Babble, Unleashed: We Share Our Favorite Pet Stories

Babble recently launched a new blog about raising kids – of the furry (or scaly, or feathery) variety, that is. So in honor of the launch of Babble Pets (and to give them a break from drawing things), I asked my coworkers to write up their favorite pet-related memories. Enjoy!  — Mandalee, Senior Designer

  • Andrea Zimmerman, Manager of Blogs and Social Media 1 of 15
    Andrea Zimmerman, Manager of Blogs and Social Media
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    I accidentally put my cat through the metal detector at LaGuardia airport. It was not a good experience for me or the cat, and the cat has never been the same since. I am not proud.

  • Jillian Capewell, Editorial Assistant 2 of 15
    Jillian Capewell, Editorial Assistant
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    When I was 11 I had a pet guinea pig, Chelsea. She was my first "real" pet, having accidentally killed off some goldfish some years ago (RIP, Houghton Mifflin. I had named him after the publisher of my first-grade spelling book). I even made a "guinea pig fan website," which included reasons why I loved my guinea pig and a rewrite of TLC's "No Scrubs" to be "No Rabbits." She was super cuddly, liked carrots, and is now buried in my backyard.

  • Valerie Lai, Sales Development Analyst 3 of 15
    Valerie Lai, Sales Development Analyst
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    When I was in middle school, I had two hamsters, Humpty and Dumpty. Humpty was a small, light brown, friendly fellow, and Dumpty was more serious and lazy. They got along very well, and I loved them. But they kept escaping. At least once a week, I would wake up to find their cage empty, no matter what precautions I took. They were always finding new, creative ways to get out. Our morning routine would be walking around the house, putting our ear to the ground, until we heard that familiar squeaking sound. Sometimes I found them hiding in the bag of rice or in some corner of the room.

    I didn't realize how smelly and bothersome hamsters could be! All night, I heard them on their wheel, and cleaning their cage was never pleasant. Still, they were mine, and I loved them! And they loved each other. My sister and I loved to pet them and place them on our carpet and watch them scurry around. Their little whiskers and plump bodies were adorable.

    So one morning, I woke up and found Humpty bleeding in the cage. He was shivering, clearly in pain, while Dumpty tried to comfort him. We still don't know what happened, but he did shortly after. And Dumpty, in his loneliness and despair, died only a week later.

    Our house, once filled with squeaks and hamster wheel sounds, became silent again.

    I never had another hamster.

  • Mandalee Mankins, Senior Designer 4 of 15
    Mandalee Mankins, Senior Designer
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    Growing up with a dad who spent days wandering the Kansas wilderness as a land surveyor, my family accumulated a rotating cast of creatures. In addition to more traditional, long-term animal roommates - dogs, cats, hamsters - were many, many short-lived wild frogs, turtles, spiders, lizards, birds and opossums. Though some were found in legitimate states of malnutrition or medical-need, most were forcibly imprisoned in our household for our own amusement. And their stays were, for the most part, unintentionally fatal.

    Though I loved all, perhaps my most laborious keep was an anole, Raymond (after Raymond Dart, the prominent paleoanthropologist, natch). He was a small, tropical stowaway lizard my mom found in a pile of bananas at the supermarket and kind-heartedly brought home. Every day one summer I would stake out the peony patch on the side of our bungalow to find languorously still, sunshine-drunk flies. I would sneak up with my oversized butterfly net, and capture the flies (with much fumbling) to feed Raymond.

    Unfortunately, summer came to a close, and so did the time I could spend capturing Raymond's food supply, so I sadly released him into the garden to fend for himself. I'd occasionally look for Raymond after school, perhaps under the hydrangeas or sunning on a granite slab, but I never saw him. I can only hope that Raymond hitched a ride back down south that fall, though he most likely froze to death — Kansas winters can be harsh, after all.

    R.I.P, Raymond, et al.

    (BTW, the picture is of my me, my brother and cousins surrounding my Mom and our pet opossum, Lucky. We had just been swimming, if you're wondering why it looks like we're not wearing enough clothing)

  • Lindsay Hood, Blog Coordinator 5 of 15
    Lindsay Hood, Blog Coordinator
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    This is my cat, Marty. Although she only weighs about 7 pounds, she's a bruiser. And she's sneaky. Last year, we moved into an apartment with another cat. I thought that the other cat was constantly bothering Marty, until one day I saw her sneak a look when she thought no one was watching and then proceeded to tackle him head first like a linebacker. Turns out the other little guy was only trying to protect himself. She also likes to sleep in the sink.

