Your Favorite Pet Stories
More than 100 of you responded to our call for your favorite pet stories. Kentucky Living readers sure love their pets.
Eight lives to go
On the way in from milking one morning, I spotted Ikie Wally O'Mally, my 4-year-old daughter's cat, lying dead in the road.
With a proper burial being the appropriate thing to do, our three kids, Austin, Adam, and Rachel, proceeded to bury Ikie. With each shovel of dirt thrown on the grave, Adam would say, "He sure was a good old cat." Rachel was shaking her finger at Ikie saying, "You bad old cat, you should've stayed off that road!"
The kids were in the barn later that day, and Rachel yelled for me. I went into the barn, and much to my surprise, there stood Ikie. Rachel said, "Ikie came back from the dead, just like Jesus. I know it's him, he has dirt in his hair!" Yes, it was Ikie.
Somebody else's cat received a fine burial that day.
Shelby Energy Cooperative
My 16-year-old Irish setter, Red, was dying. We laid him under a tree where the sun could keep him warm. Red started howling and the other dogs in a nearby fenced-in area by the barn barked as if they were telling each other goodbye. My husband and I decided to take Red to the barn that evening so he could be with the other dogs. We laid him down and placed hay around him to keep him warm. Pup, our beagle mix, went to Red and lay in between his front and back paws and placed his head on Red's stomach. He looked up at us for approval. I told Pup to take care of him.
The next morning my husband found Red dead with Pup still taking care of him, lying in the same spot as when we left the night before.
When my son, Kane, was a young lad, he took an interest in hunting. He had an old dog and a young pup. The dogs' pen was attached to a little building where I fed my cats every morning.
One night, Kane took his pup out for his first hunt. Oh, how sleek and muscular was this young dog--enough to make any man proud. When Kane turned him loose at the edge of the woods, the dog went on a hot scent and barked way into the woods.
Later in the night, when Kane and his buddies were ready to leave, everyone called and the dogs came running to the truck--all except Kane's. Kane called and called with no results. Finally Kane went to the edge of the woods, thinking he was out of earshot of his buddies, and called, "Here, kitty, kitty," and his dog came running.
Kane's buddies almost went into hysterics. The next morning Kane told me to NEVER go near his dog pen calling "kitty kitty" to my cats.
Mary Frances McCoy
Cock of the walk
Ralph was a one-of-a-kind rooster. After being raised in a cage with rabbits, he thought he was a rabbit, or maybe a guard dog. When he wasn't near the rabbit cages, he patrolled the creek bank where the kitchen scraps were dumped. He had no mercy on other dogs venturing into his territory. As they enjoyed some tasty tidbit, suddenly Ralph's spurs would sink deep into their hides.
Among his victims were his owners,8-year-old twins who never left the porch without first arming themselves with a stout tobacco stick.
One day their father's fishing buddy, Mr. Claxon, stopped by. He watched as Ralph strutted around the yard and said, "Boys, I got myself a bunch of hens out to the house, I sure could use a nice rooster like that."
Before Ralph knew it, he was upside down, feet crossed and firmly tied.
A couple of weeks passed and when Mr. Claxon pulled into the driveway one day, the boys exchanged worried looks.
He said, "Boys, I'm sure glad you sold me that fine rooster. He watches over the farm better than any old dog I ever had. Only problem is he won't have a thing to do with the hens. He just wants to hang around the rabbit cages."
A chuckle escaped and then turned into a big grin. "While I was gone, Mr. Wells from State Farm came out to check on getting my barn insured. It wasn't long before he came limping back into the yard. He said, 'I've been attacked by cats, my heels nipped by dogs, but never have I been attacked by a rooster. You've got all the insurance you want with that kind of protection.' As he limped off, you could see Ralph's autograph on the torn blood-tinged seat of his pants."
Grayson Rural Electric
We recently adopted two dogs when their owner, who lived across the street from us, passed away. The dogs had begun to look frail, and when we started to feed and care for them they really began to flourish. They have become devoted, wonderful companions.
Recently, I had surgery and had to keep my back straight. I was walking in our back yard and noticed an apple on the ground that looked really good. Brownie was with me, and I asked him to let me put my weight on him so I could squat down, keeping my back straight, to get the apple. I spent several minutes showing the dog what I wanted, to no avail. The other dog, Bear, who suffers from arthritis, limped over and nudged Brownie out of the way. She then stood exactly as I had wanted and looked up at me as if to say, "Go ahead, get your apple." She waited until I placed my hand on her back, squatted down, and retrieved the apple. When she was sure that I was OK, she returned to her spot and lay back down.
Jeff and Gina Carpenter
Jackson Energy Cooperative
The cats came back
In 1974, my Uncle Frank Creal asked us to come to his house in Laconia, Indiana. During the afternoon of our visit I went with my husband and our children, and my cousin Delbert, to the barn to milk. In the barn were white kittens, and Delbert told my kids to pick out two for their own.
With four kids and two kittens in the back seat, we headed back to Kentucky. At home, we cared for the kittens every day outside. One day, they disappeared.
About two weeks later, a letter came from Delbert telling us the two kittens were back at his home and we could come and get them.
I called Delbert and told him that since the cats traveled more than 50 miles from Upton, Kentucky, even crossing the Ohio River, that I would just leave them there in Indiana.
