Title: A- Animals
Blog Entry: Since Mona (yourchoice) has sort of issued a 'challenge', I thought I'd give it a try.  Animals is my "A" contribution.  I love animals: anything furry!  When I was little, we had a cocker spaniel who was the sweetest dog I've ever seen. Blondie was her name.   We had her for many years; then, when she was getting old, she went to live on my great-grandparents' farm. Yes, we visited her there when we were in town; I think perhaps the adults figured it would be easier on us kids if we didn't have to see her at the end. But when we learned she had passed on, it still hurt. We also had 'chicks'; not the 'colored' kind, however.  Because of the farm, we had plenty of them to 'play' with.  But of course, as they got older--and naturally, we didn't see them daily--they became just more chickens in the hen house.  My one Grandma always had a cat and a dog as pets. I loved the cats! She had what I thought were Persians; later, I learned they were just long haired tabbies.  I wasn't as crazy about her dog: a Bulldog. I thought that was the ugliest dog ever--not to mention she 'snorted'.  On my great-grandparents' farm, there was an old work horse called John.  My brother and I loved brushing him.  As he was a 'work horse', I'm sure that was about the only real affection/attention he ever got!  I recently came across a photo of myself and my brother riding John. That brought back memories, to be sure!  It was many years later when I finally got to have my own 'pets'. As a teen, I had a blue parakeet. He/she only lived a few years; I have no idea why.  But I remember spending my allowance on bird food & 'treats'.   In my final year in high school, I 'found' a stray kitten and took him in; he went with me when I got married. Sadly, I soon learned he needed to be neutered, which we couldn't afford; so I had to give him up.  It was about four years later when we got our first 'real family pet', a black cat that was half Siamese. We named her Baby. She lived to be 21 yrs old & my children grew up with her.   That wasn't our 'last' cat, of course.  And over the years, we've had other cats--and one gerbil. My daughter's best friend in high school gave her the gerbil as a birthday gift.  He/she was very sweet and loved to be 'handled'.  Then, when our daughter went off to college,  the care of the  gerbil fell to me; and sadly, the poor thing eventually had a stroke, after which it didn't live much longer.   Now, we have two cats, who will be our last pets. Not only do we not want to outlive our pets, but it's getting harder to care for them on a limited income. Sammi is 20 yrs old & Max is 14. I know it will be a very sad day for us when those two are gone. But we've enjoyed all our pets and wouldn't have missed this for anything.