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Who Said Dogs Are Man's Best Friend?

Aug 18, 2007
I was flipping down the yellow, brick road of my life as I flipped through the pages of a photo album. Were the boys ever that little? Did I really have as many hair styles as Oprah? Then there were the pictures of our four-legged family.

The boys had a series of keep-it-in-your-room pets; but our first, family pet was a rabbit - VW Rabbit. Fat and furry, VW had a voracious appetite for non-food items, like kitchen gloves and carpet fringe; but he was better than a Swiffer at cleaning those hard to reach places under furniture. We never had dust kitties under our beds because we had the world's first dust rabbit.

When he was recalled by his maker, we didn't get a new model. Instead, my husband and I discussed getting a dog. We told ourselves our boys were old enough to help care for a pet - that it would help teach them responsibility. Deep down we knew we'd be taking care of the dog, but you're never too old for another lesson in responsibility.

John wanted a licky-face, slipper-fetching dog; I wanted a regal Great Dane I could name Hamlet; but neither of us wanted a pooper scooper. We compromised. We got a male cat from the shelter.

The next step in welcoming the cat into our family was naming him. Because I'd recently read Marion Morrison hadn't liked his name and changed it to John Wayne, I thought we should be very careful naming our cat. This thought was confirmed when I read Eugene Growitz had also been unhappy with his name and changed it to Michael Landon.

We thought and thought and then named him Beauregard. It's impossible to know if a cat likes his name, but Beau never called the SPCA to try to change it.
Beau was big on personality, but short on paws. One had been amputated when he was a kitten. Because Beau was undaunted by being physically challenged, he was an inspiration to us. He was also twenty-five percent less likely to put his foot in his mouth.

His claws were a different story. Often I was left a marked woman after playing with Beau. This prompted visits to Pierre for clippings. During one visit Beauregard clawed Pierre. Surprise! Surprise! Pierre lost his French accent.

We lost Beau all too soon. Because he was irreplaceable, we now have a dog.
About the Author
KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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