How the kittens traveled that distance and crossed the Ohio River I will never know. They were true Indiana cats.
Rip was a small, lovable, solid, longhaired white dog. The day he was abandoned near our Daviess County home, my children, Leigh and Sally, and one of the neighbor boys asked if one of our dogs could be in the Pet Parade at the Daviess County Fair. None of the dogs had ever seen a leash, much less been attached to one. But I relented and said okay.
To prepare for the parade, I let the kids give Rip a bath. After they cut some of the many cockleburs from around Rip's tail, Rip's backside was so bald he looked like a hyena. We decided to cut a slit in the back seam of an old pair of running shorts and put them on Rip.
Leigh and Darren worked with Rip on the leash all the next day. When we registered at the fair, I worried when I realized most of the pets had some type of pedigree. When I told the registration lady that our dog was a mixed breed, she said she would just say it was a mutt. I asked her if she would kindly refer to him as the girls did, as a watchdog.
When it was time for Leigh (who was one of the few children showing a pet) and Rip, with his track shorts on, to go before the judges, I was absolutely amazed. Rip walked when Leigh walked, ran when Leigh ran, and stopped when she stopped, his white tail proudly waving. Although many of the other pets were accomplished performers, Rip made us very proud.
When the awards were presented, Leah and Rip the watchdog won first place in their category. What a wonderful surprise!
Kenergy electric co-op
The power of paws
My husband and I are currently raising our second puppy-in-training, Hallie, for Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs, www.caninecompanions.org.
The life of a puppy raiser is exciting, rewarding, and sometimes tearful. There are all the "usual" dog chores to attend to, but because we are raising such unique animals, we also get to experience miracles. One of these miracles has been experienced at the school where I teach: watching children read to Hallie.
Hallie has been joining me in a special education setting on Fridays. Her greatest influence has been in listening to children read to her. Almost all 16 of our third-graders have a disdain for reading, especially if asked to read aloud. However, every Friday I am now asked at least three times an hour, "Can I read to Hallie?" In special education, such a request is remarkable. The students even read to Hallie while she is napping inside her crate. What a sight it is to see Hallie lying inside watching them read to her through her wire door. This fall Hallie has started with a new group of students who are learning about the joy of books with the help of a little yellow dog.
I named my soft kitten with the smoky-blue fur after Davy Jones because I was a big Monkees fan. Davy grew into an enormous blue cat with fiendish yellow eyes. He terrorized the household but adored my mother, who doted on him.
He would sit Sphinx-like on the couch arm and wait for our Pekingese to walk by. Then Davy would stretch out with his claws extended and slap the poor dog thoroughly.
Davy thought his rightful throne was the dining table and considered the litter box an insult to his independence. Despite his behavior, my mother loved him, and he slept at the foot of her bed every night.
When my mother died several years later, Davy's grief was terrible to behold. He could not be placated and roamed the yard incessantly, meowing piteously. He kept this mourning up for days and then disappeared. We never saw him again, but I have never forgotten this miscreant with the manners of an alley cat and a heart of gold.
Vicci Quicksall Lewis
Licking Valley Rural Electric Co-op
Our 14-year-old pekepug, Mugsy, suffered a stroke and lost the use of his back legs. It was pitiful watching this sassy little dog drag himself along on his front legs. The veterinarian's only suggestion was to put Mugsy to sleep, advising us that he would never get better. His spirit was indomitable, though, and we were not ready to give up on him.
My daughter suggested buying Mugsy a wheelchair. We had never heard of such a thing but found one, sort of a cart on wheels, on the Internet. Mugsy chased a pack of the neighbor's beagles all the way home while still in it! It was expensive, but within two weeks, Mugsy was walking on his own.
Shelby Energy Cooperative
During WWII we lived on a dirt road (a mud road when it rained). My two brothers and my fiancé, now my husband of 56 years, were in the military, so I walked a mile to the mailbox every day, hoping to receive letters.
Our little dog, Buddy, liked to trot along, and I enjoyed his company, so I would call him when I set out to get the mail. After a time, I noticed Buddy would be waiting for me without my call. Even if he was with my dad at the barn, he would leave and be by the door. He didn't have a wristwatch; how did he know what time it was?
Sadie Evelyn Lusky
Owen Electric Cooperative
One Easter Sunday, four children and Jack, the coonhound, went for a picnic. We ate lunch on a big, flat rock near a virgin timber forest filled with spring flowers. We decided to cross a creek, which was nearly dry, to go see May apples.
When raindrops began to fall, we huddled close to a hayrick. Suddenly, two black snakes ran out and down the hill we went. We re-crossed the creek. Halfway up the hill we were hit by hard wind, rain, and hail. We could see only a short distance. Jack was no longer following; he was leading. He would go 10 feet in front, then circle back to us. He repeated this until we reached the wooden farm lot gate. Jack crawled through--so did we. Jack didn't like the storm or the snakes any better than we did, but he bravely led us home.
Bernice M. McClanahan
Carolina Ridge, our golden retriever, meets the mailman every morning and brings the mail into the house for us. One morning, I was washing dishes and mentioned aloud to her that I was going to give her a bath. Later, I found her waiting in the bathtub.
Mrs. Wilburn Hunt