Category: Pets

Instant Love

Instant Love

Little did I know at the time that my walk in the woods would bring my heart near to breaking, that a portion of it would be broken irreparably, never to be fully mended, and that my mind would be absorbed with guilt and pain because of my over-active mind…who could have done this to such a beautiful animal? A moment of anger soared through me. A hunter, I surmised. Damn the hunter all to hell! Could I have walked faster? Gotten there sooner?

So many questions and denial assailed my mind as I stared into that tangled brush and saw an animal in pain, its body moving only slightly in spasmodic barely noticeable jerks.

Then, I heard his low whimper carrying doubt and fear. In that instant, all that mattered was saving his life. In that brush of broken tree limbs, rocks, and blood-stained earth was a beautiful Golden Retriever, now more audibly moaning in long painful gasps, somehow sensing my presence. The Golden’s hair was matted with a slow ooze of blood coming from an ugly gash to his lovely head. The eyes were half-opened, pleading, rolling lazily up and down in my direction, as if saying, ‘please, no more, please’, perhaps his mind considering me the enemy who had attacked him. How long had he been lying there in terrible pain? I could only guess. Quickly scanning the area, I saw no other people in sight.

My heart sank at the sight, and, despite his suffering, he was so beautiful lying there in the brush, his body atremble with the uncertainty of my appearance in the dense woods. A tear owned by me came and fell to the ground. Call me, wimpy, it’s okay, because it was instant love, seeing that beautiful creature moaning in distress and so much agony.

As I gingerly pulled away the tangled mess to reach him, he moaned so desperately. With my voice as soft as I could make it, I tried to console him. “It’s okay,” I muttered gently, softly, “I’m going to help you. Don’t be afraid. Please, lie still while I remove some of this knotted mess around you. I’m here to help you, not harm you.” I gently stroked his middle back. He seemed to understand my words and his eyes closed for a moment as he emitted a barely audible sigh. The gash appeared to be his only injury, but it looked menacing with its emission of blood.

For a moment, as his breathing became fainter, I thought he might be dying, but as I reached him, touched him, he reacted with new yelp. As gently as were my arms enfolding him, he still gasped in with every move I made. I talked to him as I worked to get him out of the brush. “I’m taking you to the vet hospital, to someone who can stop your . I won’t hurt you, and I won’t leave you. I promise.”

As I carried him to my car, I could feel and hear his soft labored breathing with little gasps of more discomfort when I had to make an adjustment with my grip on him. I also prayed for the lovely Golden in my arms. At the car, I carefully opened the back door of my sedan and with tedious care placed him on the back seat.

We made it to the Vet hospital, and, Thank God, the Golden was saved. A hunter’s misplaced shot had ricocheted and caused the gash and his near death. He had crawled to the brush for safety, to avoid the danger of which he had no knowledge.

Julie Anne and I named him, Toby. He was with us for eleven years before we had to put him down because of a cancer, bringing an agony hard to bear and memories laved with tears.

Those tears can still easily come when I think of my beautiful friend, now long gone, but never, ever, to be forgotten. He is buried under a peaceful and aged oak tree in the east valley of Phoenix, Arizona.

Rest in Peace, Toby, we will always love you….one day, we’ll be together again.

BR Chitwood – June 11, 2019

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Meet Lady Gray

Meet Lady Gray

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Meet ‘Lady Gray’

          Our beloved Bengal cat, George, left us for animal heaven some months back after a twelve-year love affair. It was a sad and traumatic moment for Julie Anne and me.

George is buried under some sugar-maple trees on our property, and, each morning, we look out the kitchen window at his burial spot and say, “Hello, George, we love you.”

          As though George’s spirit reminds us of our time together in some peculiar ways, he finally put an exclamation point on it all…

          Before George passed away, a small gray and white kitten came several times to our house, sat at the edge of the pool, and stared at George through the windows of the Sunroom. It seemed obvious to Julie and me that the two transferred some mutual affection. George was a declawed, neutered house cat and could not go outside so the two enjoyed and passed their furry feelings via empty space.

          After George died, the gray and white kitten came on a regular basis to our kitchen door. Julie gave her some turkey bits, steak leftovers, and, finally included on her shopping list some cat food and treats. Julie left each food serving just outside the door. Often, we looked out the window and found the cat lounging on one of our outdoor wicker rockers, all curled up and napping.

