Weekend Question Thread

In honor of Puck:

Who was your first childhood pet?

I didn’t have any animals growing up. Mostly because my parents were responsible and knew that you get a kid a pet, you’re really getting yourself a pet because 9 times out of 10 Mom and Dad end up walking and feeding it. Dad had fish, though, so I pretended his little red-tailed shark was my pet.


18 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread

  1. We always had dogs when I was growing up. My Mom would have had a menagerie since she loved critters but my father did not but had to tolerate pooches. My first dog was Yukon, a white female Alaskan spitz who was around when I was born. She seemed to regard me as her puppy and helped to take care of me. We were inseperable when I was small and she lived to be 18 and left us when I was 12. A great dog.

  2. My first pet was a tri-color male Basset Hound, “Bama”. We went to the house that held the puppies (near the Budweiser Brewery if memory serves – it’s a large bldg and there used to be a Busch Gardens-type entertainment park in there). As we were directed to the living room or whatever room it was, I got the whiff of puppy chow and saw a plywood enclosure strewn w/newspapers. And in that pen – a mess of long-eared, wet-nosed, thick-pawed embodiments of adorableness…
    The “one” came over and was ever so curious about this 5 y.o. who was beside herself at the time and he snorfled me full-on in the face and that was IT. He was my best bud for about 6 years, despite his puppy-era leg problem that sent him to Texas A&M’s vet school for a short stint to have a pin put in his leg. About 5 years in, he started exhibiting a decline. The vet (who was awesome) tried everything he could to figure out just what was what. He got so that he couldn’t raise his head enough to get into his food bowl!?? We had to feed him on a plate. Then it morphed into a situation that the vet could only suggest a return visit to Texas A&M to address. He was up there for some months, and even the vet professors were stumped as to treat him, even though they did diagnose him w/ “Poliomyelitis” or something long and consonant-ridden, but I think that was it. His own antibodies were attacking his muscle cells – hence the lack of neck movement. In June of 1980, we got ‘the call’ that they could do nothing more for him. I miss that dog, that would have let me do anything I wanted to him (but all I did was love on him), to this very day. (I also miss Sherlock, my second Basset who came into my life a couple of years later, but this is about first pets)
    Someday, I hope to have a yard (or a lifestyle that will afford me the freedom to walk the pooch) and find a tri-color Basset to love on again. I love all kinds of dogs, but I’m a Basset girl. My cats will be less than thrilled… 🙂

  3. Skipper, a beagle-dalmatian mix. Shaped just like a beagle, but all white with two black spots on the right side of his hip. My dad brought him home as puppy shortly after I turned 1. He was a hellion in his day. He would chase cars in the winter. I can’t tell you how many people came to our door apologizing profusely cuz they hit him – white dog against the snow. Between that and all the fights he’d get in to with other dogs in the neighborhood, he racked up some big vet bills. He could be the sweetest dog ever to the family, but he did NOT like strangers at all. Had this odd habit of attacking their feet. He died of skin cancer at 10.

  4. “Happy Cat” No, for real. She was an ancient Siamese mix who lived at my grandma’s and was served well all the days of her life until I started crawling around. I used to stuff her into doll clothes and carry her under one arm. She never scratched me or tried to get away. When I would take a bath, she would join me in the tub and let me shampoo her with Johnson and Johnsons. I was six when she died of old age (16 years) and was inconsolable for months.
    I’ve had other feline masters and mistresses that I’ve loved dearly and served well, but Happy Cat will always be in my heart.
    So sorry to hear about Puck. He was a happy guy with you and Mr. A, and you cared for him so much. Peace to you both, and to his brothers.

  5. the 1st pets i was conscious of was 2 kittens picked out of a litter of 5. my dad’s bitch cat got knocked up by a stray. tabby(princess my ass, we call her tabby) and whiskers, who i had from 5 to my 20’s. tabby died of kidney failure around 18. whiskers made it to 20./21. whiskers was named that cause he was a all black long hair with 1 white whisker. they were great cats.

  6. oh, and whiskers had kidney failure too, but i saw the signs. cryptosporidium got him. he died in my arms. the same day i decided it was time to do youth in asia. we buried him close to tabby.

