To All the Pets I’ve Loved Before


I haven’t had a dog since I was in high school. Through out my childhood we had two dogs a black lab named Shadow and a white mut named Misty. Both were good and loving dogs.  Shadow moved on to a friend’s farm and Misty passed away when I was a freshman or sophomore in high school.

My mom did eventually get another dog but not until sometime after I graduated and not long before I moved out of the house.

For me, there was never another dog.  Because really, I’m a cat person. My beautiful furry cat named Mama Kitty was my constant companion from the time I was around 11 until she passed away years later the same week my son was born. Losing her was more devastating than the other cats and dogs we’d had, the rabbits, the mice and every bird we ever owned.

Mama Kitty and Myself

If my son had not been born a few days later, I’m not sure how I would’ve gotten though it. But as any mom knows adjusting to the first weeks of a newborns life can pretty much zap every other thought from your head for the next 12 months. And by the time I came up for air, she had been gone almost a year. Her ashes are stored way up on a shelf in my room.


It would be almost 6 years before I’d be willing to give my heart to another animal again.

My husband and I were debating whether we wanted to get another cat, after having such a hard time losing Mama Kitty. But one day while looking through Tri-Valley Animal Rescue’s website, I saw a picture of the cutest little tortoise shell cat I’d ever laid eyes on. Instantly my heart began to beat and I knew that she was our cat.

I showed the picture to my husband who looked at me and smiled. He knew she was ours as well.

And a couple of weeks later Santa sent my kids Blossom for Christmas.


It’s been almost two years know and it’s hard to imagine our house before Blossom was here. She is as much the kids as she is ours.

Though the kids drive her crazy she loves them anyway (I can relate).

In fact right now she is lying patiently on Cheyanne’s bed waiting for her to get back from Kindergarten.

I don’t begrudge anyone who doesn’t own an animal. There is a lot of work involved and not everyone is cut out to be an animal parent.

But for me, it’s hard to imagine life without an animal. Not forever anyway.

For this month’s From Left to Write book club we read the book Cowboy & Wills by Monica Holloway.  A beautiful book about the relationship between her autistic son and the wonderful golden retriever who helped pull him from his shell. When I sat down to write this post I fully intended to write about the book but instead found myself thinking about all the sweet animals who have touched my life over the years.

Any animal lover will appreciate this story and how much the mark of a beloved pet can forever embed itself into your heart and forever change who you are.


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Barb
    Aug 30, 2010 @ 23:43:50

    My dog passed away last November. She was 13 1/2 years old. That was the first time I saw my kids both sob uncontrollably. 😦 And I did too. For us pet lovers, they are family.


    • Meghan Harvey
      Aug 31, 2010 @ 03:29:19

      Though this book might be slightly emotional for you, I think it’s great testament of what a beloved pet can do for us. I’m so sorry for your loss, I don’t think we ever fully get over those losses. ((hugs))


  2. Scott
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 00:01:52

    Okay, I found the book on Amazon, but someone has to tell me: does the dog die in the end? Because I can’t take another MARLEY AND ME.


    • Meghan Harvey
      Aug 31, 2010 @ 03:27:21


      Yes, she does, BUT it was done beautifully and you start to see it coming pretty early on. I chose to skip Marley & me, both the movie and the book, because I had heard had it ended and I don’t regret the choice AT ALL. But this was a really good book, that had a happy ending in spite of the dog’s passing. Personally I like to know the ending if it’s going to be an emotional bombshell… Thanks for stopping by!


  3. Kathryn Shanley
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 15:16:21

    I have 3 little Yorkies and couldn’t imagine life without them! We can’t resist their sweet little faces.


  4. Sharon Young
    Sep 01, 2010 @ 21:03:59

    So much cost, emotion and time associated with pets these days, it is hard to make the commitment. But somehow, no matter what the sacrifices, I am always glad when we get the next dog to replace the last.


  5. Trackback: Cowboy & Wills by Monica Holloway – A From Left to Write Book Club |
  6. April
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 15:42:14

    My 9-yr-old didn’t cry when Marley died, but Ramona & Beezus made her weep. I think it’s because we have an elderly cat, and she knows the day is coming.


  7. Emily
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 17:46:07

    Yay for cat people! I lost my 12 year old cat to kidney disease in November. She was the first cat I had as an adult and she went through a lot of roommates, boyfriends and heartbreak with me until I met my husband. In fact, I met my husband because of our love for cats. (He is a writer for cat magazines and newsletters) Still having my deceased cat’s sister with us has been a blessing to me and has helped me grieve and heal, somewhat.


  8. kroliklinsey
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 19:08:43

    You’re right – this is a great book for pet lovers! Thanks for the trip down your memory lane 🙂


  9. Monica Holloway
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 22:53:25

    I loved this Post! Thanks, Meg. The picture of Misty reminds me so much of my childhood dog, Sugar.
    Thank you for this beautifully written account of your amazing animals. Wills wants a kitten SO badly. Hmmmm. Now you’ve got me thinking about it again.

    Thank you again. Wonderful pictures. Love to you and your family.


    • Meghan Harvey
      Sep 07, 2010 @ 13:58:13

      Thank you Monica! There is something so comforting about waking up in the middle of the night next to a purring ball of fluff. I love having a cat. I’m with Wills, time for a cat. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: