animal lover

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I have always been an animal lover.

My first pet was a black and white dog named Skeeter, who was my constant companion.

Ruth & Skeeter | Tampa | 1961

Ruthi & Skeeter | Tampa | 1961

While living in the jungles of Suriname I had a menagerie of pets. My friend Becky Schoen and I were happiest when the Indians would bring us orphaned baby animals… monkeys, parrots, iguanas, sloths, a kotamundi, and once even a baby jaguar!  We would feed them with eye droppers or tiny bottles. Some didn’t make it, some we released and some we kept as pets.

Ruthi & Becky | Suriname | 1968

Ruthi & Becky | Suriname | 1968

Ruthi & Kotamundi | Suriname | 1974

Ruthi & Kotamundi | Suriname | 1974

Ruthi and Meku | Suriname | 1970

Ruthi and Meku | Suriname | 1970

While I lived in Paramaribo to attend school, I enjoyed the company of my cat, Peanuts.

Ruthi & Peanuts | Suriname | 1967

Ruthi & Peanuts | Suriname | 1967

While on furlough the year I turned 13, I got a Chihuahua for my birthday… small enough to take overseas on the plane and not too much trouble to take care of in the jungle. The Wayanas had never seen such a small dog, so they called him “Mopili”, which meant little black bug. The name stuck.

Ruth & Mopili | Suriname | 1973

Ruth & Mopili | Suriname | 1973

Ruthi, Mopili and Mickey | Suriname | 1974

Ruthi, Mopili and Mickey | Suriname | 1974

In 1978, as newlyweds, Mark and I “adopted” the cutest little ball of white fur… a American Eskimo Spitz, we named Ski Fury. He went with us to Connecticut, while we worked for a year on a project for Helps International Ministries with Mark’s dad. When the girls were born, he was so gentle and let them climb all over him. In 1983, we made the move to Florida. Not being sure of what our living situation would be and because he was used to North Carolina weather, we made the difficult decision to find him a new family there in Asheville. He ended up on a 60 acre farm with a family who had three boys… we heard later that he had become a loyal and good dog  for them as well.

Veronica, Amber & Ski | Asheville, NC | 1983

Veronica, Amber & Ski | Asheville, NC | 1983

We couldn’t go too long without a dog, so Mark started looking in the newspaper and found a 6 month old red Siberean Husky, who we named Cody. He was absolutely gorgeous and ridiculously independent.

Mark and Cody | Florida | 1987

Mark and Cody | Florida | 1987

Cody kept jumping the fence and you could NOT catch him. We would get calls from all over town and would have to go retreive him. Once it was in the middle of the night and the call was from the city police.  Mark crawled out of bed, drove to meet the police, only to find Cody sitting in the back of  the police cruiser enjoying a snack.  Everyone loved him!  We tried twice to find him a new home locally, but both times he was returned to us. Finally Mark’s brother, Tim, who lives in Georgia, said his neighbor was interested in Cody. So off to Georgia he went to live with a family with 2 boys and acres of land to run in. Except that he ran from there as well! One day Tim was in town at the local lumberyard and saw a dog that looked just like Cody in the back of a man’s pickup truck. He asked the man where he got the dog. The man said, “it was the funniest thing… one day this dog just showed up at my house and won’t go away.” Go figure!! I could write an entire post just on Cody’s antics!

Amber, Veronica, & Cody | Florida | 1986

Amber, Veronica, & Cody | Florida | 1986

After Cody, we decided to get a Sheltie puppy. Amber and Veronica named her Jessie. Jessie was with us for 16 years. A faithful, loyal dog who gave us lots of joy.

Veronica, Amber & Jessie | Florida | 1987

Veronica, Amber & Jessie | Florida | 1987

Jessie | 1987 - 2003

Jessie | 1987 - 2003

Amber and Veronica also had two rabbits, Buttercup and Thumper, a ferrett named, Reba, a hamster, a couple noisy parakeets and probably a few pets I have forgotten about.

We still have Amber’s cat, Pebbles, who is going on 19 and Veronica’s cat, Tabby, who’s going on 18!

Pebbles | 2008

Pebbles | 2008

Tabby | 2008

Tabby | 2008

But since 2003 we have been dogless.

until now…

5 responses »

  1. I remember the monkey you had while living at the hostel and especially how you would put diapers on it – I was never sure I could’ve done that!

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