Sunday, September 13, 2015

09.14.15 The Dog Days of Summer

My mother, grandfather and Penny (1943)
We are pet people.  More than once I have said that I'd like to be reincarnated as one of my critters.  Our animals lead very plush lives (go ahead and groan), with no responsibilities other than to wag their tails or purr when we rub their ears.

Where dogs are concerned, we have always had spaniels.  As a child, my mother had a springer, Penny, who would sneak into  her room at night and get under the covers at the foot of the bed.  Even though the dog was NOT supposed to be there, my grandmother would pretend not to notice, and let her stay.  Penny was the first in a long line of over-indulged dogs.
Silver spaniel pin

My mom was a dog person through and through. I have a great pair of earrings that belonged to her - I suspect she acquired them from the New Yorker Magazine catalog, as they are silver renditions of dogs drawn by their famous cartoonist, James Thurber.
Thurber earrings

The old man of our household is Max, the cocker spaniel, who is going on 16.  Since the kids left home, he is pretty much my constant companion, hanging out under my feet when I work (or try to do anything in the kitchen).

Max the dog
My husband, and by extension my kids, are cat we have cats in our menagerie as well.

Our first cat was a grey tabby with great eyes - one brown and one green.  We didn't start out to have a cat - but he had been abandoned and showed up on our back porch.  I felt sorry for him and put out a bowl of milk - and posted a "lost cat" message on our neighborhood email list.  When, after multiple postings (and feeding him high dollar cat kibble because my husband said I couldn't keep giving him milk) no one claimed him, he claimed us.

Agent 99
He showed up about the same time we adopted our dog, as a puppy.  So - we named them as a pair - Max and Agent 99.

99, as we called him, was an outside cat, but when it was cold or he needed a check up he allowed us to be his humans.

I don't remember where I spotted this pin - but it made me think of Agent 99, so I bought it.  He would leave "gifts" at the back door for me.  He wasn't a particularly social cat, but he had a really big heart.

When Agent 99 died, both my daughter and the dog moped, terribly.  So, despite not being a "cat person" I agreed to another cat.  We adopted MoJo, an orange tabby.  We refer to him as the "tabby spaniel" because he grew up following Max around, he really does behave more like a dog than a cat. They are best buds, and are happiest when they are hanging out together.

MoJo Kitty
I spotted this pin in a catalog, one that I flipped through, and probably would have tossed directly into the recycling except that this it reminded me so much of Max and MoJo, I knew I had to have it.

I'm really grateful for my furry friends, even though sometimes I feel like my primary job is "critter concierge"...let one in, let the other one out, fill the water bowl...without them around, my empty nest would be entirely too quiet.

The sound of the dog snoring, or the cat purring, is just enough to keep the silence at bay, and keep me from feeling lonely.

As we meander through these last dog days of summer, I hope you find some time hang out with a friend or catch a cat nap.

Until next time.

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