The Amazing World of Animals: My Personal Stories
Beautiful Bengal Tiger
We've all had experiences with animals including experiences with our beloved pets, wildlife, and even animals at the zoo. Some of the best experiences have been when we are able to teach the animals and reach out to them as well as learn from their loyalty and unfailing love. Animals have so much to teach us, and they are some of the best companions we will ever have. The truth is that they comprehend much more information than we will ever know, and many times this information is on an entirely different level from what we, as humans, experience in our everyday existence. There are many experiences within my own life, involving animals, that I’d like to share. I have lived with the trusted canine, the illusive feline, and the beautiful avian (specifically the budgerigar, also known as the parakeet or budgie) to name a few. There are many stories to tell about their personalities, some of their favorite activities, and some of the most incredible human-bonding experiences. During this article, I will highlight many of these personal experiences of my own. The point of this article is to show you the incredible experiences of the animal world!
During my childhood my family and I had many pets in our home. One of the most common pets that we had was the dog. Our first dog was an English Bulldog named Bruiser. Bruiser was a combination of white, black, and brindle (a combination of interwoven black and brown colors). We all know the face of an English Bulldog. Here is a picture below.
Cute English Bulldog Face
While the English Bulldogs sometimes have many health problems, they are one of the most comical breeds of dog that I know. Wow, do they have a personality! One summer day, my family and I were all out in our front yard, and to be safe, we had Bruiser tied up on his leash. Having a leash on your pet helps to protect it from other animals as well as protect other smaller pets from your dog, not to mention protecting it from any vehicles that may be passing along the street in front of your house. The dog had his water dish by him, and he was tied to his dog taxi or pet cab while he was able to walk around and lay down in the grass. Unbeknownst to my parents, who were working on cutting the shrubs in the yard while we kids were playing, the Toy Poodle next door, Tinker Bell, was let out into that home’s front yard. I will never forget that moment, or should I say, that scene? Bruiser spotting the little toy poodle, made a lunge and run for it! He was off and away before we had known what was happening! The only problem is that he was attached to the pet crate, and in those days they were made of metal. This would have been in the 70’s. If anyone knows the history of the Bulldog, it was bred to fight bulls. It makes so much sense when you look at the stature of their body and head. They were made to handle much force and immense weight. Well, when he lunged and started running, there went the crate along with him! We had never seen anything like it; neither had our neighbors! My Dad went running across the yard after Bruiser and his taxi! Bruiser was on the far side of our yard where we were, so he actually went running across the entire front yard, taxi and all! The good news is that no one was hurt! Bruiser had never been aggressive or chased after anyone before, but he sure wanted to go after the little toy poodle. My Dad got a hold of Bruiser in the neighbor’s front yard, and the neighbors had gotten a hold of Tinker Bell. After that incident, my parents never tied Bruiser to his taxi again! It may sound pretty silly, but sometimes people do silly things like this. My parents and the neighbors couldn’t stop laughing about that incident for days! We still talk about it to this day. That’s just one photographic moment ingrained in my memory. Too bad we didn’t have a video camera in those days. However, there wouldn’t have been enough time to use it. It all happened so fast!
The English Bulldog's Temperament
The English Bulldog is one of the most protective and loyal breeds of dog. They have a great personality and are great with kids. Because I had mentioned that they were originally bred to fight bulls, I wanted to discuss their temperament. My brother is a veterinarian, and I have two Bachelors of Science degrees in the Biological Sciences. This is where I get my information from, but I have a link here to show you how true this is. It’s a very good link called Personality, Temperament and Character of the Bulldog.
Guardians Of The Children
Here's another video below that is just adorable of a little child playing with a puppy Bulldog! Our Bulldog wasn't so protective that he was aggressive toward outsiders. Bruiser would bark and run to the door when someone outside of the family was there, but if we told him to stop it, he would stop.
Loyalty And Friendship
Unconditional Love and Understanding
One other dog that my family had was a Flat Coated Retriever named MacDuff. We called him Mac or Big Mac. He was about eighty-six pounds with a solid black coat and beautiful chestnut eyes. He had just a little bit of white on his chest and his chin, and he was extremely intelligent and such a sweetheart. He came to us as a stray, and he had been trained to perform many commands. One of the things that my family and I believe is that he was trained as a guard dog. After advertising ads in the newspaper and checking with the local veterinarians, we finally came to the conclusion that he had come to us to stay. We had gotten no response from anyone in regards to who his owners were. Here are a couple of pictures below of Flat Coated Retrievers.
