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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:57 pm 
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Ok, not really a serious question, but I really am pretty smitten. Little Tommy's 8 now, no longer the baby of the family, with a snow white muzzle and a little less interest in play. Theo's 13, and starting to really show his age. He was once a magnificent specimen, with a beautiful, almost cut physique, luck a weight lifter. i swear he even had little bicep bumps :) They're both Italian Greyhounds.

My wife and I are animal people. At out peak we had 7 pets. Never less than two. Of course if you'e going to have a small city's worth of animals over time, that's a multitude of losses along the way. It never gets easier. If anything it's harder. The memories are always there, piling higher and higher with each new loss, until they can start to feel kind of crushing. The trick is to try not to think about them. Not always easy of course

Tommy's got one of those amazingly complex dog personalities...full of endearing quirks and mischief and extremely loving. He's so smart. We buy him dog puzzles, and make up our own, and he solves almost all of them within seconds. You can't leave any food on the kitchen table because he's learned to pull the table cloth until everything on the table crashes to the floor. He can polish off a baked potato in nothing flat.

Theo the ex-weight lifter is a little on the dumb side to tell you the truth, but he makes up for it with his boundless sweetness. They both sleep in the bed with us, and both my wife and I have had Lyme disease a couple of times. Could be we'd have gotten it anyway, but it's probably not the most hygienic thing to sleep in the same bed with our animals. But who cares, you know? We wouldn't have it any other way. it just feels right, both to the dogs and to us!

There's nothing one can do of course when pets start to age, but to try and appreciate each day. When my cat Buster got sick, a fat orange tiger and one of the best friends I've ever had, I made sure to spend as much time with him as I could. I'd lay on the bed with him and stroke him and he'd purr and purr. He was supposed to be gone in a couple of months according to the vet, but he lasted 3 more years. And they weren't "sick" years, but good healthy years despite his chronic kidney disease.

Buster was almost dog-like in his intelligence and in the intensity of his relationships with people. He'd come instantly whenever I called him from wherever he was in the house. And when I came home from work he'd come running down the stairs to greet me while making this funny little quacking sound. I'm not sure he understood he was a cat.

I'm aware that some might think that's a godawful waste of time for a grown man, to lay on a bed with a cat and stroke him for an hour or more. but I honestly couldn't think of a better way to spend my time.

So, I just thought I'd throw this out there. Sometimes I think addicts feel things more deeply than other people, which is why we had to medicate ourselves. I'm not sure if it's true, but I think it might be.

Am hoping others will chime in with pet stories. favorite pet, funniest pet, whatever. I know it's got nothing
to do with addiction, but I know for sure there are plenty of animal lovers out there.

Thanks for reading!

All the best,
Godfrey


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:23 pm 
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yes. people can become way to attached and treat the animal as a god.

my aunt went into a traumatic depression when her parakeet died. she rushed it to the local animal hospital where it was pronounced dead (it was obvious..) she immediately went into denial and went to 2 more veterinarians to get a second and third opinion on if her bird was alive or not.

i have other relatives that have paid out tens of thousands of dollars for surgeries to keep their elderly dogs alive. it is so selfish. dont keep a poor animal alive if it has continuing health issues do the right thing and put it down.

i know people who end up hoarding cats and dogs and put their lives at risk to gather roadkill off highways and give them "proper burials".

lets not forget the thousands of people from PETA who lobby and activize all year round to push their agendas, which i actually support somewhat, but some people make it a life mission


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:10 pm 
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Oh Godfrey this is a subject close to my heart. Ive been close to many dogs in my life time. We lost our great one last May during tryi g times with wifes health. Very hard days indeed. We have always had dogs in twos. They are like a chain where each one runs into the next as times gone by.
All of them have lived ,so far, to old age. There js something very special to these senor dogs as well. In the Golden Retriever world there known as "sugar faces" We ve had three. Just found our new one in March. Ole Max lifed to be 15, Kate, 14 and now Dora. She just turned two. The dog writer Jon Katz always says "you get the dog you need" when the time comes, and he is right . Dora is perfect for what we needed this time around.
I could not believe it would get any better than Kate and Detier back in the 90s, but aloug comes Maxwell and butterz. .
Today Dora and Buts. Butterzs now 13. Small dog. .

