Four-Legged Family



"Cats & Dogs, Living Together"
Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters

Growing up with my parents and brothers, we had cats.  Before the 'spay & neuter' forces were institutionalized, we experienced a "litter of kittens" event more than once.  The mother cat would set herself up in a comfortable corner of the closet or under one of the beds, and we got our science lessons first hand.  Our neighbors had dogs; two boxers on the south side (Maynard family) and a German shepard to the north (Spath family).  Driving back from one of our last full-family summer vacations, perhaps 1962, we took an extra couple of days to visit one of my father's friends, Lowell Thomas, at his home in Pawling, NY.  Mr. Thomas introduced us to his two Great Danes - by far the largest dogs I had ever been close to. The "puppy" was a young male who was comfortable standing up and hanging his front paws on the shoulders of a 6' man.

In contrast, of course, Nancy grew up with a family dog as the standard pet.  Neither of us were particularly experienced with fish tanks or hamsters or song birds or snakes and reptiles, though most everyone in our time had some contact with turtles and frogs and such.  When Nancy and I first met I had one cat, Urchin, a stray that adopted me in the parking lot behind Coolidge Bank in Watertown Square, and Nancy was "unencumbered."  The first German shepard, Rudi, joined the scene in the Fall of 1980, before we were married.  Since then we have had a regular succession, typically one dog and one or two cats, plus the occasional crawfish or other odd creature as the boys were growing up.

Madison - small Collie - 1970s
Rudi - Shepard mix - 1980-1994
Tyson - German Shepard - 1997-2006
Jebediah - German Shepard - 2007-2017
Urchin - Grey & White Tiger - c1977-1984
Molasses - Black Tiger - c1986-1996
Patch - Tricolor 'camoflage' - 1995-2010
Bob - Orange & White Tiger - 2007-
Tyson & Patch, May 2005
Bob & Patch, Feb. 2008
Jebediah & Bob, July 2010


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Copyright 2011 by David B. Tuttle
This page last updated 16-Feb-2003