When I was four, we found our first dog. At the time both my sister and I were the hugest ‘Heidi’ fans ever. Therefore we decided (actually my mom really did) to name the new part of the family after Heidi’s dog, Josef. He was our first pet.
A while later a cat, Sissy, joined us. She was given to us by one of my best friends in primary school as her cat had kittens. And the whole ‘how great would it be to have a small zoo in our apartment’ started! Here is a list of the animals I can remember that must have at some time co-existed in the same household:
- 2 Canary birds who felt so homey with us that they decided to extend their family and had 2 canary babies, so four in total
- 2 lovebirds, Romeo and Juliet. Where Juliet really hated the fact that Romeo wanted to extend their family and as soon as she laid the eggs she literally crashed them (very brutal, very sci fi material)
- Sea turtles which were constantly replaced by my sweet dad who thought that I would not notice..
- Fishes. After finding a dead fish every other morning floating on top of the aquarium for a couple of weeks we realized that the water pump was defective. We never really tried the whole aquarium thing again.
- 2 Albino lab rats (who were of course sold to my sister’s high school boyfriend as teeny tiny little cute mice which would not grow). The male rat passed away after six months and we decided to name the female rat Jerry Lee. I honestly have to say that Jerry Lee was one of the best pets we ever had (who was not really that much appreciated by our guests or friends who came to visit)
- A pair of hamsters who taught me early in my teens what a cannibal is capable of.
After Josef passed away, my German uncle decided to give us as a gift a dackel, yes, the german ‘sausage’ dog who everyone (who is not German) associates it with long trucks and lorries. We named him Charlie. I feel guilty but I must admit. He was the best thing that every happened to our family. He lived a short (6 years) life but full of passion. He was the male ‘third’ child of the family. He had a character so unique and intense which you rarely, if ever, find in a dog. He was a passionate swimmer in the sea. Once he left the shore and went into the ocean, there was no-one or anything that would stop him. I remember when one time he was returned to us by fishermen who had the stupidest look on their faces discovering our dog in the middle of the ocean.
Now, a couple of decades later our family includes our 2 wonderfully challenging kids, one canary bird Johnny who adores horrible noises like vacuum cleaners and babies crying (!) and McQueen our 4 year old bunny. I haven’t been able to convince my husband for a dog yet but I hope that eventually he will change his mind.