The hardest part of growing old and having to move into a small apartment for me has been not having a retinue of pets.
My happiest memories are of my pets, my saddest are of their deaths.
When I was 4 years old someone gave me a puppy. I was in heaven! But my heaven quickly turned to hell when my father took the puppy away from me and left it to fend for itself. The horror of that abandonment of my little black-and-brown friend stays in my mind. I cannot bear to see an animal abandoned. And I never stopped loving Teddy and still grieve when I think of him.
There are too many sad stories to tell of pets deliberately stoned or killed. Slap-Happy, a huge gray dog, was poisoned by a neighbor who later accidentally poisoned his own dog by mistake. Princess Pat, a small white Spitz, was deliberately run over in her own yard by a motorcyclist who was later killed when he lost control of the motorcycle and ran into a store wall. Perti, a bow-legged Persian cat, was stolen by a man who offered me $50 for her — a fortune in the days of the Great Depression. I refused the $50. I would have refused $150,000, so he came back and cat-napped her, not caring that he was breaking a child's heart.