This page, WRITE TO A PICTURE, is an invitation to our regular writers and to our visitors. Send an original poem, a story, or your recollections. Share your thoughts and experiences with those who like to READ what others write. Send to me at LaraOct7@aol.com.

 Early 'Write To A Picture' pages are archived. The links are here:

Beach Scene "1" Old Train Station "2"
The Carousel "3" The Fifties "4"
Summer Picnic "5" From The Heart "6"
Cloudy Moon "7" September Morn "8"
Passing The Time "9" Apples "10"
Rain "11" Pumpkins "12"
Halloween "13" Big City "14"
Remembrance Day "15" Autumn Harvest "16"
A Cozy Nook "17" Migration "18"
The Kitchen On Memory Lane "19" Holding Hands "20"
Indoor Gardening "21" Playing In The Snow "22"
Bonding With Children "23" Old House "24"
The General Store "25" Friends and Friendship "26"
The Kitchen Window "27" Gentle Hearts "28"



 


Gentle Hearts

By Marilyn (LaraOct7@aol.com)







Do you like animals? Do you have a pet? My brother and I had a couple of cats when we were growing up. Our father wouldn't allow them in the house so we kept them outside. We had a Beagle, but he was Dad's hunting dog, and he, too, stayed outside.

My son and daughter had a Collie named Dutchess. Dutchess was smart and she had the run of the house. She loved to play hide-and-seek. I would hold her while the kids ran and hid, and then I would turn her loose. She loved that game and anytime I wanted either of my children she would find them. They hated that. lol

Ben and I had a Cocker Spaniel we named Buffer, and Buffer lived with us for fourteen years. Buffer always knew when we were taking him to the vet because he would start shaking as soon as we left the house. Buffer also knew when we were nearing my in-law's house. There was a bakery near by and Buffer would smell it before we did.

You may not agree with me, but I think most animals have a gentle heart. Unless provoked, I find that most animals are friendly.

This week's "Write to a Picture" topic is about pets. If you don't have a pet, maybe your neighbor does. Gentle Hearts. Ficton or fact, we look forward to your entry.






 


Gentle Hearts

Amy (Fabulousfilly@aol.com)





THE ANIMAL WITHIN US
SEEKS LOVE AND KINDESS TOO
BUY YOUR SELF A PET
IT WILL ALWAYS BE TRUE









 


Zoe

Joy (JOY3032@aol.com)





Zoe is the family dog
She slinks around all day
She seems like a doggie agent
She's always in the way


She looks at you with big brown eyes
As if she knew your mind
She seems to sense what's happening
When we are far behind


I've seen her checking 'round the house
When everyone's asleep
What ghost is she observing?
She doesn't make a peep


She appeared one day from nowhere
The family took her in
They couldn't leave her on her own
To ignore her seemed a sin


We do remember the night she came
There was a light up in the sky
It wasn't any known heavenly body
T'was just a glow that we did spy


You don't suppose she comes
From some planet far away
Where she is on assignment
For somewhere "they" can stay?


If "they" are all nice as she
And fun to be around
We'll put a "Welcome" sign out
And spread it on the ground


She's nicer than some folks we know
And doesn't interfere
She's welcome with her "others"
"Come down and settle here!"









 


The Cats I've Had

Jeanie (Mingo184@aol.com)





SINCE I'VE BEEN LIVING ON MY OWN FOR MANY YEARS, I HAVE HAD 3 CATS IN SUCCESSION. I LIKE DOGS BUT I PREFER CATS, SO I HAVE FOUND. AND, I LIKE MY CATS TO BE DIFFERENT. SO, EACH ONE HAS BEEN A DIFFERENT COLOR.

FIRST THERE WAS MINGO, A BLACK AND WHITE MALE..WHAT IS KNOWN AS A TUXEDO CAT. HE WAS VERY FASTIDIOUS...VERY PROUD OF HIS FUR COAT..CONSTANTLY COMBING AND CLEANING HIMSELF. ONCE, HE GOT INTO THE ATTIC AND I HAD A HARD TIME GETTING HIM DOWN. FINALLY, HE CAME ON HIS OWN AND WAS COVERED WITH DUST. THE WHITE OF HIS FUR WAS ALL GREY. IT TOOK HIM 3 DAYS TO GET BACK TO HIS GLORIOUS SELF. HE HAD VERY GOOD EYESIGHT. ONE TIME I HAD FALLEN ASLEEP ON THE SOFA AND WHEN I WOKE UP I SAW MINGO SITTING IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION WATCHING A BASKETBALL GAME. THE BALL IS IN VIEW AND HE TRIED TO BAT AT IT AS IT SAILED ACROSS THE COURT. I WAS TRANSFIXED WATCHING MY CAT WATCH A BASKETBALL GAME. I HAD MINGO FOR 7 YEARS AND CHOSE HIS NAME AS MY SCREEN NAME, AS YOU CAN TELL.

