AUGUST 2020: READER REPLY - Our pets have been keeping us company through recent “social distancing.” Tell us about your favorite pets and why you love them.

Our pets have been keeping us company through recent “social distancing.” Tell us about your favorite pets and why you love them.

Mr. Mugley loves getting rides with his family.

Mr. Mugley loves getting rides with his family.

Katherine Devney loves to spend time with her horse, Buddy
A monarch caterpillar eats the leaves of a milkweed plant.

This is why my pets are superheroes:

Simba is a super cat. Why? He was gone for 18 months before our neighbor girl, Sami, found him and brought him to us in February! He braved all the storms and found food for himself, when we thought he had been attacked hunting!

If he was a superhero, I would find him saving the world from being without adorable cats.

He enjoys my father's lap at night, attacking rugs and, of course, catnip.

Lil' Buddy is a super chiweenie. He loves to play fetch (when we play tug-of-war, I can pick him up with the toy!), go for walks, treats, snuggling under blankets, giving kisses and me! I’m his owner. Also, he can stand on his hind legs for a while! I had to give up my birthday and Christmas presents one year for this little guy! (I ended up getting some anyway!)

If he was a superhero, he’d be licking or, as he thinks, healing wounds!

Diego, a miniature schnauzer, is a super dog. He enjoys eating pizza crusts, bread and red licorice. He likes walks, treats, being petted and getting appreciated by shaking paws. He can do a normal shake and once he’s done, he can shake with the other paw! He definitely gets tuckered out by the 2-year-old puppy in the house!

If he was a superhero, he’d save the world from nail clippers!

Those are my phenomenally super pets!

Joanie McCormack
Age 10
Capital Electric Cooperative

While we have our favorite horses and cats on our ranch, our dogs are a huge part of the family! We have four corgis and wouldn’t trade them for anything! Their names are Cricket, Mugley, Pepper and Bandi.

All of our dogs love attention and snuggles, but the truly spoiled baby is Mr. Mugley. He thinks he is a human and will try to have conversations with you, lay on you while watching a movie and will eat everything and anything you eat, including asparagus, Brussels sprouts and cucumbers.

He also loves riding the ATV and lawn mower and has been known to give you a dirty look if the ride is too bumpy. He loves sleeping in our bed and insists on sharing my pillow and then snores the night away!
What is better than wagging tails and tons of kisses after a long day’s work? The saying goes that dogs are a man’s best friend and that exactly describes our mini corgi herd!

Tia Boehm
Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative


Superstition says black cats are bad luck. Not for me.

A couple years ago, a friend in a nearby town saw a cat at the rental house next door. The people moved and abandoned him. When new renters came, they did not adopt him. As winter set in, I gave my friend food to feed the cat. She gained his trust, but the neighbors were upset that she was feeding strays. One night, she lured him into her entry and shut the door. I got a call.

I named him Kalo, which means “black” in Romani. Kalo is grateful for his new family. He provides for us by bringing his hunting catch to share. He hums and trills and gazes lovingly into my face with gold eyes. When I sit at the computer, I suddenly have a furry lap blanket. At night, he sleeps at the foot of the bed.

Kalo was lucky to find a warm home, but we feel lucky for the love he has given back.

Lona Lutz
Northern Plains Electric Cooperative

My horse, Buddy, helped me cope with social distancing, because I can talk to him about anything, and he seems to be listening. I feel comfort in knowing that I can just go outside and brush my horse’s mane and braid it.

I do 4-H with Buddy, and show him at the Bismarck Horse Club play days. My favorite events to show him in are western pleasure (a rail class) and barrels.

We bought him one year ago. Since then, Buddy, who is 23 years old, and I have bonded so much that we both have learned from each other and love one another.

Katherine Devney
Age 11
Capital Electric Cooperative


We recently lost our cat, Taz. He was 17 years old. It was a sad time. Our pets become part of our families. They are with us through all our ups and downs. They sense when we’re all sick (he laid on my bed when I was going through treatments). One night when I had a bad dream and I was moaning, a gentle paw rubbed my face and woke me up.

Cats are independent and make their wants known. At 10 p.m. every night, he would start pacing and meowing, telling us “time for bed.” They add so much to our lives. They love unconditionally. I still miss Taz meowing for me to “sit down” so he can sit on my lap. Pets do leave pawprints on our hearts.

Judy Legaard
Sheridan Electric Cooperative


My favorite pets are Mandi, Dutchess and Remi. They are so cute and pretty. Mandi has died, but she will always be in my heart. Dutchess is my cat. She is fluffy. Remi is my dog. She kisses me. This is why they are special.

