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I have always loved animals.  A childhood portrait taken when I was twenty months old shows me sitting with a multi-colored puppy.  I can hardly recall ever not having a dog when I was growing up.  Just three months after I bought my house, I got a black cockerpoo puppy which I named Stanley, and he was my companion for fourteen years.  I really loved that dog.  In 1975 I acquired my first cat, a solid white feline named Miss Kitty.  When Stanley died in 1988, Miss Kitty withdrew and passed away a month later.

Over the past thirty-one years Jim and I have had a number of cats.  For over seventeen years we had two cats named Grady and Marlowe.

On December 26, 1999, I came home from a week-long visit with friends in Mesquite, and I brought along a new member of the household: a female Jack Russell terrier puppy which we named Snowy.

The following February, we acquired a companion for her, a shaggy fellow named Nicholas.  Things have never been the same around here.  We treat these Jacks as if they were children.  In October 2000 we acquired a third JRT which we call Lukas, named after my mother's family.  Snowy is definitely the alpha dog, and she rules over the other two.  All of our pets have been neutered, and we enjoy them for what they are, not for what they might have produced.

I take the dogs for long walks twice a day.  It was easy with just the first two dogs, but when Lukas joined us, it was a challenge at first.  I finally learned to tie the third leash to the handle of Nicholas' leash, and I loop the strap around my wrist so the two frisky little males cannot pull loose.  The little gray cat named Grady has moved across the street because of the dogs in the house, but every evening when we go outside to begin our walk, she comes loping across the street to join us.  What a sight we are, the three Jack Russells tugging and exploring and leading me along, with the little gray cat pulling up the rear.

A new pup joined our household in March 2010.  He is a tan rat terrier mix, and his name is Rusty.  He's Jim's dog and goes back and forth to the Landers farm each week.  He fit right in from day one, and he is especially attached to Snowy.  The other three dogs are old now and don't require a lot of activity.  But little Rusty is a live wire and lets us know when the postman  comes or when people and their dogs walk past the house.

Sadly, in 2012 our cats Grady and Marlowe disappeared.  They were both in good health in spite of their age, and then one morning Grady was gone.  A week later Marlowe also was gone.  We still miss them.

In late winter 2014 Nicholas' health began declining, and he died May 15. He will always have a very special place in my heart.

Snowy was my companion for sixteen years. She was always devoted to me. On January 12,  2016 she was diagnosed with extreme renal failure, and we made the decision to put her to sleep. I treasure all of the memories of our time together.

The following day we began searching for a new puppy, and on Friday, January 15, we came home from Wills Point with a nine-week-old Parson Jack Russell named Bella. She has a solid white smooth coat with a large brown and black patch over her left eye. Within days, she took over the house and became the new alpha dog. She and Rusty play rough and both enjoy it tremendously.

In January 2017, we decided to get another puppy to be a playmate for Bella. We contacted Vickie Scholten, the dog breeder in Wills Point, and she had a new litter of Parson Jack Russell puppies born on December 12. On Saturday, February 4, we brought little Boomer home. He is white with large black patches, and his coat is longer and very silky. Bella immediately "adopted" him, and it gives us great joy watching them play together.
Ken, 20 months old, with pup, 1944
1954 Kenny and Tiger in Fort Worth, 1954
1954 Kenny and Tiger in Fort Worth, 1954
Ken and pup in Beaumont, November 1956
Ken and pup in Beaumont, November 1956
Ken with Nicholas, Lukas and Snowy, Christmas Day 2004
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