NEXT THERE WAS JO-JO, GIVEN TO ME BY MY BROTHER, JOE, AFTER MINGO DIED. HE WAS THE LOVE OF MY LIFE, THAT CAT. HE WAS AN ORANGE TABBY, KNOWN AS A MARMALADE. JO-JO WAS A LAP CAT, A SHOULDER CAT AND WOULD JUMP INTO MY ARMS WHEN I WOULD BE TALKING WITH SOMEONE. HE WAS JEALOUS OF MY PAYING ATTENTION TO SOMEONE ELSE. HE WAS DEATHLY AFRAID OF THUNDERSTORMS AND WOULD RUN INTO A CORNER AND COWER UNTIL THE THUNDERING STOPPED. NO AMOUNT OF COAXING WOULD GET HIM OUT OF THAT CORNER. I HAD JO-JO 16 YEARS.

AFTER JO-JO, I ACQUIRED WHITNEY FROM A FORMER SUPERVISOR. SHE WAS THE FIRST FEMALE I HAD OWNED. SHE WAS A BLACK CAT WITH BIG GOLDEN EYES AND A TINY THIN LINE OF GREEN AROUND HER PUPILS. SHE WAS AN ALOOF CAT, PREFERRING TO SIT IN THE WINDOW AND WATCH THE BIRDS OR JUST HAVE SOMETHING TO EAT AND MEANDER INTO THE BEDROOM AND STAY THERE FOR THE REST OF THE DAY UNTIL SHE WAS HUNGRY AGAIN. I HAD WHITNEY FOR 15 1/2 YEARS.

BECAUSE OF JOINT REPLACEMENT SURGERIES, I HAVEN'T GOTTEN ANOTHER CAT. NOW, IT IS ALMOST 3 YEARS AND I HAVE BEEN SERIOUSLY THINKING OF GETTING ANOTHER FELINE. I PLAN TO GO TO THE NEARBY SHELTER AND RESCUE AN ADULT CAT SOMETIME THIS WEEK. I MISS HAVING THE COMPANIONSHIP OF AN ANIMAL AND I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE ONE A HAPPY HOME.

IN MY SPARE BEDROOM, I HAVE 3 PASTEL PAINTINGS OF EACH CAT I HAVE OWNED, DONE BY AN ARTIST FRIEND OF MINE IN FLORIDA TO WHOM I HAVE SENT SNAPSHOTS OF THESE CATS. SHE HAS CAPTURED EACH ONE PERFECTLY.

I AM A BIG FAN OF 'THE BIG CAT DIARY' ON THE ANIMAL PLANET CHANNEL. FASCINATING AS TO HOW EACH BREED IS SO DIFFERENT IN CARING FOR THEIR OFFSPRING. THE LION, WITH THEIR PRIDE..THE CHEETAH, THE FASTEST, YET THE MOST VULNERABLE TO OTHER BIG CATS. THE LEOPARD, THE STRONGEST AND ABLE TO DRAG A KILL UP A TREE. AND, MY FAVORITE..THE TIGER, LARGEST BIG CAT OF ALL AND, TO ME, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL. SOLITARY, POWERFUL AND ALONE.








 


Gentle Hearts

RickMack (Rmrickmack@aol.com)





Pit bulls have gentle hearts, I think,
Despite their aggressive nature.
Its just that they can’t break the link
That makes them a feral creature.


Sometime many eons ago,
They played all day with pigs and lambs,
But tasty mutton pleased them so,
As well as did yum, yummy hams


That these dogs tended to forget
Their hearts were loving and gentle.
Learning men were the best taste yet
Happened purely accidental:


A pit bull licked its master’s hand,
But it had a bad overbite.
Nipping a thumb, I understand,
Brought epicurean delight


From that time on, their gentle heart
Raced at the thought of gnawing man.
Meet one? My advice, if you’re smart,
Run as far and fast as you can!









