COLUMN: Pets always bring lots of joy | Lifestyles

Is your pet part of your family? Think about it.

My sweet great-granddaughter is here visiting for the month of June. While she is here, she is missing her cat, Stella. I am sure Stella misses Landry, too. She has a picture of Stella in her phone and looks at it often.

We visited The Cat Resort while she has been here, and she played with their kittens for what seemed like hours. Then someone told us about Enid Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. They have a program for volunteers to work there doing odd jobs, and that was just what she needed to complete her visit here.

She was so excited to go to “work” that she got her own self up and showered and ready to go early, wanting breakfast that would hold her until she gets off at 4:30. I have never seen anyone so enthusiastic about working for free. Getting to be with cats and possibly dogs all day is paying enough.

I am so happy for her, and appreciate the ESPCA for allowing her to enjoy what she loves.

I recently lost my little dog that I have enjoyed by my side for many, many years. He, Richey, was with me after my husband died and became my protector. He just seemed to know he was in charge… and he was.

We felt the very same way when we loved and lost two earlier dogs. Each one was special and had a personality all their own. First was our English bulldog, named Sarge. He knew he was a Marine and Jim taught him to salute when he was fed or let outside. Bulldogs don’t beg, you know! He also never slobbered like most do. He was a little possessive, especially about his “place,” and would let anyone know if they had their feet by the couch where he claimed as his. Other than that, he was a perfect dog. We never told him he was a dog. He was family.

When Sarge got cancer we were devastated. He finally got so he couldn’t or wouldn’t eat and just looked at us so pitiful, like “can you please help me feel better,” that we were forced to have him put to sleep. Enid Pet Hospital was so caring, comforting and sweet when the hour finally came to put him to sleep. They took care of everything, including us. We received a sympathy card which made our loss a bit more bearable. We will never forget Sarge nor the loving care he received.

Our second dog, Brodie, followed almost the same pattern, with cancer and having to be put to sleep. Both times it broke our hearts, and we said we would never go through that again ever. But we did. This time we thing a little black and white Boston. We drove near Oklahoma City to select the perfect dog for us and he did not disappoint. He was a sweetheart, quiet and cuddly. He gave us so much pleasure in the 12 years we had him. He was a great family member.

When we got our third dog, we just went to LOOK at the Boston puppies that were advertised in the News & Eagle. One little puppy trotted right over to me and I picked him up. He instantly went to sleep in my arms. He won my heart and Jim said to the lady, “We’ll take him.” We were not prepared for a new puppy and I mentioned that to Jim and the lady who had them. She said, “Oh, that’s OK, it will give me a chance to trim his nails and he will be ready for you tomorrow.” Guess where we were early the next morning!

Everyone who has a special pet is/was just as fond of theirs as we were. They just become part of the family. They are in every Christmas card and have birthdays like their “parents.” They eat when we do. They sleep near us. They protect us from every tiny noise they can hear that we can’t. They know when we are sad or when we don’t feel well, or when we are excited, and certainly when they sense that we are going on a trip. As soon as the suitcases come out of the attic, they know something is up.

We even adopt wild animals and birds as our friends. Right now we have a nest of four baby robins that have a secure nest on top of our electric meter about 2 feet from our patio door. Landry can sit on the patio quietly and Mama Robin is not the least bit afraid. She is too busy feeding her little family.

We also have many rabbits who enjoy eating our flowers and grass. We have three that we see several times a day either eating or stretched out in the shade resting. They are so fun to watch. We named them Bumble, Binky and Bugzy. They don’t come when they are called, but we named them anyway for our own pleasure and entertainment. They are completely relaxed around us.

When I was a kid on the farm, we had all kinds of pets and animal friends, from little lambs to bottle-fed baby calves, and even chickens. We had barn kittens, ducks, dogs and anything we could tame. Landry had a chicken she named Goose that she carried around all the time until a bobcat caught her. That is a hazard of having farm pets. They too are family.

We can learn a lot from animals, wild and tame. They eat when they are hungry. They drink when they are thirsty. They sleep when they are tired, and they are always on the lookout for their safety. We humans must supply water, shade and food for all animals.

We were hard-pressed to find a recipe regarding pets, so we decided on this one. We call it “Puppy Chow,” but it is not for dogs or cats or any animals. It is for us while we enjoy watching our “fur-ever” friends. (Please do not feed to animals).

Puppy Chow

1 cup chocolate chips

½ cup smooth peanut butter

¼ cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

9 cups Chex cereal (rice, corn, or wheat or a combination)

1½ cup powdered sugar

Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter, butter and vanilla in microwave about one to two minutes, watching closely. For over Chex cereal. Mix thoroughly to coat. Toss in paper bag with powdered sugar.

Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food for Thought, PO Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.

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Goodrich writes a weekly column for the Enid News & Eagle​. Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, PO Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.

•• The News & Eagle has traditionally published personal opinions of writers and readers through editorials, columns and letters to the editor on its Opinion Page. The opinions shared are those of the writers and not the newspaper.

•• Submit your opinion for publication to editor@enidnews.com. Find out more about submitting letters to the editor at https://www.enidnews.com/opinion/.

Have a question about this opinion piece? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for the News & Eagle? Send an email to enidnews@enidnews.com.

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