Before I was born my parents were stationed in Germany. They came back with a black German Shepard named Trixie. She was my big sister growing up and started my love of big dogs. From the start I was addicted to horses. To this day I tell directions by the horses along the route. I read everything I could get my hands on about horses and other animals. In Junior and Senior High School I spent my study halls reading about wildlife and then writing fictional stories based on the animals I had studied. In the early days before my father left I took riding lessons on a palomino pinto called Sam, Sam was great for a horse crazy child. I went back to that place once when I was a little older and although there were new owners Sam was still there.
At home there was always an assortment of dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs and more. I had a penchant for collecting wild things, raising and releasing them. There was a myriad of baby and injured birds. I raised a litter of possums once, which had been rescued from their dead mothers pouch in a rain gutter. The possums were messy, homely little things. They did well though and were finally turned over to a nature center to be released. They said they had never seen such healthy looking possums. Later, soon before our move to NY there was a half grown racoon which must have been released but still craved attention. Rascal moved into the house with us. She was pretty awesome except that she did not like my stepfather. She would hide in his closet and then dive out and bite his ankles. She went her own way before we moved.
After I was married we worked a couple of years on a horse farm in PA. While there I raised a tiny featherless sparrow, which we called Fred. Although most of his diet consisted of bugs and bits of meat and meal, I do remember one time that I gave it a piece of spaghetti and we could track that though his digestive system. Despite the spaghetti Fred grew into an adult female sparrow. She learned to fly. I would take her out with me in the morning and let her go where she liked. If I called Fred would come, land on my arm and go back inside with me. This went on most of the summer. Then one day I saw a cat stalking her. I hollered and grabbed for the cat. Fred flew away but never came back to me after that.
"I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn." Henry David Thoreau How very true this statement is.
I am a daughter of God. I am a wife and a mother. I am an animal lover. I have devoted my life to the care and well being of animals. Each one has taught me valuable lessons. Each loss tore a piece from my heart. You are welcome to share some of my experiences here on this page.