 


Mama's Love

Sharon (Sunyskys1943@aol.com)





Hey why is it you have more love
The pup asked the kittens above
Your mama keeps you safe right here
Mine deserted me I do fear


Well don't you fret said Mama cat
You can share our blanket like that
I have enough love for one like you
And for my own babies it's true


All that I ask is you watch those teeth
Or my sharp claws will I unsheathe
To protect my babies for sure
Rough housing here I won't endure


But if you behave and promise me
Then you can stay right here with we
And love you as my own small one
Together we can all have fun


The pup was happy for a bit
Played too rough with a little kit
Before Mom could move her cat toes
The kitten scratched the pup on nose


That was when the pup learned quite fast
Happiness doesn't always last
He ran away from that warm bed
From then on a dog's life he led









 


The Soul Of A Cat

Swampetta (SWAMPETTA@aol.com)





Some people believe that only humans have a soul. They probably don't look at animals enough. With eleven cats...(Yes! 11.) I see the way each one is different and the way they interact with us.

The Troll has his special 'Buddies', and I have mine. Sometimes one of 'his' will cuddle up with me and one of mine will do a lap flap on him. They are equal opportunity exploiters.

The first one to wake up and go down to the kitchen is always very popular. They will hear a foot on the floor and the whole herd will head for the steps at top speed.

They do know how to tell time though and if you spend a tiny bit of extra time in the bed....WELL! Have you ever had your nose sandpapered? One of my Boys, Who Else?, will do that if he thinks it's past his breakfast time. Once he sees my eyes open, he sits back and purrs at me. That's to tell me that he does love me and it's not just an empty belly prompting his behavior.

The General likes to jump on the table while I'm having my coffee. He stares at me with his beautiful blue eyes and asks me questions. LOTS of questions! He is a very verbal feline and being mostly Siamese he doesn't always make his speech clear. (Exotic accent he has.)

Lily is the red cat and she rules the kitchen. She won't eat with the rest of them because she feels that because she is the 'Senior' cat, she should have special treatment. She gets her food in her plate that goes on the shelf above the radiator. After she eats she sits on the chair next to me and we read the paper.

Fuzzbucket puts on a fashion show every time he crosses the room. He swishes his Maine Coon cat plume tail and squints to see if you are paying attention. If you aren't....he will swish back and forth until you bend over and give him a thorough petting. Then he goes and sleeps on the couch.

They all have gentle hearts and special souls...too bad that humans can't have that.








 


Gentle Hearts

Bob (C1ydeBunky@aol.com)





When feelings take the place of thoughts,
Of sheer necessity
A pet must deign to show its love
In ways you cannot see -


For never does such friend attempt
To analyze your ways -
Unpleasant thoughts just can't occur
To dim that loving gaze.


Adoring eyes will follow you
(And follow you they must!) -
For in the inner part of pets
All feeling is pure trust.


That child eternal, in your life
Will play an awesome part -
And in return, all that is asked -
Be gentle, heart to heart!









 


Devotion

Connie (CSThomas@aol.com)





We see complete love in the eyes of our pets
We expect from our children the same emotions
But when we look at the 'love of our life'
Sometimes to find turmoil and not devotion


Is one's 'love' deeper than the other?
Which one's labeled the best?
A pet needs food and a place to lay his head
But they're still more devoted than all the rest


A spouse may one day leave you
A child ...... sometimes too
But a pet will always be there
Hoping you'll love 'em .... as they do you









 


Gentle Hearts

Mary Mizrany (MusingByMary@aol.com)





Perhaps you will find it hard to believe,
but, true it is:-) Our gentle heart is named
"Bubby". He is our potbellied pigbaby.
We call him our baby because that's how we
treat him. Just like a baby boy:-)


Potbellied pigs become part of your family
as soon as they become familiar with you.
Highly intelligent, these precious creatures
bring many wonderful hours of pleasure to a family.


Let me explain why they are excellent pets.
They are not "dirty, stinking animals" as some
suppose. On the contrary, they are very clean.
The reason folk think them dirty is because they
DO like mud. Mud soothes their skin, as pigs
have very sensitive skin.


Potbellied pigs do not shed nor do they have fleas.
They can learn any trick you wish to teach them, and
enjoy every minute of it. Loving to entertain is the
reason they are called "ham" I guess:-)


Our baby boy has a rolly ball in which we place
pellets of his pig food. He can spend hours rolling
his little plastic container as long as he gets a pellet
now and then. We punched holes in the container, you see:-)


For lunch Bubby eats a large garden salad
created especially for him with his favorite veggies.
Carrots, lettuce, cucumber, cabbage, squash and
celery. The only thing he doesn't get in his salad
are bacon bits and croutons ~ LOL. His other two meals
consist of potbellied pig pellets soaked in water.