There is no dought that these animals have saved our lives at times.. Won't get into to all of that but during my active addiction with opiate s Max saved wifes life . I wasnt living there then..
.
Mans best friend? You bet.. unless there is fear of dogs, I dont get people who dont like them. Wish I had more timeto write about this ...
Thanks for bringing it up. Your never alone if you have a furbaby..haha...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:26 am 
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Some of the only times I've ever seen my dad cry, besides when my mom died, was when any of his animals died. Not every time, but I remember a couple of times.

I love both the dogs I have now, but one of them is old and grumpy! He bites, but not hard enough to hurt. Our other dog is the sweetest girl in the world. We get so much enjoyment out of our dogs.

At the same time we try to be pragmatic about our pets. We've had other cats and dogs. When they've gotten old and sick we made hard choices about how much money we could spend on their care. We often came to the conclusion that they needed to be put to sleep. It's not easy to part with a beloved pet, but the reality is that they will not even come close to living as long as a human.

Seeker, I can't help picturing the dead parrot Monty Python sketch as you describe you aunt in denial about her bird's death. "He's just pining for the fjords!"

I think that those of us who grew up out in the country may have more appreciation for the cycle of life and death because animals are everywhere. At the same time, I can never understand abandoning a pet just because it gets tough to care for them. When you take on an animal, you have a responsibility to that animal. Most domesticated animals just want the chance to have a home and love their owner. They don't ask for much and they give so much love in return.

I have to take this time to say that there is simply no reason to buy a pet from the petstore, which supports puppy mills that treat their animals horrifically. Nor is there a good reason not to rescue a dog who is already here versus buying a puppy just because they're cute. There are so many breed specific rescue organizations that you don't have to seek out a breeder, even a good one, to have a breed specific dog. So rescue a dog who is in need of a home instead of buying from unscrupulous breeders. It's just a suggestion, but a good one.

Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:37 am 
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Please don't even remind me that dogs don't live too long compared to us. This one rescue dog we have now has completely stolen our hearts. The smartest dog we've ever had. Perfect in every way and is a topper. Meaning, he'll be a hard act to follow and it's doubtful we'll find one as smart as him. No matter, we love all dogs and whoever we get next time from the shelter will be loved just as much. I just cannot think about it.

Our first Welsh Corgi my wife and I got was in our first year of marriage. He lived to be 16 and when he passed I was in deep mourning for over two weeks. Heck, I didn't even cry like that when my Mom died! Go figure. I think it was just because he was an integral part of our marriage for the entire time of our starting off. Losing him was like losing a part of our family. I know you all understand just by reading your posts.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:45 am 
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I've talked about my dog Sadee that passed away when she was 9 and she'd gotten hit by a car when I moved in with my mother during my active addiction. She'd went outside and ran into the road. She was with me before I became addicted and never got to see me get real recovery before she passed. I was broken when she died. She was a miniature poodle and soooo smart.

I never have had another pet like her. Right now I have two cats and......... my best buddy in the world Gizmo (aka Bunn Bunn). He's a Lionhead rabbit lol. Me and my fiancé love him so much. He has a cage in our living room but he mostly roams free inside. He's cage trained (potty trained) and is very smart and very moody lol. He's loving and hateful, all rolled up in a little tiny ball of furr with a bunny tail. If u don't know what a Lionhead rabbit is, Google them because they're amazing.

Most ppl think bunnies aren't good pets but they're wrong! They're loving and smart. He loves his treats and loves cardboard box houses. He binkys which is a jump high in the air when he's happy. He runs as fast as he can through the house in circles when he's happy. U can pet him and he'll let u know if he's in the mood or not. Bunnies live for up to 12 years if u take care of them and keep them healthy.

