I wasn't a pet person in my youth, or I just didn't know I was, until my husband wanted a dog and we got Boss, a beautiful German Shepherd puppy. He was only 2 months old when we took him from his mom and he was so small that he fitted into my large purse - that is, as small as a large breed puppy can be! He was so cute that we all fell in love with him from the first time we saw him! As it usually happens, the person who feeds the dog becomes the dog's favorite person in the house, although that person might not be the pack leader - this one I've learned from Cesar Milan. Consequently I became Boss' favorite person in the house, because he had certainly become my favorite ever since I first saw him! On those times we didn't have kibbles in Romania, the vet told me to cook him a meal made with vegetables, rice and chicken or beef. I also had to give him an egg yolk and a "handful" of raw ground beef, every once a week. Every day he had a raw snack, consisting in one tomato and one bell pepper - both ground in the grinding machine - and a cup of cottage cheese, which the kids bought everyday from the store, to make sure it was fresh. Nothing was too hard if it was for our puppy! Before he found us, I hated to clean up the grinding machine after grinding anything in it - don't ask me why, because I just don't know. But since Boss needed ground meat mixed with all other vegetables and rice, so he would eat it all and not just pick out the meat chunks, I used the grinding machine three times a day and cleaned it every time. That didn't seem hard for me and I realized I didn't hate it anymore - all thanks to that cute little puppy! As he was growing and growing and growing and growing, Boss needed more and more food. His bowl got changed every month until he was 6 months old, as he was eating more and more. The pot which I cooked his food in became too small too, so I ended up cooking Boss' two days meals in a 10 gallon pot, much more than the one I cooked in for the other four members of our family! But I didn't feel like annoyed or tired of cooking, because Boss was our little baby, the youngest member of our family and we all loved him dearly. But our little baby was eating 2 pounds of rice in two days, so I had to change rice to barley, which was even more nutritious, but also cheaper. His fur started to be more shiny thanks to the new cereal I was feeding him.
Later, when he was an adult, I started to feed him kibbles too and only occasionally would I cook for him, since the kibbles were tasty and also had vitamins. His fur really sensed the difference!
We never shared our food with Boss, because we knew he wasn't allowed and some foods weren't good for him, or for any other dog, for that matter. The only thing he was allowed and enjoyed very much from our food were the croutons. I knew he wasn't allowed to eat bread, but croutons were okay and he really liked them. That's why I never throw away old bread, just turn it into croutons.
In his late years, Boss was old and his teeth started to hurt, so I had to cook only rice or barley with ground meat for him. If I had kibbles to give him, they had to be first moistened in hot water.
After we lost Boss, it seemed hard to get another dog, as no other dog would have been as smart, as cute and as loving as Boss - it happens to all who had just lost their pet. The new house we had built, with all the fuss around it, kept us from grieving for Boss, who had just died a month before we moved in. I had such high hopes that he would get to run through the yard! But it wasn't meant to be for him to be inside the yard running. He is there with us though, only in his grave, we dug on the field, near our house.
Ever since the construction had started, the workers brought a few dogs to stay there with them for protecting them and the house. Some of the dogs ran away to other houses, but some stayed. This is how I got myself not with one, but several pets. Even if they didn't stay inside my yard, they were around the house, and they were still my pets. The pack leader was Gavrila, a half-breed German Shepherd male, second was his female Fetica, a stray red dog and their puppies - all six of them!
Time passed, some of the doggies died, others came by and found our neighborhood friendly, so they settled here. So was Minnie, a half-breed Jack Russell terrier female, who came over pregnant, gave birth in one of the dog houses I made for my dogs. She lost all of her puppies, but got herself a home -and we got ourselves a smart and funny pet for our yard!
Recently we got a cat, too whom I named just Kitty. She soon became the most spoiled pet of all pets I had. Maybe because she was too small and cute, or maybe because she used to stay only on my chest and put her paw over my face, or maybe because she used to sleep on my feet, or maybe just because of the cat's nature--both loving and sly--I've started to spoil her with all kind of treats and meals, each more delicious than the other. I've tried cream, chicken with rice (for her too), fried chicken liver or fried fish. Of course, she preferred fish of all those! Yet, she had her part from all the meat I ate, mostly of fish. Cream was always fresh for her in the fridge, at her will. My mom has had cats all of her life and I knew she cooked the fish for them, just by boiling it a few minutes. As a matter of fact, my daughter used to eat the fish from the cat's bowl, when she was visiting grandma.
It might seem a lot of trouble to take care of many pets and even cook for them, but a pet person knows what I'm talking about. And I'm proud to say that I'm one of them!