Throwback Thursday: Pet Stories

Howdy everyone, good to see you again! Today, I’m going to talk about some memories I have of pets that I’ve had throughout my life, or that I’ve known throughout my life. I have no pets at this time, as it’s too expensive in my apartment, but it’s not like I’ve never taken care of animals before.

When I was a toddler, we had a dog that came with our apartment named Cuervo. She was a collie/golden retriever mix, and wasn’t my greatest fan. She didn’t mind me, but she wasn’t exactly pleased I was always climbing on her back trying to ride her. I have very few memories of her in reality, but I saw a home video a while back. She would always run towards a wall to knock me off her- looking back, I almost feel a little guilty, even if I was a two year old with no understanding of what was going on.

I had a hamster once as well… But the only memory I have of it is a story my dad told me where I left the cage a crack open and it disappeared. I cried in hysterics, and my mother said we should’ve gotten another dog. I calmed down immediately at the idea of a dog, because I was six with no attention span.

On my 7th birthday, my parents brought home a two month old golden retriever puppy. He was already my size in length, and strong enough to knock me over regularly. I named him Cuervo Gold, after our first dog. Cuervo Gold, though, was very different than the collie mix we’d had. He was hyperactive and playful, and hysterically loyal in weird ways. Whenever I got home from school, he’d tackle me to the ground to give me kisses; when he came to the bus stop with my dad and I, he’d growl at the bullies to scare them away.

But, what I still find fascinating to this day is how differently he reacted when one of my family members gave him a command. If it was my father, he wouldn’t listen the first or second time- dad would have to yell to get him to listen many times. For me, he’d listen immediately- as a child, I was his favorite. But what’s funny is when my mom would command him. No matter what the command was, if it came from my mother’s mouth, he’d pee on the spot. Yes, it was a conditioned reaction- because frankly, he didn’t like my mom much. And nowadays, looking back, I don’t blame him.

A story that I wanted to share about Cuervo Gold is actually why I decided on this topic. Someone shared a gif of a squirrel with peanut butter, and it reminded me of something fairly silly. There was a time, you see, where we had his food in a bowl on the patio. One day, I noticed a couple of chipmunks come close to the sliding glass window that worked as our gate out of the house. To my amazement, the chipmunks were taking the food! It was something I’d never seen or thought of before. Chipmunks eating dog food? Apparently they’ll eat more than nuts, that’s for sure!

That also eventually led me to wondering if humans could eat dog food, and that curiosity led me to pushing my dad to eat a doggy treat. To this day, whenever I ask him how it was, he goes back and forth in regards to whether it was good or not, and I don’t know what to think of that. So, I try not to. Though because of it, I do sometimes think I’d like to try one for myself…

Anyway… We had to give up Cuervo Gold when I was ten and moving into my grandmother’s house with my dad. He’s since passed, but lived a long and happy life with my dad’s best friend, whom I call my uncle. In my grandmother’s house, we had new pets. There was a giant fish tank in the front hall, and a bird cage with two cockatiels in the living room. The fish didn’t have names that I knew of, but I did often help feed them. It was fun to watch them zip around the tank for food. What wasn’t so fun was when it was my turn to take the eggs out of the cockatiels’ cage. Those birds are quite possessive of their eggs, even if there’s no way they’ll hatch- after all, they were both female!

I unfortunately remember the death of one of the birds. Sparky, the younger cockatiel, died drowned in the water trough of sorts that was in the cage for her. It was after Tweety, the elder bird my grandmother called mine, had already passed. Sparky and I weren’t as close as I was with Tweety, but Sparky loved my dad….especially enjoying grooming him in his sleep, so that he’d wake up with bleeding cuticles. It made me sorta glad she wasn’t my fan- though it didn’t make it less difficult to see her dead body. I remember crying and clinging onto my dad. Sparky and I didn’t get along well, but I still saw her as family!

I’ve likely got other pet stories I can share, though most of them are of other people’s pets, not ones I had myself at any given time. Would those be interesting? And what about your pet stories? I’d love to hear some. Please feel free to share any or none- but if you do share, I will be extremely happy!

Until Saturday- bye bye, guys!

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Jaluna

A young adult who writes as a way of life, and treats all her characters as her children.

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