Pioneer Potluck: About pets in my life

Pioneer Potluck: About pets in my life

  • Tuesday, January 26, 2016 3:28pm
  • LifeFood

On the farm

Northern Colorado


Animals have been a big part of my life. Dogs, cats, cattle, horses, pigs, chickens and a couple of geese. One time my Uncle Guy bought us kids a monkey. He stayed ONE day! Mom threw some kind of fit and either Uncle Guy had to go or “THAT MONKEY!” First he had to be retrieved our of the cottonwood tree! That took all day. I do not know where Uncle Guy took the monkey – but he did not come home that night. That had us kids all worried. He showed up the next morning “a little tipsy” to help Dad with the feeding of the cattle. I had to milk Bessie! Uncle Guy had to take a nap!

About a month later Uncle Guy did not learn his lesson, living in “Mom’s” house. He brought us a parrot in a cage. Mom banished the bird and Uncle Guy with instructions to come back without ANY animals. Uncle Guy had a short memory and he brought me a little tiny puppy! Mom let me keep it until about a week later when the poor little puppy got sick and Mom made me keep him in the basement furnace room. I spent days with my puppy. We later found out he had Parvo and he did not make it very long in puppy life. I cried for days and days and my high school English teacher was so alarmed at my tears and sobs in school, she took me to the stairs leading to the basket ball court, sat me down, put her arm around me and asked me why I was so sad. When I told her through my sobs that my puppy died – she sat with me and cried too. I was a freshman in high school and I will never forget Mrs. Kendall.

About a year later, Uncle Guy showed up with a Welsh pony and a cart for the pony to pull. I cannot remember how all that disappeared. Maybe because the horse would not pull the cart – or Mom would not allow us to get in the cart – or who knows?

Not long after that Uncle Guy got married to a nice lady who loved all those kind of animals. They lived happily ever after!!

After the 1949 Blizzard that I wrote about – Dad switched raising “white faces” as we called them, the Shorthorn cattle that were bred in Scotland for there hardiness to cold climate. They were all color’s, but one shape – broad across the back and short legs. They were docile and easy to teach to handle for our 4-H projects. Mine was a pure white broad-backed pretty calf I named Snowball. Ginger had a pretty red calf and John’s was red also. We had to groom them weekly-washed them with Duz soap! Mine was extra hard to keep clean so Dad added bleach to my pail of Duz soap. I scrubbed, combed and trimmed my calf for hours. He never moved.

Beautiful animals. My sister, Ginger on the left, me in the middle and John(Sonny) on the right. We all took first and second prizes at the Denver Stock Show. Then we sold them to a meat packing company – I don’t want to talk about the rest of this story!!

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