Animals I have known. By Madison Wanamaker
(04/10/13 21:00:11)Related animals: Bird, Cat, Cow, Dog, Fish, Horse, Hummingbird, Kitten, Lizard, Mice, Pigeon, Possum, Rat, Sea Lion, Tortoise, Turtle I was asked to write about special memories or connections I have with animals and I realize I have known so many intelligent and unique personalities. Like so many people the first animal I ever loved was my dog. Her name was Ashley and she was a golden retriever. A lot of people will tell you their dogs are smarter then others, but believe me, Ashley was exceptional. She could open ovens and refrigerators, and never needed a leash. My parents and my older brother treated Ashley like she was human. She could sleep inside and ride in the car, I never questioned Ashley's intelligence or worth, she had pictures on the wall, she was part of the family. She died quietly of old age right in front of me. I was five.
Two or three years later we got two new puppies, brittany spaniels named Brittany and Monty. They are tall, beautiful, and loving but not at all smart. Sneaks and Chai, my cats, were actually closer to me than the dogs. We found Sneaks during a family road trip to Utah and he might have been the biggest cat I have ever seen. When he was young he would bring the live animals he caught in through the cat door and let them run around my brotherís room- there were half eaten birds and countless sacrificed opossums, rats, mice, lizards, and sadly one kitten. I loved Sneaks anyway, especially since he tormented my older brother so. We found Chai in a dumpster with cuts on her mouth and face, she was oddly fat with an oddly small head but still cute. She was shy but every once and a while when it was late she would sit on your lap and spend time with you. She always wanted to play with Sneaks but he was obviously annoyed. Sneaks lived to be very old, his coat went from dark black to red orange to grey and he grew so thin you could see every rib. I didnít see much of him then, I was in college and one day I heard he had not been home in a couple days. The next week Chai left and we have never seen either of them again. Itís hard to lose those you have known you whole life.
Here at college I have a rat named Pickles I adopted from the LA Small Animal Orphanage. She is so smart! I never thought I would know a rat so well. I am lucky to have Pickles because I think about animals a lot and I like having her in my house to talk to and spend time with. She trusts me more then I thought a small animal could trust a human. I see her watching me when I walk around my room and I know she listens to me because she definitely knows what the words ďPicklesĒ and ďtreatsĒ mean.
I have known so many animals, I rode horses, and volunteered with sea lions, I had fish and a turtle, and spent a lot of time at aquariums and parks. It may be the way my parents treated our animals when I was young, but animals are very important to me and my relationship to them seems different then most peopleís around me. I donít know how people can love their dogs and cats and not think twice about eating a burger because itís a cow. I hope that my generation, which seems to advertise themselves as more socially and environmentally conscious, will begin the shift to a more respectful relationship with animals.
My old man Sneaks