My Journey with Pets

I’d like to share a bit more about my journey and how I got here today.

I’ve loved animals for as long as I can remember. My first love are horses. I love them, and love to ride. Horse racing is my favorite sport. My favorite breeds are Thoroughbreds, and Arabians. I especially love black horses. I’ve come across some gorgeous Friesian horses but have yet to learn more about them.

I wasn’t allowed to have a dog or cat growing up. For one our landlord didn’t really approve but even if he did, my dad is west indian, so animals were kept outside and they weren’t kept inside. I always begged for one but no, never was allowed to have a cat or dog. But I was able to get a whole bunch of other pets which I mainly had to keep in my room and spend my own money on. My room consisted is half the basement.

As a teen I babysat for a neighbor who had a gorgeous german shepherd. You had to get to know him first because he was a guard dog and very aggressive. I fell in love with beautiful Samson. I’m sure he’s passed away by now, but I would have really liked to keep in touch with that family. I’ll never forget the day his owner sent me a card from Greece when she was traveling there nor her sweet daughter Jennifer. German Shepherds are my favorite breed of dog.

I also had an opportunity to work at a cat show for a breeder of Maine Coons and she happened to live on our street. This was when I fell in love with Maine Coons. The breeder is a well known Maine Coon breeder in Montreal, where I’m from and grew up, and is very active with cat shows and organizations. I’m fortunate to still be able to keep in touch with her. One of her main males was a gorgeous red classic. I remember her separate room that she had for her males and this room was the size of a bedroom and had a screen door on it to keep them in. I never recall her house smelling like cats at all.

The pets I was able to have and keep growing up were a iguana (that sure didn’t last long), gerbils, some mice (those didn’t last long either. They smell too much), 2 cockatiels from a breeder, a variety of small birds (males and females), fish (of course), and my lovely chinchillas. If it was possible, I would always try to get my pets from a breeder rather then the pet store.

I was able to breed my gerbils, and at one time had over 20 gerbils, including their babies. I tried to get a variety of colorings and matches between the gerbils to produce solids, and solids with white. The colors I had were: Agouti, Spotted Agouti, Argente Golden, Light Grey, Dark Grey (I think the greys are also called lilac and dove), Grey Spotted, Black, and Spotted Black. I think I may have had a white one at one point or another but I don’t remember. There are so many more varieties in color these days.

I would bring my gerbil babies, and fish babies to my favorite pet store, Nature, and get store credit in return.

My fish has babies once too, and that was really cool because I really wasn’t trying with them but that was a lot of fun. It was a challenge as breeding fish usually takes some added work but they did all the work and with the floating algae in the tank it was perfect for the babies to hide. The ones I had that bred were Burundis or also called Marlier’s Julies.

I also had success breeding chinchillas and I was very into my chinchillas. I was on all the forums, and searching and learning. Giving them the absolute best diet I could find out about and even went so far as getting hay from a horse farm to give them fresh hay and alfalfa. It’s also hard to remember but I do remember, I had this book. I wonder what happened to it. It was by Alice Kline and was all about genetics, and colors of chinchillas. I guess I lost it. It’s really been so long. Keep in mind I did this all by the age of 16. I also was very fond of Carole Kessler who was a well known breeder of chins. It also makes me wonder what happened to her. She lived in New York back when we were speaking.

I had 6 chinchillas. Two were grey and were already a set pair. My other 4 were: black velvet for sure, and I’m trying to remember, but I think one was mosaic, maybe a white one, and a tan one. I know for sure I got two of them from a fur ranch and I had to drive an hour out of Toronto to get them, and find them on this secluded farm. I believe I got 2 of them locally in Montreal, and then lastly the two grey from Ottawa. The last four I paired in pairs together and had some pretty amazing spacious cages for them. They had their daily runs. Boy these guys are fast and cute! We had a few babies which made the whole experience amazing!!

I lost a lot of my pets during the ice storm of 1998 in Montreal. It was really sad. Then the story goes that I got married and was going to move to the USA, so everyone had to find homes. My cockatiels came with me. They lived a long life being born in 1995, and passed away in 2008.

So this is how my journey has begun, and how I’ve always loved and adored my pets, and am family a cat mommy!!! This has been a really exciting experience for me, and I don’t think it’ll stop here :)

I mean how could you? Have you seen my two boys? They make your heart melt.

 

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