For treats Bubby loves popcorn and rice cakes.
We don't give him any sweets generally and the popcorn
has no oil or salt.


My husband made him his own special potty.
When we lead him out to his pen and put the "potty bucket"
beneath him and say ~ "Potty now, Bubby" ~ he urinates
in his little potty bucket:-) It is the same when he needs
to do #2. We put the potty in place behind him; tell him to potty
and he obeys. Isn't he a smart boy? Also, this controls any
odor problems. I am SURE our neighbors are VERY glad
we have taken the time to "potty~train" Bubby:-)


Bubby is very affectionate and friendly. He makes a
very comfortable bed~mate, as well. We share our
queen size bed with him every night. Those little hooves
are a bit sharp though ~ ouuuucch!


Here is a picture of our baby boy, Bubby:




Of course, he was only a month old in this picture.
On April 1st he will be two years old.
He now weighs about 80 pounds and will be considered
an adult at three years of age.


What a gentle heart is our sweet Bubby!


by Mary Carter Mizrany©
February 27, 2007









 


Gentle Hearts

Lilly (Lilprincessitali@aol.com)





A GREAT LOVER OF CATS, I AM.
DID NOT HAVE MANY IN MY LIFE
WHEN I GOT ONE,IT WAS MINE
HAD MORE DOGS BUT NOT FOR ME
SEEMS DOGS LIVE LONGER THAN CATS
BOTH GOT ATTENTION, LOVE ,AND FOOD
DONT UNDERSTAND REASON OR WHY
CATS AND DOGS CAN LOVE AND BE PESTS
A BURMESE CAT LEFT HIS HOME ONE DAY
FOLLOWED ME HOME I SAID NO GO HOME
DID KEEP HIM AWHILE AND SPOILED HIM
A LOVELY BLACK CAT WITH YELLOW EYES
LET HIM OUTSIDE ONE DAY AND HE LEFT
MUST HAVE FOUND HIS WAY BACK HOME
DAUGHTER GAVE ME HER TIGER CAT
HE WAS OLD, BUT I TOOK CARE OF HIM
MOST OF THE CATS DIE FROM LUKEMIA
WAS SAD A LONG TIME, WITHOUT ONE
DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING FOUR YEARS AGO
DAUGHTER AND HER DAUGHTER CAME HERE
SAW SOMETHING MOVING IN THE BLANKET
ASKED SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT IN THERE
A CUTE LITTLE KITTEN FOR YOU
WAS DROPPED OFF AT THE BARN, SO CRUEL
I WAS OVERJOYED AND LOVE HIM MUCH
VERY LOVABLE SMART CAT, BOSSY TOO
TOP HALF MAINE COON, BOTTOM HALF PURE WHITE
MELLOW YELLOW EYES IN DAYTIME
EVIL GREEN EYES AT NIGHT LIKE FLASHLIGHTS
KNOWS EVERYTHING AND MY SCHEDULE PLAN
LOVES MY HUGS AND KISSES AND PURRS SO LOUD
SITS ON CHAIR TO LET ME KNOW TREAT TIME
TRY SNEAK OUTSIDE WHEN I CALL THE DOG
WALKS ALL OVER MY COUNTER LIKE A PRINCE
LOOKS OUTSIDE MY KITCHEN WINDOW
SEES EVERYTHING, MISSES NOTHING
DRINKS WATER OUT OF KITCHEN FAUCET
GET PAWS WET TO WASH HIMSELF
RUBS HEAD ON ME WHEN WANT HUGS
SLEEPS WITH ME WHEN HE FEELS LIKE IT
OR ELSE EVERYWHERE IN MY HOUSE
FOLLOWS ME FROM ROOM TO ROOM
SITS AND WATCHES ME TYPE ON HERE
TRUTH, NO WAY I CAN NOT LOVE HIM
MY GREAT PRIDE AND JOY AND FRIEND









 


Pets In Our Family

Barbara(Brierhillbarbara@aol.com)





All of our familys' lives have been touched by the special souls of animals. I have always had a cat and at times, a dog. When very small, I had painted turtles. Not to forget the fireflies at night, and the rabbits we raised: big, huge rabbits, all fluffy and white.

Grandad always had hunting dogs, wasn't allowed to play with them, pets don't make good hunters.

By the time I went to school, I had a small grave yard full of turtles in boxes and properly prayed over, even candles at that time. Then that same year came the black cats from the wild. I fell in love with Blackie cat.

