Please take a moment to read my post "May is Here Already!" over at my main blog, AnceStories: Stories of My Ancestors. Life is incredibly busy for me until June 15th, when school gets out. I can't promise to publish posts at this blog every week until my summer break, so I appreciate your patience with me! :-)
The topic for this week is Your Pets. Here are some prompts to ponder:
* Have you ever had pets? What kind were they? What were their names? Why did you name them those names?
*Were they family pets, or did you have a pet of your own? How about your siblings, spouse or children: Did they have their own pets?
*How did you acquire your pets? Were they given to you, bought, or did you adopt a stray? What was your parents' (or spouse's) reactions to having a pet?
*If you had a pet as a child, what were some of the responsibilities that you had in caring for your pet? Were you pretty good in caring for your pet, or did you need a lot of reminding?
*Describe the personality of your pet. Did he or she have any tricks they could perform or special qualities? Do you remember any funny stories about your pets?
*Did you have to housebreak or leash-train your pet?
*Have you ever entered a pet in a fair, show or contest? Did you win any prizes?
*Did your pet ever have any bad behaviors (biting people, getting into fights with other animals, digging, getting into the garbage, etc)? How were those issues dealt with?
*Have you ever taken your pet to a pet therapist?
*Did you ever have a pet run/fly away or get lost? Share their story.
*Did any of your pets reproduce? Tell about your pet's pregnancy and the birth of the baby animals. How many survived? What became of the babies?
*Were any of your pets neutered or spayed?
*Were any of your pets injured or become ill? Did they ever need veterinary services (other than check-ups and immunizations)?
*Who was/is your veterinarian? How did you choose that particular one? What is your relationship with your vet like?
*Did any of your pets die from old age, illness, injury, or by being put down? Write about that experience.
*Was your pet buried? Where?
*If you never had a pet, tell why. Did you or a family member have allergies? Were there pet restrictions where you lived? Did you, your parents, or other family members simply not want to have a pet around?
*Have you ever had a professional portrait taken of your pet? These and/or snapshots of your pet will add to your journal.
*Even if you never had a pet of your own, perhaps you have some sort of animal experience to share. Perhaps you always felt like your neighbor's dog was your own, or perhaps you had a bad experience with a relative's bird or an alley cat. Or maybe you'd like to share what your ideal pet would be if you could have one.
*You can also write journal entries for any pets you remember family members (grandparents, etc.) having. There may even be old photos of them sitting around in family collections! I always enjoy looking at very old family snapshots and seeing pets, wondering about their relationship to the people in the photo.
You can create a free memorial page for any and all of your pets at FindAGrave. You will have to register to be a member (don't worry, it's free and you won't receive spam e-mail). On this site, you can write your pet's story, list the body's disposal (burial, etc.), post photographs and leave virtual notes, icons and musical messages to honor your pet.
To use this site, go to www.findagrave.com and click on "Add burial records" in the right-hand menu. On the next page, click on "Add Family and Friends." You'll be prompted to set up a free account. Then you can create your page. If you have any difficulty or questions, feel free to e-mail me (see "View my complete profile" in the right-hand menu).
Next time, our topic will be "My Neighborhood." Be prepared to write about the neighborhood hangouts you enjoyed while growing up, whether it was a park, eatery, clubhouse, etc.