Friday, September 17, 2010


Not my pictues
I really shouldn't love animals like I do considering my very first exposure to them. The very first dog I remember , I could walk under his drooling mouth only ducking a bit at three years old. (Yes I do remember). He was Oscar the St. Bernard. These are gigantic dogs which can be almost 3 feet tall at the shoulders and can weigh close to 200 pounds. Elephantine to a three year old.

This massive St. Bernard decided I needed a furry nanny. He wasn't ours but belonged to a next door neighbor. I really didn't like him for he constantly got in my way and interfered with my play. Most of my outdoor time was spent on my behind, looking at his under belly in frustration.

I would attempt to waddle across the yard, only to have Oscar move his 180 pounds into my path if he decided it wasn't safe. I would thump into him and fall on my behind. I never seemed to see him coming though I should have smelled him. I really don't think he ever had a bath and this was Indian Rocks Florida in the summer.

Now I wasn't a three year old waddling about on my own. My mother would be on the porch watching the whole thing and laughing. She loved Oscar as much as I resented him and she rewarded him constantly with doggy biscuits for his devotion to keeping me out of trouble.

Once he actually grabbed me by my dress and dragged me squalling back to the porch as I got too near the road in his estimation. He got a whole slice of baloney for that feat. He never hurt me, just inhibited my freedom. He was like a bossy, stinky older sibling. Even today, the dog dead last on my wish list is the St. Bernard. Wonderful dogs I guess for other people, just not good memories for me.

Oscar's owners moved after about a year much to my delight and a widow lady moved in the same house. I was thrilled she didn't own a St. Bernard, instead, she had a Kinkajou which we were told sternly to stay away from. My mother was a serious animal lover but she never trusted this exotic creature.

Not my pictures but you can see what a cute animal they are.

A Kinkajou ,also known as the honey bear, is related to raccoons and is native to South and Central America. This nocturnal animal is hunted by the pet trade, also for their fur and meat. The average adult Kinkajou weighs about 6 pounds and is about 20 inches long with an equally as long prehensile tail. It has short legs with five toes on each foot and sharp claws. I know all about those claws.

Kinkajous are unfortunately sometimes kept as pets as the widow did. They are playful, generally quiet, docile, and have no noticeable odor. However, they can occasionally be aggressive. The neighbor lady had a long scar on her arm from her “honey bear.”

Sometimes she would bring Honey, as she not too originally called him, outside and we would gather around in curiosity ignoring parental warnings. One particular day, the little beast eyed me and for an unknown reason, jumped right on top of my head. Off I went on my stubby legs screaming which only excited the little bugger. Luckily I ran in circles which made rescue easier.

He dug his really sharp claws into my scalp as we tore in wild circles. My older brother, who was supposed to be watching me, grabbed a nearby broom and proceeded to brain me repeatedly, trying to swat the creature off my head. I screamed and the creature screamed. His owner finally collared us and pulled him unwillingly off my head. He hung on ripping strands of hair out before finally leaping to her shoulder in fright.

Yes----Kinkajous are cute but this is what he looked like to me that day.
The Kinkajou incident strained relations between the neighbor lady and my family for quite a while. My parents were upset she had such an uncontrolled aggressive animal that had attacked their small child and the lady was upset with my brother for taking a broom to Honey. Also, we had been in her yard, not ours, which gave her an edge in the blame game.

Reminds me of the Middle East today. No one really listens to or tries to understand the others viewpoint. Both sides in our “middle east” had some validity.
I didn't really have a good relationship with an animal till we got Susie that same year. She was a toy fox terrier who was a family member till I was in my teens. She was a darling that healed all prior resentments and fears. Susie cemented my love for animals.

You ever have an experience with a creature great or small that colors your judgment of them today?

Want to thank everyone so very much for all your supportive comments while I was laid up. I am not 100% yet but MUCH better. At least I can again enjoy the computer. I have missed visiting you so much and will try to catch up. Thanks again. Can't say it enough, you are the best.


  1. I was agreeing with you about Kinkajous being cute, until that snarling wide open mouth came into view!

    One negative incident was in the loft of our large red barn and having bats flying back and forth overhead and having to crawl back to the ladder to escape. Once after being lifted to the loft of a delapidated smaller barn that we were cleaning out in order to tear down. My job was to throw objects into the bucket of the tractor and husband would drive them to the dumpster, as he pulled away, I saw movement...I was trapped for 10 minutes with a enormous Black Snake!

  2. Glad to hear you are better and happy you are back!

    I loved all animals from a tender age. I can't remember any specific incidents, but I've always had a healthy fear of Dobermans and now pit bulls. Guess I should add kinkajou's to that, huh?

  3. Nice to see you back. And hope that back thing will not come back. Okay, enough backs for now. LOL Take it easy and have a great week-end.

    Going to have my hearing aids checked today, I think the one needs some fine tuning and the other one (which I don't wear because it never seemed to fit right) I want to see what they can do about it. Asked for a different person, since the one I kept complaining to said I would just have to get use to it. WRONG, I've found out they can do something about it. It seems to have feed back and if I press it in harder it works for few seconds, then it's like it come loose again, by the end of the day I have a sore ear from pushing the darn thing in so much. My Mother said they shaved some of hers off to fit her ear better. Joys of growing older.

