So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much!

p.s. my mom now refers to me as the family "chronicler" - getting down all the family stories. How I love that title!! :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Passionate About Animals

I often tell my students to write about their passions. I have many passions, but one that began when I was a child, is still raging strong in me today.

I love dogs. I loved my cats when I had a couple down on the farm. I care more for the bog-tail cat named Tiger that was first Charlie's cat until Charlie moved to the swanky retirement center in Alpharetta and Tiger couldn't go with him. Tiger is the cutest and sweetest cat we have ever owned.

Yes, I enjoy having a cat,
but from the time I was little and my beloved dog, Fluffy, was bitten by a "mad" dog, I have always felt the need to love and care for dogs. They need protection from other dogs, from people who drive crazy and hit animals, and they need protection from animal control and the gas chamber.

Sometimes they need protection from loving masters who want them to wear the master's college colors.

Rocky was an abandoned puppy, about six months old when we found him while walking at the Chatuge Dam in Clay County. I did not want a dog. My Samoyed, Kodi, had died only a month before. But My Good Man wanted him and he brought him home.
I said we could keep the dog until we found his owner or found a good home for him.
"He is not my type of dog," I said firmly putting my foot down. I was not going to have this mixed breed, non-descript dog, even though he was sweet and loving and liked to sit on the deck with Barry - each in his own rocker.

I wanted a lap dog - a small lap dog I could cuddle. Rocky must have heard me say that. Before I knew it he was jumping into my lap. He won me over before he'd been there a week. That was about ten years ago.

Rocky graduated from sitting in a rocker on the porch to sleeping with his head on the pillow on our bed. You can see he captivated our hearts. With Barry's illness, I insist now that Rocky sleep in one of his own beds and stay out of the bedroom.

Rock is not a happy camper, even though he got a brand new bed for Christmas, he gives me this look at night when we go on and leave him to sleep alone.

I know we have to be firm, and it won't hurt him to sleep in his own bed. He is only a dog, after all, but he is more than a dog to us. He is our boy in dog's clothing. and he wants to be with us all the time.

Loving Rocky has created a huge passion to support spay and neuter of companion pets. So many dogs, puppies, cats and kittens are drowned in the river, left in dumpsters, dropped beside the road where they are killed in traffic, and even bludgeoned to death, just because their owners decided they didn't want them. And they often sit at the shelter, lonely and begging for someone to take them home. They love as only an abandoned dog will.

Rocky is our first rescue, but we will get another shelter or rescued dog. Maybe because he appreciates us having saved his life, he is the best, most well- mannered dog anyone could ask for. If you plan to get a dog, find a good shelter pet. All he wants to do is love you forever. At Valley River Shelter in Murphy, NC they have the cutest and best cared for pets anyone can find. In today's newspaper a toy poodle was up for adoption. He is about 8 years old and was turned in by owner. I wish I could take them all, but we want Rocky and Tiger to have happy homes and honestly, I don't think we could manage another animal. We give all our love to Tiger and to Rocky, and they give us their love in return.
On the sidebar, you can click on Help Dog and Cats, and you can vote to help VRHS win funds that will help them save more animals.


Nancy Simpson said...

Glenda, Thanks for this personal essay on this particular day. You know, I love my dogs and my cat.

Love the photo of Rocky i his red sweater.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Oh, so cute! :) I love our dogs - well, I have to say "dog" now because we lost our girl, but Jake is a rescue dog - a fat lazy lab!

Glenda C. Beall said...

I realized all my photos show my pets sleeping most of the time. I never seem to catch them in the act of playing, but they love to play with each other. Tiger stalks Rocky from behind a large woven chest, then jumps out when he comes near. So much fun to watch!
Thanks, Nancy and Kathryn for dropping by.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Recently discovered your blog and had to comment about adopting shelter animals! We own two black cats, Rocko & Spunky, and they almost ended up at a shelter until we adopted them. Or rather, they adopted us! They are a little on the 'wild side', but such a joy!

L. Diane Wolfe

Glenda C. Beall said...

Hi Diane,
Thanks for visiting and commenting. I'll bet your kitties are adorable. Most are. Bless you for adopting them.
Visit often.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...


I really enjoy your stories about your animals especially Rocky. I love dogs!