I suppose the lives of most Boomers can be measured by the pets we owned, and my family had some doozies. At Easter, I recall getting baby chickens and baby ducks – dyed in pastel colors – in our Easter baskets. It was a right of passage and there was no such thing as PETA. We just had pet birds for a spell.
With ducks, when they lost their dyed colors and the cute factor, it was usually a trip to a farmer acquaintance with a pond or to a local park where they were released and did just fine.
With baby chicks, we had a neighbor who was quite fond of 8 week old chickens. Fryers, she called them. She eagerly invited our young chickens to a Sunday dinner. We dropped them off and it was “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
I recall one Easter I got a little green duck, which went missing on about the third day. We searched high and low, under furniture and beds, but never could find the thing. I guess he slipped out when one of the kids came in.
Another interesting “pet”, if you can call it that, was a small turtle, or likely a tortoise. The tiny reptiles, about the size of a silver dollar, had interesting colorations on their shells, top and bottom. I asked for one once for my birthday, and got it. The turtle and I stared at each other for a minute or two, then went our separate ways. Turtles weren’t much fun to play with.
I also had a three-legged dog. It actually had four legs, but the left hind leg didn’t work. But “Nicky” ran quite nicely on three legs, thank you very much.
Nicky was a small dog. My Aunt Topsy who surprised my parents with this gift to me, said it was a cross between a chihawa and a toy terrier. Perhaps, perhaps not. It was just a little dog without much fur who shivered and barked all the time.
Nicky was a decent watchdog. She could hear the milk man coming at dawn and woke everyone in the house. She lived with us about 10 years. Dogs die too soon, you know.
I also had a parakeet. We were at Atlantic Beach, NC on vacation at Aunt Ann’s cottage when I saw an extremely colorful bird land on her clothes line. I went out to investigate, the bird saw me coming and flew and lit directly on my shoulder. I took him inside and soon had a cage and a new pet. We named him Tramp, a very friendly little parakeet. If you held your hands together under a running kitchen faucett, Tramp would fly down and a take a bath in the makeshift tub. He also spoke quite fluently, but in “parakeet”, not in human language.
Through the years we had multiple bird dogs,mostly setters. Some good, some not, but each had its own particular personality.
Pets were certainly important parts of our lives. Still are.