Faithful pets - What's your story?

April 8, 2008 5:20pm CST
Our 1968 Holden station wagon drove round the winding, tree lined streets of Heidelberg with three fidgeting children talking loudly in the back seat. "Quiet you three, I'm trying to concentrate on where we're going.' growled the driver. "Yes dad, we're sorry!" we replied as we tried to quiet our voices. But our excitement would not allow us to stop fidgeting. We were on our way to see some new puppies that Dad had rung up about. Dad turned the car into the street where the owners lived. "Keep an eye out for number 12 guys." He said as we moved slowly up the hill. "There it is dad!" I cried in my squeaky little four year old voice, "There's the house!" Dad turned the car around and pulled to a stop beside the steep driveway. We all got out and started walking up the driveway. The house was set into a hillside in a beautiful bush setting with birds singing in the trees. As we walked up the steps to the front porch we saw a small brown puppy scrabbling excitedly at a window beside the porch. "Aww, he's gorgeous!" My sister Deborah stated as dad rang the doorbell. The owner opened the door and invited us in. "You must be the Lovedays. Welcome. Come take a look at the puppies." He said as he ushered us into the room beside the hallway. The puppy in the window suddenly scrambled toward us, falling over his feet as ran and rolling to a stop at mum's feet and making us all laugh. Mum picked him up and he immediately licked her nose as we crowded around trying to touch his long soft fur. Dad took one look at him and us. "I think we'll take this one." He said, seeing that we were ignoring the other two puppies that were laid in the basket with their mother. "What do you think we should call him... I think Amber would be nice." Mum said. A chorus of young voices greeted that proposition, "Yes. Yes. I like that" we all said then I giggled, "It suits him, he looks kind of orangey doesn't he?" ************************************* And that was how we first met Amber, the most beloved pet my family ever owned. He very quickly became the centre of my young life and over the years all I could do was love him more. As he grew, Amber learned to open doors, fetch the slippers of the person who called for them and a host of other little things. He even taught our next door neighbours young daughter to walk. He would stand beside her while she knotted her hands in his hair and pulled herself up, then he would walk slowly forward while she walked beside him. If she fell he would wait patiently while she pulled herself up by his fur again before continuing. Whenever we took him for a walk all the kids would gather around us saying, "Look, it's a Lassie dog!" He tried to protect us from our abusive father by trying to pull dad away from us by the pants leg whenever dad was giving us a beating, until dad kicked him an locked him out of the room. After dad left the room, Amber would jump up at the door and push the door handle down to open the door then come in and lick our faces to try and comfort us. Once he even saved me from being badly burned when oil boiled over on the stove. He rushed into the kitchen and herded me out before the oil reached me. Even though he ended up with third degree burns on both his front paws and nose. ***************************************** When I was eight he became very ill. For two weeks he was unable to do a poop and mum took him to the vet. The vet gave him two more days to do a poop or mum would have to bring him back and have him put to sleep. Doomsday dawned, bright and clear. My sister and I went outside and looked at Amber with tears in our eyes then sat together near the front door and closed our eyes in prayer. "Dear God, please, PLEASE, let him do a poop, we couldn't bear to lose him... You're the only one who can save him now!" Then we went and sat on the steps of the front porch. All of a sudden Amber squatted and strained... and out it came. Causing my sister and I to run inside yelling, "Mum, mum, Amber did a pooh, come see!" Phew, what a close call. Six months later workmen were installing sewer systems in the area and mum told me that when I got home from school there might be some dirt in the backyard for me to dig in. When I got home, sure enough, there was a pile of dirt. My brother, sister and I started playing in it. Mum arrived home and saw us and burst into tears... we had been playing in Amber's grave! We were inconsolable. For the next ten years I was utterly unable to listen to the song 'Old Tige' by Jim Reeves... you can listen to the song at So what is your story of a faithful pet?
1 response
@ronaldinu (12440)
• Malta
13 Sep 08
I am listening to Jim reeves song and my eyes are filled with tears. My 13 year old dog passed away last summer. I vowed never to have a dog again though my son is proving me wrong. But I know that no dog can ever replace him. He was always there waiting for me when I returned back from home.
• Australia
15 Sep 08
Ahh yes, as much as we need human companionship there is nothing that compares to the faithfulness of a pet as their love doesn't depend on our behaviour.