Now I know what u guys are probably thinking, bunnies aren't like dogs and they aren't. But they are like cats. I'd actually rate having an inside bunny just as rewarding as having an inside cat. They're very mischievous little guys. But they know their name and love their humans. The only thing with bunnies is, they don't always want to be messed with. If ur like me, they're perfect. I don't always have the attention span to love on an animal a lot. I just like the company and love to watch him and take care of him. So he's perfect for me. My fiancé, he wants to always love on him and show affection and bunnies aren't always in the mood for that.

Gizmo is moody but we didn't get him until he was almost 1. We got him from a home where he was stuck in a tiny cage and didn't ever get out. So he's had to adjust and he's doing great! We love our bunn bunn :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:08 am 
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Quote:
They are like a chain where each one runs into the next as times gone by.


I'm overwhelmed by these responses. Razor, that's a damn poetic way of putting something I've thought about a lot. I just never had the right image. You've expressed it beautifully.

Another thought I sometimes have, is in a way they're all the same dog. Or same cat. Or (Jennifer!) same bunny. :) I mean that in the sense that they share the same essential characteristics, and our love for them somehow always feels like a continuation of the same love we had for their predecessors.

And Jenn, I think of you when we take our two guys for their evening walk. (They get two a day). We have a cemetery right near our house which makes for a nice refuge from all the cars around here, and in the far corner there's a family of bunnies. 3 little babies who look to be the size of peanuts. I have no doubt at all the make good pets. It's seems like many to perhaps most mammals (though this is just conjecture) have the capacity to bond with people who treat them well.

Rule, same deal with me. I cried like a little boy when Buster died. Honest to God, blubbering like a lunatic
right in the middle of the vets office. I never cried like that before or since. The thing is, grief can be complicated with family. Of course we love our parents, but there's always baggage. And in my dad's case he was an old man who was sick with lung cancer and his death...after a long full life...was more like a chance to celebrate that fact.

Amy, my father never cried at all, except for one time I saw him go so far as to blow his nose at his mother's funeral. A generational thing. They were taught not to cry, We were too to some extent. And I couldn't agree more about pet stores and puppy mills. I can barely think about that stuff..

And seeker, you're right. We can take this stuff too far. The question is , where's the line? I don't have the wisdom to know.

Razor: "sugar face" :) I have to go downstairs and share that with my wife right away!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:52 am 
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My Dad is 75 now and he is an upbeat guy. In some ways he hasn't had it easy though. When I was a month old his father died of kidney problems. Dad was a young minister at the time. His older brother was in the Air Force and his younger brother wasn't the responsible one. Dad took on the burden of helping his mom after Pop Pop died.

My grandmother was a very strong-willed woman. One day near Thanksgiving 1971 (the year I was born) my dad and grandmother had an appointment at her bank. My dad called the bank to say he was running late and the banker said that the appointment was cancelled because my grandmother had withdrawn all of her money from the bank and closed her accounts.

My dad immediately knew something was wrong and he sped to his mother's house. He went in to find every piece of furniture, and anything else of value had a name tag on it. The money from the bank was in an envelope on the table. He couldn't find her until he went into the garage to find the car running with a hose taped to the tailpipe and taped into the car window. My grandmother and her dog were in the back seat.

The coroner said that he had never seen a suicide as meticulously planned out as my grandmother's. A couple of years ago my dad said to me, "You know, Ama, no one has ever asked me what it felt like to know that my mother planned everything out so that I would come to the house and find her dead." I guess people assumed that a minister would be ok with a close relative's death.

From what I've heard, my father was pretty stoic about his parents' deaths. And I wonder if the couple of times I saw him lose it over the death of one of our animals, he wasn't also grieving for his parents.

Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:07 pm 
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Oh my goodness! That's had to have been awful for ur dad Amy! She took her pet with her too? That's so sad.

I have to admit, I'm really liking hearing everyone's names for their pets! U know what, it's kind of a reflection of the owner right? I let me youngest name my two cats.... Furry Tail and Fuzz lol. As for my Gizmo, I didn't name him because he was almost 1 and already had the name Gizmo.

