I have always had pets. I am actually named after my father’s favorite dog. Growing up my mother was constantly bringing home animals (or animals were always coming to her). We had many feral cats, my mother had a deal with a local vet to spay/neuter. My first dog companion was Peggy, my mother pulled over on the freeway opened her car door and Peggy jumped in. After a big storm in south Texas my mother brought in an Iguana that had arrived in our back yard, she was not friendly but she was given free range of our screened in porch until she died (years later). We also had a bird named Sara that my mother found trapped in the painting studio where she taught classes. Sara was also given free range of the house; she mostly perched on the handlebars of my bike, picking at the rubber grips. All these pets came before my 5th birthday, it should be noted I am not listing all of our pets, the list is far to long. I spent summers with my cousins in Wyoming. My uncle Joe is a retired rodeo rider he once entered me in a rodeo contest called “Mutten Bustin” it is an activity for the kids basically each kid holds onto the back of a sheep while they race around the ring the last kid holding on wins (I did not win). Joe is a fairer now (he shoes horses ect), we would ride everyday those summers. Sometimes we would ride horses he was breaking (taming) to sell and sometimes we would ride to exercise his client’s horses. It was always hard to watch him work the horses he was breaking. I love to ride but it is hard now for me to ignore the cruelty of the practice, I now prefer to watch the horses, they are so beautiful. When I was 18 I moved into my first apartment and got a puppy (not the best choice). I bought Lady from some kids with a box of puppies in a Wal-Mart parking lot for twenty-five dollars. I had Lady for 13 years during that time many other strays shared our home some longer than others but Lady was a constant. She was my faithful companion, Lady died last year. Shortly after her death, about a month and a half, I went the Santa Barbara Animal Impound and adopted Shera! I walk with Shera everyday and she wakes me up with kisses every morning. I cannot imagine living a life isolated from other species. I greatly respect and admire other species and feel that humans tend to greatly underestimate (even completely dismiss) the intelligence of other species.