Childhood: Remembering Your First Pet

At Accents with Flowers on Church Street.

I saved my money and got myself a dog, a Golden Retriever, in 1979. I got him on Saint Patrick’s Day, so I named him PJ, after Saint Patrick and myself. I was about eleven or twelve. I was entirely responsible for him. I’d walk him and clean up after him and take care of him. We had six kids, so I was on my own.


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  1. After being in the hospital for almost a week after I fell and a had a concussion, my mom talked my animal averse dad into letting me have a kitten. I named him Bobo, because my dad suggested Bozo the clown (he was orange), but with his broken English he said Bobo the Clown. We had him for 16 years and he was the best cat, more like a dog really.. He was social, playful and very lovable.

  2. My first pet was a turtle I caught in pond at Edgemont Park when I was about eight or nine years old. I named him “Speedy.” Had it for a summer when he escaped from cage I made kept in basement. When found behind washing machine, my mom made me return it to the pond. I actually felt better when I set him free.

  3. A dog named Lady, adopted from Montclair Animal Shelter in 1963. When she was 13, she developed lung cancer, went into remission without any treatment, and lived another 5 and a half years. She was part Cocker Spaniel, part Shetland Sheepdog. I went back to the same building to adopt my first cat Eugenia in 1991; by then, the shelter was run by PAWS (and it was the old shelter behind the firehouse on Walnut Street).

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