Saturday, October 24, 2009

Snapper was a neat pet - and he did earn his name!!

Molly and I were well know for having unusual critters for pets. We've had everything from squirrels to opossums to skunks to coyotes to goats to buzzards to foxes AND trust me that ain't near all. Also understand, all out pets were PETS in every sense of the word. Each lived a portion of their lives IN our home... not in a cage. They roamed free and came when called. I plan to share some of these animals stories over time. But today, I'll tell you about Snapper. He was a unique pet and had even a more unique beginning in life.

Everyone knew about our caring for animals. Even the local game warden brought me baby deer to care for until they could be relocated and returned to their natural habitat. Even friends brought us baby rabbits, stray dogs, and even a wounded owl. Snapper was one such critter that was saved for us. Friends of mine were hunting javelina in South Texas. They had killed one and was cleaning it to eat for supper. Inside they found babies; all dead but one. They wrapped it up for warmth and contacted me to come get it (see hunters aren't all cold-blooded).

The tiny creature was a perfect miniature of a full-grown javelina. When I touched it to pick it up, it turn extremely fast and got my finger. Thus he became snapper!

We were living in a pioneer village at the time. I had a school to go to in the following days so Molly carried him along with us. He was a big hit with the kids and quit snapping at everyone, Snapper became a great pet. He roamed free but slept in our tent with us. He became very well known. There were even newspaper stories made about him.

We think he thought he was a cat because that was his playmate. Snapper continued to grow til he was bigger than the cat of whom he protected. There are so many stories I could share but (trust me) it would take a book. When I walked, Snapper stayed with me. When Molly sat down to knit, crochet, or quilt ... Snapper was with her. His favorite place was to get under Molly's rocking chair and stick his nose out from under her long 1800s dress. He was something and we loved him. His attention to us proved he loved us too ... until he was killed.

Long story short - a pack of dogs came into the village and attacked him. I heard the fight going on and ran down to a feeding pen where Snapper had been staying. When I got there, he was pretty well finished from the wounds inflected to him. BUT as I struck one of the dogs with an axe handle and kicked a second, Snapper, mortally wounded, still did not release a death grip he had on a third's throat. The remaining 3 dogs ran out of the village and went north up the highway. I cared for Snapper as he died. I ran to my truck and pursued the running dogs.. Without any fanfare, I accomplished my mission ... nuff said on that.

Snapper was one of the neatest pets we ever had and we still tell stories about him. AND we still miss him even after 16-17 years. He still makes us smile when we think of him. Snapper earned his place in our hearts.

We had lots of animals that stole our love. I hope to write about some of them in the future in this blog. Maybe I'll tell of the fella who called me at home and told me he had come by. He also asked, "you have a wolf in you house?" He had been met at the glass door by Anopki (means pretty head). I gave him an honest answer. "No, we don't have a wolf. Anopki is a two year old coyote who lives with us".

Maybe the story below will give you an idea of what we mean when we say they were pets. ;-)


  1. Incredible. What a gift you have!

  2. That is a great story. You must have been heartbroken when Snapper died. Pets have a way of touching our hearts, and then they are gone. Can't wait to hear more stories. Karen