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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Grandma Shirley and My Inherited Love for Animals

You know my cool Grandma with the tattoo? The one who plays guitar? The one I don't visit near often enough? Please keep her in your prayers as she is recovering from surgery.A large mass was removed from her intestines. We haven't heard the full report from the pathologist, so I can't tell you much more except that we're all worried.

Anyway, while I hate the fact that it always seems to take a misfortune to bring families together, it's been fun seeing three of my aunts -- Sandy, Kim and Angie. (Aunt Connie was hosting my parents in Phoenix, who were all sitting on pins and needles, waiting for the results of the operation.)

The Ronfeldt side of the family are great lovers of animals. (Perhaps this was what attracted my mother to the clan??) Anyway, my husband's affection for pets can best be described as 'tolerant.' As a matter of fact, our first real fight occurred after I brought a kitten home. And luckily, I found our dog by the bridge on a day when a few cocktails made Doug's heart soft for the abandoned pup. (That was 14 years ago, and we still have the 'pup'.) Anyway, I once picked up a Brittany Spaniel off the Interstate and brought it home. Doug absolutely refused another dog on the place -- luckily I worked with someone who knew of a Brittany Spaniel shelter. Another time, we found another black dog, mysteriously living with us. The destructive Lab bought a ticket to the shelter in Harlan. Anyway, Doug thinks I'm a little cuckoo when it comes to animals. So, after sitting in waiting rooms with my kin this weekend, I think Doug grew a deeper appreciation for my animal affection.

Aunt Sandy just got her fourth dog -- some sort of hairless Chihauhua that walks on its two hind feet.
Aunt Angie has four ferrets, and I lost count of the number of dogs she also owns.
Aunt Kim only has one dog, she refers to as Stupid Dog, but she also lives in an apartment.
My first cousin-once-removed (my cousin's son) has some sort of lizard, a python, a cat and a tarantula. I think he still has the tarantula anyway. There might have been a few other exotic species, but I couldn't quit thinking about the python as they spoke.

Of course my Grandma and step-Grandpa has a dog, who now looks more like a pot-belly pig. But she sure is a sweetie.

Anyway, who couldn't love a family as interesting and loving as mine? They remind me that the most important thing we can do is laugh and love each other while we're here. They also reinforce that just because we have a senile dog, a tomcat who thinks he's a female dog, a stray cat who resembles Shrek, and a rat-like hamster, we're not really crazy. We just like to laugh and love.

God Bless You, Grandma.

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