    Happy week-end, again don't over do things.

  4. Hi Patti! What a captivating post! I enjoy visiting your blog. I loved all my cats and can tell remarkable stories of each one of them. But I haven't got the time now!
    Have a great day.

  5. The Patti space is always lonely without you. Glad you're back. Love my dog but hate shoveling up poop. Whenever I see a Saint Bernard, I shudder. My chihuahua was just right.

  6. I'm so sorry that you had the slobbering rememberance of a Saint. They certainly are not everyones bestest of breeds. I had friends who refused to come into my house because of my hairy, slobbering, fur children. I told them that's okay....I loved them and my dogs and never the twain did meet.
    As to the wild life....yikes.
    I'm glad you're on the mend. Back ouchies are horrible to get over. No matter how you move....well it takes your back muscles to help.
    Be well and take care, The Olde Bagg

  7. Ahhh... the big old St.Bernard ~ my sister had one when we were kids. I personally got along fine with the dog; but every time my brother was outside that dog would put him up on the top post of the corral fence. She just did not like him! I remember Mom always complaining too about dog poop??
    Now that little kinkajou ~ that reminds me of a pet raccoon my brother had. It did about the same thing to me that was done to you. I never would have either one of those for a pet!

  8. I'm really glad you are on the mend, patti.

    I grew up with dogs, so I always felt comfortable and safe around them. When I was five, I was scratched on the face by a stray alley cat. I had to go to the hospital and get a shot of some kind (in my butt). Somehow that experience did not make me dislike cats, but I did develop a healthy fear of hospitals!

  9. So glad to hear you are recovering.
    I love that the St Bernard took one nanny duties--some of your stories indicate that you may have needed one long past the age of three!

  10. Glad to hear that you are feeling better, you'll get there, never fear.

    I know which dog I'd prefer: always the big cuddly ones. Little dogs are barking mad, they make you trip up by constantly being under your feet and too small to notice them darting about.

    Kinkajous? No thank you. Exotic animals belong in their own habitat.

  11. I love the way you write, Patti---it is so comorful and I can see it all as if it were happening right as I read....!
    That little funny K animal---OY VEY! I'm not sure why anyone would have one as a pet?? They may be cute but too unpredictable for my!

  12. It is sure good to hear that you are doing better. Hoping to hear soon that you are all healed.

    I enjoyed your story I kept wondering how it all was going to turn out. That had to be scary for one of your young age to have that kinkajou atop your head digging in it claws and to pull out your hair...Ouch!

    I am glad the little dog came along and healed your feelings about dogs.

    Why anyone would want to keep exotic animals as pets is beyond me. Not good for the people or the animal.

    I really do enjoy your posts. Hugs

  13. Wanda,
    Quite a change in attitude wasn't it?
    Lets see, bats and huge snakes--- hum that kinkajou doesn't look so bad now.

    Thanks Judy. Hope you are all better now also.
    Wouldn't hurt to put the kinkajou on that list.
    No wild animal should be completely trusted. They should remain wild.

    Thanks. I sure hope you resolve the hearing aid problem. As much as they cost, they should be perfect. Get on them.

    Reader Wil,
    Thanks Wil. Guess I'll have to wait for your tales. You have a great day also.

    I do love chihuahuas. You have to own one to appreciate them and they do have tiny poops. A huge plus.

    Linda in NM.
    When you are tramatized by an animal at an early age,sadly they stay on your least wanted list. Oscar just wanted to protect me, I didn't know that then.
    I have had great danes and they are not for everyone either. Thanks about the back. So true.

    Ouch, a raccoon has much more muscle, weight, and teeth. That had to be harrowing. Funny about your brother and the Saint though I guess not for him.

    Thanks so much robin.
    Lucky you didn't get that cat scratch fever. A healthy fear of hospitals is a great survival tool.

    Ok, you guessed it. Could probably use one today after what I pulled yesterday, which is for another post.

    Each size has its advantages. Small dogs have little poops and love a lap while big dogs are great walking companions.
    Totally agree that wild should remain wild.

    Thanks so much Naomi for the cool compliment.
    You are right, they should not be pets and I wish there were a way to stop the trafficing of exotics.

  14. A kinkajou, now that is a first for me never heard of one or saw one till now. What a life you've had, so glad you are doing better.

  15. Oh my, with an experience like that, how can you love animals at all?

  16. Aw. I really wanted to see a kinkajou on my trip into the jungles and rain forests of Belize, but never did. I had no idea they were sought after for pets, but then again it does not surprise me. I don't understand why people are not happy with a dog or cat (kept indoors, of course.... ;) )

    Glad you are on the mend!

  17. Hi Patti, Glad you are feeling better... I have been thinking about you... Take care of yourself ... Okay????

    I always wanted a dog when I was little --but my mother said that I was allergic... (Not sure that was right--but it was her excuse.) We finally got a cat when I was a teen --but I never learned to love dogs like so many people do.

    I have had one dog in my adult life--and she lived for about 15 yrs. I got her for my kids --yet they didn't take care of her like I did. When she died, I grieved for weeks....

