Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Let's talk about pets!

Just as pets are important to characters in chick lit novels, they're also special to us in real life! Here are some thoughts about pets from a few of us at Chick Lit Central!


Besherte.  The term is often used when two people find each other.  They are called each other's "besherte" because they were meant to be together.  In this case, how my cat, Elsie, came to be mine was completely "besherte".
At the beginning of 2012, I went to my county's animal control to look at cats.  I had had one before, but had to give it away.  I felt after not having one for several years, it was time for me to adopt a cat again.  However, on that particular day I did not find one that I wanted to take home with me.  In the months that followed I pretty much put looking for a cat on hold as life got busy.  It wasn't until I attending a family gathering on Memorial Day that I even really spoke of it. During this conversation it was mentioned that my brother and his family were experiencing troubles with their new dog and their cat Elsie and how they might need to take Elsie back to the shelter if things didn't improve.  About a week or two later my sister-in-law contacted me to find out if I was interested in adopting Elsie instead of them taking her back to the shelter where they had originally found her.  I'll be honest, the pace at which this idea went from just an idea to reality kind of scared me.  Sure I had thought about adopting a cat, but I wanted to slow things down a bit.  However, that was not in the cards and before I knew it I had agreed to take Elsie home with me for a week trial.  If things "didn't workout" I would take her to the shelter.

Our "trial run" ended the moment I got her home and she stepped out of her carrier.  I'm not sure what changed in that moment, but when I looked into her little eyes I instantly fell in love, and knew she was home.  Over six month later, E and I have adjusted to having the other around.  She is one of the many reasons I consider myself blessed and have learned a lot about myself, and life because of her.

(Note from Melissa A: Elsie is even a part of CLC now, as she wrote her first book review!)


The rescue people told me Lady was “protective.” I envisioned the German Shepherd by my side, sitting nobly, refusing to let me leave her sight. The reality was a bit more complicated. In dog –speak, apparently, “protective” means “try to kill anyone who gets close to your human.” So I have to lock her away when people come to visit. (This can be particularly challenging considering she can open certain types of doors.) And if I’m walking her and someone says, “What a pretty dog,” I have to warn them not to get any closer. And she is pretty – beautiful, in fact. And she does stay by my side and follow me from room to room. At night, she jumps on the bed and sleeps between my husband and me. The “protective” stuff has an upside – I always feel safe when I’m with her. The irony is, people tell me that when I’m not around, she’s docile and sweet to everyone. So please, meet my dog Lady. You’ll just have to do it when I’m not around!


No secret here, I absolutely love my shih tzu, Sassy who we’ve had for coming up on two years. I love taking walks with her, posing in pictures together I even sign cards from the two of us. Unless you’re dog obsessed like me, you probably think that I’m a dog freak, but that’s okay. We dog fanatics think something is wrong with the rest of you! But I was kind of unknowingly faking it with Sassy until recently.

Cindy with Princess
We lost our other shih tzu, Princess two Decembers ago, after having her for nearly fourteen years. She had put on a brave battle against cancer. Princess was the “child I’ve never had,” another one of those freak things unless you haven’t been able to have children and you are grateful for your dog. When Prinny passed away two years ago, I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to experience joy in my life again. Perhaps that sounds dramatic to some, but I’m being completely honest. I mean full heart-felt, deep soul joy; belly laughs were definitely a thing of the past. Princess had helped me through a divorce, let me cry on her more nights without a walk, never peeing in the house…not that it would have mattered. The truth is a piece of my heart was shutting down and a bit of sadness was setting in that had the potential to take up residency in my heart and brain and that’s not the Cindy I am.
Well, it was two years last month since Prinny passed and we’re coming up on two years since Miss Sassy has moved into our home and hearts. As much as I love her, I haven’t been totally sure she’s truly a part of our family. I guess it’s because she’s a rescue dog, but she’s always had her guard up a bit. Maybe it’s been me who has had the guard up. Well, when she got into bed the other night something had changed. She’s never licked me like Princess did and the other night, Sassy licked me. It made me so happy; I broke down and kissed her until I know she wanted to bite me. I know Prinny told Sassy, through the heavenly puppy channels to take care of me. She must have told her it’s going to take a little more work! I am so blessed! This is my post-Holiday Puppy Miracle.

Melissa A:

You're probably expecting me to write about my most recent pet, a cat named Winnie. However, the pet that sticks out for me the most is Buddy, the beagle my family had from when I was 12 till I turned 21. He had some behavioral issues, but I think he was meant to prepare me for kids. (Of course, I don't cover messes with paper towels for someone else to clean, like I did when I was a teenager.) He got into EVERYTHING! He would attack the garbage can every day, looking for food. He'd eat everything he wasn't supposed to. He even "defiled" some pillows when we had guests over. (That wasn't embarrassing or anything. :P) I've decided to share some of Buddy's craziest and funniest quirks and some of my favorite memories here!

*He would do this thing where he'd spin in a circle over and over on his behind. I called him "el tocadiscos" (record player) because of it.
*If you scratched a spot just under his front leg, while he was laying down, he'd kick his back leg really fast.
*He let a cat who was more than half his size boss him around!
*He was obsessed with the cat who wanted nothing to do with him and he recognized her name. If I dared to mention her, he would howl and go crazy.
*When we went on walks, he tended to hyperventilate, making this loud snorting sound. I'd have to stop every so often to help him calm down. He just loved going on walks and was so excited! He'd even stop at every tree to lift his leg but not do anything else.
*I taught him some basic commands in Spanish and he knew what I was saying!
*He would wear a scarf around his neck (like Stan's dog on South Park) and if someone took it off, he'd freak out until someone else put it back on him.
*The picture above is my absolute favorite. I caught him just at the moment he was licking his nose and it looked so funny and cute.
*He once tried to grab a sandwich but only got the bread and left the meat.
*He hated vegetables and would actually spit them out if we gave him one. (This prepared me for my older son's picky eating habits.)

That is just some of what made Buddy such a memorable dog. He was really sweet though and I loved his companionship and loyalty. He truly was a "buddy" to me.


Becky and Roony
Rooney was in my heart before he arrived in this world, he remains in my heart as much as ever five months after he left this world.
My happy sweet handsome boy, I miss you so much. I miss our adventurous walks, I miss our routine walks, I miss your sweet personality, your eyes telling me what you were thinking, I’m sure you were human in a former life, a lovely human. I miss playing oranges and lemons on the beach, singing ‘Good Morning’ from Singin’ in the Rain to you every day with you wagging along, dancing to Paolo Nutini with you, I miss you humping your rug embarrassingly whenever anyone came to the house. I could go on, and on and on...I miss your company, my best friend.

I believe in soul mates, Rooney was mine.


Elizabeth Seckman said...

can't imagine my life without my pets. Even when they make messes :/

Jean Oram said...

Love pets! We have two cats (bookends as they look a lot a like) two pet mice and a puppy. It gets chaotic, but right now they are all dozing and it is wonderful! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, ladies. We are all so blessed! xo cindy, sassy and princess