Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Heavens To Betsy

I'm linking up this oldie for today's I Must Confess and Laugh Link. Even though it's not particularly funny, the old photos of me as a girl are worthy of at least a snort.  It's a tale about pets and the one where I confess to being a murderer.....

Before you call the police, read on....

With Christmas fast approaching my boys already have a comprehensive list of presents they wish to receive from Santa.  Top of the list is a dog.

"Can we get a dog?" Mr 3 pleaded, eyes shining with hope "Pleeease!"

 Mr 11 looked on innocently, having coached his brother to ask the question.

I gave the usual evasive answer that you do when you really mean no: "We'll see." 

Mr 3 pouted, crestfallen. 

"But why can't we get a dog?!" Mr 11 wailed, blowing his cover.

 "We used to have dogs," he reminded me.

I know.  That may be the reason why I am reluctant to go there again.  It's not that I don't like dogs. I do. Well, some of them.

 I'm not a great fan of gigantic horse-like dogs. Or tiny little over grown rat-like yappers. But some dogs are okay. 

Growing up we always had sausage dogs.  A black and tan one called Samantha.  I named her that after Samantha from Bewitched.

 Sammy was a wise, comical old woman in the body of a dachshund.  That dog was whip smart.  A kindred spirit. I adored her.

Sadly, she fell victim to the fate of many a sausage dog. She had back problems which couldn't be fixed and eventually she had to be put down.

The whole family were devastated, as if we had lost a person.  She was such a one of a kind dog that we resisted replacing her for a few years.

Right: Sammy and I, chillaxing in the groovy 70's Left: Me, Penny and Skippa

Then, when I was teenager, we got another sausage dog, Skippa. Then
Penny. Skippa and Penny had puppies.  I loved those dogs so much.

Of course I never had to deal with the difficult side of owning a dog.  My parents (read my Mum) took care of all that. Scooping poop, washing, grooming, de-worming and treating for fleas. 

I just enjoyed the cuddles and comfort of having a canine friend to pet and coddle. 

Years after Penny and Skippa were departed my parents possessed a beautiful beagle named Maggie.  By now I was married and not living at home.  They decided to let Maggie have pups. I wanted one.

I had to convince Micky Blue Eyes.

"I'll clean up after her," I promised. I never did it once. Oops.

Now, we also had Jake.  Jake was a little overgrown rat-like yapper black terrier cross. We were never sure what the cross was. 

Jake and I had a love/hate relationship. I loved him, but hated his tendency to yap. I wanted another kindred spirit dog like Sammy.

Enter Betsy the beagle. Daughter of Maggie. She was beautiful. Gentle. Kind. Adorable. Timid.

And I murdered her.

Yes, I murdered  my beautiful Betsy.  I'm not evil!  But I feel like I am.

One night there was a ferocious electrical storm.  Knowing how timid Betsy was, I should have realised she'd be absolutely beside her beagle self with terror.  I really should have let her inside or locked her in the laundry.

While Jake darted around the back yard barking back at the thunder with equal force (nothing scared that dog) , Betsy barreled her way in through the lattice works and in under the house to hide.

Jake: he lived until he was 17, yapping away..

The next day, the storm abated. Betsy lay on the ground exhausted. Or so we thought. Until it became obvious something was really wrong.

"There's something wrong with Betsy," Mick told me, his face creased with concern "just keep an eye on her." He left for work.

I went outside and stroked her. She wagged her tail feebly.  Hours later, she was dead.

Poisoned. She'd eaten some baits left under the house, which were meant for rodents.

Betsy loved her food. She was a sweet and timid creature who loved her food. I've heard that pets are sometimes like their owners.  I had better be careful I don't eat my way to my demise like poor, beautiful Betsy.

Betsy: RIP Beautiful girl..and..forgive me..*sobs*

I walked around for weeks feeling like a murderer who should be sentenced and hung for killing my defenceless pet.

Jake yapped his way into old age and finally gave his last yap at age 17. Which, in dog years is.. really OLD.

Some time later the boys talked Mick into getting them a bunny.  They named him George.

George got out of his rabbit hutch everyday. Every. Single. Day. The doorbell would ring.

"Your rabbit's out!" a neighbourhood kid would announce. Then I would be obliged to chase the rabbit around the yard and up and down the street. I could never catch him.

One day he was gone for good. Rabbit stew presumably. Or somebody took him. Not sure. I was secretly relieved saddened and dismayed.

There have also been goldfish too numerous to mention.

We are now the proud owners of a lorrikeet named Henry. Which I was supposed to feed and look after.

I did it a few times when he was in a cage, then promptly forgot once Micky Blue Eyes put him in the aviary with his finches. Oops.

Maybe I'm not meant to have a pet. The only one that has survived is my Pet Rock. If you've never had one then you obviously were not a child of the 70's.

Not my actual pet rock, but you get the idea.

My Pet Rock lives on still at my parents house. See? I am a good pet owner. As long as I don't have to feed them. Ahem.

Fast forward to now and we finally have another dog!  I promise not to murder her! Shut up.

Her named is Cookie, as decided by Mr 10. We adopted her from an animal shelter. After only a week or so, she already seems like a part of our family. 

Do you have any pets? Please tell me I'm not the only one is old enough to have owned a Pet Rock???


  1. Aww... growing up, we had a dog too. I always considered myself more of a dog person, but somehow, I've found myself cohabitating with a cat and I adore her!

  2. I considered myself a dog person too, but now think it's safer if I stay away from all pets...

  3. My three girls are desperate for a dog, preferably a beagle but as we continually move it just hasn't been something we could consider. The neighbour's cat wants to adopt us and it has been nice to entertain this and test the waters. So far it's going well, apart from the fleas we've just discovered.

  4. Oh, poor Betsy. I grew up with a boxer dog. Our original also died cos of some mystery illness and we eventually got a replacement (when my parents finally told me Dino wasn't actually still at the vets!).

    As an adult though I have to admit the effort of looking after a pet is just a bit beyond me. Plus I've mostly lived in apartments so it hasn't been practical at all.

    Of course I could get a goldfish but that would require cleaning the tank. At least occasionally! :-)

  5. What a gorgeous photo of Betsy, you can just tell she was a real sweetheart. I shared on my blog today about some of my kitties - what I didn't say is that we feel terribly guilty about Tigger's death from a paralysis tick. You see, he'd had ticks before and we just pulled them out and he was fine; we pulled this one out and we really thought he would recover. By the time we realised he wasn't getting any better, and rushed him to the vet, it was too late :-( .

  6. Oh Betsy, what a sad story! I still tear up when I think about having to put our rottweiler down 14 years ago, they really do get under your skin. We have 11 and 12 year old staffies at the moment so I am kind of in denial that we are going to have to go through that sadness again at some stage. We've decided that we won't be getting any more dogs after that :(

  7. Yes Ness. I have two tiny little over grown rat-like yappers as you so descriptively called them, and a hairy terrier, a German Shepherd, a cat and a lorikeet and I clean up after and feed ALL of them. You aren't a murderer my love. Accidents like that can easily happen. It's a sad story though.

  8. Oh I remember pet rocks, they were so cool. We have 2 cats now. I'm ok with the feeding part, but I hate emptying the kitty litter. I was so happy when I was pregnant and wasn't allowed to do the kitty litter for 9 months!

  9. Betsy was so cute. Growing up we never had very much luck with dogs so Mum and Dad have stuck with cats. Although one of their cats thinks they are a dog (she cocks her leg, chews shoes that are left out) so they have the best of both worlds lol.