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EmpressPixie's avatar

What is your sweetest or most touching pet story?

Asked by EmpressPixie (14755points) September 28th, 2008

Pets make you feel better in amazing ways. What is one extraordinary thing that your pet (past or present) has done that was unusual but fantastic? Also feel free to tell us about a constant habit that touches your heart all the same.

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36 Answers

syz's avatar

My parents got a puppy for me when I was five, to help me adjust to a new half sister. She was a little curly haired mutt and she was my excuse for not running away from home when I was horribly unhappy (I wouldn’t be able to carry enough canned dog food to ensure that she wouldn’t go hungry).

When I was 6, I went to a birthday party at the house across the street. A group of us went off into the woods and got lost for hours. The other little girls were crying and screaming (even then, I was the type to have a breakdown after to drama is over) and night was falling. My little dog managed to slip out of my house and damned if she didn’t come find us in the woods. After a while, she decided it was dinner time, so she headed home…followed by a group of subdued, snotty kids. She led us directly home (and then I cried).

She also protected me from the neighborhood bully and even attacked a German Shepard that was chasing me on my bike (she weighed about 12 pounds).

I had that dog for 18 years. She went to college with me, got married with me – we were inseparable. I performed a dental cleaning on her and while under anesthesia, she either threw a clot or suffered hypoxia. After surgery, she had enough brain damage that she circled incessantly and was nauseated from the vertigo. I put her to sleep three days later. She had been such a fixture in my life, I dreamed of her often and would sometimes imagine that I saw her out of the corner of my eye.

I’m not normally the sort of person who cremates a pet, but since her only wish was to be with me, she’s with me still, in an urn on the bookshelf.

marinelife's avatar

Rats, you said sweet, but I wasn’t fooled. I knew this would be a weeper thread for me. Lucky syz to have known that great-hearted dog! Thanks for sharing her with us in words.

My current dog Mackie, a half English Setter half Dalmatian, is very loving. He had been an only dog his whole life from 10 weeks on, so I was worried about his reaction when we adopted our greyhound.

Shortly after we got Kobe, the greyhound, he was walking on one of his endless circuits (a common thing with ex-racing greyhounds, who pace and follow you for six months to a year) past the couch, and Mackie reached out and licked him. Kobe stopped still. Mackie gave him another kiss, and Kobe sighed and went and laid down. I knew then that it would be all right.

Kobe, who knew nothing of kissing, has learned it from Mackie. Now he will kiss me and Andy and sometimes Mackie in the morning when the pack gets up.

SuperMouse's avatar

My sister-in-law had a half chow that was her constant companion. She was living at her parent’s house most of the time she had that dog and my then boyfriend was living there too. The dog knew him as well as he knew his sister and loved him as much. I met the dog a couple of times but had no special connection with him.

My sister-in-law moved out and took the dog with her to Northern California. My boyfriend and I were visiting the house and while sister-in-law was at work we had a bit of an argument. It wasn’t a screaming match or anything, just a disagreement. That dog walked up to me, climbed in my lap, faced my boyfriend and bared his teeth. He would not get up until my boyfriend apologized to me and spent a good ten minutes calming that dog down.

Magnus's avatar

Ninja cat.

deaddolly's avatar

I’d had many, having many animals over the years, with many sad endings. Here’s a happy ending one! The most recent adition to our house is our adopted puppy mill beagle named, Betty. We first saw her at a Petsmart dog shelter exhibition. She’d been there wih her sisters for the past few Saturdays. They got her from a puppy mill that had decided to eliminate beagles from their ‘inventory’ and was going to kill them all. now, I had 4 dogs already and did not need another one. My daughter found her first, picked her up and handed her to me. She was scrawny and afraid of every noise in the store and her feet were ‘splayed’ from being in a crate her entire life. She looked into my eyes and my heart melted. We brought her home a few days later.I was told she would probably never lick us, like other dogs and that it could take years for her to be a ‘normal’ dog. She got sick after we got her home, and had to be given medicine. The old rice and beef diet. She got better quickly. Betty was afraid to go thru a doorway.She
didn’t know what a dog toy was. She was terrfied of getting a bath (they hosed them off to clean them) and she never had a bone. It took a long time…a lot of soft words, bones and cuddles. She’s now asleep on the couch, as happy as can be. She loves toys, and has a tendency to take the ones that squeak and put them in her bed as if she’s caring for all the pups she had and they taken away. She follows me everywhere, thru every doorway w/o question. She loves the other dogs and they play together all the time. She’s gained weight and genuinely seems to be smiling when she looks at me. The best part is, she crawls next to me in bed at night and gives me tons of kisses. Betty’s found her ‘forever’
home. It took just a few short months to show her that she was safe and could trust us. You can see her gratefulness in her eyes; I swear you can!

