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"Pet Tails"
Laurie Stone, author

Forty years of marriage and six pets. Three cats and three dogs -- all different, not only in looks and personalities, but in how they changed us.

A charcoal gray feline would prepare Randy and me for parenthood and a small, tan Chihuahua would demonstrate a dog’s unswerving (and at times, unrelenting) devotion to our young family. A quirky looking mutt would educate Randy, me, and our teenage sons on how what lies on the inside counts the most, and a gorgeous, but neurotic kitty would show how great love sometimes speaks softly (okay, really softly). Finally, in retirement, our last dog, would teach Randy and me ways of tolerance, fortitude, and restraint (but also adoration) we never knew we had.

But first, we started with a little tabby kitten. And for the next six months she’d show us every emotion you can have with a pet – joy, play, delight. But alas, she’d also teach one of life’s hardest lessons.