Pets are a big part of our lives, how could we live without them? So I'm going to review the year as seen from the animals point of view.
January--Molly--this is my third child's first dog, M & M's pet. She is a big girl, growing every day because of her nice healthy appetite, and her daily routine of waiting patiently for the family to return home each day. This means lots of long naps, and not much exercise! She started a new exercise routine this year of hopping the fence! She likes to tour the neighborhood, and then returns home. Makes for some very unhappy owners when she does this! She is a yellow lab/chow mix, she has a dark tongue. Weight, about 80 pounds of lovin' tail thumpin' girl!
February--eagles--we live near the Mississippi River, approximately at the line where the river ceases to freeze each winter. So this has made the bald eagle population from the northern US come to this lattitude to spend the winter months, so they can fish in the unfrozen river. Over the past 20 years, the population has exploded. I remember going eagle watching when my youngest daughter was about 10, and we saw a little flock of eagles congretated together on a river sandbar. Now, they are all over the area for many miles up and down the river. Last winter, on a typical February day (snow showers, then sun, then wind, then more snow showers, freezing cold), I took a ride up the Great River Road. This is the best weather for viewing eagles, as they are very active during this type of day. I must have seen 80 eagles. I would stop to take pictures, and they'd disappear, then I'd get in to drive some more, and they'd all start flying over my head again! I did snap some very good shots of them over the river. What a treat that was!
March--owls--we live in a suburban area which has many mature trees. So we have seen hawks and other birds of prey around. I used to live in the woods and could hear owls, but never saw them. One early morning, I awoke to some unmistakeable hoots! What was so surprising to me was that they were loud enough to make me wake up! I went to the door and saw their outline on the church roof behind my house. The sky was cloudy, and the ambient light from the ground made the sky lighter, I could see them flitting from point to point on the roof of the church, then on the steeple. The loud hoots were followed by soft hoots, it was a male Great Horned Owl and female in courtship! They hopped from point to point hooting and cooing! I watched for about 30 minutes, then felt I should let them have their privacy to complete what they had started on the church roof! What a treat that was! P.S., I heard them again the other night, in December! Guess they are warming up for the breeding season!
April--Bish--I sadly bid goodby to Bish, my 11 year old goldfish. He had been born in my pond at a house I owned over 10 years ago. He came with me when I moved to the country to be a classroom pet, then he was an "at home" pet. When I had to move back to the city, there were two goldfish left from my first crop of about 20. One poor guy survived the move, but not 5 days of no oxygen in the tank when we had the great blackout in the summer of 2006. But Bish survived! I decided he was going to go back to the pond, which I had built in the late fall of 2006. I put him in the pond with 15 frisky young goldfish, and he was looking mighty old next to them. But he started to enjoy his new digs, and got to be as frisky as the others. He even survived the winter in the pond. But alas, in spring of 08, I found a part of Bish laying in the pond. I guess Father Time said, "that's it for you!" and took him to Bish heaven. By the way, the name came from a Grandson who couldn't make the "f" sound, so instead of fish, he called them bish.
May--Misty--is the Iowa dog. She is a big lab/??? mix, and is an outdoor dog. She is very laid back and friendly. When we come to visit, you only hear thumping on the wall of her doghouse, because she is wagging her tail, but that is all that is moving! However, the neighbors have complained that Misty likes to hunt, and has maybe taken something that she shouldn't have. There was remains of a deer and a turkey on their property, brought home by Misty! Now she is confined to a chain, and gets walks 3 times a day. She is getting used to an electronic collar, which works pretty well for her.
June--Kitty and Whiskers--child #3's two pets. You hardly ever see them, now that there is a dog in the house. Whiskers is a handsome black and white kitty, not terribly friendly, but she will favor a few people with purrs and lap sitting. Kitty is beautiful, a grey/tan tabby, and tolerates the kids. She perches on the monitor of the computer to see the world around her, and to keep away from the dog.
July--Maynard and Mocha--my sister's two cats. Both are aged, and having health problems. Maynard used up quite a few of his 9 lives battling a thyroid problem, and he went to kitty heaven this year. Mocha has had her share of problems too, but she is holding her own. Another kitty came into the household after Maynard passed, I don't know this one's name!
August--fish pond--a small thing with an eye, about the size of a fingernail was spotted in the fish pond! Hankey-pankey going on there! After a couple of weeks, it showed itself as a black/turning orange goldfish! But only one. Wonder where the rest of the hatch went? G-U-L-P!
September--Max--My brother's very handsome grey/tan tabby. He was quite the host for us at Thanksgiving, being right there in the midst of kids and cooks! Nice kitty!
October--Bogey--a sad story and a tug on the heartstrings brought Bogey into the household with another dog, 2 cats, 2 kids of my youngest daughter! He was a cowering shivering mess of nerves when they brought him home, having been abused in his former situation. But he is getting used to the family. When I met him, he was calm and let me pet him--now that's the kind of dog I like! He is a part hound and part???, about 30 pounds.
November--Coal--a beautiful black dog, part Lab, part hound, part ???? Full of energy, and needing to be calmed down! He's about 5 months old. They are working with him to get him to mind. Right now he is about 38 pounds. See Monkeygirl's posts to read more about Coal www.chirpingmonkey.blogspot.com
December--Al--well, I've saved my own pet for last. Al is an 11 year old domestic shorthair orange/cream tabby. He was abandoned on my street when I lived in the country. I already had a cat that looked just like him back in my city home, so didn't need another. But his meows and bid for affection won my heart over. When he was about 8 weeks old, (when he was dropped off on our street), he could meow so loud, you could hear him from 3 houses away. He first tried to win over one neighbor, by climing up his patio door screen, meowing pitifully. That didn't work. Then he tried the house next door. They had their granddaughter there for the weekend, and I was sure she would adopt him. But on Sunday night, when all the weekenders had gone home, the scrawny little loud guy was still hanging around. So I adopted him. I gave him food, he was so skinny! He couldn't decide if he wanted to eat or purr in my arms more, he kept going back and forth between the food dish and my arms. What a sweety! He was totally flea coverd, so that was the first order of business. Then we had to get his shots. He loved the water, we lived by a lake, and one day he even tried swimming! (He wanted to chase the ducks!) Found out that swimming isn't all it's cracked up to be, especially if you aren't a duck! Now he's getting a little crabby, and he has always been a bit nippy! But he gives love on his own terms! From my pictures of Al, you can see he gets plenty to eat! His real name is Alberquerque, but that is too hard to spell (his look-alike was named Santa Fe), so we just call him Al.
That's it, my animal friends and family! What else could I write about as my 99th post? Watch for 100 on the stroke of midnight tonight!