Our first fur babies

Over the years there have been many critters in my life. Life without some furry ones to share it with to me is just not what life is all about. In my younger days I shared my home and yard with dogs, cats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, rabbits, frogs, turtles, horses, a raccoon and tadpoles but the most fun and excitement came after hubby and I married.

Our first fur baby was a very large yellow tom cat. My hubby’s cousin was moving and could not take the cat with her so we agreed to take him. Tom was a huge, lazy cat and more or less minded his own business. When our son came home at night he always took off his shoes and left them on the step at the back door under the carport. The first morning after Tom came to live with us son was leaving and put on his shoes. The shoes felt damp and he smelled a strange odor. He called me and asked me if I knew what it was he smelled and told me his shoes felt wet. I immediately recognized that smell.

For some reason Tom chose to use the shoes for a litter box. Every time son would leave his shoes on the step Tom would leave him a strong reminder that he forgot his shoes. Since Tom did not like being inside and we lived in the city we did not have him long before we found a nice home for him where he could be safe from city traffic and enjoy being outside. I have often wondered if he found shoes to do his business in after he left our home.

Next Buffy a chihuahua and Heidi a boxer came to share our home. They both loved being inside and stayed inside unless they were out doing their business or outside with us.

Buffy was a sweet little dog and loved me with all in her, but she did not do much other than follow me around, bark when someone came to the door and sleep with hubby and me or when we were up and our son was in bed, she and Heidi would sleep with him. She did have a few unusual habits. She loved onions and grapefruit. When she smelled either of them, she would walk on her hind legs and beg for them. She got only wee bites of each because they are not good for dogs. It was hard to not let her at least have a lick or a tad when seeing her beg so hard.

Buffy on the left with Muffin atop the picnic table one of their favorite sunning places.

Heidi was one of the sweetest, most gentle and loving dogs that ever graced my life. I still miss her to this day. She was so beautiful. The vet tried everything to get her ears to stand up, but nothing worked so her ears usually looked like airplane wings sticking out on the side of her head.

Our son worked nights a lot and Heidi loved sleeping with him in the day time if nothing of interest to her was going on elsewhere in the house. When son would come in after work Heidi would wag that little docked tail so hard and fast it looked as if it would fly off.

One day Heidi was outside taking care of business. I was in the back bedroom folding clothes. You know how sometimes you can feel you are being watched? I had that feeling as I was folding clothes and looked around the room, when my eyes came to one of the windows and there was Heidi. She was up on her hind legs with her front paws on the window watching me fold clothes. Now that was a cute sight, I grabbed my camera and took a picture of her. I assumed she had been to the door wanting in and since I did not hear her she came to the window to see if she could get my attention, or maybe she was just enjoying watching me fold clothes.

We were foster parents for our state and Heidi loved every one of those children and protected them as though they were her very own babies. She slept at the foot of the bed or on a pallet with the kids when they took a nap. She shared her bed with the cats too. She got along well with everyone and everything that lived in our home.

She would steal the babies’ pacifiers, so we bought her some pacifiers. She would hold one of them in her mouth while lying in her bed or running around the house. We could say to her “Go get your passie” and she would go get one of them and come back to us. What wonderful memories I have of her.

Heidi in HER chair with her pacifier

She loved to play in the water sprinkler and the snow. The kids spent many hours playing with her in the summer and winter when the sprinkler was going in the summer and it snowed in the winter.

When strangers would come around she would always let me know with that strong woof, woof of hers and she would not let anyone touch the fence when the kids were outside.

Our son is 6’ 5” tall. One day after he had married and moved away he came over for something. He lived not too far from us so he walked over. He reached the side of the yard and rather than walk around to the gate he decided he would just jump the fence. Well, that turned out to be a bad decision. He jumped and was about to clear the fence when all of a sudden he felt pain on the back of his upper leg. Just as he was coming over the fence Heidi grabbed his leg and bit down.

After he landed his feet on the ground, he saw Heidi’s face and she looked so sad. She had reacted to his coming over the fence in protection mode. Son said it all happened so fast that he did not have time to think and he was not sure Heidi knew who he was until she grabbed his leg. He had not even seen Heidi until after he jumped the fence but she saw him come over that fence and got to him in a real hurry. He only had a bruise on his leg, the skin was not broken. He thinks Heidi recognized him and let up on her bite.

We knew after that day that we need never worry about anyone getting in our yard undetected if Heidi was out there. Our son never jumped the fence again after that.

Buffy had hip surgery on both back legs when she was less than a year old. She lived a long and contented life, never being sick or having any other health issues in the 12 years that she lived.

Heidi had a stroke when she was 8 years old and never recovered .

Many more sweet fur babies have been in my life so if you come by and read my blog you will probably be hearing about more of them.

Thoughts of Watermelon

Today for lunch I was enjoying a couple of chicken egg rolls. For some reason as I was eating, I began to think about watermelon, I can’t say as I have ever eaten watermelon after eating egg rolls. My thinking sometimes gets a bit weird.

Thinking of watermelon led me to think about all the jobs I had before retiring and there were many. I can remember 17 and they are not all doing the same thing. Some I very much disliked and others I enjoyed.

My first job was running a candy stand with my sister. My sister and a friend from church is in the photo. The candy was given to us to sell by a friend of my mothers.

My second job was babysitting I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I first started, but it was possibly 12 or 13 years old.

My third job was again with my sister. Our stepdad decided he wanted a watermelon stand. After it was built he left my sister and I to run the place.

We had fun selling whole watermelons to go and watermelon slices that people could take with them or if they chose to, they could sit at one of the tables and eat there at the stand. Our fun was short-lived we had not been there long before a tornado hit. We were scared and no one came to help us. Thankfully we were not injured, and the watermelon stand never opened again.

I learned a lot from all the places I worked, but I learned much more when I was a caregiver. Several years I worked for pay, thirty-six years I was a caregiver with no pay eighteen years for the state and eighteen years for family members.

Those years with no pay were amazing and so fulfilling, I knew I was where I was born to be. I worked alongside doctors, nurses, judges, politicians, other caregivers, social workers, attorneys, foster parents and many other people.

Now that I am retired and think back on the first eighteen of those years, I know I could not have done what I did alone. My dear husband was wonderful to help as were the older children. The second eighteen years were spent caring for my amazing, loving husband and some family members.

Most of all I know without a doubt what I always told people that asked how I could do what I was doing my answer was always “I am the feet and hands; Jesus does the rest.”

What is or has been your most enjoyable work?