Pets have always been an important part of my life. Quite a few have graced us over the years: Cookie, Pepper, Rozzi, Loup, Smokey, Rusty, Bailey, and Spreckie. They have all lived long and happy lives under our watchful eyes. Good food, regular vet care, medication when needed, and plenty of exercise keeps them feeling good and looking great.
Other than the three biggest dogs all our pets have been indoors with the people. It’s not that Rozzi, Loup, and Smokey weren’t welcome to come in. They did come in when the weather was bad. They just preferred to be out of doors where the action was.
Our pets have always had distinctive personalities, helped along by our silly ad libs. I have scripted, repetitive dialogs that I rely on when I talk to my pets. They seem to appreciate my myriad funny voices, each one individual to the pet. When my husband Jim died 3 years ago it was my pets who gave me solace, particularly the ever present and super intuitive Bailey. Her big, soft face in mine is a memory I will treasure.
Stannie was named for the river where she was found. We were on the Stanislaus one day. Jim was teaching a course I recall and Christian was 6 years old. This tiny kitten came up to him with her eyes all goopy and he just fell in love. She followed him around all day and when it came time to go, we decided to take her home.
Jim and I took the kitten to the vet thinking it would probably not survive but they called us a week later and said we could come get her. We had kept it a secret from Christian because if she had to be put down we didn’t want him to be upset. So when he came home from kindergarten I told him there was a surprise in his room.
Stannie lived to be 19. We lost her last July right around Christian’s birthday.
He was home to say goodbye to the cat who shared his life since he was 6.
Bailey, on the right above was probably the most sociable dog we’ve ever owned. She has literally dragged me down the street in heels and jewelry in an effort to approach people she didn’t even know. What a sight, me on my tummy, holding on for dear life so the unsuspecting neighbors wouldn’t be knocked over.
Another thing about Bailey is she adored babies and children. She’d cry to get at them, lick their faces, grime, boogers, and all. Ugh. Above is Stormie in bed with me. No, I don’t allow pets in my bed but it somehow happened and we snapped a shot then to much protesting whisked her away.
Spreckie was a shelter dog who came to live with us at 9 months of age. I was volunteering at the shelter and my brother in law Steven wanted a German short hair but when they came to adopt him the girls didn’t like his buggie eyes. I was heartbroke and told him he could come home and live with us. Jim said to him “you landed on your feet buddy” meaning he would be a pampered pooch from there on out!
Above is Stormie, weighing a whopping 25 lbs. She is a little crabby but loves her tummy rubbed…at all hours of the night. What a sedentary cat. Other than frequent trips to her food bowl she seldom moves from the guest room bed. I just received her name tag through the mail.
I have two pets now, Spreckie and Stormie. I found Scout’s family day before yesterday so he went home. I hope he will have a happy, safe life with Brooke his five year old mistress. I will miss him terribly.
On Monday I will be adopting (not buying) and bringing home a cocker spaniel named Sheriff Andy, above. He is a year old and has the sweetest little face. Can you rename a dog? Is it faux pas? Because I’m rather partial to Winston or Riley. Looking forward to meeting our new member of the pack.
Shiree’s Peach-Blueberry Crisp
4 C’s sliced peaches
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 pints blueberries
1 1/2 C. flour
1 C. raw sugar
1/2 C. honey
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1 C. rolled oats
12 T. butter
1/2 t. salt
1 t. mace or cinnamon
In a 10″ oblong Pyrex baking dish place fruit and lemon juice.
In a food processor (Cuisinart works well) combine butter, sugar, flour, salt, mace.
Pour into a bowl and stir in chopped walnuts and oats. Top fruit with mixture.
Bake 40 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.