Every pet has a story!
After 27 years of hardship (kidding the dragon lady) and 5 wonderful children, we are now empty nesters. What a wonderful time we have had together and by the grace of god, many more years to come.
While we live in the lives of our children, we also shared our home with a horde of wildlife that I’m sure would even impress Noah. Nurturing everything from dogs, fish and hamsters, to aquatic frogs, hermit crabs and turtles, every pet was treasured and in return they provided love, loyalty and unteachable life lessons.
Our very first pet was a male Bouvier Des Flandres named Nicko. He was a real character, majestically sporting a massive head with a thick black coat and when fully grown was over 100lbs – a gentle giant with a wily smile. We didn’t really acquire Nicko as he entered our lives somewhat by accident. He was first met by my wife entering the house after work. At the time a tall gangly puppy, Nicko had escaped from our neighbors back yard and with joyful enthusiasm and muddy paws jumped up on my wife ruining her business suit. A tad traumatized, let’s just say the neighbor’s son (owner) got an earful.
Later that year we noticed that Nicko had been left with the mother, she had to be closer to 80 than 70 and was having trouble with this large lively puppy. I remember sitting in the backyard bbqing one day idly chatting with her when I suggested that if the dog was getting to be too much for her, we would be happy to have him – a little later that day my wife answered a knock at the door and there she was with the dog, a big bowl and an armful of dogfood!
Nicko gave us many memories, one we always talk about was him eating the remains of our wedding cake that was thawing on the kitchen table. It was a magnificent 3 tiered cake, each layer a different flavour – we found thick pieces of icing everywhere and Nicko sheepishly hiding behind a chair completely satisfied that the deed was worth whatever the consequence.
A few years later on Christmas eve we could hear a “waterfall” in our living room only to find Nicko letting us know his displeasure with the tree. Who’s to say he isn’t a good judge of our decorating skills! Fortunately, Santa hadn’t put all the presents under the tree yet.
One last honourable mention was when Nicko was around 10 years old and we had several men working in our back yard. This was a large fenced in country backyard with several treed areas. We asked the men to keep the gate closed and not to worry about the dog – he looks like a big bear but is very friendly. Later that day when we arrived home the men advised that while they watched for him, they hadn’t seen Nicko the entire afternoon. With that my wife let out a call and bounding out from under the trees came Nicko. The men’s mouths dropped and while laughing, walked hurriedly to the gate. That was Nicko……
I could tell stories about each of our pets. Even the aquatic frogs left their mark when one escaped from the aquarium and jumped out from under the couch completely coated in dog hair scaring us half to death. And one note about turtles; if you’re considering an adoption, turtles make great pets but will still be around long after your children have left the roost – we have three that are 15 years young, and they need a lot of space.
Today, in addition to the turtles we have one dog – Max. Max is a 100lb Doodle, very laid back and has learned how to take advantage of parents who miss their children. Below, Max is taking it all in…..