I thought it would be fun to share some photos of my pets. My husband and I started with dogs Arrow and Iris and then added cats Maddie and Aleksy. Later, Olive and Zeke came into our lives. Now it’s just Olive and us.
My dog Olive was born in late 2010. She’s a German Shepherd, maybe Staffordshire Terrier or Lab mix. She loves to hunt squirrels, rabbits, and moles, staking out the fence or tree areas for long periods of time. She also loves to snuggle on the couch. Olive is a sweet affectionate gem. So soft too.
Madeleine was the cat love of my life. She was the most agreeable, affectionate cat I ever met. During her 16 years on this earth, she followed me everywhere and snuggled every day. She came to us as a stray in 2004. My dog Arrow cornered her but luckily didn’t destroy her. We joked his punishment was that he had to live with her the rest of his life. Later, in her old age in 2017, she fell ill and stopped eating. We rushed her to the emergency vet. At the hospital, she flatlined on the examination table and came to consciousness thanks to the doctor. That short brush with early death inspired me to write Song of the Tree Hollow. In the novel, a cat named Sophie has a brief-death experience and comes back to lead her owner, Vero, into the ravine behind their house. There, a secret is buried beneath a tree. Sophie’s also a bit of hero at the end. I loved Maddie so much and was crushed when she truly passed away in the spring of 2020. We had an intensely close bond.
Our dog Zeke was born in 2011 to a tough situation. During his puppyhood, he bounced around from house to house. May have been abused and was definitely ignored. He turned into a high-strung problem child, an active, super-smart Belgian Shepherd that no one wanted. We took him in and throughout his entire life he was a handful. Alert, energetic, super intelligent. We called him “The Sheriff” because he was always on patrol, watching for bad guys, guarding us, barking away the crows, snapping at heels. On the day after Thanksgiving in 2019, he went outside, excited to see his human grandma, but never came back. He suffered a heart attack or burst spleen, we’re still not sure. But the big wild dog who made our house busy and loud and active left us with the same bang as he’d arrived. May our sweet boy rest in peace.
Aleksy was our Russian Blue stray from off the street. He chose us one summer in June, hanging around outside our window and yowling for days until we finally let him inside and made him our own. I wrote about his insistent personality on the wonderful Daily Echo from Sue Vincent. He was a good good boy.
Arrow was such a loyal steady dog. He was my first pet as I hadn’t grown up with animals during childhood. An affectionate, handsome, and loving dingo-German Shepherd mix. He was with us through the toughest times of my husband’s and my life. And he lived a long 17 years. I still miss him today.
Our little girl dog Iris was a fierce smart cattle dog. Nothing got past her. She was all business and didn’t tolerate nonsense. Loved to chase a tennis ball until she couldn’t catch her breath. She was built like a tank and feared almost no one. I loved how she’d dive into the lake or thick brush to get her ball or frisbee. She and Arrow spent many joyful weekends at Cannon Beach, Oregon, running on the beach, chasing seagulls, and greeting passersby. What a love.
Do you have dogs or cats? Or another animal pet? Tell me about them in the comments below. And if you have pictures, even better! I love seeing people’s animal companions.