Changing Focus Blogging Challenge: Ah, Those Purrfect Pets!

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ― Anatole France, Nobel Prize Novelist

Ah Spring, the season for love, and what more pure love than that of a pet? Whether it’s a cat, dog, fish, bird, rabbit, horse, or whatever your delight, their love is like no other. Pets endear our hearts and photos so why not on the blog too for this month’s Changing Focus blogging challenge?

Interpret this challenge on Pets however and in whatever format you prefer – photos, narrative, and/or music. Whether it’s a current pet stealing your heart, one cherished from childhood, or perhaps one from the neighborhood like the darling Westies I visit on my daily walks — or even why you don’t have a pet, it’s your call. Just remember to add Changing Focus blogging challenge as a tag and provide a link to your response in a comment on this post.

April 11th is the annual date for National Pet Day!

You can expand your love for all animals by volunteering or donating for their care. Click on any button for more information on these worthy organizations:

Pet Tidbits…

Original Definitions of PetIn 1539 it meant a lamb or other domestic animal raised by hand. By 1568 it also meant a favorite or pampered child.

Contemporary Definitions of PetNoun: any tamed or domesticated animal kept for companionship or pleasure and cared for affectionately. Verb: stroke or pat an animal affectionately. Adjective: denoting a thing that one denotes special attention to or feels particularly strongly about.


“It may be a cat, a bird, a ferret, or a guinea pig, but the chances are high that when someone close to you dies, a pet will be there to pick up the slack. Pets devour the loneliness. They give us purpose, responsibility, a reason for getting up in the morning, and a reason to look to the future. They ground us, help us escape the grief, make us laugh, and take full advantage of our weakness by exploiting our furniture, our beds, and our refrigerator. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Pets are our seat belts on the emotional roller coaster of life–they can be trusted, they keep us safe, and they sure do smooth out the ride.”
― Nick Trout, Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing and Hope in My Life As an Animal Surgeon

As for me, I grew up loving dogs, cats, horses, ponies, fish, parakeets, and even a raccoon — mostly because my (now deceased) brother was a natural Dr. Doolittle of sorts. He gave me my first cat and every dog I’ve had in my adult life.

Belgian Malinois pup

Such was the Belgian Malinois who became my soul mate during some challenging times. When she traversed to Rainbow Bridge 11 years later, I thought no other could replace her. But my brother gifted me the next year with a border collie pup who came trotting into my home and heart…

Border collie pup and senior

Cèilidh’s Bess lived up perfectly to her name. Confidently nosing her way into our drum circles, she would then lie down in the midst of the drums, relishing the beat.

(A cèilidh is a traditional Scottish [or Irish] social gathering often with dancing and Gaelic folk music at a house party or larger hall.)

After 14.5 glorious years together, Bess crossed to Rainbow Bridge. She tried to ease my heartbreak by waiting until I was in Scotland of all places. This long-awaited trip of a lifetime included a stay at the Clachan Farmhouse which is a working border collie/sheep farm. You can imagine my bittersweet sorrow when Rocky the border collie greeted me, and then as we viewed the rainy sheepdog trials a few days later in Thurso, Scotland.

“My philosophy when it came to pets was much like that of having children: You got what you got, and you loved them unconditionally regardless of whatever their personalities or flaws turned out to be. ”
― Gwen Cooper, Homer’s Odyssey

Millie the Jungle Cat arrived a few years after Bess and is still with us. She was rescued from an urban environment because she continually howled and hung on the screen door demanding to be outside. I’m allergic to cats so it works for both of us that she loves her heated house in winter.

Grey and white cat sleeping in the garden

In milder seasons, Millie can be found relaxing in the shade of my flower beds after roaming the acreage for exercise and adventure. She use to spectate Frisbee games with Bess and will hopefully get along with the next canine to come along.

As the days grow longer and the weather warmer, my heart is longing for another canine garden companion. My brother is no longer here to guide me (he passed only months after Bess). But, having herding dogs for the last 30 years, I’m leaning toward Australian shepherds and border aussies while those West Highland terriers (Westies) tug at my partially Scottish genes. I’ve also discovered border schnollies in my perusal and am confident the right dog will appear at the right time. But, I must admit….I’m hoping it will be SOON!

This clever song brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it…

Image credits in order of appearance:
All still images by Write Gardener
Video by Wendy J. Francisco

18 Replies to “Changing Focus Blogging Challenge: Ah, Those Purrfect Pets!”

  1. As you pointed out, I will know in the future if or when I am again ready. I know it happened with Alpha, my first cat. I was devastated when she died. One day I heard about a satellite paddy wagon from the SPCA was in the area and when I heard I KNEW I was going to get a cat. I surprised myself, never seeing that coming. But it happened. So I suppose it could happen again. I’ll know when the time comes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for taking time to offer your thoughtful commentary, Amy. After experiencig the loss of a pet it definitely takes time to heal…you don’t think you could go through the tremendous heartbreak again but as time softens the blow, the longing returns for that purest of love). In both instances, I’ve wanted to honor each of them before getting another. It’s been nearly 2 years now since losing Bess, and every day I see her photos in the electronic frame makes my heart long even more. I am confident, though, the right one will appear at the right time. And in the meantime, that darling Westie pup rolled over yesterday for me to rub her belly. Oh, such a sweet experience like not other. Here’s to the joy of appreciating and living life. Love to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. WG, I’ve had animals around me for many years ….. dogs, cats, horses. I’ve gone through so many losses, I’m not sure right now if I will invite other animals into my life when those I have now are gone. However, this I must say ….. these animals taught me what love is. Not man. To be loved unconditionally and to gain the trust of a wild/feral animal brings such feeling of humbleness and awe. I can feel how deeply you love your dogs, both past and present. When the time is right a new dog shall come bouncing into your life. It tends to happen that way. And yes let us start focusing on LIFE again other then the obsession the world got caught up in. Here is to life, WG!! And dogs spelled God backwards!! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the emojis tip. My main PC is older so I do not have that option on right click but I’ll check when working on the laptop. And please do an update of your kitties; I’d love to see them! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 🤗 If I right click with my mouse, up at the top of the box that opens, are my emojis. Maybe that will work for you.
    I did have an old post of my kitties, but it looks like I may have deleted it. I will need to do an update 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well, thank you for taking time to comment and offer your personal experience. I, too, do not have children and the pets are indeed family. Hope you will share photos of yours too! (Don’t know how to get the emoticons so I’m copying yours and sending with sincere good wishes! 😊💜🐱🐈

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a lovely post! So sweet from start to end. I’ve had pets most of my life. With no children they are my family. My heart still breaks for them, but it is true, a new pet in need of love does help feel the hole left when you lose one. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post!! 😊💜🐱🐈

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for your sweet commentary, Sue. Lucky that you live much closer to Scotland (than me) and can visit more readily. I do believe our pets with that perfect love are gifts from God. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Aww…. lovely to ready about your pets and your trip to Scotland.. How nostalgic for you…. Scotland one of my favourite places, especially the Highlands..
    And we would often go to local Sheep dog trials in the Derbyshire and Yorkshire Dales… Loved watching the dogs put through their paces..
    Yes our pets bring us so much comfort and joy and just seem to know when we need that extra bit of love..
    Sending warm hugs your way WG… Purrrrrrfect! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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