We had MacDuff during my teenage years, and I was going through so much at the time. I was sinking into depression, and many times I felt there was no way out of my emotional turmoil. When a person is at their most emotionally trying times, they often turn to support from the animals. We have to remember that animals make very good friends and therapists. Many animals are used as therapy animals and are certified for this. I will discuss this later in my article. I remember many times going outside in my back yard near his dog house to talk to him and cry. He would come out of his dog house as soon as I approached him to say 'hello'. He was like a huge teddy bear. But, it was like he knew that I was sad, and he made an appoint to be there for me. He would lick my face, and I would give him the biggest hugs. He would let me put my arms around him while I 'cried my heart out'. I loved MacDuff very much! The way he would look at me with those big, warm chestnut eyes just made me melt. It was as if he was saying, “I love you more than words can say.” He was very calm when he knew that I was sad. He was there for me during good times or bad.
One of the things that I will always remember about MacDuff is the loud thumping of his tail wagging when we were down in the basement. When he was upstairs laying down, his tail was very distinctively loud when it wagged. It always made my family laugh when we heard it reverberating through the ceiling above us. It was a, “thump, thump, thump.” What a gentle being he was. However, even though he had a very gentle side, he made a very good guard dog. If something wasn’t right or if someone was getting ready to ring the doorbell, he knew it! He was up on all fours automatically! In fact, I remember several occasions when the person was in our yard and had yet to come close to the house, and he knew it right away! I will always miss him. Such a quiet strength and intelligence he had.
Dandy, The Therapist
Dandy was another dog that we had as a beloved pet. He was a certified therapy dog, and he was as sharp as a tack! He was a Sheltie, otherwise known as a Shetland Sheep Dog. Here is a picture below of this breed.
Dandy was sensitive to anyone’s need. He was sensitive to training as well. A person, such as my Mom (for she has a way with animals), would be the kind of person needed to train such a sensitive being, and train him she did! He knew how to sit/stay, down/stay, heel, and he knew the command, “off”. This command, “off”, means that the animal needs to stop jumping up on a person, animal, or inanimate object. The reason that “off” is used is because it has a different meaning than the command, “down” or “lay down”. The animal will become confused if we use the same words that portray different meanings. Dandy was such a sweet and handsome little being. He went to the groomer quite frequently, as the Shetland Sheep Dog’s coat is very thick and requires much grooming. The training he went through to be certified for therapy was a training program that incorporates various social situations, including aggression testing and desensitization. These therapy dogs have to be able to handle stressful situations including exposure to other dogs and exposure to people who have various therapy equipment.
I remember going with my Mom to a couple of therapy sessions, and these were so inspiring! Many times people would be in the lounge showing little interest in anything, but once the dogs came into the building, it was like a light was lit! People looked up and started to look toward the dogs, and they would most happily be greeted by Dandy! Many times they would be showing contempt at first but then I would see a hand come up to pet Dandy! Pretty soon the patients would be telling us their life stories of their pets that they had throughout their life! I can’t tell you how awesome this was to see these people who were in pain put a smile on their face and interact with us and the animals! Animals have some kind of light about them, and people see and feel this. I know that I have definitely observed this!
Petey Look Alike
Petey, The Funny Parakeet
We also had a parakeet (budgie) named Petey. Budgies or parakeets were originally found in Australia, and they can be quite entertaining! Now, I agree that much of this wildlife should be left in its indigenous habitat, but nevertheless, my older sister wanted a pet bird when we lived in Tulsa, OK, and she finally got one. Guess who ended up being the primary caretaker of this little feathered friend? My Mom! My parents expected that they would take up much of the responsibility, but my older sister(in grade school at the time) as she matured started carrying much of the responsibility of caring for him, too. While my sister would be at school, my Mom would teach Petey how to talk. He was located in the kitchen at that time, and this is a great place for these little parakeets. There is usually a lot of activity in a family's kitchen. And, yes, she taught him how to speak while she would be working in the kitchen. He was one of those amazing birds that learned all kinds of phrases. I am being truthful when I tell you how much he knew! Here it goes! Petey said, “Whatcha doin?”, “You’re so sweet”, "Kiss me”(and would accompany this with kissing noises), "Where’s the doctor?”, “Get that bird!”, “Goodnight”, “Bye bye”, “Hello”, “Peekaboo”, “You’re weird”, “Hickory Dickory Dock”, “What’s up Doc?”, “Oh baby!”, (Where’s substitute any of our names here?”, and he could laugh, too. He laughed especially when we were laughing! He could even say S’s (a lot of birds can’t say the “S” sound). He was amazing! He lived for sixteen years, and he was so cute. He had his own play set, and when we would let him out of his cage to play, he would talk to our toes almost like he was having an argument with them. He would babble away at nothing, even though he wasn't articulating real words most of the time. He would also look at himself in his toy mirror and talk away, while bobbing his head back and forth and up and down! It appeared almost as if he was having full conversations with his reflection! How funny he was! He was a real comedian. He had a happy, long life, and he was loved very much.