*** Please consider adopting a shelter or mill dog, if you’re able. They
are wonderful!

chyna's avatar

@deaddolly you rock for adopting! I am adopting a dog that was abandoned this coming week.

deaddolly's avatar

@chyna Cool! You will not be disappointed. another of my dogs is a rescue…she’s another of my best buds and a whole different story! Let me know how it goes!

chyna's avatar

This will be my second rescue dog. My first one passed away this summer from cancer, but she was fantastic. My life was better for having known her.

LauraK's avatar

My husband was injured in an industrial accident that threatened his ability to walk. It was horrifying and ugly (burns). When I finally got home and went to bed, my cat friend named Jack sat awake beside my head the whole first night and whenever I woke up he softly meowed and then gave me his loudest purr and nestled into my neck. I felt comforted and protected. I was not accustomed to being alone at night. It continued until my husband came home. He is okay today.

marinelife's avatar

@deaddolly Another multi-tear story for me even though it was a happy ending. I am so happy that you and Betty found each other. The capacity of dogs to love and forgive is an inspiration to us mere humans.

Did everyone see the story about the former Michael Vick fighting dog that is now a certified service dog?

chyna's avatar

@Marina Thanks for sharing the Michael Vick dog utube site. It is wonderful that those dogs are able to do good after what they went through.

whatthefluther's avatar

On the happy side, I had a cockapoo that persevered difficult surgeries in his youth and ailments throughout his life to provide sixteen years of love and joy to me, family, friends and neighbors. He was finally euthanized in my arms and I think of him often.
I had an equally loving, and a most beautiful and graceful whippet who suffered ailments of unknown origin that I sadly lost at two years of age.
I also had a beautiful pot-bellied pig, full of character and always a cut-up, who won ribbons at our county fair and made an impression on everyone. He freaked during one of our California earthquakes, attempted escape through a sliding glass door only to break his shoulder in a position which could not be fixed.
All three were cremated and their remains, along with those of my recently deceased cat, O.J., who lived to a ripe old age, are near me right now waiting to be combined with my remains when I depart here before long.
Sadly, we will not be joined by the remains of my beloved other cockapoo (daughter of the aforementioned cockapoo) or my rambunctious Yorkie that were stolen from me by a betraying, cruel ex and who both passed away while in her possession.

JackAdams's avatar

I got a Beagle from a dog pound in 1960 (the next day, I was told, he would have been murdered), and he lived to 1974, and being a total coward, I couldn’t drive him to the vet to be put down when his time came, so my mother did so without my knowledge, then told me about it, post facto. It was the most miserable day of my life, up to that point.

This dog was able to read my mind, I swear.

Whenever I was sad about something (and that was frequent, during my childhood), he would come over to me, lay his head in my lap, and encourage me to pet him and scratch him behind his ears.

If he saw that I was lonely, he’d just walk over and lick my hand, as if to ask, “Want some company?”

There is this song that describes my realtionship with him, very accurately. The chorus has these words:

We had joy, we had fun,
We had seasons in the Sun,
But the hills that we climbed,
Were just seasons out of time.

Whenever I hear that song, I break down into tears, and remember all of those wonderful days we had, so many years ago…

LauraK's avatar

OMG! Sorry to use that phrase but it’s pretty darn rare to see someone quote that song. I know it from Pearls Before Swine but I think it’s originally a Jacques Brel composition. Either way it certainly expresses the short time that we have with our boon companions – cats and dogs have been some of the best relations I have had and have given me insight into intelligence, humor and personality by illustrating it in another conciousness and all of its variety. The fact that I can distinquish one cat from another in my memory is just so illuminating!

marinelife's avatar

@JackAdams He sounds like a great dog, Jack.

JackAdams's avatar

I also had birds, and still do. I have two birds at this time, and both of them look like this one. They are Nanday Conures, and they have a lifespan of around 45 – 60 years, if given excellent care, which I definitely try to give them, every single day.