  • Alexandra Martell, Blog Coordinator 6 of 15
    Alexandra Martell, Blog Coordinator
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    For my 13th birthday I got my two dachshunds, Ollie and Olivia. When I would come home from college, they would set themselves up right outside my closed bedroom door each morning and sit there until I woke up. One morning during winter break of my senior year, I woke up to a strange noise and realized that it was Ollie howling like a wolf, something he had never done before. I told my parents, who were excited to hear it. But it was, apparently, a trick reserved only for me, because he only ever did it when no one else was home. Every time I tried to get my phone to call my dad while he did it, he'd stop as soon as he heard me shuffling around. To this day, I don't really think my parents believe me about the howling.

  • Brad Benson, Sales Development Manager 7 of 15
    Brad Benson, Sales Development Manager
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    My cat Otis was rescued from a Bronx shelter about 7yrs ago by a former roommate (she married a man who is allergic to cats, hence his adoption by me). Bad genetics has necessitated a few teeth-pulls, so he now regularly sports an Elvis-lip and drools a lot. Also, he gets constipated about 2x a year, which never ends well. In addition, he's got feline asthma (allegedly "exercised-induced"), however, exercise rarely happens in his life, and I'm not convinced that with his track record, he's just not allergic to himself.

    Last year, I took Otis to the vet for an asthma shot and to also to be fitted for an inhaler... yes, an inhaler, which you need only follow these simple steps to administer the treatment. In the process, I was also instructed by the vet to use some non-alcoholic Stridex pads on Otis's moderate acne problem.

    $370 later (that's the going rate for a feline inhaler and medication), I called my parents for consoling. My dad's advice: save the money and throw Otis out my 8th floor apartment window…

    ...but I could never do that. With Otis's survival rate, odds are that I'd end-up with an asthmatic, constipated, acne-ridden, quadriplegic cat to take care of.

  • Jack Murnighan, Director of Analytics and Content Strategy 8 of 15
    Jack Murnighan, Director of Analytics and Content Strategy
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    When I met him, and when he still didn't have a name, my dog Pal had been abandoned at a gas station in Wilson, North Carolina, a town which consisted of that one gas station and nothing else. I had stopped there with my then-girlfriend, and when we were paying, the cashier asked if we wanted a dog.

    When we finally caught him, we put a rope around his neck as a makeshift leash and tried to get him into our car. He immediately ate through the rope like it wasn't there and then jumped in our car on his own accord.

    As we drove, though, he was so nervous he ate all the way through a seatbelt.

    Once I got him home, bathed him, got the tics out from deep in his ears and all over his fur, and fed him (I didn't have dog food so i gave him baked potatoes with tuna fish juice on them), he started following me everywhere. He'd make sure we were touching at all times, leaning against my leg or bumping the back of my heels as I'd walk. At night if I rolled over, he'd move to still be touching. When I'd wake up in the morning, I'd slowly open one eye w/o moving another muscle. He was always staring at me, and his tail would immediately start banging on the mattress.

    The first morning, I needed to go to my Latin class, so I put him in my fenced-in backyard. When I came back 4 hours later, he was waiting for me on the front porch.

    He had dug a shallow hole by a weak part of the fence and slid under. The next morning, I put a cinder block over the hole and went to class.

    He was waiting for me on the front porch again when I got home. He had pushed the cinder block away and crawled under.

    So the next day I tied the cinder block to the fence with nylon backpack straps and went to class.

    He was waiting for me on the front porch. The straps were chewed through; the cinder block was pushed to the side.

    I gave up.

    He always waited for me on the front porch.

  • Alex Ying, Ad Operations Manager 9 of 15
    Alex Ying, Ad Operations Manager
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    When my sister first moved to New York, I let her crash on my couch until she settled in. Her fluffy tuxedo cat, Pooface, likes to sleep on soft pillows and open space, so she chose my bed over my sister's couch. Every night she would sleep on the top of my pillow, with her left paw on my forehead, resting her head on the side of my head. It was comforting to know that my head was her pillow. When my sister got settled in and moved into a place of her own, I told her I missed Pooface more than her.

