Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dogs Verses Cats

My husband is a dog lover and has been since he was a little boy. He tells the story of his favorite dog, Spider, dying, and putting it in the freezer until he could bear to part with his beloved pet.

I wasn’t raised that way. We had mostly cats when I was growing up. My dad didn’t believe in spending any money on pets other than for their food. Needless to say, we often had quite a few cats and kittens running around the yard. Sometimes they would all run away at the same time. I never understood it until I was an adult.

In spite of my upbringing, I don’t believe pets are disposable. However, we recently found ourselves with three large adult dogs, two cats, and 20 chickens. That’s a lot of pet food to buy. We needed to do something so that the pet food bill was smaller than the people food bill. We found good homes for two dogs and one cat. Some of those chickens need to go, too.

When we moved to our current home, we planted a variety of flowering trees and vines to encourage butterflies and hummingbirds into our yard. We’ve had minimal success until recently—now that we’re two dogs short. The cat was an inside cat and can’t be a factor. It’s amazing to me now how many hummingbirds frequent our feeder. They’re everywhere. The other wild birds in our area come into the yard more often as well.

We’ve had dogs for all of our married life—some good dogs, some bad ones. We had one dog that could hold three tennis balls in his mouth at once—he was a beloved pet. One of our dogs ripped the carpeting off of the floor while we were gone—bad dog, and one dog that we loved dearly that we had to find a new home for because he bit adults that came into the backyard while our children were there. He was merely trying to protect—to earn his keep, but when he bit our elderly neighbor lady, she was not amused.

The poor cat we found a new home for, I can only hope she has a better life with her new owners. She was our daughter’s cat and had been held hostage in her bedroom for longer than I care to admit. This arrangement wouldn’t have been quite as bad for the cat had my daughter spent more time with her. Finding her cat a new home was an act of love.

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