Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Joy of Furry Friends

Pets are so wonderful! They each have their own special little personalities. Each time one enters my life I think there will never be another to top this one. And then the next is just as wonderful in their own unique way.
Molly Mutt Paws is the one with the biggest heart and is the most sensitive. Together we worked through her fears and I didn't learn the likely source of them for years. When she started limping, an x-ray revealed she had pellets in her legs. She had been terribly afraid of children. Perhaps some youngsters.... With lots of love, she has shed her fears. She likes to have responsibilities and assumes them easily. She loves having lessons - sit, stay, up, down, walk slowly, one step.... She is the welcome wagon and the reliable signal of things out of sort like a broken water pipe in the night. The one thing she has never overcome from her young days as a stray is want of food. If it is in her range, she will eat it - whether it's good for her on not. Oddly, however, she often stands back if the cat, Mr. Jeepers, jumps ahead of her at her dish and steals a few bites. She's also respectful of Timid Tobey Sheltie's dish - even draining her own water bowl first, shying away from his unless hers remains empty too long. Her favorite toy is a deflated basketball but she loves stuffed animals too.
Little Timid Tobey is a happy little guy when the situation is familiar and routine. He was about a year old when he came to me and nothing seemed familiar or routine to him. Last summer he discovered his favorite place in the world - Pennwood! When we camp there, he is exuberant and confident - even chasing a bear about 20 times his size! He can guard a tree for hours making sure the squirrel stays in it. In a house full of people, he hides. In the woods, he wants to explore and is very reluctant to leave at the end of the weekend. He's grown into a willingness to learn and learns best by watching his hero Molly. He too has a big heart with a playful spirit. True to his breed, he tends to like to keep track of me. It took time but he learned to trust me and if he's on a leash he willingly follows, even into a room full of people that he'd never venture into alone. Tobey loves his cat friend, Mr. Jeepers. He prefers live friends over toys.
When Jeepers adopted the front porch as home, Tobey was first to actually touch him - nose to nose. It took weeks before I could get close to Jeepers but he kept showing up. He seemed only half tame and yet seemed just as determined to become part of the family. His first night in the house was most remarkable as he and Tobey acted like they were long lost friends - playing and teasing each other  with a gentle trust. Jeepers likes to escape sometimes and Tobey is quick to greet him upon return - knocking him down as if to say "Where have you been!" Jeepers just rolls over - "ok, ok." I still marvel that a cat I thought only half tame adapted so well inside. He will find one of the chairs and lay in a kingly half sleep and sometimes jump on the bed wanting a little attention but otherwise he is very respectful and independent. He seems mostly content with life. Sometimes he snuggles up next to Molly or Tobey. Once in a while he wants to be picked up and fussed with a bit but he's let me know he is NOT a lap kitty. Now I know if he talks to me, it's one of two reasons - he's hungry or he wants some attention. If he talks to me and I ignore him, he'll get under foot to make his point known.  He likes short hugs and fussing - and belly rubs when he lets you know by rolling over when you walk by.
I'm thankful for these furry friends and the joy in learning to understand them.

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