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Pets are family

Pets are a large part of anyone’s life. Those who have them know they are members of your family. Because of this, you are charged with their care. When I moved to Newton, my sister tried to convince me to get a cat. She knew I would want one, but I didn’t feel like it was something I wanted to take on in my small, one bedroom apartment.

I always envisioned myself having a pet someday, but that was something I could have once I had a house and more space for them to roam.

When I met my fiancé, Tim, I went from having zero pets, to having four — three dogs and a cat. It only took two meetings of Tim’s cat, Dora, before he declared she was no longer his cat, but mine. Dora is one of those antisocial cats. New people make her want to run and hide. The first time I went to Tim’s house, she took one look at me and surprisingly, came over to say “hi.” This lasted for maybe five minutes, before she hopped down and ran behind the couch. The next day, she let me pet her for longer and rubbed up against my legs.

On a separate visit, Tim’s family had joined us for dinner. As we were watching a movie after the meal, Dora came out of hiding and jumped in my lap, demanding to be pet.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was the first time she had done that, with anyone. Usually the only person she came to was Tim and only when he was alone. When other people were over, she hid — even his family. So, now I had a cat after about seven years without a pet of my own; and I have been her favorite human ever since.

It was easy to win over Tim’s dogs. Two pugs and a dachshund are happy to see anyone new who will play with them and scratch behind their ears. Their exuberant energy was vastly different than that of the cat. They were competing with one another to say hello first. I got attached very quickly.

When Tim decided to sell his house, we had to make the tough decision to give one of the pugs away. She was only a year old, and we wanted to give her the chance to find a happy home while Tim was in transition. Tim’s parents are taking care of our other two dogs while we search for our house together and their new home.

Letty, our purebred dachshund, gave us quite the surprise last month when she had two puppies. Apparently, she had spent too much time with Tim’s cousin’s male pomeranian.

This has put us in a similar situation we had last summer when Dora had kittens. However, the domeranian mix is fairly popular, so Tim and I thought we shouldn’t have a problem finding homes for them.

We got to meet the two furry bundles about two weeks after they were born. I called them Pudge and Tiny because one was significantly bigger than the other. Tim’s sister, Christie, is a veterinary tech, so she was keeping a close eye on the puppies for us, since we couldn’t have them with us. She was worried about Tiny. He wasn’t growing like his brother, and he had an infection on his stomach. She got him treated, and he seemed to be improving.

Unfortunately, we lost Tiny last week. Christie thinks he may not have been fully developed when he was born. Tim and I were very sad and hoped Letty wouldn’t be too upset at the loss. She seems OK and is still taking very good care of Pudge. At nearly a month old, he is starting to be more and more playful.

I am very thankful Tim and I got to meet Tiny before he died. I wish we could have seen him grow more before we had to say goodbye.

Contact Pam Rodgers at

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