Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your Family Pet Stories

Saturday has rolled around once again and Randy Seaver has given us a new challenge: Your Family Pet Stories.

1) What were your family pets?  What were their names?  How long did they live?  What stories do you have about them?

Until 2001, I’ve always had at least one pet in the house. As a little girl, we had a dog named Mickey, who I only vaguely remember as she died when I was very young.


Mickey was always Mom’s dog. I don’t know if she had MIckey before my parents married, but my mother adored him. I actually have not one single memory of ever doing anything with Mickey. I don’t remember playing fetch or even petting the dog. I do remember that Mickey’s fur was cream colored with some light brown, as you can see in this photo.

The first pet I fondly remember was Missy, a stray kitten that Nana took in and let me care for. Missy had her fifteen minutes of fame in the summer of 1961:

Thanks to my childhood friend, Howard, who still has this clipping!

The funny thing was the newspaper person got several key facts wrong. Missy was about a year old, she was black and white and she went up a maple tree. Other than that, he got the story right. 🙂

When we moved to Wayne, New Jersey, Missy came along, but the previous owners of our house left behind their two cats – Puff and Pepper. Well, Puff and Missy ended up having litters of four kittens each within a couple of weeks of each other. I got to name them, so they were John, Paul, George and Ringo for one set and Mike, Davy, Mickey and Peter for the second set – the Beatles and the Monkees. However, as soon as they were old enough, they went off to live with new families. My parents weren’t about to have 11 cats. Three were two too many!

My father was a dog person, though, and I don’t know if he knew someone with puppies or if he went to the pound, but Skippy became part of the family.

Skippy was never my favorite pet. She was a sweet dog, but my parents never trained her to obey. We had a big yard and it was completely fenced in, but if a gate was left open or the screen door on the front door wasn’t closed tightly, Skippy would run out and take off around the neighborhood. I have many memories of riding in the car with Dad as he drove around looking for the dog.

Dave and I have had two cats and one dog. Jasper was the first to join the family, as she was being given away by a lady in front of the supermarket. Dave and I had only been married for a couple of weeks.

A year later, we decided that Jasper needed a companion and brought Jenny home. Jasper’s first reaction was to walk over and throw up on Jenny, but they came to love each other.

Jasper and Jenny

Jasper was only 8 when she died of a liver disease, but Jenny lived a long life, dying a few weeks after her 20th birthday.

The cats were happily settled into home life when I fell in love with a puppy at the pet store. She was a Keeshond and they had named her Keesha, which seemed to fit her personality.


The day I brought Keesha home after school, the cats were in the house, as usual. They heard some commotion as the new puppy was excited and checking things out.

Here was Jasper and Jenny’s reaction, way high on top of the stereo hutch:

Not amused!

While Jasper and Jenny learned to tolerate Keesha, they never let her get too friendly. Keesha eventually learned to ignore them because if she ventured too close, she’d be greeted with two loud hisses and a couple of swats to her nose.

Keesha was a true family dog. She loved Dave and me and would happily follow us around and roll over to be petted. She was very loyal – except when my mother came to visit!

Keesha Meeting Mom

Mom spoiled Keesha rotten, from petting her for hours on end to having conversations with her and, best of all for Keesha, being fed people food under the table at meal times. 🙂

From her very first meeting with Mom, Keesha remembered her on each of her yearly visits, running to the door to greet her and promptly forgetting the rest of us!

We had Keesha for 12 fun years. She survived Jasper, but Jenny outlived Keesha.

Although Dave and I both love animals, it’s so very hard saying goodbye and losing them. We haven’t had any pets since Jenny died in 2000.

Thank you, Randy and Janice Sellers, for this week’s challenge.


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