Its not that I don't love pets, just that I don't have one right now, highly unusual for me. Frankly, I don't know if I could manage it. I've just started back at the gym, encumbered by portable oxygen. To relieve my boredom on the treadmill, I call up in memory all my beloved pets, starting with Black Mike Crockett Crosse, the pit bull of my childhood. Mike was my bud for many years, his back fitting snugly into the curve of my knees each night. Next were my mother's dogs when I lived with her the last two years of high school: Duke, Prince, Lady Jeanne, the latter once having sixteen puppies. From her second litter I adopted a blue Merle collie, Skye Blue, my companion the last year of college and early years of teaching. A Siamese kitten, Kitty Roo, completed the pack. Then came Hallo, a stray calico, who appeared on the window ledge of my classroom on Halloween. At the right, me with Sky Blue at 21.
Moving with Lee to California in the wee bungalow in Berkeley three kitties came with the package: Junior, Mister, and Cindy. Later they shared the address at our first Oakland home with our first canine, a miniature schnauzer named Christopher Robin LeBon. Chrissie lived to sixteen, and surely was surrounded by love. A dozen more pets followed, but you get the idea. Calling up in my mind the memories of these pets gets me through fifteen minutes on the treadmill.
Nowdays I entertain myself with my Oakmont friend's pets. Probably two dozen dogs are walked by my front door daily, and all love to be greeted. Recently my friend Karen adopted two teen-age kittens, Shasta and Pixel. They are great characters, as you can see of this photo.