Pets 9:20 AM

I grew up with pets and never questioned whether or not I would raise my child with a pet. It was a given. Although we share our home with cats, the Lass loves her dog friends for all that they are.

Tekka loved being wherever Papa was - she just didn't like being out of his company if possible. One day we went out on the "toy." The Lass went out with Papa while Nonna and I stayed with the dogs. Tekka had to be held until they were out of sight so that she would not follow or run along side. She would sit in the back of the truck and wait, watch, and verbalize her dislike of the situation.

And this day she jumped. She jumped from the side of the truck bed and gave chase. Quite the tracker that Tekka. It is hard work running when you are a tad out of shape. It is a greater challenge to track a 4-wheeler through tall pine trees and no underbrush!

When they came back Tekka was on the toy with Papa and the Lass - in fact, she kept trying to push the Lass off the toy. They were riding together. Tekka was happy.

Tekka also liked cats. Well, she liked Harry. I didn't spend much time with Tekka and Harry but I heard stories of Harry trying to play with Tekka as if she was just a big mouse. He would wait for her to walk by and pounce. She really didn't care much. Harry was her buddy. There are stories about dogs and cats having friend type relationships. Even though we have had many cats and dogs in our lives, this relationship was never illustrated so profoundly as it was between Tekka and Harry.

Tekka was a good mom - even when there weren't puppies around for her to mother. She allowed kids to hug her, give her kisses, and just hang on her. She also allowed her foster child, Mocha, to behave this way. The picture illustrates the sleeping arrangement. Mocha also bit ears, hung off her tail, and behaved as any good puppy should. Tekka would let her know when enough was enough, but that rarely happened.

Tekka was Papa's shadow. When he walked through the door, he adopted a walking, furry shadow that was happy to share his space. Papa would grumble as he tripped over the dog. Tekka didn't care. She loved him all the more.

Each pet offers love and devotion. They have amazing personalities that bring laughter and frustration; joy and sorrow, into our lives. Though the Lass has had to say good-bye to several animal friends, she has yet to stop giving her heart to those we have or those she meets. I know that she will be heart broken when I finally get up the nerve to tell her that Tekka is with Toulouse and Timmy and Magnum - but she will keep loving Tekka and the others. Her life, as well as mine, is enriched by the love of our pets - and by being able to give them love in return.