In Australia I know only a couple of people that do not have a pet. One of them are my in-laws who have only not so long ago had to send their beloved little terrier “Nick” over the rainbow due to age and health reasons. The others are my neighbours who used to run a “Family Day Care” household where pets unfortunately couldn’t live. Come to think of it though, I do remember Robby breeding budgies in the outside aviary.
Growing up and living in rental apartments in Germany and full time working it was impossible to keep a dog with a clear conscience. I did have cats all the time as they were so easy to keep indoors. Cats don’t mind to be on their own most of the day as long as they are provided for; fresh water, enough dry food, a clean litter box, toys, scratch post and preferably a nice sunny window :-).
Coming to Australia I promised myself that as soon as we had a house with a yard big enough I will get a dog. Finally in May 1998 my call to the local RSPCA asking for a puppy was successful. I took my daughter, jumped in our old Ford Falcon station wagon and went to visit the shelter. By the time I had Rick in my arms and on my lap he decided that he would not move until we took him home that very day.
He was my first dog and he was the most beautiful, loyal and gentle boy that you can imagine. He wouldn’t hurt a fly but would defend his family at all cost and that included future pet additions.
His story at the shelter was that at 10 weeks old (just 10 days before we took him home) the Ranger found him in a trapped in a sling and he needed to have his Dew Claw (?) removed. By the time we went to see him he was all ready to go to a loving home – ours as it turned out. He was a Labrador x Greyhound, yes that’s right and you couldn’t doubt it whenever you saw him sprinting.
Once he was settled at home however Rick loved to bring my fresh washing off the line….so after trying all tricks in the book we did go to find him a play mate (that will be a story for next time though ).
My Rick loved life and held on as long as he could but eventually we did have to make a tough decision as he so struggled to keep moving, had no eye sight left and really wasn’t sure-footed at all anymore. In January 2014 – at the rough age of 16 years – we did send him over the rainbow and hopefully he will know how much we loved him and still miss him.
RIP Rick – we will always remember. ♥♥