The first one was purchased for $250, approximately, but the second one (both are males) was given to me by the pet store, because he had been taken away from his previous owners, because he had been severely abused. So, when he first came into my life (and heart) he was terrified of human beings and had to be handled with thick gloves, to protect myself against his vicious bites.

I decided that I was going to prove to him that I was trustworthy and would never let anyone harm him, ever again. I started by removing the gloves and letting him bite me as much as he wanted, and believe me, those bites really hurt, but instead of reacting with anger, I’d cry and tell him how much I loved him, and that no one would ever hurt him again, for as long as he lived.

Eventually, after several months (and several blood-drawing bites), he stopped biting. Shortly thereafter, he’d hesitatingly hop onto my offered finger, and because Conures eat pretty-much whatever humans eat (except chocolate), he had a regular plate set for him at my dinner table, and would eat whatever I was having, including steak, pork, and even pizza.

Soon, he began to do something that he had never done, when I first got him: He began to chirp happily when he saw me enter his room. Yes, he had his own bedroom, so he could have his alone time, on occasion. And finally, I was able to hold him in my hands and pet his back, and even kiss him on the top of his head, without him flinching and biting.

Today (and I apologize for bragging), he’s a very happy and well-adjusted little bird, and he’s not afraid of me at all. He trusts me, but I’m probably the only one he does trust.

You may not believe this, but we even take showers together. He loves them, and I think he loves me, as well. The new name I gave him when I got him, is “Baby.”

The one I purchased is named, “Jade,” and here is one story about him that I tell, to illustrate how birds can misinterpret the actions of their human owners, on occasion.

I frequently kiss my birds on the top of their little heads, and tell them how much I love them. Well, one day, “Jade” bit me on my lip, very hard, and drew blood. I reacted with yelling and anger and scolding, because my beloved bird had done such a horrible thing to someone who loved him, as much as I did.

Angry as all get-out, I telephoned my bird vet and said, “Paul, why did he do that? What was he thinking? That really hurt! And I love him so much, too!”

My bird vet chuckled a little then stunned me beyond all imagining, with this explanation:

“Jack, your bird loves you too, also very much. He didn’t mean to bite you at all, and you need to immediately forgive him. You see, he has A BEAK, and NO LIPS. So, what he was doing was, he was KISSING YOU BACK, the only way a creature with A BEAK, knows how to do.”

I was so ashamed of my earlier anger…

augustlan's avatar

I currently have two cats, one a stray and one adopted from the shelter. They are very, very sweet girls. When I don’t feel well, they stay by my side all day, curled up on the couch with me. It’s funny how they always know.

deaddolly's avatar

Did anyone ever notice that ‘animal people’ seem to get along very well with other ‘animal ppl’, but not always with people who could care less about animals?

augustlan's avatar

@DD: I have never thought about that, but most of my friends do have animals. Interesting…

JackAdams's avatar

deaddolly, I once knew a woman in Texas who was engaged to this dude who appeared to have an intense dislike towards animals. Both my wife (at that time) and I spoke privately to her about our feelings regarding her fiancé and said, “We really think you should reconsider marrying this guy, because a ‘man’ who doesn’t like animals, can’t possibly be the ‘right one’ for you.”

That conversation caused her to end her friendship with us, and she disinvited us to her wedding.

Three months after she married the guy, she sent us a letter which read, “You were so right about him, and I am so sorry I didn’t listen to you, when you advised me not to marry him. I am now separated from that sadistic and cruel monster, and once again living with my folks. I am petitioning The Pope for an annulment of my marriage. Please forgive me, for what I said to you.”

I have a huge distrust, of those who don’t love animals.

A woman once wrote a letter to Dear Abby, which told the story of her, her three daughters, and the family German Shepherd.

When the eldest daughter had decided on the man she wanted to marry (and brought him home to meet her family), the dog acted with such anger and hostility, that whenever the man came over, the dog had to be locked in the basement, where he would growl and bark, until the daughter’s fiancé left.

The girl and her family didn’t “take the hint” from their dog, and she married the jerk, anyway. Less than a year later, she divorced him because he wouldn’t stop cheating on her, nor slapping her around.

Upon learning that, her mother told her other two daughters, “It’s not a good idea for you to consider seeing anyone of whom our dog doesn’t approve.”

The daughters agreed with her, and would always bring their men home to meet the family dog. If he didin’t react to their BFs with anger, they’d continue to see them. But, if the dog didn’t like them, that would be the last time they would have a date with that guy.

