Here at Heathypet we invite our visitors to tell us about life with their animals. We ask why their pets are unique and how their pets have changed their lives. The response has been phenomenal-we receive hundreds of stories every month from all around the world. We’ve heard about dogs that sing and dogs that dance, cats that have scared off burglars, and ferrets that do flips. Some stories are heartwarming and some hilarious, but the common element throughout all of them is the connection that people feel to their pets. Every response we’ve gotten shares the love, laughter, and energy animals have brought into people’s lives. "Our dog’s taught us anew the adventure and curiosity of youth," said one owner. "He gives me something to laugh about every single day," said another. And, in the words of one dedicated animal lover, "my pets are the most bright and wonderful thing in my life, and I can’t imagine life without them."
We first shared some of these stories of the human/animal bond in Healthypet Happies. Here we bring you our second installment to make you smile and remind you just how much pets mean to the lives of people.
Izzy, the basset hound
One day Izzy got out-he’ll run wild when ever he gets the chance. A little while later, my doorbell rang, and when I answered it a policeman was standing there. "I think I may have someone that belongs to you," he said.
My first thought was, "Oh no, one of the kids got in trouble!" But when I looked at the police car, there was Izzy sitting in the back seat facing forward, looking just like a hardened criminal. She had guilt written all over her face. The policeman had seen her running loose, recognized her, and remembered where she lived. I thanked him and grabbed her leash to get her out of the car. She followed me into the house slowly, with her head down and her tail between her legs. The policeman watched her walk and said, "Well, she knows what she did was wrong. I guess I’ll let her off with a warning this time."
Cleopatra, a traveling cat
My Cleo has traveled on our sailboat "Leviathan" since she was two months old. We have been in 12 countries since leaving California. She catches birds when they sit on the boat, and underway, when flying fish get close, she retrieves them for me.
Once, when we were docked in the Cook Islands, I kept hearing a thumping against the side of the boat. I assumed that my husband was performing some repairs, until five minutes later I saw Cleo’s head pop up over the side. She’d killed a chicken and dragged it all the way up the ladder on the side of the boat as a present for Mom!
Gimmel the cat
One time Gimmel was standing on the toilet bowl, and the lid was up. She started scratching around it and reached up to scratch the lid. Her claw caught on the lid cover and she closed the toilet lid on herself. All I could see was her back legs flailing around from under the lid.
Rowdy the dog
Our dog Rowdy cleans house every night. We he was a pup, in order to stop him from chewing our shoes, we gave him treats for bringing the shoes to us. Now, as soon as we sit down and take our shoes off, Rowdy picks them up and brings them to me. There are no shoes on my floor. You have to put them in a chair off the floor or he will keep bringing them to you so he can get paid treats. Sometimes he will go to another room to get shoes. It depends on how hungry he is.
Babe the dog
Every morning at exactly eight o’clock, my husband and I were woken up by our car alarm going off. Once our alarm started, a nearby, defective-sounding alarm would chime in. My husband always reached for his key chain and clicked it toward the window to shut off the alarm without even opening his eyes. We assumed it was faulty wiring, or maybe some neighborhood cats. One morning we got curious, so we got up just before eight and peeked out the window to see what was setting it off. Lo and behold, our dog Babe came out at eight on the dot and hopped on the car’s rear bumper. He jumped up and down, ears flopping, until he got the alarm to go off. Then he tipped his head back and howled along with it-he was the "defective" alarm!
Tippy, a service dog
I have MS (multiple sclerosis), and I get around outdoors in a three-wheeled scooter wheelchair. I walk inside the house and to get to the wheelchair, which is kept in the garage. One day, I accidentally ran over my standard poodle service dog’s foot. She attempted to walk on it, but it was obviously painful. She stood there for a minute, obviously thinking, and then climbed into my lap for a ride home. It was clear to me that she was able to abstract that I can walk, but don’t walk when I’m in the scooter, so, if she can’t walk, she should get on the scooter, too. (Her foot was not injured, by the way, just uncomfortable for a while.)
Sandy, a Labrador retriever
About five years ago before my family was given Sandy, she lived with our neighbors. One day, the family accidentally left their door open, and Sandy wandered out. A speeding car passed Sandy, getting her tail stuck in the license plate. By the time the driver noticed, Sandy’’s tail had been pulled apart. The driver brought Sandy to her owners by looking at her collar.
Instead of taking Sandy to the veterinarian, Sandy’s owners tied her tail up in duct tape. They brought Sandy to our house, with her torn tail still wrapped up in the tape. They asked my father and me if we wanted a dog, for free. They told us about the tail, and said that the vet told them that it would heal itself. At first my father hesitated, because it seemed a little strange, but later decided to first take Sandy to the vet. Sandy’s owners had lied. Her tail would not heal itself. It would need to be amputated. Sandy’s owners were not going to pay it, and if we didn’t, they were going to put Sandy to sleep. Of course, we paid for her tail to be amputated, and then took her in. When I look back on the past five years with her, I realize that saving Sandy was one of the best decisions of our lives!
Bear the dog
Bear likes to chew on balls--big, little, soft, hard, it doesn’t matter. One day he got hold of a golf ball. It took him a little time to chew the cover off, but when he did and the ball started to unwind, he went nuts! He ran around it and pawed at it, like a person who wanted to pick something up but just couldn’t bring himself to do it. After it would quit unwinding he would pick it up in his mouth, and of course when he did he would cut the bands and the ball would start to unwind again. He got scared and tried to jump up in my husband’s lap, which is quite a chore for Bear as he weighs 50 pounds and is short like a basset hound. He can’t quite get up, so you have to help him. The funny part is, when my husband picked up the ball and tried to give it to Bear, I was sitting in a nearby chair at the time. He got so scared he jumped in my lap and tried to burrow in. If he could have crawled inside me, he would have. Instead, this 50-pound dog tried to climb up and hide behind my shoulders! We still have a small piece of the ball, and when ever we show it to him, he tries to hide in our laps.
Rudy the terrier
I was at work one day when I got a call from the police, saying that someone had dialed 911 from my home. I was confused, because no one was home during the day, so I went home to check. All I found was our phone lying on the floor and our tiny terrier barking wildly at it. I realized he must have knocked the phone off the wall and somehow, by jumping up and down on it, dialed the police! Rudy’s gone for the phone several times since then; he loves to "answer" it by knocking it down when it’s ringing. Friends have told me that when they’ve called the house during the day, instead of getting the answering machine, they’ve heard the phone thump onto the floor and then lots of loud, excited barking.
Tahoe, a Canine Campanion for Independence
Tahoe and I were using a bathroom in a restaurant. We were in one of the stalls. I gave her the usual commands ("in," "down") and praised her with "Good Girl!" When we left the stall a man came up to us and said, "Boy, am I relieved that she’s a dog!"