Blackie is still in my memories after these 60 years, and her kittens too. Even the hunting dog who got hit. I fought to keep him alive until the men in our family pulled me from the coal shoot. I ran away but I wasn't far enough. I heard the gun shot. I screamed.

My oldest son fell in love with a black and white collie I raised and kept until he was a grown man. Just before Jim died, his dog died, and someone threw it in a dumpster. Jim got the dog and buried him with respect. He was a good dog.

Well, Lee, the youngest boy adopted a pound dog, part Pitt Bull, a puppy. We all fell in love with Dee Dee. He was a guard dog when the girls or I were here alone. He was protective to a fault. My husband fed him whatever he was eating: hot peppers, popcorn, slim jims. He was a fine dog and a good companion. God sends angels in strange forms. We kept him until he got down in his legs and then we had to put him down. I still look at his pen and yearn to see him.








 


Charles and Fred

Norma (Twi1ite@sbcglobal.net)





Janelle stood staring at tomatoes, cart in hand. That morning her last two children had moved - one to college and the other into his first apartment. Happy events surely. A lanky schoolboy in a white coat was spraying the vegetables nearby and noticed Janelle’s shaking shoulders. She was sobbing and shaking. He just watched her to see if she would be all right, but respected her privacy. Janelle was staring at the shiny tomatoes frozen because the black cloud of the empty nest had suddenly enveloped her. She had always had a family and now? "Do I buy 1, 2, or what?" She felt as if the tomatoes were pelting her as if she were a poor performer for an angry audience.

The next day, Janelle was searching the "Free Paper" ads for a little dog. She had always said if she were to live alone she would have a little yapper. Her search was interrupted by the telephone a call from her son on his brand new phone. "Whatcha doin’?" "Well, I was looking in the paper for a puppy." "Really! Boy, Mom, do I have a dog for you!" It seems his girlfriend’s girlfriend had moved into an apartment that would not take dogs and she had Fur Ball. Rather than his girlfriend letting that little mess go to a shelter, she agreed to take him, knowing she couldn’t keep him. That night Janelle’s son and his girlfriend and Fur Ball came to check out Janelle. It was love at first sight! Janelle took a week off from work to bond with him, gave him the new name of Charles and told him she would bestow the title of Sir upon him when he got house trained. She also called him Dummy Dog, Short Stroke, and a number of other names unsuitable for this story.

Life was moving along as it should when Janelle’s daughter became ill at college. She had to come home. She was so very ill that Janelle would have done anything to uplift her spirits. She had always wanted a white kitty, so Janelle spent the weekend on the phone to the ads to find her a white kitten. Finally, late Sunday afternoon, Janelle and her daughter drove miles across town to find a tiny rat-like white kitty. Her daughter named "her" Penelope and called her Penny. Penny grew and grew fast taking on a masculine appearance. And at Christmas time, Janelle’s son announced "I think you’d better change this cat’s name. It’s a boy cat!" That was a jolt, but Janelle’s daughter adjusted to it and named "him" Fred.

But this is a love story. Sir Charles loved Fred dearly. He taught him how to be a dog, and Fred taught Sir Charles how to lie on the floor stretched out with his legs behind him like a rope. When Janelle took Charles walking, Fred walked along and dipped in and out between houses, explored the creek, walked on roofs. The two of them filled the empty nest, and when it came time for Janelle’s daughter to take Fred with her, Janelle and Sir Charles grieved - grieved enough to get another little girl dog for Sir Charles. Fred often visited Sir Charles, and when Janelle’s daughter married, he came to live again with Janelle. Sir Charles and Fred seemed to accept their absences, but never, never forgot each other. They sniffed, curled, and lay down side by side for as long as their seasons together.








 


Gentle Hearts, Great Hearts–My Animal Friends

Evelyn (Evenccw@aol.com)





Not to hurt our humble brethren
is our first duty to them,
but to stop there is not enough.
We have a higher mission -
to be of service to them
wherever they require it.

St. Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226





St. Francis in Evelyn's Garden




If I were to name a favorite patron saint it would surely be St. Francis of Assisi. His statue stands in my flower garden. In the summer he is surrounded by lilies, birds, bees and butterflies. I have been privileged to know, love and to cherish a broad range of animals through my many years of life. “Gentle hearts, great hearts” is how I would describe them all, even the ones with bad attitudes. Yes, animals can have bad attitudes, just like humans! I salute my parents, my aunts and uncles, who taught me to love, appreciate and to value all animal life from the birds in the air to the fish in the sea. My husband taught me to appreciate the aquatic life of the aquarium!

