Pets. Most people have a pet at one time or another during their lifetime. We’ve all read how pets help us to live longer, enrich our lives and help us to feel happy.

I must agree with all that, as I’ve had pets most of my life, except for a few years when I first left home at 21. 

Some people enjoy dogs, others cats, and still others unique pets that you don’t see too often. My parents always had cats. Usually, two at a time. Therefore, I am comfortable with cats and have had at cat or two during my life.

Currently we have two cats. Simba, who is a long-haired orange and white cat. He’s about 5 I think. Got him from a neighbor. He’s quite vocal. His miaow is sounds very much like Gary the snail on the Sponge Bob cartoon! Often, we call him Gary. He is in fact, lying next to me now, trying to get me to pet him!

Our other cat is Thackery Binx, named after the black cat character from the movie Hocus Pocus. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Hocus Pocus, but it’s been a favorite of ours for years. Our Binx is long haired, not a short hair like in the movie.

Sweet Binx is 14 years old. Over the last year, his age is showing a bit. Binx is more on the shy side, with striking green eyes. The older he gets, the more he lets us pet and love on him. He and Simba, AKA, Ba, Gary, or Silly Ba, get along pretty well, although Binx wasn’t too welcoming when we brought Simba home! Binx looks like the Sphinx from his profile! He rules the roost around here and the dog is afraid of him!

Which brings me to, the dog! Joey Tribbiani, yes Joey from FRIENDS, is who he is named after! When our son Dawson was at Capstone Treatment Center in Arkansas, he was given this yellow lab puppy! Lab puppies are a big part of the Capstone program. So, we became dog parents last year as well! Big Joe, or Big Java Joe, as I call him, has grown to a large 87-pound goober! Tony, my husband, calls him a Big Goob, whatever that means!

I’ve had a few dogs over the years. 2 in particular were wonderful companions, much more than just pets. Big Joe is turning into a great companion. He’s quite entertaining, dragging huge branches around the yard. He can play fetch endlessly with me in the field every day! Although sometimes he’ll catch the ball and just take it with him to the end of the field! I have to keep my eyes on him, as often, he’ll just randomly drop the ball and keep on going! If I’m not watching him, I spend a lot of time searching for the ball!

Every morning around 6am, give or take a few minutes, Big Joe and I go for our daily walk. We go about a mile through the neighborhood. Yes, it’s dark at that time, very dark! So, I have a headlight I wear over my sock hat. It’s quite handy! People ask me if I ever get scared walking in the dark. Sometimes Joe and I run into other animals we’d rather not! We’ve had a couple seemingly dangerous dog come charging at us out of the dark, barking and growling. I usually charge back at them and they go away! Lately, a big yellow dog has been finding us the next block over. Seems like a friendly dog. He and Joe have a little meet and greet, then move on. The dog doesn’t follow us too far. He did bring another dog friend with him this morning, that gave me a little bit of a scare. This dog was pretty friendly too however and we were able to continue our walk without any drama!

Joe and I see a lot of rabbits on our walk in a particular spot. So we look for our bunny friends each day. Sometimes we see a cat or two. We count the cars that go by and try to guess how many we’ll see when we set off on our walk! Ok, I guess and I’ll say, “Ok Joe, I’ll give you three cars and I’ll guess five!” He doesn’t seem to mind when I win the guesses!

On our walks, I have quiet time to think, plan my day, look at the stars, or the clouds! That headlight shows me a lot! I always inform Joe about the sky. I also tell him what direction we are walking! He doesn’t seem to care too much, but I tell him anyway!

Pets become our family on one level or another I think. We learn their habits as they intertwine with ours. We come to expect to see them every morning and hang out with them in the evenings after a long day. They bring us comfort during stressful times and laughter when they do the goofy things they do.

I can’t imagine not having a pet around. A cat will always be part of my life! I used to have chickens and rabbits that I adored. I had a rabbit that lived to be ten. Her name was Peaches and I still miss her. I had a chicken named Ethel with crazy white head feathers that covered her eyes! She was 9 when some wild animal took her from us. That’s still sad too.

My husband and daughter raised 4H pigs for years! Big Daisy Mae and Jessie Pig were the special ones. We also had two horses for a time! Whatever fantasy you have about how cool it would be to have a horse, forget that! They are a LOT of work and there’s about six good days a year to ride! Seems like it was either too cold, too hot, too windy, snowing, raining or something! Plus, horses really aren’t too keen about you sitting on them, and they are afraid of a lot of things! At least, that was our experience with horses!

Pets really do enrich our lives. If you’ve never had a pet, you should get one! Even if it’s a fish! Lots to be said about low maintenance!

I think animals are a lot smarter than humans on different levels! They don’t need things, like electricity! I don’t know about you, but I lose my mind when the power goes out! Doesn’t bother the animals at all! They just go on about their business! Animals don’t have agendas. Animals are pure.

Please tell me about your pets, past and present!

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