10/27/2017

What is a Pet? #MFRWauthor


The official topic was "meet my pet." The first problem with writing this post is the definition of "pet."

The fish won at the county fair and brought home in a plastic bag was to many children of my acquaintance their first introduction to a pet and to the responsibility of feeding and caring for them. Later, there was the puppy that was officially a farm dog, but you know who you got the task of feeding and combing burrs out of his long hair. The beautiful sable collie became what I consider the first pet from my childhood. 


A few years later, a tri-color collie took his place. Salt and Pepper came from championship stock. Both his sires held multiple best-in-show awards. Neither dog was an indoor animal, both had their own coop complete with a shingled roof, straw bale insulation, and all the dirt they could dig.


On the farm there are pets... and there are pets. One might say a domesticated animal that responds to its name and is cared for is a "pet." Betty's Pride and Joy, a Nubian goat, would meet that criteria of a pet. At least until she ate my mother's rose bushes to the ground, thorns and all. 



To me, responding to their name doesn't qualify a creature as meeting the definition of a pet. Bronco, a beefalo steer, was definitely not a pet. A true pet would not cause the trouble he did by breaking out of the pasture on my high school graduation night. In an unusual display of cantankerousness, he refused to respond to the food call and I had to chase him around the orchard--in my cap and gown and high-heeled shoes.



I'll end this post with what is now considered a "pet" by today's standards. And they aren't called a pet, but a companion animal. Some people call them "grand-puppies" or "fur babies." If you're following the challenge, you've met this particular animal before. Just don't call him an animal, he gets upset. He's aristo-cat-ic, sophisticated, and always in a tuxedo. To paraphrase another tuxeco-clad male, the last pet introduces himself as "Cat, Tigh Cat."



~till next time, Helen. And be sure to visit some of the other pets in the challenge.




16 comments:

  1. What a variety of animals! Some people do go for the more exotic pets, but I stick to the basics - a dog. We learned a long time ago don't name the cattle, unless it's prime rib, sir Loin, Strip, or similar and not to name the pigs - with the exception of Sir Francis (Bacon), Kevin (Bacon), Hamlet, Truffles, Smoky, and we failed at not naming the chickens. Henrietta was a cranky old broad when she was a young chick. The difference in farm animals and pets blurs the lines at times. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Love the names for your cattle. For our steers, names didn't disguise their ultimate use. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Love the steer story! I'm sure it wasn't funny at the time, but what a memory!

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    1. Glad to bring a spark of light to your day. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. I guess you'll never forget your high school graduation! Too funny!

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  4. Beautiful collies. Once I had a Betta fish named CuJo, and I called him my pet. Oh, running in high heels through an orchard could not have been fun.

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    1. Running in high heels was bad enough but I was also dressed up for the after graduation party. Every other time the cow would come at the call of his name or at least the first clang of the food bucket. Guess he wanted to be remembered. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. I had a cow once. Briefly. It was NOT a pet and NOT beloved. I'm sure you know how early in the morning cows want to be milked and how loudly they moo to get your attention.

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    1. Over the course of the years we had both milk cows and beef. Even though trained to respond to their names (it was too hard to remember their auction numbers) they were definitely not pets. But did generate some memories. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. Aww cute. Cats are very picky but so entertaining. My daughter tells me about hers all the time. Our doggies are much more than pets to us. They are a part of the family and get spoiled rotten.

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    1. You're right cats can be very picky. They will ignore you one minute then hide your id badge and the next hide your id badge and keys to stop you from leaving. Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. What beautiful collies, Helen! When I was a little girl, a lot of neighbors owned dogs. Collies, poodles, Irish setters, a gorgeous Afghan hound, an assortment of terriers, black and white Scotties, a beautiful pair of silver huskies, and a few lap dogs. Today, the few who do own a dog own pit bulls :( I miss those days of seeing a variety of dogs prancing about like it was nothing, and the Collie pics brought it all back to me. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Always loved Irish setters and huskies. Glad to have brought back a good memory. Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. Beautiful collies and a handsome cat (I'm always a sucker for a male in a tuxedo). I can't imagine the goat eating your mom's rosebushes, including thorns!

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    1. Betty's Pride and Joy, aka Stupid, ate the rose bushes to the ground multiple times. Apparently the thorns didn't bother her. She also liked to climb atop dog coops, hay bales and up the steps to the hayloft of the barn. Raised as a 4H pet she caused a lot of trouble.

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