Having acquired a parent in my early years who did not approve of pets, and who was cold to me emotionally and physically, I had deep-seated yearning to love and be loved. I turned to Nature who happily supplied me with creepy crawlies, tadpoles, things that flew, ran or jumped.
I coveted neighbors’ cats, and I would proudly walk the neighbor’s whippet, but it wasn’t until I was married and given a poodle puppy by my husband as a birthday gift that I finally had my very own dog. A tiny little bundle of soft, white fluff with gorgeous black almond eyes and a black button nose. Her name was Lady Britannia of England (“Tania” for short), and I was deeply in love with the little bundle of mischief. Making the trip from England to America with me, Tania was my shadow and blessed my life for 17 years.
Naturally, we also acquired other animals along the way: dogs, cats, cavies, chickens and geese. We even babysat a young orangoutang once! My first job in America was at a pet store where I learned how to take care of lots of unusual animals — chimpanzees, Macaw parrots, a lovely little Honey Bear — as well as the usual dogs, cats, fish and birds. I also learned how to groom dogs.