  7. Mom denied us the presence of any animals in the home for what seemed like a long time. But then it began with the birds. She’d bring home baby chicks from the lab and return them when they started getting too large for the cages – each one was Chuck. Then it was the zebra finches, a pair that laid eggs and hatched three finch chicks – but then the entire bird family caught some disease and died. We had a pair of goldfinches next, and I’d personally despaired of having anything mammalian other than ourselves in the household until mom came home with Frank the cat – adopted from a coworker at the lab who was moving into an apartment that didn’t accept pets – when I was eight. Then our neighbors asked us if we were interested in a yellow Labrador they’d found on the street and had named John the whole time he was in their backyard and they were trying to find the true owner. We took John in, and the day he went running happily into our backyard, Frank took one look at this wrench we’d thrown into the works of his life and gave us the dirtiest looks. He started hiding out from the dog regularly after that.
    Frank had to be put down after another year due to a massive urinary tract infection. John-Dog lived to approximately 14 years of age, a giant puppy to the very end, and one hell of an alpha dog. If I could have, I’d have brought him to college with me. Just a big sweetie with people, but hehad to show other dogs who was boss, and had an ongoing rivalry with a chow at a house across the way from us in Houston.
    Big ((((((hugs)))))) to you guys at this time.

  8. My dad was an engineer working on rocket sleds in China Lake. One day he brought home a baby kangaroo rat. Cute little guy; hopped around on his hind legs like a kangaroo. His name was SNORT (for Supersonic Naval Ordnance Research Track).

  9. A toy terrier named Midget, who was mine as compared to Boots, the farm’s and my dad’s dog. Midget was followed by a couple banty roosters a neighbor gave me. NEVER try to make a pet out of a banty rooster. Damned things are meaner than hell and worse, they don’t lay eggs and they’re too tough to eat. Worst of all worlds.

  10. My first was Patches the calico cat. I had begged for a kitten for years and my mom always said no. One day my little sister came home with one, without asking first, and mom let her stay. I was probably around ten and my sis was only five so Patches became my pet since I really take very good care of her. She basically lived in my room and had her first and only litter of kittens in my closet. I watched them be born. Quite the education.
    She died at a young age. I don’t really remember what she died from, but I held her as she passed through the veils and was devastated for months afterward. She was a good cat.
    Meanwhile, hugs and condolences to you on your loss. So hard to lose a furry friend.

  11. I didn’t have any pets crowing up. A cousin who lived in the same building had a dog but it really wasn’t the same. I didn’t play with him all that much. Various friends had cats, but again, not quite the same thing as having animals myself… Until I met N&D. They lived in Peekskill and had a 9-room house with a fenced-in backyard. Their animals became my animals. There was a Doberman Pinscher, 3 retired racing greyhounds, a cat, 2 parrots, 3 ferrets (one an albino and huge) and an ever-changing number of gerbils. When my friends moved from Peekskill to Florida I really missed the animals.

  12. My first pet was a dachshund named Gustaf but we called him Gussie. My dad bought him for my mom while she was pregnant with me. We grew up together. I remember him following me to kindergarten, walking on the other side of the street. When I would stop and tell him to go home, he would stop and smell the flowers, eventually following me to the school yard where I would be told to take him home. He lived with my grandparents when we moved to Okinawa. He lived to be 13 years old. He was a sweet doggie.

  13. Cats named Molly & McGuire. McGuire was big and orange and LOVED curling up by my head when I slept. My mother swore he would suffocate me (obviously he never did!).

  14. IIRC, the first family pet was a border collie. She had a wonderful temperament–very sweet–but, she had bad habits, among them indiscriminately eating things that made her throw up minutes later, and would then eat new portions of the same thing, only to throw up again in similar fashion. Not much discrimination, I think.
    She was given to the kid next door when we were moving, and he mistreated her, so, I don’t know who she ended up with (I was eleven or twelve at the time, and these things were not for me to know). Not many family pets after that…

  15. First pet — a little mutt/stray we found in California. We named him Toto based on some resemblence to the movie dog. He might not have been the brightest dog in the world but he sure was one of the sweetest. A great pet for a little kid.

  16. My first pet was a male kitty I dubbed Sylvester. I dressed him up in doll clothes and after about a year he ran away from home. 🙁

  17. First pet I really remember was a black and white pointer “bird dog” we got on election day 1968. My father voted for Hubert Humphrey, so we named the dog “Hubert”. Yeah, really.
    My dad is a republican now.

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