Poopsie and Other Pets

Chicken and dogI have enjoyed several pets as a child. When I was four I lived in Kanab, Utah a small country town where many western movies were filmed in the 1950-60s. This was the perfect place to have a dog. We had a Collie named Skippy. My parents said if they couldn’t find me they would call for Skippy, where I was soon to follow. Our family moved from Kanab, to Salt Lake City, Utah. My parents knew Skippy was a country dog, so he was left with friends in the country. I felt bad we didn’t bring Skippy with us but understood only as a four year old could.

My mom is very frugal. One year for Christmas she made a lot of homemade stuff. In addition to her homemaking skills we received a snow sled and a red wagon. Best of all, we got a beagle we named Snoopy. I loved that dog. I loved pulling him in our wagon or he would run after us on the sled. It is a blur to me what happened to Snoopy. I have a hunch he disappeared when we moved into the house my dad built. I was so excited about moving into a home with a small farm I didn’t notice Snoopy was missing from the picture.

Our farm was was so magical for me. I was the kind of kid that could entertain myself for hours. When I wanted to play with someone, I had nine siblings to choose from, so I rarely went looking for a friend to hang out with. Most kids wanted to come see the animals we had. I loved showing the neighborhood kids what it was like living on a farm.

A few of our favorite animals on our farm were our eight milk goats. I loved feeding them hay, petting, and singing to them. I would hang out in the barn for hours. I still can remember some of our goats names. We had Maggie, Pearl, Tiny, and George to name a few. They produced lots of milk, and yes, George, was a she. When I wasn’t with the animals I was in our hay loft hanging out in our private hay hideout made from the bails of hay that were neatly stacked to hide the entrance, it was so cool. We even had a quick escape from the hayloft’s back window.

We had several dogs, the one that stands out the most was our dog Dolly. This was our beloved family pet until it had an accident then it was my dog, and I needed to clean up the mess. I loved Dolly, She had gray and black hair. I taught her to do many tricks, and her favorite one was begging for food. One day my sister played a trick on me, and said we got a new dog. She had dyed Dolly’s hair jet black. I knew it was Dolly when I had her beg, and she begged only as Dolly knew how to. This dog was way too friendly to be a strange, new member of the family.

One pet that sticks out in my mind was our pet chicken Poopsie. We raised her from the time she was a small chick so she never associated with the other chickens. She spent all day hunting for bugs, and worms in our garden. At night Poopsie would roost under the porch by my window. One day she didn’t come in to roost. One of the hunters had mistaken her as a pheasant, and shot her. We were pretty upset.

I have loved all the animals that I was able to have as pets growing up. I have many wonderful memories that also taught me a great number of responsibilities. I was able to experience the circle of life, learn about the birds and the bees, also understand how important it is to take care of animals.

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