The first year we were married, Lisa and I lived in an apartment, so pets were out of the question. Having both grown up in homes with pets, we talked about the animals we wanted, different dog breeds, how many cats. Within a week of our move to Jarratt, VA, we were the recipients of 2 kittens from the Owen farm. Dubbed Hobbes, because she was tiger striped and Calvin and Hobbes was the best comic ever; and Patch, being a tortoise shell calico with a bright orange patch over one eye, they graced our home, Hobbes for ten years, Patch for almost 15.
In April, 1995, we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to purchase the pick of a litter from a AKC registered Great Dane brood. Lisa and I had both agreed that large dogs were preferable, and you don't get larger than a Great Dane. When Moriah was born in 1997, we were a bit concerned she might become jealous of the attention the baby received. We brought Moriah home, set her car seat down on a coffee table, and let Gretchen come in. On a leash, we allowed her to sniff the baby. Her nose went from head to toe back to head, she seemed to consider the smelly little newcomer for a moment, then licked Moriah's head. From that moment on, Gretchen was a great protector.
We lost Hobbes in the fall of 2004, Gretchen two days after Christmas that same year. For a while, Patch was the lone non-human denizen of our house. Then, in March, 2006, Lisa and I spent a day looking and found a fluffy, forgotten St. Bernard puppy. It didn't take much convincing. So, Dreyfus joined the brood.
In the fall of 2009, a young, male, fixed, de-clawed cat wandered around our subdivision in Poplar Grove. He spent a day or two at our neighbors, including eight hours on the lap of Tom, who, having MS, is confined to a wheelchair and didn't mind at all. The next day, he ran across the street, in to our open garage, and we now had Buddy.
Last fall, three young kittens were hanging around the back door of the church. They were scrawny, hungry, and, with rain and wind, cold. I was against doing anything more than providing some kind of shelter for them at church until I saw them. Of course, the one we ended up with is loud, full of brass, and utterly entertaining as only a cat full of herself can be.
I think that's enough animals for everybody.
Lisa shows some pride. Oh, deer, Randall.