|Poker and Ace found a home on our sofa.|
As our population ages pet owners with health issues face difficult choices. A friend who has spent the last few months in and out of hospitals found a new home for her aging Australian Shepard. The dog bonded with her new caretakers. It hurt to see her seek pets from someone else, but being a wise pet owner she decided not to move her dog again. Now she visits her dog and they're both happy.
Over a lifetime of sharing our home with animals we've owned both kinds. The carefully purchased pure breeds and those that wandered in and took up residence in our hearts.
Brandy was an Irish Setter whose heart was pure country. He seldom left the yard when we lived on the farm, but get him in the city and he would keep running. The only way to catch him was drive up beside him in the truck and open the door. Then he'd hop right in. One below zero night Nash had to use this method to bring him home. We had to make a painful decision to put him down because he developed a bad heart. It wasn't fair to let a gallant companion exist on pills and constant visits to the vet for a few more months to ease our sorrow.
Brandy met Pounce when the tiny kitten came out fighting as the big dog backed him into a corner. We'd gotten the kitten from the pound to help keep down the mice in the barn. The only time that cat spent in the barn was when Nash was feeding the cattle or housing hay. The rest of the time he was near the house or in Nash's lap.
One afternoon Nash called me to look out the front door. In a hay field near the house were several deer and stalking through the high grass was Pounce intent on catching some large prey. One of his favorite resting places was across the entrance to the calf feeder where he prevented the calves from getting to their food. The barn swallows that nested in the rafters of the barn were his arch enemies. Pounce came to Ono County with us as a house cat and lived to the rip old age of 18.
The pets we've had since moving to Ono County have been the garden variety ones others have dumped in our neighborhood. Today we have two "found" dogs that are ten years old. It's questionable as to who found who so when someone inquires about their breed we say "followed us home," which is the truth.
They are chipped, have been neutered, and get their shots on a yearly bases. They will not endure cats or another dog near our house. We hope they will be with us for many years to come.