As far back as there were people, there were also pets in the family tree. Unfortunately unless photographs or diaries survive, most of us do not know the names nor the species that were most endearing to our ancestors. And so to remedy that sad state of affairs, I've gathered a few stories and B&W prints of my own family for your viewing pleasure.
I don't remember my Gram Manning mentioning that she had any pets as a child. She lived with us until I was a teenager, and although she was kind to the cats we had, she did not spend any great time with them. Perhaps she preferred dogs. In the photograph above, my Gram Manning is pictured with my cousin Richard “Dickey” Manning and the family canine, “Buddy.”
My Grandfather Manning was a chauffeur for the famed Carpenter family of Manchester, New Hampshire. In this photograph above, the Boston terrier pictured belongs to the family he worked for.
My mother loved pets of all kinds. She is about 3 years old (circa 1922) in this photograph (above), and is shown hugging her dog, “Rex.”
Okay, so I cheated a bit with this one. My father is shown in the photograph (above) taken around 1914. Yes, he is really wearing a dress, and the dog is stuffed (notice the wheels on its feet). The only childhood pet that he ever mentioned, was his pony, and that it had kicked him. Needless to say no equine photographs survive.
One would wonder if the cat pictured above survived the hugging. Taken in late 1950's, I am shown with a feline that was named either “Ruffie,” or “Tuffie” (they looked alike).
During my life time I've had many pets. My earliest memories are of the two cats (mentioned just above). As a child I also had an unnamed goldfish (that ended up sliding down the sink drain), a pet parakeet named “Peppy LaPew” (who deserved his name), and dogs named “Spider,” and “Princess.”
Among the pets that I have owned as an adult, were a wonderful dog called “Gulliver” (because he loved to wander); a gentle, black cat named “Floot;” goats, “Poko” and “Wings;” rabbits, “Lancelot” and “Guenevere;” and two cockatiel parakeets, “Kami” and “Kaze.”
Today, my pets of choice are a Quaker Parrot named “Chi,” and a petite, yet feisty West Highland Terrier, named “Ladie Di.” Shown here is “Ladie” relishing her recent kill of a backyard mole.
-Barking Up The Family Tree- (additional family pet photographs)