Aminals, varmints, dippy little scuzballs, etc. I've had pets since I was about eight. Animals are basically nice in that you can call them names and they don't mind. In fact, you can call them "stupid little barfy runt" while scratching their chins, and they seem to be okay with it. I like that; they know not to take me seriously.


Fabulous poochAnna's really a great dog. Her previous owner, Jane, is a friend of our friend Mary Ann. Jane was moving somewhere she couldn't keep a dog, and so we became Anna's new parents. She's about 8 years old and is supposedly a purebred German Shepherd, though lots of people seem to doubt it. I think it's mostly because her ears hang down, which is a result of a nasty ear infection she had when we got her. Her ears are still a bit sensitive from that. Other than the ears, she seems to meet the standards of the breed fairly well.

She makes a good dog for walking in Detroit, as it turns out, since she's a bit protective. I haven't yet figured out just what her criteria are, but she growls and barks at certain people when we're out walking, but not at others. Presumably she's just a much better judge of character than I am. She also makes a kick-ass car alarm. Trust me, if you park any car anywhere in Detroit with her in it, people won't even come near the car. It's great! Of course, I've heard of other people's dogs even keeping people from getting into the next car over, which I suppose could be considered bad. On the other hand, the dog's not about to leap through the glass and eat them, so if they think there's a risk, that's their problem, eh? (I've very little sympathy for phobias, obviously.)

Anna looks 3 ways from her chair.

Hopefully Anna will live out to 12 years or so, since any less would be too sad for us. After that, who knows? Maybe we'll grow fond of German Shepherds and get another one, or maybe we'll act on that fantasy of owning an Akita. Alternately, maybe we'll get a second dog sooner than that. Given the work involved with owning one dog, though, I doubt it.

16 June 00
Anna got loose from the backyard. Pushed the crappy gate open; we'd only been here two weeks and she was insufficiently supervised and bored. The last time I saw her was the morning of February 4, 2000. It would be easier to deal with if I even knew what happened -- for all i know she could be shacked up in some despicable bastard's house. Maybe she was killed by a car. I don't know.

Bathsheba (Bat)

Demure puss. She's not my cat, I tell you. She's Peg's. Peg's really dumb, totally Gumby-like cat. You can do anything to this cat, and she continues to purr, presuming whatever you're doing to her must be a variation on petting. She also sheds like no creature I've ever known. It's really disgusting. But she's still an animal, so I like her, at least when she isn't barfing on a stack of magazines or in my shoes.

So we've always been amazed at how well this cat adjusts to moves, since she's always comfy in about 3 minutes. In the house in Indian Village, she found the hottest place in the house after about 10 minutes, and usually sleeps there. She won't even move when you call her or stomp on the floor when she's in there, so Peg and I have both thought she was dead a couple times. (In this house, you never know what she might have eaten.) And now she had a fine cat bed on the sofa, so she can sleep up there, feel warmer than she would otherwise, and not leave so much fur on the couch. Thank you, Todd and Suzy.

Originally, she absolutely hated the dog. Once cornered, she'd repond by the most amazing growls and hisses we'd ever heard her make. Of course, she has no front claws and is too stupid to know how to bunny-kick with the rears or even bite, so the dog is quite safe. Eventually Anna would get sad and whimper and wander off, wondering why the cat wouldn't play. After about two years, they've learned to get along, sort of. It's no longer a surprise to have them both in the room with us, resting quietly. Of course Bat still keeps her eyes on the dog, just in case, and always makes sure to have a clear means of egress from the room, should the dog stir too much.



Sec and Ter

Sec & Ter If they answered to anything at all, it would be "fat little bastards." But since they have little to do all day in their cage, I see no reason they shouldn't gorge themselves on whatever food I toss in there with them. They scuffle, they clean each other, and they snatch banana chunks and Chee-Tos from my fingers, sprint to the corner, and chow down.

Sec (Secondary) is basically the older brother, in that he got the earlier name, plus he's a bit pushier than Ter. Ter (Tertiary), is therefore the little brother, and he's generally more of a wuss. Of course, they really got their names because they're my second and third rats, plus Sec has two big spots on his back and Ter sort of has three.

Actually, they're sort of gone now, seeing as 2 years is about as long as you can expect snake fodder to live. I doubt I'll be getting rats again. Not that they aren't neat, but now that we've got a house, I'd much rather have a dog, and since dogs are so much work, the rats would likely feel ignored.

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Last updated: 27 June 1999
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©1999 Andrew W. Duthie