Our Pets, Then and Now, Part 2

Welcome to a part two of a post featuring our beloved pets as youngsters and adults. As part of trying to figure out how to connect everyone’s submissions into a cohesive and engaging article, I returned to my original source of inspiration: the internet. There, I found that the idea of showing pets in their younger and older days is far from a new one. Not only are there articles simply showing photos with captions, proving that our pets are for life, but there are also unique twists.

The most common twist seems to be showing owner and pet in the earliest days of their relationship and then recreating the same pose years later. One of my favorite captions from a collection of such photo pairings: “Styles may come and go, haircuts may change, but a dog will always be man’s best friend.” Of course, it must be said that the same holds true for other kinds of pets as well.

Another popular twist is that of showing people and pets as they’ve grown together, often with the person growing from a child to an adult. One of my favorite lines from a collection of such photo sequences is: “The kids got taller, the animals got grayer, but everyone stayed cute.”

I have three more stories to share with you, besides telling you more about the cute puppy at the beginning of Part 1 of this article. One comes from a former teacher friend of mine, Bonnie Parish. She and I were in contact when Cinder, my current cat, developed stomatitis and had to have all but her two lower canine teeth removed. Bonnie and I swapped sympathetic stories about the maddening experiences of our cats having to wear cones. When time came to write this article, I immediately wrote her to ask about Sadie.

“After losing Abby Tabby, I searched and searched for the right kitten for me and was just about to give up when my cousin called me and was so excited because one of her friends had as she said, ‘My perfect new baby! She/he’s a ginger too!’

A photo of Sadie as a kitten
Sadie – Young

“One of the rules for me has always been that any pet of mine has to at least have some of the spunky spicy redheaded girl traits and has to have some ‘ginger’ in her hair, just like me, so people will know that she is mine!”

A photo of Sadie lying in a basket
Sadiie at One

“Sadie is a perfect playmate! She plays fetch for hours, she runs and jumps and chases, and can jump and do forward and back flips, and actually jumps higher off the ground than I stand. 🙂 Of course she likes to play in a bag of any kind. In a grocery bag, she thinks it is fun if you pick her up and walk around with her in the bag!”

A photo of Sadie lying inside a storge cube
Sadie – Adult

“The Big Girl Sadie picture is taken when she was right at a year old. She loves to sit by the door or in the windows and watch the squirrels, birds, ducks, geese and those blasted leaves that seem to fly for no reason! She clearly longs for the outdoors, but won’t be going out there anytime soon! She really is a fun kitty and has become a real love.”

The last two stories come from responses to my formal call for entries. Whenever possible, I prefer for the information in my articles to come from local pet owners. For that reason, whenever I’m getting ready to write a post I’ll put out a call on Facebook at the sites of animal groups, rescue groups, and vet clinics. I’ve been doing this for about six months now and have enjoyed meeting new people in this town where I have lived since 1998.

A photo of Jenny as a kitten
Jenny – Young

Nancy Peterson adopted Jenny from a feral colony when she was just six weeks old. Fortunately, Jenny was caught when young enough that the odds of her being socialized were good.

“Jenny likes to open cabinet doors, but she has a very unusual technique. Rather than paw at the door to open it, she stands on her hind legs and grabs the top of the door to swing it open. I think she just enjoys the ride because she doesn’t always go in.

A photo of Jenny as an adult cat, resting her head on a catnip-filled tomato toy
Jenny – Adult

Whenever Nancy arrives home, Jenny jumps onto her cat tree. There, Nancy will talk to her and pet her. Jenny gets so excited that she does flips.

To read more about Jenny, who came from a feral colony, follow the link: Fostering Ferals

A photo of Mao as a kitten
Mao – Young

Tiffany Mueller also raised a rescued cat. “I found Mao when he was a tiny kitten, crying his lungs out one chilly December night. He was behind a trash can at Wesleyan. I scooped him up and took him home, unsure how I was going to convince my roommate to add a third cat to the house.

A photo of Mao as an adult cat lying on the back of a sofa
Mao – Adult

“It’s been almost eight years now. Mao has gone from tiny fuzzy kitten, to a beautiful long haired beast.”

As for that toy poodle featured in the opening photo, Andy writes: “Silver poodles start out black. When I brought Barnaby home with me that first day only his face had been shaved, and so he was black all over except for his silver face. Six weeks later I took him in to be groomed for the first time, and when I went back later to pick him up I was given this all-silver puppy I’d never seen before. Of course it was still Barnaby, but the sudden change took some getting used to.”

My husband and I were just in the dating stage when he got Barnaby, but I still remember the stories he’d tell me about being a new pet owner. Like most puppies, Barnaby needed to get taken outside multiple times during the night to use the bathroom. Just as often, during the day, Barnaby simply wanted to play, play, play. Andy felt guilty whenever Barnaby would sit, stare, and maybe even tap his foot impatiently at Andy. As a puppy, Barnaby seemed to have endless energy. He also used to get into mischief, eating everything he could find (even sweets) while Andy was at work. I also recall how overwhelmed Andy felt those few months after Barnaby’s arrival. Andy sometimes wondered if he could handle the responsibilities of a having a dog.

A photo of Barnaby, a silver toy poodle, standing on tree stump with his ears blowing in the wind
Barnaby – Now

Now Barnaby is all grown-up and our agility superstar! He’s also eleven. And, no, we can’t believe how the time has flown. Vet appointments no longer revolve around annual vaccinations, but are instead about how to best take care of our senior dog. While Barnaby does still enjoy eating and playing, his food tastes are pickier and he naps more. He’s our adult dog, whom we love very much and expect to live forever. That’s how it should be with family.

Thanks to everyone who submitted. I appreciate your helping Lincoln Animal Ambassadors make its own contribution to the growing number of online pet “Then and Now” albums. Now go hug and play with your pets. Many of them have not only graduated from being youngsters to adults, but also to graying older souls. Make memories while you can!

Other Then and Now Collections

 

 

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