Thursday, February 20, 2020

Won't You Be Gayle's Neighbor?

by Gayle Leeson

Who is your favorite neighbor? Mine are our human neighbors' pets. Over the years, they've included Jake, a chocolate lab who used to come bark at my door for treats and hugs. (Jake was the inspiration for my character Myrtle Crumb 's dog, Matlock - Between A Clutch and A Hard Place ); Vader, a Rottweiler who once jumped into my car and wedged his butt into one of our children's car seats; and Charlie and Annabelle, brother and sister cats who would run inside our house for cuddles whenever they caught our door open long enough.

Okay, I love our people neighbors too... or I at least like them...but those sweet pets melt my heart. I've known some of them since they were babies.

My son 's friend Logan once brought his German Shepherd puppy Roxy to our house. Naturally, the boys wanted to play instead of taking care of a puppy. So after a few minutes, Logan enlisted me to babysit. Holding the puppy while my husband and I watched TV,  I laughed at something silly on the screen. My laughter set Roxie off, and she began to howl. The more I laughed, the more she howled. Finally, unable to breathe, I had to hand the sweet pup to my husband so I could leave the room and regain my composure before I actually died laughing.

Another neighbor I've known all his life is Chubbs. Chubbs is a mixed breed dog who I believe has a bit of Great Pyrenees in his lineage. He was one of a litter fostered by the neighbors to our left, and he was the cutest fluffball. This was about a year before we adopted Cooper, and I would go borrow Chubbs. Much like children, puppies remember those who play with them and give them treats. To this day, he will come to our door and cry or bark to be let inside. I open the door, and Chubbs goes straight to the kitchen to stand by the shelf where the treats are kept.

One last funny story about Charlie the cat: he came inside one evening right after I'd gotten out of the shower. My husband had been mowing the lawn, so Charlie came into the garage through the pet door, and upstairs to find me. As I stepped out of the shower, the phone rang. Wrapping myself in a towel, I sat on the edge of the bed and answered the phone. Charlie came and hopped onto the bed. He was purring contentedly at my side when my husband came in and said, "There you are, Charlie ... you little idiot." I said, "You're calling him an idiot? Which one of you just came in from doing manual labor and which one is lying on the bed with a naked woman?" He couldn't argue with that.

P.S. Above are Cooper, our Great Pyrenees, and Pepper (Pepper Louise, in fact). Pepper was at least eighteen years old when she crossed over the Rainbow Bridge in December. She was a character, and I'll write more about her in a future post.


Ashley Montgomery said...

Gotta love those fur babies!!

kayt18 said...

Love those furbabies. So sorry about your girl passing in December. Sorry I didn't know. My heart goes out to you. Love how all of your neighbor furries love you!! Tyler would not accept it, lol.

Tonette Joyce said...

I am very sorry for your loss. My pets are also members of the family and dear friends. When I moved here to KY, my nextdoor neighbors basically had a 'petting zoo' with a potbellied pig, turkeys, ducks, assorted other fowl, dogs a cat, a lamb, miniature goats and for a while, geese. I forgot to mention the iguana and ferrets, who used to escape and come to me when I called them. In fact, nearly all of their pets would come to me, or even escape and come to me. The woman behind us would keep horses for her family and one even foaled while we were at church on Palm Sunday.Their dogs and the woman's brother's dogs (a neighbor down the road), would come to my house.
Alas, all are gone. We are down to only having 3 cats, and no visiting neighbor pets.