I am an animal person. I have always had pets, back all the way to the little daschund puppy we had as kids. Today, I want to share how thankful I am to have gotten live at various times with nine different non-human species... a total of many pets. I believe that living with other species reminds us that the world is not all about us humans. All had lessons to teach me and brought joy and richness to my life. I am not including much about the wild species that I share my land with, but that list has included bear, grey fox, coyote, raccoon, skunk, snake, mole, vole, squirrel, bobcat, lynx, wild turkey and a multitude of other birds.
I had fun making up this list to share with you and would love to hear what other species you have lived with.
* Dogs - many, almost always; probably more a dog person than a cat one. Jake and Elwood, Norfolk terrier brothers, are our two current dog buddies and they like me to take them on walks. They look out for each other and dogs are always ready to give and receive love.
* Cats - I wasn't allowed to have cats growing up (family allergies) so one of my first act of rebellion after leaving home was to get a cat. At least one has shared my space ever since. I like how independent they are. The two that lived the longest were both 'feral', and kept a good hunting sense about them until very old... they are really only living next to me and not with me. My current kitty is a 10-year old female calico, who was rescued out from under an abandoned building when just a wee kit by my youngest son.... she has held her own in a semi-wild neighborhood for years.
* Birds - parakeets and finches, though I don't keep them any longer as the climate here in a 155-year old house in the Sierra foothills really is too cold in winter for such birds to thrive
* Chickens - they are far enough away from the above-mentioned tiny birds to qualify as a distinct sub-species. Chickens are very entertaining and they feed us!
* Rabbits - we had two different house rabbits live with us over the years, DD being especially attracted to them. I have always been the first one in the household up in the morning (like my father before me) and used to get Pearl out of her cage and bring her in the kitchen with me... her leaps for joy brightened each and every day and reminded me that if I looked, there was always something to be happy about.
* Turtles - both the little pet shop ones and a western pond turtle, rescued after a period of flooding and kept until we could find a proper park with a very large pond to return it to...
* Fish - I have a koi pond and am grateful to these beautiful creatures for allowing me to feed them in order to view their flashing colors.
* Rat - this pet was dear youngest son's birthday wish, back when he was about 12... once again, the early-rising mama often got quality time with the rat who loved to be placed in the pocket of my robe or walk around riding on my shoulder. Our rat lived a long life as far as his species is concerned and we enjoyed how companionable he was.
* Burros - as many of you already know, I have kept a total of six burros over the past six years. I also lived on land with a retired pair, back when I was 20. They are endearing, affectionate, and like to hike.