Each of the two younger daughters went on to marry fine young men, who were both responsible and loving husbands.

deaddolly's avatar

Definately, jack! All my lasting friendships have been with ppl who love animals. And whenever my daughter has a new bf, he MUST pass the dog test. I can always tell which one is a ‘keeper’ and which was was an idiot.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Whenever i walk into my room and my puffer sees me he swims up to the glass and franticlly swims back and forth. And if i put my hand in the water he will swim up to it and pretty much make me pet him. Hes pretty awesome, i mean how can you deny a face like this

I agree to a degree with you JA about the animal thing i mean for the longest time i could really care less about them but wouldnt consider myself a bad person, i have changed dramatically since then though as far as my like for animals.And deaddolly id definitely fail your dog test. Dogs are one of those animals i really dont like, i mean some are ok, but for the most part i dont like them.(probably because im allergic to them) That being said, id never harm a dog or anything.

augustlan's avatar

@uber: That is the cutest fish I’ve ever seen!

deaddolly's avatar

@uberbatman….I’ve had allgeries to dogs as well, since I was 5.
Think I just blocked them out and they went away. And it’s not if you do well with the dogs; it’s if they like you. If you can pet a fish, that makes you alright in my book.

JackAdams's avatar

Here are two things that might qualify for this thread:

Elvis Presley sings about “Old Shep”

Jimmy Stewart’s tribute to his departed dog, “Beau”:

chyna's avatar

@Jack you need to add the disclaimer “watching may make you cry”

JackAdams's avatar

My apologies, but I did use the phrase, “departed dog.”

chyna's avatar

My ex husband and I were at the post office and they had a glass ceiling over the side walk up to the door. A hummingbird was trying to get out, but couldnt get around the glass. We could tell he was getting exhausted. My ex left me there to watch him, went home to get a ladder and was able to catch and release it.
The bird fluttered at his hand and near his face for a few moments before flying off as if to thank him.

marinelife's avatar

@uber I love puffer fish. They are my second favorite reef fish!

augustlan's avatar

@chyna: That is a sweet and touching human story, if I ever heard one! What a nice thing to have done.

JackAdams's avatar

@chyna: Not to be too nosy, but I am sure that someone else, besides myself, would be curious as to why a man who went to so much trouble to rescue a little bird, would be an “ex” anything.

It’s none of my business, so you needn’t answer, of course, but (hopefully) you understand the reason for the question, anyway.

chyna's avatar

@Jack we are still friends.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@uberbatman: that is a freaking cute fish. (Also, I used that picture to cheer myself up today.)

whatthefluther's avatar

@JA…Oh come on Jack. My former wife, a very attractive woman, rescued many abandoned and/or abused pets and injured wild animals and tenderly cared them back to health, if required, and would lovingly find them homes or transport them to our nearby Wildlife Waystation.
And although she was quite an actress and successfully masked her poor interpersonal behavior from me for some time, she proved to be mean, cruel, vindictive and down right rude individual to other humans. Check out my post above where she stole two of my dogs during the last year of their lives. I have no doubt that she cared for them lovingly, but both passed within a year of her illegal possession. Being torn from their home and driven through the desert in a vehicle without air conditioning (also stolen and the air conditioning freon was bled and thus the system disabled by this self proclaimed eco-friendly nature girl) undoubtedly hastened their deaths.
If you don’t believe me about this womans character, I can refer you to everyone she once considered a friend who were systematically betrayed and blown off by her, or her entire family with whom she had long been estranged and subsequently disowned.
For a such a well traveled man who has seemingly been exposed to the full gamut of human behavior, its baffling to me that any behavior would surprise you let alone that one can be kind to animals but a possible asshole to humans (or an abuser or whatever caused the hummingbird rescuer to become an ex). It was a beautiful story that did not, for me, beg your question (“beg the question” in its current common usage).

JackAdams's avatar

You have only “explained” your own ex.

You have not explained others…

I’m sorry she was ever a part of your life, and I congratulate you on being rid of her.

whatthefluther's avatar

@JA…Thanks Jack, I am relieved to be rid of her. I do hold a trump card should she resurface and stick her nose in my life: a nice $30,000 court award with which I can attach her wages or seize property belonging to her. I hope I never have reason to dust off that card (just the knowledge of it had her rush the sale of property she owned in another state and I rather doubt she’ll have any property in her name during my lifetime, which is satisfying in itself).

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