Chapter 12
Furry Companions

I'VE had quite a few pets in my life. I've had a total of four dogs, five cats, and a guinea pig. I might as well tell you that most of them are dead, but most of them were very nice to live with. I now have only one dog and one cat out of the total.

The first cats were there when I arrived and was adopted.

The cats were named Spice, Sugar, Penny and Minnie. Minnie died of a stroke in 1985.

My mom told me that Penny was a cat who had been abandoned by it's owner at a highway rest stop in Pennsylvania. My mom was on her way to Minnesota for the first time and she found the cat at the rest stop. She still had Penny when I came to the US. My mom named her Penny, which was short for Pennsylvania.

Unfortunately, the other three cats were eventually given away.

All of our dogs have been retired greyhound racing dogs. We feel good that we've been able to rescue them from being destroyed.

Our first greyhound, Nimi, was hit by a car and she died.

After that we got one of the nicest dogs we ever owned (except for the current one), Strobe Bounder. He was a very good and obedient dog. However, he developed cancer in one of his legs, and had to have it amputated. He did quite well on his three legs, but then another leg had to be amputated too, and it was on the same side as the other amputated leg. Since two legs on one side would not hold the dog up, and because he was getting a little old (9 years old), he had to be put to sleep by the vets. It was quite sad.

After Strobe Bounder we got another greyhound dog named Amber, but we eventually decided we needed to get rid of her because she couldn't adjust to an enclosed household. After her we got Missy, who we still have now. She's a pretty good dog.

Then, about three years ago, I made a decision with my parents to get Summer, our cat. My mom and I went to Dr. Fischer's pet hospital to find a kitten. As we looked at the cats who needed homes, one kitten stuck her paw out and tried to grab me. That's the cat I chose. I had to sign adoption papers before Dr. Fischer let me take her home. It was interestingly easy to train her: I just showed her everything and she knew what it was. (She was three months old and I assumed she probably had some 'pre-training' at the vet.)

That's where I am right now, as far as pets go, with Missy and Summer, a dog and cat, who also became best friends at first sight.

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