LAW OFFICE MONAST
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DOGS, CATS, AND RABBITS THE MANY JOYS OF PETS
These last few weeks have been difficult for everyone. No one expected a pandemic, let alone all the fallout from COVID-19. But amidst all the challenges, there have been unexpected bright spots of good news. For example, adoption and fostering rates at animal shelters across the country have increased as people have turned to their pets to help them through self-isolation. It’s no surprise pets became a source of comfort during these difficult times. That’s what our pets have always done for us. I know well the joys that come from animal companionship.
I’ve had dogs my whole life, and I have sharedmany dog stories in the pages of this very newsletter. But dogs weren’t the only pets we had around the house. My family also had rabbits and built a rabbit hutch outside for them. One winter brought a blizzard so fierce that we had to bring the rabbit inside to keep her warm. Four days later, when the weather was better, I went outside to clean the hutch. When I reached into the hutch, I was shocked to find a warmpile of fur squirming around. It was a bunch of bunnies! We had no idea that our rabbit had babies. Despite being alone for several days, the babies were fine. We brought the rabbit (previously named“Mr.”Quigley) back outside to take care of them. The bunnies all grew up and found new homes with various friends of ours. Living with pets always comes with some adventures. Whether they’re dogs, cats, or rabbits, animals all have their own unique personalities. Right now, the only pet we have around the house is our cat, Sweet Beast. We originally named her Ziva, after the character from “NCIS,”but we learned that Sweet Beast or “Bea”fits better. Before our dog passed away, Bea would join us on walks, following us around the block. She still joins my wife and I on walks around the neighborhood, much to the surprise of our neighbors. Bea is an outside cat who very much enjoys her independence. One winter, my wife and son bulliedme into buying Bea a heated cat house. I knew she wouldn’t use it. There’s place under the barn where she likes to hang out, and if it’s really cold, we bring her into the laundry room. But I was outvoted. Every other cat in the neighborhood, and one raccoon, used that thing, but Bea wanted nothing to do with it! She turned her nose up at it, just like I told them she would.
I can’t say I blame them for worrying about Sweet Bea. Part of the joy of pets is having something to fuss over. My mother used to feed my sister’s dog eggs and toast all the time, insisting the poor dog was hungry despite my sister’s objections. When Mom moved to an assisted living home, that dog lost 20 pounds! Beyond fussing over pets, it’s also nice to have someone around who’s happy to see you. Dogs are good at this, but I know friendly cats who also like to hang out. It’s great when Bea comes to say hello occasionally — usually at meal time. Pets just have that ability to make you feel loved. If you have a pet at home, then be sure to thank them for all their love and support during these times of social isolation. And if you’re looking for some animal companionship, I’ll bet the local animal shelters would be glad to hear from you.
Young Jimwithhis German shepherd, Lady
The first dog I remember having was a German shepherd named Lady. She was my best friend and my protector. Lady was a gentle, loving, and obedient dog. She even won a few obedience competitions my dad put her in. But when I say she was my protector, I mean it. One day when I was a little boy, I was in the yard playing with Lady and our mailman came by. My parents weren’t outside, and Lady got so protective that she bit his ankle! Thankfully, he wasn’t badly hurt. The worst damage was to his sock, and my mother gladly ordered him a new pair.
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