A New Fur Friend to Love


Many children want a pet. Some may want a “typical” pet, meaning a cat, dog, fish, maybe even a lizard. Some prefer tarantulas (I knew someone in middle school that had one- EW) or sugar gliders. Either option gives an animal a new home. The cost of getting a pet can be quite expensive, depending on breed, diet, and maybe even medical issues that may arise. The choice to adopt or shop can be a rough one, but the choice for our family has always been adopt. Apparently we are a cat family, but we have also had a dog, bunny and a turtle.

There are so many animals out there that need a good home with their forever humans. Millions are in shelters and are euthanized because of capacity. This idea breaks my heart, so I’ve opted to adopt.

Shadow was bought from a friend of my husband’s aunt. The lady had serious medical issues and didn’t think she could physically care for Shadow, her siblings and their mom. Otherwise, our pets have been found outside or given to us.

Tails was given to us after the same aunt’s cat had kittens, so he was given to us. He was a healthy boy until the very end, when he died last year. He had a saddle thrombosis, which is almost always deadly. We were devastated to have to stay goodbye.

Miss Purr came to us in 2016 after my husband found her outside under a dumpster, eating Cheetos. He brought her home and we have loved her ever since. The vet estimated she was about a year old, which would make her five years old now, but since she has grayed so much and has severe teeth issues, we think she’s probably 6 or 7. Miss Purr is a petite cat, which means she is not very big. However, she is very sweet and I have spoiled her terribly over the years. I’m her favorite human. We don’t know where she came from but I am so glad she’s with us. I think she might have finally forgiven us for bringing Shadow home after Tails died 6 months ago.

We took in a dog that everyone in the neighborhood loved.

Tiger was a boxer/pit bull and he was the best dog a family could have. He was not the stereotypical mean pit. He was a 10 year old brindle patterned bundle of love. He wandered around our neighborhood for a while before a bunch of the kids started feeding him so he stayed around. One day, he randomly wandered up our driveway. The kids took a poll on what to name him once we decided to keep him- Tiger because of the brindle pattern.

According to our vet, Tiger was at least 10 years old and was blind in his left eye. He had most likely been blind in that eye for years because he seemed to be just fine with having one functioning eye. How did he go blind? We have no idea. Sadly, he had scars everywhere and we figured he had been used in dogfighting. He cowered around dogs bigger than him but fell in love with the Pomeranian down the street.

Tiger snored like a grown man and ate all the food given to him. He loved pizza crusts. He would walk as far as you wanted and HATED going out in the rain to use the bathroom. We thought he had a cyst on his back left leg, but when it ruptured, the vet told us it was cancer. He got very sick soon afterward and within a week, I had to take him to be euthanized. My mom had to drive me home because I was crying so hard. Before we took him in, we took him on a last walk, let him eat pizza crusts and I fed him treats on his last ride.

I tell these stories to give an inside view on taking in adopted or stray animals.

It’s a great way for your kids to show what you have taught them but don’t always see in action. I learned that my kids are animal lovers and care deeply about all of our pets. Of course, we wouldn’t have let Tiger in if he was aggressive, but he never showed even a hint of that. He loved being petted and would nudge your hand if you weren’t paying attention. He barely barked. He just wanted loving humans.

Pets, no matter if they come from a shelter or a breeder, are a job but they are also so much fun, help family and emotional bonds, and give everyone in the home great stories to tell.


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