1966-PeppyI recently watched a video that included a Golden Retriever puppy going down a slide. This brought back memories of our family dog, Peppy. Peppy joined the family while we were living on P street in Lincoln, Nebraska. When Peppy was a puppy, we would take him to Woods Park for him to go down a short children’s slide. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of Peppy going down the slide.

1958-Crawford-Marcia-Terry-David-and-dog-SusiePrior to our move to Lincoln, our constant childhood companion was our dog, Susie. I don’t remember Susie as a pup, but I’m guessing she joined the family after our move to Dodge City when I was three. I do remember the tears when we found out Susie wasn’t going with us when we moved to Lincoln in 1967.

blackyAbout the time I was 8 or 9, a small black kitten joined the family – Blacky. Blacky loved to cuddle, but he was also a fighter. When we first got him, he had to wear a collar with a bell so that the birds would be scared away. One day, Blacky went missing. When he finally made it home, his right front paw was caught in his collar. That was the last day he wore a collar — until our move to Lincoln.

Lincoln had a leash law for cats and Blacky had to be kept on a leash when outside. Since he had always been able to go outside, he adapted to the collar and leash. We would clip his leash to the clothesline giving Blacky the ability to explore most of the yard. The squirrels would sit in the tree and taunt him. They seemed to know the limit of Blacky’s leash and stay out of his reach. One day, he hunkered down and waited. An unfortunate squirrel got within Blacky’s reach. Needless to say, the remaining squirrels left him alone after that.

sunnyShortly after my marriage, my husband, Michael, agreed that I could have a dog. Unfortunately, there was a stipulation with that — the dog couldn’t be in the house. Sunny and I made the best of the situation. Sunny would get to come in for short periods of time — he just couldn’t stay. During the summers, he would join me on my trips to summer school. While in Emporia, Sunny got to stay in the house!

JessieA year or two after Sunny’s death, a small gray cat began visiting our yard. I was allowed to feed her, but again ‘she couldn’t come in the house.’ She became Jessie and was taken to the vet for shots, etc. It didn’t take much time before Jessie was allowed in our house and became part of the family. Jessie was my cat. She loved spending time in my office watching the birds or curling up on the afghan with me for a nap.

Jake MikeWhen Jessie was about 10, a small yellow kitten began coming around the house. About the second day, the kitten jumped in Mike’s lap. Somehow, that kitten knew who he had to convince that he was our kitten! Jake is no longer a kitten, but a big yellow cat. Jake has always been Mike’s cat. Jake is a loving cat and purrs a lot. He allows me to pet him and sometimes will snuggle next to me. However, it is Mike’s attention he craves and Mike’s lap he seeks.

I still long for the companionship of a dog but love having a cat in the house!

Join the ‘Saturday Night Genealogy Fun’. What are your memories of the pets in your family?


Childhood Companions

Summers in Dodge City meant playing Crawford-David-b1953-1962-Becky-Terry-Susieoutdoors with one or all of other neighborhood kids: Becky, Sherry, Jimmy, Kirby, Shelly, Cheryl, Billie, Dana, Brett, or Margie. Whether in our yard, their yard or everyone’s yard, we were usually accompanied by our dog, Susie. I have no recollection of Susie as a puppy. Nor do I remember when we got her. She was just a part of the family — until the summer of 1965. During that summer, Susie went to the vet while we went on vacation. However, Susie never came home from the vet. Needless to say, tears were shed over the loss of this childhood friend.

About the time, I was in 4th grade, we added a small black kitten to the family — Blackie. Blackie and Susie soon became friends. Blackie was an indoor / outdoor cat. He would sleep with me at night but was free to go in and out as he wanted. When he was young, we tried to put a collar with a bell on him. One day he had disappeared and we thought he was lost. Later in the day, he came hobbling home — with his paw caught in the collar. That was the last time he wore a collar in Dodge City.

Blacky_LincolnDuring the summer of 1965, Blackie made the trip with us to Lincoln, Nebraska. He rode in a cage in the back of the (un-air conditioned) station wagon. The vet had recommended that we use a tranquilizer with Blackie so that he would handle the ride. Well, Blackie howled most of the way from Dodge City, Kansas to Lincoln, Nebraska. Needless to say, the tranquilizer didn’t work.


The city of Lincoln had a leash law for cats. Thus, Blackie had to wear a collar again and could only go out while on a leash. We had a clothesline going across most of the back yard. Blackie’s leash was attached to this line so that he could move across most of the yard. A family of squirrels lived in the large tree at the back of the yard. These squirrels loved to taunt Blackie. Blackie tricked one of the squirrels into coming too close and killed the squirrel. After that, the squirrels left Blackie alone.

According to dad, Blackie made the drive from Lincoln to Emporia without howling!