  • Jennifer Gimbel, Editorial Assistant 10 of 15
    Jennifer Gimbel, Editorial Assistant
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    My earliest memory of death was with my sister's first hamster, Sandy. I woke up one morning to find Sandy lying flat on her back, claws in the air, dead as a doornail. As an 8-year-old who spent her days collecting dead bugs and lizards in plastic bags and storing them away in a shoe box, I disturbingly found this cool rather than sad. Thank God my parents got to Sandy before I discovered Ziploc Bags came in gallon sizes.

  • Eric Peterson, Assistant Designer 11 of 15
    Eric Peterson, Assistant Designer
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    Much to the befuddlement of an entire industry whose livelihood is based on creating amusing cat content, studies have shown that dogs are statistically more liked than cats: 42% versus 12%, actually. This seems weird given my sense that everyone either loves a cat or knows someone who loves a cat, and just won't shut up about it.

    I have spent most of my life as a Committed Dog Person. That all changed a few months ago when, not by design, I came to live with a cat named Squid. In the course of that time I've realized something about the dog v. cat paradigm: it's easy to like a dog, but cats, on the other hand, are love or hate. And to love a cat you need an appreciation of some pretty specific things: advanced passive aggression, a need to lie on the couch for hours on end thinking of nothing but the cleanliness of your various body parts, and neurotic tics like needing ice cubes in your water dish at all hours of the day (wtf, Squid?).

  • Kayiu Ho, Design Assistant 12 of 15
    Kayiu Ho, Design Assistant
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    Her name is Winnie but I like to call her Winnie Bear (winnie, the pooh bear). She's a class pet at the pre-school Adam works at. The head teacher is the actual owner of Winnie, but she was on vacation, so we were asked to take care of Winnie for a week. Winnie loves watching tv while crunching on some celery.

  • Andrea Roxas, Associate Editor 13 of 15
    Andrea Roxas, Associate Editor
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    I'm ashamed to admit, but up until a couple of years ago I was most definitely not a pet person. They were all furry and they made me sneeze and they'd scratch and lick and I was so not into it. And then my brother bought a pitbull during my senior year of college — and I got stuck taking care of her the summer after I graduated. For weeks, I tried really hard to be angry at this little dog named Xena, and my brother for bringing her into the family. And then, somewhere in between getting pulled by her on walks and cleaning up her pee on our hardwood floors for the third time that day, I realized she won me over. She's the most affectionate pitbull you could ever imagine. (Also the worst trained dog in the world, but loving nonetheless.) Now, I have countless pictures of Xena on my phone, post them on Facebook, talk about all the funny things she does to anyone who'll listen, and sneak her treats when my brother isn't looking. I even let her sleep on my bed one night. I am one of them: a dog lover. Don't know how it happened, but I'm forever changed. (Though, for the record, I still hate cats.)

  • Aaron Bernstein, Social Media Intern 14 of 15
    Aaron Bernstein, Social Media Intern
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    Bear was my first dog. I loved Bear, I grew up with Bear. He was a big, 100-pound German Shepherd. Even though he had a fierce bark (and would bark at pretty much anything that walked by our house), he would never hurt anything. He was a great dog, and spending time with him helped define my childhood. One of the most tragic events of my young life was having to put Bear down suddenly when we found out he had tumors in his stomach. I'll remember Bear always, and his collar and dog tags still hang by my bed at home.  

    Pictured is Zev, Aaron's current dog.

  • Raydene Salinas, Photo Editor 15 of 15
    Raydene Salinas, Photo Editor
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    Hunter "Marie" Low. H-man. H-dog. Hunter Roo. Roo. Or just, H. The silliest, sweetest, quietest, most perfect Catahoula Leopard Dog in the world - and my favorite of all time. I met Hunter when he was six years old and we had three amazing years together of rope tug, dog park visits, going for jogs around Cheesman Park, spending some quality time with his best friend, Loki (the sturdiest black lab you could ever meet!), and snuggling on the couch. 

    Unfortunately, neither of these sweet dogs are with us anymore… But I can only believe what Enzo, the dog from The Art of Racing in the Rain told me, which is that all dogs come back as humans after they die. So I can only hope that the humans that these adorable, overzealous, sometimes frustrating, but always loving dogs have become will visit me later in my life. Until then, here's to you Hunter, and to you Loki - thank you for being the most amazing friends a girl could ask for. We all miss and love you more than you know… You are not forgotten.

    (Photos Courtesy: Mike Low and Brendan Alex)

Article Posted 4 years Ago
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