Pets, Always Part of My Family

As May is National Pet Month and the first full week of the month is National Pet Week, it seems only fitting to tell a couple of stories about pets that I have owned.

Unlike my husband, who grew up afflicted by plant and animal allergies and never had a pet, I grew up with at least one animal in my family home for most of my life.

I’m going to tell this story a bit backwards with what should be part 1 later on and part 2 today. This story isn’t a Wordless Wednesday post, but this is a case where few words are needed to explain what is happening.

As a quick introduction, Jasper, our cat, became part of the family in June 1980. We decided she needed a playmate for all the time that Dave and I were at work, so Jenny joined the family in June 1981. They were the queen bees for five years – indoor pets who were both loved and spoiled – until we decided that the cutest puppy ever also needed to be part of the family.

Being indoor cats, Jasper and Jenny had never seen any other animals, never mind a frisky puppy. Dave and I had the foresight to have the camera ready when Keesha made her first entrance into the house. Keesha was a keeshond (pronounced like “case-hund) and I had fallen in love with her when we saw her in a pet store at the mall. It took a bit of convincing for Dave to come around to the idea that we needed a third pet, but as soon as he said yes, I went zooming off to the pet store to see if she was still there.

And so Keesha became a member of the Stufflebean family. Did Jasper and Jenny every embrace her? Not really. They put up with her, but Keesha understood that a hiss or swat with a paw meant for her to keep her distance. They did, however, learn to happily co-exist in their own spaces and they were much-loved family members.


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