I don’t know about you but I definitely consider my pets to be family. We are so lucky to have had all the pets we’ve had; ours have all been gentle and loving, truly dedicated and loyal to us. They are my ‘other children’.

When I tell someone that I need to get home for my dog they don’t always understand–she also has needs (like a child) that need to be taken care of like feeding and going outside, getting exercise to burn off her energy and love and attention.  Perhaps because they have always been a part of my life that I find this normal.  I would have a very hard time to imagine my life ‘pet-less’ even though it would make things a bit easier in terms of scheduling and being spontaneous.

Niki

This is our “Niki girl” who is about 5 years old and my constant companion

Niki is a (currently) 95 pound German Shepard who came to us at 9 months old. We were her fourth people. She had been originally bought by a couple going through some marriage troubles but since neither worked with her she added to the stress instead of bonding them together. Next she went to a young family but only lasted a few days since she was untrained and wild with their children. From there she went to someone who worked doubles 6 days a week so she spent much of her time in a crate, out mainly for feeding and ‘bathroom breaks’.  Then she came to us. I had doubts that first week; she was so untrained and wild, the only positive was she was house trained. I had an older dog at the time and I was not sure it was the best thing for him (it was and extended his life by several years). We worked with her constantly and she spent almost all her time with us, rarely crated. Within a week she was a totally different dog– she was so eager to please and be loved. She gained weight and muscle and her attitude changed dramatically. She became part of our family.  She is highly protective of me, almost to the point of being possessive; she whines when I hug my daughters and husband, let alone when I pay attention to our cats. Ironically she displays this same attitude with our groomer Darlene and goes into ‘alpha female’ mode if she feels she needs protecting from the other dogs.

Indy

Indy is a 5 year old cat who fits his name to a “T”….

Indy came to us as a kitten. It really was a case of being in the right place at the right time. I had no intention of getting a new cat, let alone a kitten but suddenly he was ours. We had gone to town to do some shopping and there was a really nice woman putting some kittens in a shopping cart to see if she could find homes for them. We spoke to her and she was willing to hold onto him for us until we returned from vacation. We had lost our older cat the previous year and he showed the same spirit and it just seemed to be karma that he came to us. He was so highly trainable and also eager to play and be with us. He is now 5 years old and at 15 pounds he is a big and muscled cat. I think he feels I am his property as he has to lay on me or near me when I sit on the couch.  He is the only cat I have ever had who comes when called, even if he is outside which totally amazes my husband. He sleeps on the end of my bed, near my feet, and sometimes I think he feels it is his rightful spot as he is virtually unmovable when sleeping.

Shadow fits his name–he loves to be in the shadows and hides in plain site in his cubby.

Shadow is a ten year old cat. I was found be him while at work one night when he was just a kitten. He was hiding in the bushes meowing and just out of reach. It was a cold November and my coworker and I tried to get ahold of him to no avail. I was able to leave early due to a slow night and there he was by my car, waiting for me. Again, I had no intention of  having another cat but somehow he stayed with us and became part of the family. He is aptly named and frequently you won’t find him despite calling and searching; he finds cubbies to sleep in and socializes only when he chooses–he is also very camera shy so I have very few pictures of him.

So, after hearing their stories can you see why they are family? They have all been brought into our lives at a time when we both were ready for each other.  They add so much to our lives. And hopefully we do to theirs as well.

Do you have a ‘pet story’ to share? Has a pet made an impact on your life as well?

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