What is it about pets?
We’ve been pet owners our entire married lives. First it was a kitten from the pet store that fell asleep in Bruce’s hand. We named her Hero, after a character in a book I was reading at the time. Later she would inherit a purbred Siamese companion named Rory (Hero’s romantic interest). Rory was everything a Siamese should be. Clownish, loving, talkative, and gorgeous. Lilac Point, light grey with a hint of lavender in his coat, beautiful, uncrossed blue eyes and an unkinked tail. He and Hero became best friends after she established the rule of law and heirarchy in the house. We had Hero and Rory for a decade or more, until our kids were in grade school. They gave us daily joy and laughs and unqualified love…for cats.
Pets make us laugh don’t they?
I’m a sucker for the kitten, puppy, dog, goat, penguin, bird and cat memes on FB. Videos even better. Want a good laugh? Watch a video of a Cockatoo feeding the dog pasta right out of the pot on the stove. Dancing minature goats in the barn yard, penguins playing in the snow, cats commandering enormous dog beds while the dogs are condemned to the small cat beds…it’s a never ending cuteness fest. Even the most boring and mild animals have personality. We hosted a Leopard Gegko once and darn if he didn’t come out to see Bruce every time he entered his office! Zeke loved live crickets, Milo (the cat) loved watching him eat them. TV can’t compete.
In my last post I wrote about grief. Our grief at loosing our dog Tucker hit hard. We’d lost a dog to illness and old age so we knew that kind of grief but this was different. Our sense of responsibility at not protecting him from himself haunted us. The house was empty, vacant and a bit lost. We have a cat (who was adopted to keep the dog company BTW) who looked in every corner for Tuck. He was constantly in our faces asking for reassurance, most of the time in the middle of the night. It drove me nuts, my once enjoyable cat was becoming a pest.
So we started searching and researching, trying to decide what kind of dog would be best for us at this phase in our lives. Originally we thought we’d wait till spring, but Milo might meet with an untimely accident if we did. Our next dog needed to be hypo allergenic, non shedding (I’d had enough with Tuck), smaller but not fragile, fun personality, cute (I don’t do ugly dogs) and not too expensive. We settled on a Cairn Terrier, it fit all the criteria and was a different breed than we’d owned, so it wouldn’t remind us of our previous dogs. I started searching online. Want a broken heart? Petfinder.com…it’s a killer.
Enter Maggy May. Posted on a rescue site that fostered dogs who’d been abandoned, she was a pepper colored, 12 lb, 10 months old, lively Cairn Terrier mix. Lively, should have tipped me off. Her foster parent told me she was very “good”, loving and sweet, house broken and not aggressive. HA! We figured that she wouldn’t have any negative traits that couldn’t be undone since she was still young. HA! She’s hypoallergenic, HA! After a few days her true nature came out–she ran away. Catching her proved nearly impossible. It wasn’t the last time she’d try it either. And if she weren’t so darn cute…I shudder to think.
She barks, she digs, she has accidents, she runs off, she plays rough with her mouth, she jumps on everything, she destroys toys (and would do furntire and shoes given a chance), she’s so active it tires us, she’s smart (think Border Collie/Jack Russel Terrier), she makes my nose run and my eyes water and she’s adorable. She makes us laugh–a lot. The first time we gave her a rawhide stick she went directly to the back door and came inside without it. Later she went out and came back with it, covered in dirt and wet leaves. She leaps like a minature goat–she got a cape for Halloween. You should see her in fresh snow, cutest thing EVER. It took Milo a couple of weeks to accept her, now he finds her entertaining. Waiting to bop her right out of the crate is his new trick.
Scripture is on target when it says a “Merry heart does good like medicine”. Maggy has definitely taken up the empty spaces left by Tucker, even filling a few we never knew we had. As she continues to have a stable and loving home we’re hoping she will settle down (though not too much) it’s a reasonable thought. Our vet said she showed signs of abuse which makes us think we still need to earn her trust. She loves us, of that we’re sure, she even shows it–when she wants to.
Laughter IS the best medicine. Finding the thing that makes you laugh is an antidote. Healthy doses of laughter dispel gloom and despair. Laughter is infectious, physically active and cathartic. Ever have a dinner party where you laugh so hard the next day your sides hurt? It’s the best. You sleep better after a good laugh, who doesn’t need a good night’s sleep?
Needless to say, Maggy May is permanantly here. Laughter may not be the only best medicine but I’ll take as much of it as I can. My goals for 2016 are to love purposefully, obey fully and to add more hearty laughter daily.
It certainly can’t hurt!