Pets are a gift that you give to yourself

I have never really had a pet of my own. I had hamsters when I was little and a poodle from one of our litters when I was around 19, but I didn’t really own her since my mom paid her bills and took care of her when I went out. I never had to worry if she was walked or fed, and I didn’t even take her with me when I got married. Over the years, our family has had more pets than I could count; we had hamsters, crabs, birds, cats and dogs. I had all of the fun without the responsibility, so I decided to ask my mother, Barbara, what it is like owning a dog now.

molly-as-a-puppyWhat is the name and kind of your current pet? My current pet is a little poodle named Molly. She is a miniature poodle at about 18 pounds and apricot color. She is the prettiest little girl in the whole world who spreads joy wherever she goes. As you can tell, I love her very much!

Have you always wanted to have pets? I believe that my love for pets began in 1946 when our pet hamster was loose in the kitchen. My mother and sister were trying to catch it, and I was in my high chair laughing my head off.

When I was a teenager, we had a couple poodles that had puppies. Tell me about that time. After our Saint Bernard, Phoebe, died, I decided to get a poodle. We went to a pet store, and a little brown poodle became my new baby. He loved me so much that I had to get him another poodle, and we named her CG short for Cocoa’s girlfriend. They produced two litters of eleven puppies total. Although Cocoa was brown and CG was red, all of the puppies were black. From the first litter of 5 females and 1 male, we kept one of the puppies, a very sweet little girl we named Pepper. It was hard not to keep all of them.

The second litter had 3 females and 2 males. One of the males was the last to go, and a man called to say he wanted to get a puppy for his girlfriend. When he arrived the puppy was behind the couch, so when I called his name, Bear, the man asked, “Is that his name?” I explained that we give all the puppies names, but that he could give him a new name. He said, “No, you don’t understand,” and he pulled out a picture of his last dog and said that his name was Bear. Our “Bear” got a home that day. Having all of those puppies was so much fun. Every day we laughed and played, held them and fell in love with each one, so that when they got a new home, we cried with each goodbye.

Are there any challenges that come with owning pets? Owning a pet becomes more challenging if you live alone. All the care is your responsibility, and they need a lot of attention. I love going for walks; we try to get out 2-4 times daily, and we love visiting our neighbors. When I can’t walk Molly, I found the best dog walker, Peter. He has even cared for Molly when I have had surgeries. The best thing is that he loves Molly too. It is hard if they get sick. My last dog, Muffin, had seizures and was diabetic. I gave her insulin shots daily for 7 years. She was a very loving and special little girl.

molly-nowYou went a few years without a dog, but got your current Dog Molly in 2010. What is the best thing about her? In 2010, I could not stand being without a dog. I thought that I was getting too old for another dog so I went 7 years without a pet. Molly is the best thing I could have done for myself though. I am never lonely; she makes me laugh all the time, and she gets me out and visiting with other dogs and people. This might sound funny, but she is a really nice dog. I think that is an important trait; plus she loves me!

Anything else you want to add? Pets are a gift that you give to yourself. I love Molly with all of my heart, and she has added so much joy to my world. Any pet takes a lot of time, patience, money and love, but they are worth it.

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