Buster, Buster, and Buster

My siblings and I had dozens of pets growing up - puppies, cats, goats, a banty hen, hampsters, mice, and one lone baby deer.  Most of these were rescued strays and didn't stay with us long, but they certainly were fun.  Although they generally ended up being named Buster (for kids who could pretend that a fallen tree was a ship in the ocean, we were sadly unimaginative when it came to pet names), we could always tell them apart.  Mostly.  Of course, when you don't live in the backwoods where your pets can roam freely without bothering anyone in particular, things change.  You need a yard with a fence, a front porch, a permit, or a leash.  So, while living at college or in South Carolina, I fed my need to be near fuzzy animals with visiting PetsMart - not ideal, but there are very few pet stores out there that actually just have pets these days.

And then I found Faust.  I was under the impression that I was rescuing Faust from the animal shelter.  She was the smallest kitten in her cage and seemed to get picked on the most.  Little did I know that Faust was actually the Living Terror herself.  She hissed at people she didn't recognize, refused to let strangers walk past her upstairs, scratched anyone who tried to feed or pet her, and on one occasion actually leaped and attached herself to the head of a guest.  Of course, she was sweet to me (and me alone), which if you think about it is kind of a flattering quality in a cat.  So you can imagine how heartbroken I felt when she was unexpectedly killed by a stray pit bull.

That being said, I've come to the conclusion that people should be forced to have a license to own pit bulls (and should have to keep them on a leash at all times.  Scratch that.  I think these animals should be outlawed).  I also strongly feel that there should be a law enforcing U.S. citizens to have their pets neutered, unless they are licensed breeders.  Speaking from the perspective of someone who spent hours as a kid standing outside grocery stores trying to give away box-fulls of kittens, I've come to realize that for every kid who honestly wants to give their extra pets good homes, there are at least a dozen people who would just dump the box of kittens on the side of the road and leave them to fend for themselves.  Which is why our animal shelters are over-crowded and forced to "dispose of" excess homeless pets on a daily basis.

Since Faust, I haven't bought any new pets (although more than anything I wish I'd adopted that old cat with the elongated  chin from PetsMart because he was the drollest-looking creature I've ever seen - imagine Cary Grant as a cat and you've just about got it).  Today, though, we were visited by Boaz (Biblical humor?), a German Shepherd who I'm told belongs to Joe the Fireman (apparently he is my neighbor, but we've never met).  Boaz followed us on our walk (because Isaac kept feeding him goldfish from a ziploc baggy), prancing around us and looking extremely alert whenever he saw a car or heard a strange sound.  So I was thinking - this would be nice.  It'd be nice to have a large dog who will accompany us on long walks, bark whenever strangers trespass, and circle around the house every ten minutes, staring in the window as if to ensure that yes, the human occupants are still alive and well.

I've especially grown fond of this idea since moving back to Georgia, where I don't feel quite as comfortable as I used to as a kid, especially at night.  You never know when you might need to yell, "Sic 'em, Butch!"  Which would have come in handy that one time I was out walking and a guy in a white vehicle pulled up on the curb and yelled at me to get in his car.  Now, truth  be told, he might have just been offering to give a girl and her baby a ride (in a very unfriendly tone of voice) - which is what I chose to believe as I walked away.  Since I tend to go into Life-Is-Fiction mode whenever something potentially threatening happens, it'd be good to have a dog around.  Also because I can never seem to recall exactly where I hid my mace (yes, I actually do hide it.  Wouldn't want Isaac finding it and spraying himself in the face, you know).  Plus, a dog seems like a safer bet than a handgun.  Once you become a parent, that strong, unshakable conviction that you could never kill a person sort of disappears.  If someone threatened my kid, I'd have no problem killing them (assuming, you know, I could aim properly in my Life-Is-Fiction mode.  Or at all, for that matter).

But most of all, I really want Isaac to grow up with a pet.  I think this is right up there with picnics at the park, playing soccer at age six, and camping out - tent and all - in the middle of the living room.

Unfortunately, it's going to have to wait.   At least until our living situation becomes somewhat permanent.  So please don't give me any unwanted pets (of course, if you just happen to drop them off without my knowing - what can be done?)


  1. I know presactly what you mean; did I tell you Zoe disappeared while we were in IL? :\ It doesn't seem like home without a pet...

    I hope Isaac gets a Buster when he's growing up. :D Of course, by the time we got our dogs, I was like- 11 or 12. But it seems like I've had them my whole life. So you've got time. lol

    Love ya, Lita!

  2. Oh that's good. Otherwise I might consider photoshopping Isaac into the picture with the German Shepherd. And then, you know - when he's older say, "What, Isaac? Do you mean to tell me you don't remember your beloved dog Chachee?!"

  3. PS I am very sorry about Zoe. This makes me sad.


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