I remember my parents had a dog when I was a toddler (possibly older or younger), maybe it’s name was…um….ah…something Mexican for sure. It was a Chihuahua. Probably cream or maybe tan. Truly I’m not sure. I’ll have to ask my sister she has a brain like an elephant. She’s one of those people who says, “You know so and so,” and you stare blankly with no name or picture anywhere near going on in the lightbulb in your head. Anyhow back to the first pet. Okay, that one was Mum’s (or Dad’s).
My first pet was a penny turtle. Ah no – that was my brother’s. He used to collect them at Warragamba Dam, bring one home and drill a tiny hole in the back of the shell (it doesn’t hurt the turtle) and then tie it to the tree in our backyard with fishing line. He’d have water and mossy rocks and stuff around and I suppose it ate bugs or something. I just remember them being tiny and cute for a reptile. I didn’t know until many years’ later that they actually grow big and that the penny size turtle of our youth did grow much bigger than a penny (as it was actually a baby). In fact they probably grew into an adult Eastern Long Necked Turtle which can be about 25cm in length.
That gets me back to my pet. I remember Tequila. She was a sweet longhaired Chihuahua with tan and white markings. As much as I said she was my dog, she was also really Mum’s. Mum bred Chihuahuas in the western suburbs of Sydney. I think, possibly for a nice profit too. We had up to fifteen in a litter at times. Usually eight to ten. Tequila was one of Mum’s best doggy mums. I don’t want to call her a bitch but technically she was – and a beauty of a breeder. Of course, she got sold one day along with every other dog that was bred in our backyard.
My sister was so attached to one particular dog Juanita that Mum had to think up something to soften the blow. So our clever mother told her that the Easter Bunny needed a helper (it was Easter time – how convenient) and that the Easter Bunny had specifically asked for Juanita. My sister was sad to see her dog go but kinda bragged about how good it was being picked by the Easter Bunny. Personally I think most dogs would like to chase the Easter Bunny – but that’s just me.
My sister and I have fond memories of helping Mum put puppies into socks and hanging them on the clothesline so she could take photos to show people who wanted to buy the dogs. There’s nothing cuter than puppies in socks (I much prefer it to them chewing them). They seemed to like it too, being all snuggled in those big socks of Dad’s. I point out they were not hung by their skin like some silly bloke did the other day to dry his puppy (outrageous).
I’ve had many pets through the years – dogs, cats, birds, fish, frogs and geckos. I’ll tell you about them when that lightbulb goes on in my head and I remember them.
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Tell me about your first pet. I’d love to hear from you.