12:15:52 pm on
Wednesday 24 Jul 2024

The Zen of Pets
Matt Seinberg

The Usual Suspets

I love animals and have since I was a kid. My first pet was Bucky, half German Shepard and half collie. We got him against my mother's wishes and we only had him for a few months before he disappeared forever from my life.

Bucky went to a farm to spend his life scampering all over the place.

My parents told me they took Bucky to a farm where he could run and be free all day. Sure and the pigs could fly there, too. I didn't believe them; I could do nothing about it.

When we moved out of our rented house and into our own home, I got another pet, well, a bunch of hamsters. Yup, cute brown and white furry rodents. I named all the males Brownie. The only female I named Bernice. The males were all very friendly, but Bernice was nasty.

I wanted to breed them and put one of the Brownies in with her for a couple of days, hoping for some babies soon after. When we went away on vacation, Bernice gave birth to six babies; she ate two of them, which is something mother hamsters do. I just thought it was gross.

I gave away all the babies. After Brownie VI and Bernice died, that was it for hamsters. One Brownie even got out of his cage and into the basement ceiling from which he could not escape. It smelled it that section for quite a while.

My friend, Jack, had a collie.

I always had friends that had pets and I really loved dogs. My friend Jack had a collie. Although she was a loveable girl, she had a kidney problem, she always smelled of urine. It was hard to be around her for any length of time.

Marcy's aunt and uncle had a wonderful golden retriever named, Bailey, that was so lovable and friendly. Her only bad habit was trying and sometimes succeeding at grabbing napkins from people's laps during family dinners.

Michelle also loved her. Because of that, her aunt gave her a stuffed golden retriever plush toy after Bailey died. Michelle named it Ruby, after one of her cousin's dogs that she also loved. Michelle still has Ruby; she took the stuffy to college with her.

Last night, Marcy and I watched A Dogs Purpose, which is about a dog reincarnated four times during the course of the movie. In his first life, he's a golden retriever named Bailey. When he died, I cried. Yes, I admit it, I cried. Seeing any pet die is very hard.

When I had to put my cat, Domino, to sleep, eighteen years ago, because of cancer, it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I held her in my arms and told her I loved her as the vet put her to sleep. I cried like a baby.

When we lost Daphne, our cat, two years ago, it was so fast and unexpected that the grief I felt was very intense. I cried for a week afterward, but it lessened after we got Daisy and Scarlett.

After Melissa and I started to volunteer at the animal shelter last year, I found Dakota and everything seemed to be better. Dakota has so many Domino and Daphne like qualities I knew that they put us together.

The purpose of a pet's life is to make their "owners" happy and help them have a fulfilling life. It's also our purpose, as owners, to make our pets happy, keep them in good health and treat them well.

Two key questions regarding pets and humans

So the two questions are this; who owns who and who rescued whom?

I know Dakota rescued me from a despair that I never felt before. I also know, somewhere over The Rainbow Bridge, Domino and Daphne are smiling at us, happy that Dakota and I are together, knowing that one day we will all be together again.


Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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