Thursday, May 9, 2013

Family History: Pets Part 1

I recently read a fascinating article from the NY Times about how valuable it is for kids to be familiar with their family's stories--stories from their own childhood and stories from their parents' and grandparents' pasts.  It was found that people who were familiar with their family history were more likely to feel connected and a part of something "bigger" and as such had higher self-esteem and were more resilient when hard times hit their lives.

After reading the article I felt comfortable that through this blog my children were getting a good glimpse at our lives from 2007 on, but I wondered how I could do better at capturing some of the stories from before that.  Because I'm a person who likes routine,  I've decided to devote a blogpost every Thursday to delving into our pasts.  It's likely that I won't use as many pictures in these posts, but I hope in sharing these stories that they will get an even better glimpse of where they came from and who they are.  I will be using a writing prompt each week and will cover a wide variety of topics.


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I was born into a family of pet haters.  It's not that we are cruel to animals or don't love other people's animals, but more that they just seemed like one thing too many to take care of in a bustling house filled with eight busy kids.  Twice we tried dog ownership and twice it was a dismal failure.

The first time was when I was about ten and my dad surprised us by bringing home a puppy.   We named him "Cinnamon-Sugar" and thought he was great fun to chase around the yard.   Too bad my mom was not in on the surprise and was not happy about the new member of the household.  A couple of days later, in a very puppy-like moment, Cinnamon excitedly greeted a neighbor kid and in process scratched him on the face.   My mom panicked and dragged us all back inside as quickly as she could.

Next thing I knew the police were pounding at the door and my mom had locked us in a bedroom and told us not to make a peep.  She had no desire to talk to the police about the dog's crime and she figured if we just hid, they'd have to come back later when my dad was home from work.  I actually have no idea how the issue with the neighbor was resolved, but suffice it to say that Cinnamon didn't last the week at our house.

The next time we tried dog ownership, we were in our house in Andover.   A family friend was moving and had given us their two trained Pomeranians (I think that's what they were).    We were older, had a bigger yard, and the dogs were actually very sweet.  Oddly I don't remember their names, but I do remember that they used to spend most of the day under my dad's desk.  We took good care of them and made sure they had everything they needed, except for love and cuddles.  Most of us Crains are not the touchy-feely type and it just never occurred to us to sit on the couch and snuggle up with the dogs.  Eventually after I had graduated and left for college, one of them was hit by a car, which when I think of our dead-end street in almost rural Minnesota, seems like it had to have been quite the careless driver.   Shortly thereafter my family moved to Russia and gave the remaining dog to a loving family.  We heard that it was a good fit and they were quite happy together.

After that they recognized that dogs were not for them.  They now own a cat, Tux, who spends most of his time outdoors.  Other than when we come to visit with Glen and Cami's cat allergies, it's a perfect fit for them.  

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Mom, Dad, and siblings:  Feel free to chime in on this post and let me know where my memory is faulty.  

  Stay tuned for Pets Part 2--- my adult experience with pets. 

1 comment:

Matthew K said...

Fawn and Cricket

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