The dogs I’ve loved and cared for 57



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For the next two weeks we are dog sitting and I am feeling very torn because she is a tiny fox terrier and an outside dog, but the outside is so big and she is so tiny and it’s cold, especially tonight it is down to 8 degrees. She has her own kennel with thermo blankets and a jumper but I still feel like a bitch. I saw her little face looking at me out of her kennel. When I closed the curtains on the back door it broke my heart. I wanted to go grab her and put her in my bed but I am trying to do the right thing by her and my emotions are getting the better of me. If I bring her in of a night then in two weeks when she goes home she will be outside again and I think that would be traumatic for her.

I think if you are going to have a dog especially a tiny one, they should be inside. My dogs were always treated like family members. I lost my last one four years ago. His head was on my chest when the vet put the needle in and I swear I felt my heart break. I held him for about 10 minutes then I walked down to the waterfront and threw up until there was nothing more to bring up. I don’t think I will ever get over it. His kidneys and liver failed and I had to say goodbye; it all happened within two hours. I had him for only seven years, but they were good years and he had a good life because he totally owned me. He was my shadow and my best friend.

I remember we had a Jack Russell terrier when the boys were in primary school. I had been living with the same man for about 10 years – he was alright, it was just that he seemed to have the mentality of a lollie wrapper. He kept ignoring me when I would say that leaving his denture on the bedside table was disgusting – he kept doing it! Then it happened, he had to get up early one morning when it was still dark. I could hear what sounded like faint crunching and I thought it was a possum in the roof. I followed the sound into our bedroom, turned the light on to see Patch the Jack Russell with the biggest smile. I buckled over laughing,the denture was stuck in his mouth and it was the correct way round. We managed to get them off him he took a big chunk out of the middle. My partner rinsed them and went to the dentist, denture in hand and he never left them on the bedside again.

I always had dogs. I have never been a cat person, probably because my parents had about 12 cats when I was a kid. I have had that cat scratch disease problem with both eyes and I remember when the first eye went: I was getting the weekly groceries suddenly while browsing through the frozen food aisle everything went green. It was looking through a green security door. I was taken to hospital straight away, two weeks later the other eye did the exact same thing but luckily I was at home. We had another quick trip to the hospital but on the upside I am not blind and I still don’t like cats. They freak me out, especially the hairless cats….ugh!

What pets have you had over your life that have left their mark? Tell us about them below.

Christine Massey

I am a 61-year-old dysfunctional child of a problem mother. I tend to look at the world with the philosophy "Laugh hard, you could be dead tomorrow!"

  1. We have always had dogs – and the occasional cat. I have a cavoodle now and she is so precious to me, I would be lost without her. Before her, I had a Lab who lived to be 19 and a Cavalier King Charles who lived to be 17. He was my last dog. I cried for a very long time when both of them died. I still miss them. The Cavalier was my indoor dog and it was just him and me for a few years. I am so glad I have this one, but I can’t do it again. There will be no more. This one sleeps in the bed, under the blankets with me.

    7 REPLY
    • My little girl sleeps in my bed as well.
      I also say no more after Zoe. But hopefully I won’t have to make that decision in the near future.

    • Me either Ruth. That’s why I chose a puppy this time round. Trouble is, I had forgotten what it was like to have a puppy:)

    • I love dogs and cats. I could never leave a dog outside no matter what size it was, but especially a little dog… would tear me apart, so I understand the writer’s dilemma. Smokey, my 16 year old cat, sleeps on my bed and loves to sit on my lap when I’m watching t.v. We are not allowed dogs in our complex, but I say hello to all those I meet during the day and they love the attention and tickles.

  2. My miniature poodle Kym. She will be 17 this month and has seen me through thick and thin for all those years. Don’t know what I would do without her, but the time will come when I have to find out.

    2 REPLY
    • This will be my last one Joy. I figure if I get another dog, it will outlive me. We only had one other dog, who found us not the other way around. She was about 18 when she died. I might not have been able to keep a husband (good riddance), but I can certainly keep dogs until they are old

  3. It would have been hard for me too leaving a tiny dog outdoors, I wish people wouldn’t do it. They won’t let you adopt unless you promise to take little dogs in nowadays. Our dogs were all the favourite while they were with us and none ever replaced another, so different, just new members of the family. Our little one now (rescue dog) shadows me all day and is my constant companion. I would be truly lost without him.

  4. All my pets have always been my favourite at the time I had them. My current one is Zoe. A rescue Maltese who was a breeder at a puppy farm and was rescued. She has owned me since October 2008 and is now around 12 years old.

  5. Oh gosh – you are braver than me. I could not leave a little one outside alone in the cold!

  6. We always had animals. Our fav was a pure black cat named Magik sadly he passed at the age of 18 about 2/ half years ago.

  7. Oooh how lovely and cute. My daughter had one called Rosie and she had such a great personality. She was a spoodle.

  8. I agree little dogs should be inside ,but does it not hurt to have all dogs inside just for the night in winter.They feel the cold just like us..

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