Dogs don't grow up like we do;

don't get more sensible,

don't hide themselves behind inhibitions.

They're open and innocent as children

even when they're old!






t i r e d

I wonder if they know they're old,

or if they're I'll....

or even if they 'are'?

Do Descartes words apply to dogs?

But WE knew that all was not well.

Our teenage dog could no longer walk far

or run

or climb the stairs

though he tried and tried ....

On his last night at home

(the decision had already been made)

Mum slept downstairs with him

to save him the indignity of bravely trying to climb yet again.

Why, when we knew it was for the best?

Why, when we knew he didn't understand?

WHY did we say sorry to him as he went on his last car journey?

See you in the morning, Shep.......

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Half way down the poem it should say 'ill' not I'll - this IPad doesn't yet know that I'm the boss!

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I agree, dogs don't INSIST they know better than their owners (although they may try it on sometimes!)

Dog: "You know that juicy chicken breast is better for me than that canned dog food"

Owner: "No it's not."

Dog: "I think you'll find it is" (big soulful eyes)

Owner: "Well, just a little bit then...."

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Do you get many fleas over there? I never owned a dog in Nottingham. We had no flee problems in Alberta. Too cold for the little suckers. They are a problem in Georgia though. I use a product called "Frontline." Seems to work o-k but I hate putting chemicals on him. Lesser of two evils I guess.

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When I was a young lad my dad and eldest brother used to race greyhounds. I can remember staying up late so that I could be there when they got home from a dog track. They'd stand by the kitchen table and empty their pockets of the nights winnings. There'd always be a pile of notes and coins and I'd help them by sorting the coins into piles.

The reason I used to stop up and wait for them to come home was, because I'd 'helped', I'd get some extra spending money. The next morning I'd go to Mrs Wrights shop, which was nearly opposite my house on Grainger Street, and buy myself some toffees. As I got older I'd wonder how they always came home with the money...

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