          At some point, with soft coaxing, the kitten timidly entered the house, but left after a brief stay. Julie and I had different views on the kitten. Julie was sure the kitten had a home nearby, and we could not just arbitrarily adopt the cat…plus, Julie was still at an emotional level over George and did not think she wanted another animal pet. I took an opposite view: I didn’t think the kitten had a nearby home and genuinely felt she wanted our home as her home. Of course, we both were likely right. Maybe she had a home but was cast aside. And, there were other stray cats around. On some occasions while eating Julie Anne’s  food treasures, the gray and white would chase away cat intruders as if to say: ‘This is my food, my home, so, buzz off’! When she had her fill of orts, the gray and white then allowed the other stray cat(s) to dine.

          As days and weeks passed, the kitten continued her visits, and, with each visit, lingered around our property, came into the house on occasion and stayed a bit longer each time before Julie put her outside. Julie was also worried about the kitten having fleas or other ailments, likely having been abandoned either by her previous owners or simply had survived in the wild.

          The young cat was accompanied on occasion by a larger black and white male cat. It was apparent that the gray and white female held dominance over the bigger male, not sharing her food with him, and giving us reason to believe the female was in season.

          Julie and I had e-mailed and called neighbors to find out if they knew to whom the kitten belonged. We got no helpful information. In the meantime, there was concern that we were feeding ‘gray and white’ too much food because the cat was developing quite a girth…and, sure, we considered the fact she could be in a gestation period.

          Finally, there came the day when ‘gray and white’ entered the house and did not want to leave. It was during this time that Julie and I came together in our decision to keep the lovely feline. Her personality was so lovingly tender and timid. We would open the door for her to leave, and she would back away. In short, we fell in love with the little critter, bloated tummy and all. We felt the big tummy could be from all the food Julie was feeding her.

          We picked her up three days later from the Vet Hospital, where she was spayed, de-wormed, and inoculated to boost immunities. The Vet tells us ‘Lady Gray’ is likely one-year old or thereabouts.

          Julie and I are excited about having this little beauty in our lives…

          We consider ‘Lady Gray’ a gift from George and God.

Billy Ray Chitwood – March 30, 2017

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Family is Everything

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Family is Everything

What was I to do? Her birthday was only two weeks away…

What would she want most in the whole wide world?

The question came easily!

So, did the answer!

In all the years we’ve been together, there are two realities that I can attribute to my good and faithful wife… Actually, not! The two has always been in our world, just, one!

Family!

The two possibilities that I often gave over to reflection: Julie Anne was most likely in her previous life a gentle Queen of the British Empire, or, she was a loving pet – perhaps, a beautiful and imperial Balinese cat! That would fit her personality…she is often disguised as an aloof and haughty lady. However, it is shyness in lieu of haughtiness, quiet contemplation in lieu of non-stop talking, and, yet, one can ask her a simple question and she will take the better part of thirty minutes in her answer.

Do I sound judgmental?

Of course, and I tease her a lot about her need to extend her answers to my simple questions.

Then, there is my writing and/or contemplation on what to write that fills out my aging days, and she is left to her genealogy pursuits…at times, it seems that I have pushed her away from long discussions about the political scene and the country changing in its persistent attempt to repeat history’s chronicled mistakes…you know us old timers and our references to the ‘good old days’!

But, I stray, as is my whimsical way!

Nothing makes my Julie Anne more complete and happy than talking long distance often to teacher/daughter (Robin), genealogical/chemical engineer son (Craig), electronic engineer son (Rick), daughter/Therapist (Shelley Jean), mountain man (Scott, shown in the above image with wife, Carla, minus a handsome English Terrier named JoJo), and a PhD of Literature (Brandon)…

WOW! This exercise is really getting out of control!

So, it was soon apparent to me that I would not be able to get all the kids together for her birthday. They are spread all over the country: Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Maryland, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

As a gesture of love, I’m writing this post for Julie Anne, posterity, and this should take care of any gifts she might be expecting from me. Well, guess I could take her out for dinner…but she doesn’t like me doing the ‘Separate checks, please’ thing!

Some habits die hard!

Billy Ray Chitwood – Being Silly in August, 2017

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