My first pets were other people's pets. I have wanted a dog for as long as I can rememeber. But my parents were not (and still are not) "pet people". As a child I wasn't allowed to have a dog. So I adopted the dogs in my neighborhood. A large old English Sheepdog named Winston. A beautiful lab mix named Minnie. A german shepherd named Freedom. A husky named Nika and a sheltie named Jazz... he was my favorite. There were other's but those are ones I can think of off the top of my head. When I was 10 my parent's caved in and bought me a guinea pig. Not quite a dog, but I was thrilled anyway. I named him Buster after my grandparent's little scottie mix (Buster was "mine" when we would visit my grandparents in the summer.) Buster's death a few years later was traumatic. Fortunately, up to that point, I had not lost a "loved one". Buster was the first. Over the next several years I had other guinea pigs and a rabbit named Cadbury. Then, in January of 1993, my life changed forever. I had worked for a few years for a veterinarian. From time to time, an animal would get 'dumped' at the clinic. Dumping met a person would bring in a sick dog or cat that needed hospitalization. They would leave a cash deposit, bogus name, address and phone number and we would never see or hear from them again. The animal would get well and the clinic would be stuck with a healthy animal and a bill. I fell in love in with Rockie the day she was "dumped". She was a 10 month old dalmatian. When I found out she had been been dumped, I took the matter home to my parents. I still lived with them while I was going to college. I don't know what made them say "yes" that particular day, but they did. So I brought home my first dog. I really loved that dog and in some ways, I still do. On July 26, 2006 my husband took Rockie for a walk around the block. When they came home, Rockie had a stroke and died. She was 14. I really can't write any more than that.
Admittedly, it took me quite some time to work though losing Rockie. In some ways it's an on-going issue for me. But, the house seemed a bit too empty so decided to get another dog. This time I wanted a puppy, from a breeder so we could meet the parents (so to speak) and get a dog that didn't have "issues" like Rockie did. So, one thing led to another and we found Riley, our shih-tzu. Riley was born on December 29, 2006 and we brought her home on February 16, 2007. She's been a good dog and, as you can see from the pictures above, she's definitely Camille's dog. Camille also has a hermit crab named Carmine. He came home with us from our vacation in Ocean City. Camille takes really good care of him... he's still alive and thriving.
Here is my all time favorite photo of Rockie...
God, I miss her so much!