Ten pets - count ‘em. Friends and acquaintances have a lot of questions when they hear that number - “How come you have so many pets?" “Why haven't you been arrested?" “Is it true your mother-in-law hates pets?" . . . ("Yikes. . . yes. . . hmmm. ")
I live in a suburb that has a four pet minimum but somehow I've managed to live in denial by taking home and caring for every wide-eyed kitten or abused and/or homeless pup that has crossed my path. The number village limit meant nothing to me when I decided to foster my third dog, Taffy, who was rescued from a junk yard. Belonging to an suburban animal rescue I went to pick her up at the kennel when I received a call that a neglected three month old puppy had been rescued off the streets. Walking to the back of the kennel I looked through the cage and found her covered in mites and open sores.
I took Taffy home and soaked her a laundry tub of oatmeal bath to relieve the incessant itching. At night, I slept on the sofa in the living room with her because her bad dreams made her cry out and whimper through the entire night.
Taffy has grown to stunningly beautiful Rottweiler mix whose sweet and gentle demeanor is unmatched.
The village limit meant nothing to me when a senior acquaintance called and started to cry. She'd rescued too many kittens since the death of her husband and she needed placement for a six week old white kitten that she found at a construction site. I hung up the phone and said I would help. Now that trembling white kitten is a stunning long-haired adult who is absolutely majestic in his movement.
To say that my husband is a saint is an understatement. He grew up in a home that had no tolerance for pets. Today, his parents’ attitude is “animals are for eating. ” I grew up in a home that saw countless Siamese kittens groomed for the good life and Schnoodle (Schnauzer/Poodles) puppies be born and raised. In home where domestic dispute was no stranger, I found peace among these innocents.
Watching my children grow I understand the comfort our pets provide. I admire the nurturing skills my children have acquired in returning that comfort. I see a responsible attitude that forms in caring for those who came in our home with nothing. In responding to “Why do you have all these animals?", it is because they provide us all a warm place to cuddle when the world seems just a little too big. "
Sally Edwards is a professional key note speaker, corporate humorist and standup comedienne who began her career studying improvisation at Chicago’s Second City. Sally has been featured on Showtime’s Comedy Club Network, A&E and NBC TV’s Friday Night. Sally is now a frequent guest on WGN Radio with Steve Cochran.