Friday, May 9, 2014

Have You Hugged Your Pet Today?

   Welcome to Barking from the Bayou.  We appreciate you stopping by for a visit.  It’s National Pet Week, which is an appropriate time for BlogPaws to hold their annual conference. I am having a fantastic time and meeting so many wonderful friends at Lake Las Vegas!
   My regular readers know that like most pet bloggers, I am crazy about my pets.  Bentley the Basset is our seventh dog and has a seven on his side.  He has changed my life in more ways than I ever imagined.  In honor of National Pet Week, I thought it might be fun to share the fur babies that came before Bentley. They are listed in the order they joined our family.
    Miss Gitty was the first pet that I got when I moved out on my own.  She was a rescue
Miss Gitty
from the Humane Society.  When I went to look at the homeless pets, she came running up to me as soon as I got out of my car.  She was a scrawny tabby kitten and just seemed to know that we belonged together.  Of course, she was right.  I spoiled and adored her for the next twenty years.  Miss Gitty was a loving cat and trained a host of other four-legged friends that came after her.  I haven’t gotten another cat since she died.  It is simply impossible to replace her.  In The Returns books, she is the mentor to the rookie Guardian Angel and just as she did in life, she shares her wisdom and rules her world.
   Amos the black Manx came next.  Although he grew into a large cat, he never challenged Miss Gitty.  Amos had a wonderful personality and kept us laughing. He didn’t like
people coming around.  When someone knocked on our door, he would stay hidden until they left.  Then, he would come back out and give us a look as if he couldn’t believe we actually trusted other humans.  Sadly, he disappeared one night and we never found him.  It broke my heart.  He was the coolest cat that I have ever known.
  Opie was Miss Gitty’s baby boy.  She was not allowed outside, but one day she found a
way out of my 
my window.  As it often happens, she came back pregnant.  I was a nervous wreck throughout her pregnancy.  When the time came for delivery, all of the kittens were stillborn except Opie.  I had to keep him.  He was a dreamboat.  When he contracted Feline Urological Syndrome at age four, I was devastated.  I had never heard of the disease before.  My vet told me the most likely cause was eating only dry cat food.  In my despair, I wrote the cat food company a scathing letter.  I don’t know if it made a difference, but it wasn’t long before that brand introduced a food that would help prevent F.U.S.
  Then came Madison, our first “child” as a married couple.  She was an incredible German Shepherd.  Without a doubt, she was the smartest dog that I have ever known.  She could understand most of our conversations.  We participated in several AKC dog shows and she always did extremely well.  A natural born Frisbee dog, Madison knew when my husband gave the directions to go short, long, left, and right.  It was rare that she didn’t catch his throws.  She LOVED her Frisbee and would constantly bring it to us to throw.  A typical first child, she was incredible and not a day goes by that I don’t miss her.  Miss Gitty and Madison were the very best of friends.  When the time came to say our final good-byes to Madison at age 15, Miss Gitty had a stroke the following week.  I think that she finally died of a broken heart.
Jake and Madison
  We received our second German Shepherd from a friend.  He was her K-9 companion and when she left the police force, he retired with her.  However, she raised top show-quality Bloodhounds and Jake didn’t like her prize winning stud dog.  It was clear that she had to make a choice.  When she offered Jake to us, we jumped at the chance.  He was a massive dog and very intimidating to anyone outside of our family.  When Jake was around, nobody could walk behind us.  He could read a human and knew who was trustworthy.  Madison fell completely in love with him.  We taught him how to play and not be on duty 24/7.  I’ve never felt as safe as I did when Jake was around.  We were able to enjoy him for many years, but as with any pet it wasn't long enough.
  Madison had two puppies, Lindsey and Morgan.  We bred her with a champion show dog.  Even though Jake was neutered, both puppies sure did look like him.  I’ve always had my doubts about their true father.  Much like Opie, they were both so adorable that we decided to keep them both.  At the time, we lived on three-acres in the country so there was room enough for four humongous dogs.  I decided it was best if we didn’t have any more puppies.  I am not very good at parting with them.
  This brings me to Grady, our Schnauzer.  What can I say about him?  I wanted a dog that didn’t shed and could go to ballgames, outings, and other fun places.  I knew others
that had this breed and they were all such great dogs.  Grady…mmmm, not so much.  He was adorable and looked like a cartoon character.  The problem was that he acted like the Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil.  He was vicious and we all have the scars to prove it.  I think he was bi-polar.  You could pet and love on him one minute and he was drawing blood the next.  He was a ticking time bomb.  He finally got to where he wouldn’t walk on the wood floor or the linoleum.  He pretty much just stayed in the living room.  We had been red flagged on every groomer’s list in town, because he attacked them.  The general consensus with Grady was that we loved him, but just didn’t know why.
  Tucker was a welcome relief after Grady.  He was the sweetest, most easy going Golden
Retriever in the world.  My children called him the “Golden Child” because I spoiled him so badly.  In my opinion, he could do no wrong.  The boy did not have a mean bone in his body.  We jogged together, he slept with us, and camped, participated in my school activities, and he didn’t like to be out of our sight.  Tucker is one of the main characters in The Returns.  He taught Bentley all of the great things about being a terrific dog.  They were best friends.  He was truly 24 carat gold.
  That brings me to dog number seven, Bentley.  I think you all know how I feel about my boy.  He is my friend, furry child, confidant, and inspiration.  He may wear a number seven on his side, but without a doubt, he is number one to me.
  If you would like to get to know these animals, most are currently featured in my books, The Returns and The Returns 2~Showstoppers.  The difference is that in the book they are all humans that have been returned to earth in animal bodies.  They unite as a team in New Orleans to fight crime.  Although, they are not my pets in the books, their personalities shine through.  I have made Bentley an FBI Agent, Tucker is a Navy SEAL, Miss Gitty is the mentor, Amos is a cool cat with the right connections, Madison is a former NYC police officer, and even Grady gets a small part in book two.

Have a wonderful National Pet Week and be sure to hug your best friend today.  


  1. What a bunch of lovely pets you had. All so beautiful asns different. Have a great time at blog paws

  2. Quite the variety! Thank you for sharing all of your beautiful past pets!
    Hope your having a blast!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  3. This was a nice walk down memory lane for me! I am so glad they all live on in your books... even Grady (who I loved lots and lots even if he was psychotic) lol

  4. Great story about all those great furry family members! I have to say that Bentley is the best...don't you think ;)

  5. Oh so jealous! Wish we were there to meet you in person. Have a great time at Blogpaws. How sweet to share about your past pets. ~Rascal and Rocco

  6. What wonderful pets you have had! Each has their own personality and their own special place in our hearts, don't they?
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets


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