My First Pet – A Memoir

small__6133046578Bigger than life is the memory of my first pet, Amber. She was a mixed breed of dog with a brown-black-orange coat of fur. She was the sweetest pet anyone could want. I also remember her arch enemy, a black and white Cocker named Soupy. I dreaded the sight of Soupy swaggering up the road toward our little house, as Amber chewed at the window sill from inside, trying to get outside, so she could attack Soupy. Once they got together, the bloody brawl began!

Parting the two dogs was their only hope of survival. Their fights would have been to death, if one fearless adult man or another had not risked harm to himself to intervene each time, usually having to inflict a painful blow to one dog or both before they would stop trying to kill each other.

The ongoing mutual hatred between these two canines seemed to thrive with a life of its own. I’ll never understand what could have caused this irregularity in canine behavior. Amber was a loving pet and wouldn’t hurt anyone. REALLY! All the neighborhood kids loved and played with Soupy, too. But none of us dared to get in the way when the two dogs caught sight of one another. Eventually, we moved out of that neighborhood. Amber formed only friendly associations with other dogs in her new territory, so this true story had a happy ending.

Are there any dog stories among us? I’d love to hear about your pets. Not only dogs. Cats, birds, or whatever.

About Carol Ann Ritchey

Life is good because God is good.
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14 Responses to My First Pet – A Memoir

  1. Patricia says:

    Pretty pup. Love her blue eyes. We had lots of pets when I was growing up. Dogs, cats, hamsters, white mice, turtles, fish parakeets. The turtles and fish weren’t all that much fun but still I liked them.


    • You did have lots of pets! I also had cats, hamsters, turtles, fish, and parakeets. I missed the white mice, but in later years I also had guinea pigs and rabbits. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your pets with us. Blessings to you, Patricia…


  2. Carol says:

    One of our daughters has an Australian Shepherd with those vivid blue eyes. None of my dogs ever did. My first dog was an American Cocker Spaniel. I remember him as a nice pet altho’ he really didn’t have a very good temperament. It was in the mid-1970s that my hubby and I acquired our first purebred Shetland Sheepdog. She was responsible for establishing my addiction to dog shows and obedience trials, and she also became the foundation of my breeding kennel. Although I’ve retired, and have only a Labrador Retriever right now, I still have a soft spot in my heart for beautiful Shelties. 🙂


    • I love all kinds of shepherds. The Great White Pyrenees is also a shepherd dog. My famous fighting pet, Amber, was a mixed breed. I don’t have photos of her, but I found the dog in my post online. It’s supposed to be a public domain photo. I hope it really is. Amber looked similar, but her eyes were brown and her ears were more like spaniel ears. The coloring is right and the long nose is right. I tried to find one just like her, but I’ve discovered that she was unique.

      Shetland Sheepdogs look much like little Collies, I think, if I am not mistaken. They are truly beautiful. All sheep dogs are special. You can’t find a sweeter temperament than that of the Labrador Retriever, either. Thanks for stopping by. Blessings to you, Carol…


  3. elizabeth says:

    What a beautiful dog. And how strange that those two dogs were so opposed to each other. We’ll never know the story.

    I had an Old English Sheepdog when I was in my early twenties; Harvey Wallbanger. He was scared of cats. He had a green eye and a blue eye, and he devoured my good shoes! So, I didn’t have him long. I couldn’t afford to keep buying new shoes! 🙂


    • Now that sounds like a dog with an attitude! Ha! Old English Sheepdogs are such big, furry babies! I’ve never owned one, but they are beautiful. One green eye and one blue. He ate your shoes, your good shoes, not your worn shoes. Tsk. Thank you for sharing. You have made me laugh. Blessings to you, Elizabeth…


  4. jannatwrites says:

    Maybe dogs are more like people than we give them credit for. There have been a few people I’ve encountered that have irritated me to no end. Maybe it was like that for Soupy and Amber?

    I’m drawn to cats but also love dogs. The first cat I had liked my mom better than me (and my mom is not a cat person.) Misty was an indoor/outdoor cat and disappeared about a year later. Abby was the kitty I had after that – I had her for eighteen years. I still miss her!


    • Wow! Eighteen years for one cat. That sounds like a long life to me. I also like cats. I had Shady, my Maine Coon cat. He had a wonderful personality. I understand how you could still miss Abby. I still miss Shady. He died young with poly-cystic kidney disease. Blessings to you, Janna…


  5. theonlycin says:

    We never forget the pets from our childhoods, they forever own a piece of our hearts. My first dog was a ‘pavement special’ named Coco and she was the sweetest thing, she lived to a ripe old age. Strange that those two dogs had such an aversion to one another.


    • I like the “pavement special” concept. That’s cute. Like Coco, Amber lived to a ripe old age. When we moved, her fighting days were over. Thanks for stopping by, Cindy. Blessings to you…


  6. pattisj says:

    I’ve had so many pets over the years. I miss having one now. We had a cat, very old, losing teeth–she ate spaghetti with her paw. (When I was growing up, the cats lived on table scraps.)


  7. The reason for mutual hatred is obvious: one was a Yankees fan and the other a Red Socks fan.


    • Ah. Somehow I missed your comment back in August. Mutual hatred between two dogs because one was a Yankees fan and the other a Red Socks. NY and Boston? That very well could have been it. Blessings to you, Carl…


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