Of this I am certain, there is beauty in every beast, and a gentle heart. Legend has it that St. Francis knew this and that he talked to the animals. Looking back, I remember my early life on the farm as being surrounded by animals. They all had great and gentle hearts. Bess and Bell gave us milk. Mack and Bill, our mules, had the softest muzzles. They loved being put out to pasture after a long hard day at the plow or pulling wagon-loads of hay. When freed from their traces, they would first run, then lie down and roll over and over in glee like pigs wallowing in mud. The cows and the mules knew their routine and always come when called–especially to their supper!

The hens had their routine too. After laying their eggs (which were our chore to gather), they had a voracious appetite as we fed them. I loved to watch them busy themselves scratching away in the hen yard and often wondered what they were looking for. Once in a while a maverick hen would lay her eggs and hatch them in a pile of brush in the woods behind the hen house. Our hearts would melt at the sight of the mama hen parading her brood of chicks up the hill. It was always a proud moment–a spring tonic!

Luna and Stella, our brood sows, had litters of white piglets which Daddy didn’t allow us to fondle. He let us touch them and they felt like velvet. Oh my, they were so beautiful! So were the twin kids when the goat gave birth. They were snow white also. There were calves and rabbits too.

On the farm we always had a number of cats, but none were allowed in the house. Looking back, I rather suspect that the kind of cats we had on the farm you might today call “feral.” They weren’t really touchy cuddly cats. When a cat had kittens, if you dared go near them, the mama cat would carry them by the scruff of their necks to a hiding place. It was a sight to see. No one could find them until they came out on their own, all bright eyed and bushy tailed!

Dogs weren't allowed in the house either. But I remember Trixie. When I see me in my “baby” picture hugging Trixie I think of the expression, “Happiness is a warm puppy!” Though she wasn't allowed in the house, she followed me wherever I went and was my faithful companion. Sadly, Trixie had untimely demise of distemper. Then came the German Shepard dogs, Black and Dan. They were beautiful dogs. Black died. Dan lived to a ripe old age. Then came Pincy!




Evelyn and Trixie





Edna and Black, John and Dan




One morning we found a little black and white dog in our yard after a terrible storm. She had an injured paw. Daddy cared for the little dog until its wound healed. She was a mystery, gentle and loving. No one ever claimed her and “Pincy” found a home with us. Daddy mated her with a neighbor’s Spitz. Her litter of puppies delighted us all, a memory I treasure. I loved those puppies and we found homes for all of them. Pincy followed us to town one Saturday afternoon, was hit by a car and was killed. That was the most pain I ever felt in losing a pet. In retrospect, we didn't have the know how or the time to give obedience training to our dogs. It would take me many more years to catch on.

During my children’s growing up years, sadly, we weren't successful in keeping dogs as pets. It wasn't until the children had left the nest that I learned how to train and handle and properly care for a dog. The good news is that our grandchildren all came to know and love Granny’s dogs Venus and Spanky, both obedience trained with papers to prove it! At least my grandchildren will have happy memories of well-trained dogs that gave them great joy when they came to visit Granny and Grandpa!

Venus was just five weeks old when we brought her home. She was a registered Rottweiler and was my faithful companion for thirteen years. I learned the joy of having a well-trained, obedient dog. I felt safe with her when Tom traveled. She always came when I called. I had the great joy of receiving Venus as a puppy. I knew heart ache and grief and acceptance when it was time to be set free from her pain in her final days. She had a gentle and a great heart.

A year before Venus died we took in a mongrel puppy, Spanky. Spanky went through puppy training too. He will soon be twelve years old. Whether a dog is a mongrel or AKC registered, you honor them by training them to be obedient. Somehow I missed the boat the years the children were growing up and didn't know the significance of obedience training. We had a lot of heart ache as a result.

Cats are an inscrutable mystery. They can be the epitome of grace and dignity and full of self-reliance on the one hand, and with the flick of a switch be whiny and needy. In residence at this time, we have two cats, Stumpy is eight, Inky is three. Both came to us as kittens.. They are still the most effective form of rodent control that I know of. However, when a poor hapless mouse chances in their path, unlike the barn cats of old, they don't eat them. They just worry them to death and leave them lying around.

I find joy and fulfillment in opening my heart to animals. I have been blessed to have loved and to have been loved by dogs with great hearts and by cats with free spirits. Life without them is almost unthinkable. Through the years the love of the animals that have passed through my life is etched in my soul and it is a part of who I am.








 

 

 

 



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