Pets. Part 1.

Earlier in the summer, I posted about all the jobs that I’ve had in my life. It turned out to be a popular post, and I loved the fact that I had a complete work history saved for posterity.

Recently, I thought I might do the same about the pets that I have owned throughout the years.

Since there were so many, I thought that I’d start with the dogs today and squeeze in the hamsters, guinea pigs, horses, cats, fish, goat, and raccoon in a subsequent post.

So here are the dogs, in chronological order, as best as I can remember:

Measelman was the first pet that I can remember. We owned at one dog before Measelman, I think, but I have no memories of it. Measelman was a tall, lean mutt with a beagle’s face who was named after the family doctor. Unfortunately, my parents were shameful caretakers of dogs, allowing them to run unfettered and chase cars at will. Measelman was hit by a classmate one Saturday morning and died in my arms on the side of the road.

Pirate was a smaller dog than Measelman with one black eye over an otherwise uniform coat of tan fur. Just a year after joining our family, Pirate ran across the street and into a neighbor’s yard while my brother, my sister and I were waiting for a ride to Sunday school. I called for Pirate to return, and he was run down in front of me while trying to cross the street.

It still breaks my heart to think of that day.

Pacman was the smartest dog I have ever known. Named after my mother’s favorite Atari 5200 game, Packman was a large, brown and black mutt and the most loveable dog in the world. He would leave the house in the morning and return in the late afternoon after a full day of running through the back woods, chasing cows in the adjacent dairy fields, and of course, chasing cars. Pacman was hit and killed about a mile from our home. The police returned his body to us after reading his tag. 

My parents were truly awful people when it came to pets.  

Holly was a white Pomeranian mix who lived with us until she died of old age. She was my mother’s favorite dog. Holly gave birth to several litters of puppies through the years, thanks to a popular neighborhood Pomeranian who had the run of the town. We ended up keeping one of those puppies, who we named Poco.

Poco was a tan Pomeranian mix who lived with my mother owned until he died of old age.  He was a wonderful dog and probably the one that I remember the best from my childhood. Cute, loveable, and fun. 

There were other dogs in my childhood. I remember an enormous dog named Rags who had to be chained at all times and several others (the town ordinance limited families to five dogs, and there was a time when we owned the limit), but none stayed long enough to leave a lasting impression. As terrible as my parents were in caring for our own dogs, they often took in strays and cared for them until owners could be found.

I was without the companionship of a dog for almost fifteen years when Kaleigh, a Lhasa Apso puppy, came into my life and became my best friend. I spend more time with her than almost anyone save Elysha and Clara. She has brought me more happiness than I could have ever imagined, as sappy as that may sound.

She is lying on my lap, sleeping and snoring, as I write this post.

I have rarely loved an animal or a human being as much.