    We don't want any pets right now --because we travel so much. Maybe someday we'll have a pet--but not now. I love dogs--but not those yappy kind. Our neighbor has one --and the barking drives us crazy.

    Have a great weekend.

  18. So glad you're doing better!

    We had all sorts of animals when I was a kid, but really, I must admit, I never developed a love for animals. I certainly don't want to see any harm come to them, and I have found some that I thought were adorable...just not in my house! And for those who are aghast at this revelation, please don't assume that I don't like children because I'm not an animal lover...seriously, people think this sometmes!

    As for the honey bear...yikes! Sounds dangerous!

  19. Mumsy,
    Thank you. I am really close to being 100%, only twinges now.
    I am pretty sure my mother got Susie just to get me over my apprehension about animals. It worked.

    Linda Starr,
    You know, I have never seen one since, even in a zoo. I was delighted that the Internet came thru with the pictures.

    I guess I look at animals the same way I look at people. One rogue does not define a species or race in the case of people.

    Well you were definitely in the kinkajou's "hood" in Belize. They are nocturnal which is probably why you didn't see one and why I can't see why anyone would want them for pets.
    I am sorry to see they are still considered "pet worthy". Totally agree with you on just what is PW.

  20. Betsy,
    I am much better, thank you for your thoughts.
    I'm glad you exposed your children to a pet though it is always the parents that give the care and gets attached. I understand your grieving.
    You and George do love to travel and I know personally, Mighty cramps my style. There are a lot of places I would go if I weren't tied down. It is a personal choice.

    You would never catch me thinking that. That faulty thinking would also assume that people who love animals must love children. Wrong again. So sorry you get tagged with such an irrational label.

  21. As a child we had a German Shepherd that was forever protecting much so that he tried to keep my mother away from me. They got rid of him some way.

    But I too adore animals.

  22. I'm so glad your back is feeling better. Susie sounds like a really nice dog. I love animals, especially dogs, and though I've had a few bad experiences with them, it hasn't colored my love of dogs. I've had a lot more bad experiences with people, and I'm not letting it color my judgment of people, either. I think there are a lot more good ones than bad.

  23. now if the St. Bernard had still been around he would taken care of Honey for you :)

  24. loved, loved, loved your story of growing up with animals and a brother who tried to save your life by hitting you on the head with a broom.

  25. Once when I was up in the mountains I saw a small little creature that looked alot like your Kinkayou, only it was much smaller than six pounds. This creatures was no more than 6-8 inches long, probably 5 or 6 oz. I have never seen one since. I assume it was some kind of ground dweller although it was hanging on the side of an old stump.
    Saint Bernards - my first experience was when one stuck his head, yes complete with slobber, right into my drivers side window. They are way to tall but I like the imagery of one dragging you back from the street. NICE!

  26. I would have taken up with the St Bernard.

    All exotic animals belong in the exotics, but then dogs snd cats do bite and snarl, etc. too.

    Glad you are better. I made it through the stress test

  27. Jerry,
    Sometimes dogs can be too protective. Shepherds are often one person dogs.
    Hope he went to a good home though it sounds iffy.

    We do think alike don't we. Totally agree. Thank you, it feels good to feel good.

    How funny but you are right. That kinkajou would have been polished off like a Frito. Kind of glad they didn't share the same space.

    Thanks so much. Fortunately I didn't form a life long fear of my broom bashning brother :))

    Hum, wonder what you did see in those mountains?
    Forget those whisky barrels around the neck, St.Bernards do need to come with towels don't they?
    Oscar got A for protection and A+ for being annoying.

    Today I would have liked the Saint. To a 3 year old, he was a royal pain in my behind.
    So glad you test is over. Know it was weighing on you. Hope all results were good.

  28. So glad you are recovering. Please be careful and don't reinjure yourself.

    We had lots of animals when I was growing up. My least favorite was a rooster that would attack me everytime I went outside. He would run toward me as fast as he could, then jump up and throw himself into me. He made me stay inside for as long as we had him.

  29. I have moved on the and don't get around on Blogger like i used to. I enjoyed reading your story about the big dogs and the other raccoon relative. i like raccoons so I would probably like his cousins.

  30. What memories! I never heard of that sharp clawed one 'til now! What we learn blogging is so much fun.Glad youare a bit better.

  31. Sweet Virginia Breeze,
    Thank you, am doing much better.
    Tell you what, I'd rather face a bad dog than a bad rooster. They can be scary. Don't blame you a bit.

    Thanks. I think raccoons are cute also. Don't know anything about wordpress but thanks for making the special trip.

    Thank you so much for stopping by TNS. Welcome!!! Now I will check out your blog.

  32. OMG what a post! Girlfriend it's a wonder you even get around any animals. lol
    I could not believe that Kinky thing jumped on your head. Girl I would of lost it. Horrible just horrible.
    Glad your feeling better and please stay well and off the mower
    Love ya

  33. Grandmayellowhair,
    "Kinky"( now that would have been a better name than Honey) did make me lose it and would probably do the same today.
    Got to get on the mower today but think I'm good to go. Thanks.