When I was a little girl, we had a Great Pyrenees– a huge white polar bear of a dog. His name was Andy. 

He was bigger then me. He was almost as big as my father when he stood on his hind legs. 

And he mostly lived in a cage- a nice cage, but a cage.

It broke my heart.

I would often go into his area to play with him and even though he could have torn me apart, he never did- more like licking me to Death. But he did have a temper. Andy wouldn’t allow any other people (except our parents) around my sister or me. He became angry, and volatile, and after seeing a neighborhood bully pick on me, when next he escaped, he went after that boy and my father regretfully put an ad in the paper.

Why ‘Regret’?

Because it wasn’t Andy’s fault.

My father never really trained him. My father used him like a trophy. 


So off Andy went and my sister and I cried for days and vowed we would never adopt an animal that we couldn’t offer a fully inclusive life too. Maybe not those exact words, at age 10 and 8, but that was the gist and between the two of us, in four states, we have adopted 13 cats and 3 dogs over the last 30 years.

We have looked for the perfect ‘fit’ but have also taken-in animals with special needs (most ‘special need’s animals are destroyed, even in no-kill shelters), but a few special shelters really put their kibble where their mouths are. 

In fact, they offer classes in animal care and parenting, throw great fundraiser parties, have a mobile clinic that reaches animals (and owners that aren’t mobile themselves), perform surgeries, administer medication, encourage yearly check-ups, and will babysit your furry child (if you have financial challenges or find yourself in the path of a hurricane).

Here in New Orleans, that place is called The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LASPCA), and they’ve provided a lot of tough love:

1884: The LASPCA is formed to stop the mistreatment of horses & mules in the city.
1888: Louisiana passes a law with penalties for cruelty to animals and authorizes the LASPCA to enforce.
1890: The LASPCA dedicates the first of over 50 public water fountains for carriage horses and dogs.
1906: State legislature commissions several wooden-wheeled horse drawn ‘Ambulances’ to administer animal care.
1924:The society opens the first free animal clinic in the country.
1931: Several colleges ask the state legislature to require animals shelters to relinquish stray dogs for medical research. The LASPCA refuses (to this day).
1948: The LASPCA creates it’s Humane Education Program visiting churches, schools, public events, and private homes.
1975: New donations make it possible for the clinic to serve sick & injured animals whose owners cannot afford treatment or cannot be found. The society has operated this way ever since.
2005: In advance of Hurricane Katrina, the LASPCA safely evacuates all 263 animals housed in it’s facility. In the immediate aftermath, the organization leads the largest animal rescue operation in U.S. history.
2008: August. The LASPCA successfully coordinates the evacuation of people with pets in advance of a mandatory evacuation for Hurricane Gustav, making it the first time in U.S. history that animals are given a priority in city emergency plans. 


So, when I come upon a blogger that feels the same way, I’m hooked- or should I say collared?

William Kendall, is the writer at

Ottawa Daily Photo. 

He is also a published author, a bit of a rogue and just my kind of scoundrel. His musings are thoughtful, always witty, parsed with an abundance of love for nature and animals, and accompanied with dreamy photography. He is just a damn good friend. Why he follows me I’ll never understand. One of the things I love about him is how he responds to comments, or comments himself. I can write a piece that rambles on, and on, and on, and isn’t even interesting and he will say something like,”Nice Kitty”, or “New Orleans is weird. I should come visit”. He does not mince words but seems to be able to write them with deep meaning, daily, and on a variety of topics including his love of cats.

Another recent ‘find’ is Cary Vaughn who writes at

Cary. Cary. Cary. What a Character in his own Shit Show (His words not mine). 

As well as writing hilarious posts about sharing his house with five (FIVE) cats, he speaks eloquently of living a gifted life while plying himself with what he calls the ‘Cat Cocktail‘, which includes medication that alleviates stress headaches because it’s difficult to have your home look photo ready with mounds of cat liter strewn about the place, feline dander allergies because his partner doesn’t give a damn- ‘just take the pills ‘ya big fat crybaby’ (I actually say the same thing to Ben), anxiety associated, again, with keeping a house at the beck-and-call readiness of an Architectural Digest freak ’cause you’re just certain they will show up any day now, and the ever-lovin’ fits of rage that this all must be some kind of comic nightmare and you will wake up as soon as you scream at the top of your lungs, which inevitably brings the cats a calling because they like a man who can howl louder then they can. 

Now who doesn’t just LOVE a man that LOVES cats? And dogs, and snakes, and bunnies, and all the animals that need a good home.

So, stop by them all- their doors and inspiration are abundant.

  • Anonymous - Thank you. Just…thank you.

  • Cary - You understand me! You REALLY understand me. That is a great feeling.ReplyCancel

  • Natalie DeYoung - I am a sucker for special needs animals. That is why I kept my husband’s pit bull – talk about needing a LOT of training!ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - OMG I can ONLY imagine! Those dogs are STRONG! We have a 3-legged girl kitty and once had a dog that I think was mentally retarded- or is that ALL dogs? HahahaaaaReplyCancel

  • William Kendall - Thank you, Cheryl!

    I think when we grow up with animals, there’ll always be one that makes a deeper impression on us than others. Mine was a daschund- cocker spaniel mix named Blackie. Sounds like Andy was yours!ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - Your so welcome William. My pleasure. We also had a cat named Chester Field King that was a hoot! They’re ALL my favorites! Love the animals I do 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Papa Bear - fantastic to see others who adopt four legged family members. The joy they can bring to your family is awesome.ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - It really is. They never really want anything from you but a little love and attention and they give such love in return. I wish more PEOPLE were like that! So happy to see you here Papa Bear!ReplyCancel

  • Haralee - Pets, who owns whom? Our hearts are connected.ReplyCancel

  • Sue - Love our cat Simba and little dog Anya. I could easily do a animal blog, but not as well as your featured bloggers that I think are fabulous.ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - They are fabulous aren’t they, and WE could not do what you do with your subject half as well. It all evens out!ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *



CommentLuv badge

B l o g s   I   L o v e