My sibs and I grew up with all sorts of pets: cats that had kittens, and then more and more kittens; our mini collies Tippy and Candy; Fuzzy the hamster; various fish and turtles other aquatic creatures. One year we raised a pair of ducklings for Easter, feeding them and watching them grow, and "teaching" them how to swim in one of Mom's flower barrels (we kids were so very proud of that). We named them "Huey and Duey" but later discovered that they were actually "Donald and Daisy." We also enjoyed our holiday trips to "The Farm" where we collected duck eggs and shoveled cow manure.
Due to crazy call schedules and apartment restrictions, I have not been able to enjoy the company of a pet for a few years now. After all, it is hardly fair to an animal if their owner has to work for 40 hour straight! Life got a little nicer when I came to PNG. My schedule is a bit more regular, and even on call there is a good chance I will sleep in my own bed for at least a few hours. And I also have a roomie who is at home when I am not.
Becky already had two cats when I moved in. She had adopted Meki shortly after her arrival in PNG six years ago. Meki was sick for the last few months with some sort of cancer or infection, and has now gone on to cat heaven. The Dooley girls come by on occasion to lay flowers on her grave. (She is probably the only cat in PNG that has a "mat mat" or memorial grave.) Peter was added to the family a few years after Meki, and was king of the house until recently. I use the phrase "king of the house" very loosely. He is actually scared of just about everything (especially Meti and the sweeper) and is more of a chicken than a cat. Thus the nickname "Pete the Chicken Cat."
About a month ago, we learned that someone from one of the other local missions had lab puppies for sale. Most of the dogs around here are mutts, and occasionally you will see pure bread German shepherds that are better for security than as pets. Lab puppies? How could we resist.
So Becky and I added yet another member to the family this week. "Brutus the Wonder Dog" is a now seven week old black lab puppy. I'm a native central Ohioan and a graduate from the school, so by default I am a big fan. My sis has a dog named "Buckeye" therefore that name was already taken. So our dog is named for "Brutus the Buckeye," the mascot for Ohio State. Becky has no ties to Ohio State but agreed that "Brutus" would be a good name for a dog. The "Wonder Dog" addendum is because we fully anticipate that he is going to grow up and be brilliant. He did learn to "sit" in one day. But he also thinks the front porch is the same thing as the grass when it comes to doing his business (after all, they are both "outside") and the electric cord is just another chew toy, so we'll have to see about that.
By the way, two of Brutus' yellow brothers were also adopted by Kudjip families. The Dooleys are now the proud owners of "Coppertone." The Radcliffes and Riggins are co-owning "Buckeye."
More adventures coming soon, to be sure.
"And God said, 'Let the land produce living creatures...' And God saw that it was good."
~ Genesis 1:24-25