Over the years I have been so fortunate to enjoy the love and devotion of several family pets. Each one had his or her own personality and with it brought much joy.
The first two cats, Bino and Bello, were gifted to me by my husband on our first Christmas together. A white and a gray Persian. These two, little, furry buddies were adorable. They followed me around just like dogs do. They met me at the front door every time I entered our home. I was totally smitten.
After having two beautiful daughters, of course we needed a Golden Retriever. Lollipop was named after my younger daughter’s favorite food at the time. Lolli was full of energy and kindness, protective of our family and home and yet never growled at anyone. You could often find a called upon serviceman at the door with his hand gently in Lollipop’s mouth letting them know she was watching! The men would laugh and most had dogs of their own and understood the dynamic.
Lollipop was our first dog to sit at the top of our hill and look down upon her kingdom. She loved being able to run around outside at will and after the girls. There was much laughter and many squeals of happiness.
My younger daughter who was about 5 would often get playfully knocked over by Lolli. One day, my daughter said, “Mommy, I just want a doggie a can hold.” Enter Lulu. Lulu was a little fuzzy white bichon frise with a heart of gold. Lulu looked up to Lollipop for guidance and quickly developed the loyalty, sweetness and skills of a Golden Retriever. Lulu would run after deer with the same vigor as Lollipop. Her size was never a deterrent.
As time went by, Bino and Bello passed on and Luciano and Pavorati joined the family. They were bi-colored Persian cats with sweet, loving personalities. Yes, we had to have two! One for each daughter.
After ten years, Lollipop passed gently in her sleep one night. It was a shock as she never gave any indication of illness. The vet said it was probably a stroke and she went to sleep and passed peacefully. There were tears and shock. The hardest hit was Lulu. I could see she was going into a deep depression after losing her best friend. So, I picked her up and kept her right at my side every single day.
The family decided to get another dog. It was so hard after Lollipop. She couldn’t be replaced. We did, however, decide to fill the void with two Chocolate Labs. Yes, I said two. Bay and Sage. They came to us a week before Christmas. Yes, it was a zoo! But a wonderful, amazing, adorable, energetic zoo.
The summer after the Chocolate Labs joined the family, we were up in Canada for a horse show. There are always dogs and puppies at horse shows. And there are always softies like me melting at the sight of said puppies. Enter Lovey! Our rascal of a Jack Russell Terrier. She was indeed a lovey as well as a free spirit who loved to run off on her own adventures.
For over 30 years our home was filled with these loving, faithful companions. I count my blessings every day for the time I’ve had with them and pleasure they all brought in their own way.
Last week I said goodbye to Lovey. It was a particularly hard parting as Lovey was the last of our furry family members. Bay and Sage passed at the ripe old ages of 14 and 15 in the last year. Writing this blog is a celebration of their lives. I am quite saddened that they are gone, but I am comforted by the joy they brought into our home and to our family. I have all the great memories that bring a smile to my face. And I know they are all together again, playing, cuddling and running around up in dog (and cat) heaven. These wonderful members of our family will always bring me happiness.