Cute Talking Parakeet
My Animal Friend At Present
The last animal friend that I want to talk about is Princess. She is a great friend and companion. She is a cat, and she is a domesticated short hair with white fur and yellow/green eyes. She is my dear little companion, and she is a personality plus! I had gotten her from a friend who had received her from the Humane Society. She is about twelve years old, and she is very vocal. She meows and purrs quite loudly, and she definitely doesn’t have a problem with telling me what's on her mind. Here are a couple of pictures of her below.
My Precious Kitty, Princess
Never did I think that I would be having a pet that would wake me up at 5:00 am in the morning to tell me that she is hungry. She only likes to be held for a little while, unless she is snuggled up to me while I’m sleeping. Many times she puts her little paw on my arm or my hand while she is snuggled up for bed. She makes sure that her little pads on her paw are touching my arm or hand. She is so precious to me. Many times she lays her head across my neck and snuggles. She is like a baby to me. I always have to make sure that she is taken care of properly.
However, when it comes to about 5:00 am in the morning, she does everything she can to get me out of bed. She is well known for knocking my alarm clock off of the nightstand table as well as anything else that might be on the bedside table. She even used to pull the hair out of my head while I slept! I know that sounds kind of strange, but sometimes animals do strange things! It didn’t hurt, but I could feel her breaking my strands of hair. She also paws at the blinds at my bedroom balcony door, but only to get me up. She becomes very disruptive and loud while knocking things off of my nightstand table. I am one of those people who find it very hard to get out of bed in the morning. I am not an early riser but more of a night owl, but now I have a wake up call every morning! She even sits next to my head with her back turned toward me and flicks me with her tail! Eventually, after about an hour or so of her doing all of these things, I get out of my bed and feed her and make sure she has ample water in her water dish. I love my little friend despite her demanding nature.
I have even witnessed Princess in my living room sitting on my coffee table staring at me while she takes her paw and starts to swipe an object off of the table, moving it inch by inch closer and closer to the edge of the table. I tell her to get her paw off of it, and she will do that for a little while. However, she then looks over at me and starts doing the same thing again until the object comes falling off of the table! Needless to say, she is spoiled, thanks to me. However, one of the joys of having a pet is to spoil them a little bit.
Princess loves play with her toys. She has lots of little stuffed mouse toys and balls! She has other types of toys, too! She loves for me to play with her with these things, and it's also good for me, because it's a good stress reliever for both of us. I also have a laser light, and she goes haywire over that! She loves it! Exercise is essential to your pet’s health. It helps them physically as well as mentally. It allows them to burn off energy, and they love it!
Princess also allows me to brush her teeth, which is very unusual for a cat. I have the smallest pet toothbrush that a person can buy and cat/dog toothpaste. I place her in front of me, and I hold her head gently while I brush her teeth. She will try to paw at my hand, but I know that it is very good to brush a dog’s or cat’s teeth. My brother, Gary Stamps, DVM, is a veterinarian for small animals, and he is surprised that my little cat will allow me to do this. Most cats won’t allow it! By the way, it’s always good to get the side teeth in between the cheek and the teeth. However, I am not consistent with doing this, and from what I have been told, consistency is the name of the game! Once to twice a week every week, and the pet is good to go! Most people don’t have the time or patience to do this every week, because many of us get caught up in our daily activities and routines, and that’s okay. Giving your pet a loving home is the most important thing that you can do!
All animals are unique and amazing in some way. The amazing part of the time spent with animals is the many experiences that we get to share with them and the memories that we will always cherish! I hope you enjoyed my stories and information that I was able to share with you.