This is Blackie and Missy, the two pets my family had while I was growing up. We had a variety of other pets including: hamsters, gold fish, frogs, and another dog – Brandy, however, this cat and dog where the mainstays at our house in Kennewick. Blackie was my sister’s cat, I am not sure why or how she acquired the cat but she got to name it so I am pretty sure it was her cat. We adopted Missy from another family.
Missy was an Australian Shepherd dog and the only thing I really remember about her was that she loved to curl up under a mustard yellow wing-back chair (you can see that the shag carpeting would have matched nicely with the chair) . It was extremely difficult for her to get under the chair but that did not matter – it was her favorite place to sleep.
I have a lot more memories about Blackie. He had these grey tufts of hair behind his ears and it was this unique feature that allowed us to identify him when he was lost for a couple days. He loved to eat cantaloupe – including the rind. He would sleep under the covers at night, at the base of the bed, and always ended up outside in the morning. I think my mom would search the house for him before she would go to bed to avoid being awoken by his mews at 3am. Unfortunately I also remember Blackie in days closer to the end of his nine lives. He would lay around a lot, struggling to be comfortable, and when we were told his kidneys were no longer working it was time for us to say our goodbyes.
Remembering our pets can bring us joy and sadness. As I work with families on their photos there is always a stack of photos of their pets. It is important to capture memories of these precious members of our family. A fun way to help your child remember their pets is to have your child make a pet journal. Here are some ideas:
- Get a small composition book, a drawing pad, or an actual journal
- Dedicate some time once or twice a month to writing about your pet – either to your pet, or stories about your pet.
- Take photos of your child with their pet(s) (print a couple copies) and have them add to their journal. Use corner sticks, or photo-safe sticks to adhere to the page.
- Encourage your child to draw pictures
- Include ‘pet friends’ a favorite dog or cat that your pet seems to enjoy
This fun journal will be a treasured life-long keepsake full of memories, photos and stories for you and your child.