Great thread Godfrey!!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:18 pm 
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Whats not to get attached to, the only creatures to provide unconditional love, and no not just because we feed them, They can get abused and still love their owner.
I say it's a legitimate problem. It hurts to lose that love and they are all unique..
a fellow animal lover


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:53 pm 
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Attachment:
ed.jpg
ed.jpg [ 26.74 KiB | Viewed 147 times ]


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:58 pm 
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Those are my boys, Ed and Gus. Leo the cat is camera shy.... to post them, use the 'attach file' section after hitting 'reply'. Choose the option to 'show inline'.

I love dogs... I worry about how I will handle things when they leave. Ed is 11, and Gus is 5... very dependent on each other, so if one leaves the house to go to the vet, the other stands by the door, literally, until the other gets back.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:45 am 
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Wonderful expressions on both their faces! Ed wide-eyed with surprise. And Gus appears to be
feeling a little abashed, and maybe even slightly worried. As if he's not sure he likes the idea of having his photo taken.I love the apparent difference in sizes! Which one's the boss?

Our two guys are very close as well. They do the same thing you mentioned when its vet time for one of them. They absolutely love each other like brothers. There's lots of sibling rivalry too, speaking of brothers!

I think it's a really good idea to have two. That way they're less lonely when you have to leave them alone in the house, which is sometimes unavoidable.

Thanks for the pics, doc. Maybe others will post photos as well. Great idea.z


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:49 am 
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This is Gizmo!


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IMG_0645.JPG [ 966.39 KiB | Viewed 124 times ]

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:50 am 
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I did it! I actually got my picture to post lol! Ladies and gentlemen...... Gizmo aka BunnBunn

Thank u Dr Junig for explaining how to do that :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:13 pm 
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No problem! It will show better if you reduce the size of the image-- I use irfanview, which is a free program you can find at download.com (there are many other image editting programs out there, but I like that one the best!).


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:23 pm 
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My favorite subject....ANIMALS! Yes, they have souls and the capacity to feel! Screw those people who say, they are pets! They are family members! I happen to be a cat woman but love any animal I have ever met! I would not stop myself from spending any amount at the vet. I had a Himalayan named Paddy who swallowed a pencil eraser and it got lodged in his intestine. Three thousand dollars and two weeks later he came home. I have the most wonderful vet and she allows me to make payments. Knowing that takes the pressure off! We now have Sebastian who is a Rag doll. If you are not familiar with the breed Google them! Some say that they are puppy like but I find that to be an insult! They are smart, loving, beautiful cats that love to entertain you! Thank you Godfrey for this topic! I could spend hours talking about Sebastian!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:24 pm 
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Thanks Doc for the pictures(adorable) and directions! Jenn....that is a very beautiful bunnbunn!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:32 pm 
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I agree Godfrey- two dogs are ten times more fun than one. We've had two for the past 20 years or so, and it is interesting watching the younger one progress to dominant status. You're right about Gus; he would definitely have an anxiety disorder if he was human. But he is also far more social than Ed with other dogs.

What I find intersting is when gus 'narcs' on his older brother. They are not allowed upstairs, where that cat lives-- but on occasion ed will run up to get the cat food if we are in another room. Gus will sit at the bottom of the stairs and bark at him to get our attention. Or if ed stands up to try to get to food on the counter, gus barks until we show up, and the look on his face is clearly saying 'look what ed did!'

I try to see animal behavior as 'stimulus/response', but their interactions sure make it appear as if they are 'thinking' along with a sense of right and wrong.

Beyond all of the science stuff, they are definitely part of the family!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:40 am 
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Thank you Michelle!! And ur kitty is gorgeous! I'd never heard of ragdolls until u were talking about them once and I had to google them. I thought they were very beautiful cats. I think bunnies are cat like. Did u know bunnies even clean themselves exactly like cats do? U never have to bathe them.

Dr Junig, I definitely think dogs know about sneakiness and planning. I saw a video on twitter and this dog was digging this huge hole in the yard and his owner came out and he immediately jumped over the hole to hide it lol! He knew he was in trouble. Ur two doggies are sooo sweet. The first pic got me though.... that face!!

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