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!
-Rebecca

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

Friday, January 4, 2019

Sharing photos of animals with their own unique stories

For as long as I can remember, I have had a special feeling for most animals, especially horses and dogs. I also adore little kittens. When Gay and I were little girls, we played in the hay loft with the kittens that lived there. Although they were not tame, they were not so wild that they didn't let us hold them. 

My first experience with horses came when my father lifted me up to ride on the sweaty back of Charlie, the farm work horse. Charlie was a terror when he was first hitched up to a plow, and my daddy had his hands full as he tried to keep Charlie calm. The big white horse was known to run away with the plow flying in the air behind him. To keep Charlie in line, Daddy hitched a mule next to the big white horse. Together the two worked well and Charlie did not run away anymore.





One might wonder why a small child would be hoisted up on the back of such an animal, but by late in the afternoon, Charlie was tired and only looking to reaching the barn and his feed. Besides he was being led and no longer hitched to a heavy plow.

When I was older and learned to read, I found every book on horses that was available on the bookmobile or at the school library. The most popular horse book was the one I liked less, Black Beauty. 

Daddy liked dogs and our family always had a dog - that is until the family pet was run over by a car or lost its life someway. I heard a story about a bulldog who was important to our family. I was not born yet when this dog stepped between my brother, Rex, who was a little fellow, and a rattle snake. The dog was bitten and he later died. 

My brothers didn't seem to have the urge to pet and show affection for dogs like Daddy did. To some of them, dogs were livestock, like cows and hogs, that were put on earth for use, but not to love. 


Tiger, the bob tailed cat was Barry's loving, sweet pet.


Gay, on the left, in the middle, Dixie, and on the right is
Glenda. This pretty dog belonged to Aunt Judy. When Dixie died,
Aunt Judy never had another dog. "It hurts too bad when you lose them," she said. 

Ray, my oldest brother, had a small dog he adored in the later years of his life. None of my siblings cared about canines the way Gay and I did. We had dogs to play with when we were little and, although they were never allowed inside the house, we loved Fluffy, Turbo, a black English cocker spaniel given to my sister, June, and even Brit, the shepherd that was bought to drive cattle. Too bad none of my family had a clue about how to train the puppy. 

I vowed to myself that I would someday have my own little dog that would be with me all the time or as much time as possible. When I married a man who loved dogs, who gave me my own little bundle of fur, and I was in Heaven. I raised a miniature black poodle we named Brandy. We had him until he was nineteen years old. He died in his sleep. Losing one of them, no matter how old, is heartbreaking. It is like losing a member of the family.

At this link, you will find photos of some of the animals that touched my life. 

Do you have any stories about your pets, dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, goats, chickens, and domesticated wild animals? We would love for you to share them here on our blog.



2 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

We have always had much loved animals. Growing up the family had a German Shepherd (and cats, birds, turtles, guinea pigs...). I learned to walk pulling myself up on Harris's tail and teethed on his ears. I am told he just about crossed his legs to ensure he didn't pull me off my feet. He looked resigned when I chewed on him - and paid me back my draining my bottle every chance he got.
He was trained to do man work and my father gave demonstrations - heavily padded. And he finished the act by tossing the dog's lead to his toddler daughter who led Harris out of the arena.
When Harris was six or seven he was baited. Every dog in the block who was out that night died. And decades later I still have tears for his loss.

DJan said...

I love dogs and cats and basically animals in general. Growing up we had a wonderful dog I loved, Mulligan. He was found on a golf course by my parents and became an important part of our lives. He was a small terrier, and I would have another just like him, but instead I married a man who is not an animal lover, so I consider him my replacement pet. The worst part of having a beloved dog i that they don't live long enough. But it's not possible to love and not get hurt, so I would continue to do it again and again anyway.