Harper Reardon
Age 6
Capital Electric Cooperative


My pets’ names are Remi and Dutchess. Remi is a dog and Dutchess is a cat. It’s good to have pets during the COVID-19 pandemic, because you will always have friends for company. Even though I couldn’t be with my friends when we were social distancing, I always had my pets. Every time I wake up, my dog Remi always comes to greet me to say good morning. She’s always in a good mood.

My cat Dutchess usually is taking a nap somewhere, so I go down and lay with her for 10 to 15 minutes. She helps me calm down and relax. I love my pets!

Carter Reardon
Age 9
Capital Electric Cooperative


My favorite pet is a cat.
I really know that!
Sometimes when they fight, they do it all night.
I bought them a toy,
they were just full of joy.
They hear the car running, they run and scat,
but when it’s gone,
they just chat.
I don’t see a single mouse,
because there’s a cat at my house.
I come home at the end of the day,
they love me in every way.

Dalton Lee Hunt
Age 9
Northern Plains Electric Cooperative


The ruler of our house, Spicy, is a beautiful calico cat. In the evening when we are sitting in our recliners in the basement family room, Spicy jumps up on our laps, washes our toes, fingers and the palms of our hands, then she lays down with her face in the palm of our hands and goes to sleep.

While she is sleeping on my lap, I will say, “Spicy, Mommy has to go upstairs,” and she gets up, walks across the end table and lays on the couch. She understands sentences like, “Let’s go upstairs or downstairs,” “Go night-night,” “Let’s comb you,” “Go to your room,” “No bite” and “Want a snack?” For a treat, we will say, “Do a lap,” and she walks around the dining room table.

When I sew, she jumps up on the sewing machine and lays down and sometimes wants to play with me. Spicy loves to have her chin scratched and her paws rubbed. She has a sweet personality and is very laidback. We have really enjoyed her.

Marlys Pfenning
Roughrider Electric Cooperative

Nannerl was a feral cat who chose me to be her human. I invited her into the house, whereupon she enjoyed the amenities of civilized living, particularly the litter box. She would beg to come in, use the litter box, and then beg to go back outside.

She would go from window ledge to window ledge, peering in until she found which room the humans (doormen) were located. Once the humans made eye contact and headed for the door, she’d be off like a flash and waiting there when we opened the front door. In the middle of the night, she would alert us by hanging on the bedroom screen Garfield-style.

When outside, Nannerl remained a feral cat to everyone except “her human.” But inside the house, even strangers were deemed safe and were allowed to pet her. Indeed, they were DEMANDED to pet her, since she had to make up for all those wasted wild years. Nannerl taught me to enjoy the moment. She would so lose herself in petting sessions that the ecstasy would take over and she would drool profusely.

Nannerl liked to sit on my lap, and she stood on the edge of the bathtub between the curtain and liner as I took a shower. She slept in a ball tucked under my chin at night.

I’ve had many pets through the years. I chose all but one of them. That one chose me, and I’m forever grateful.

Marilou Uecker
Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative


She sat in the cage trembling. Though she was cute as a button, I had never seen a dog so damaged by cruelty and neglect. Her behavior was unlike that of any dog I had ever met. I wondered if the poor pup would ever be normal.

The following months were a challenge. Penny struggled to understand that not all people are cruel. She hid behind furniture. She would face into the corner of a room, her whole body shaking in fear. It was heart-breaking.

After months, our efforts to convince Penny that her world would never again hold abuse or pain paid off. She started to come to us to be petted, all the while wiggling not just her stubby tail, but her entire body. She makes us laugh by manically zooming around the yard with the sheer joy of being alive. When we eat popcorn, she smiles at us. That goofy, irresistible grin always rewards her with a few pieces of the crunchy treat.

When I look into her melted chocolate eyes, I see what she has taught me: that patience and love can work wonders, that we are all imperfect beings, but we have much to offer when given a chance. She has taught me about forgiveness; she holds no grudges.

I believe Penny is grateful to us for providing her with a good home, but I feel that I am the lucky one. I adopted pure love and what could be better than that?

Judy Bennett
Northern Plains Electric Cooperative


Each summer, my family and I look for monarch eggs on the underside of milkweed leaves. Monarchs will only lay their eggs on milkweed, because that is the ONLY food the caterpillars will eat. When we find an egg, we take the whole leaf. In a day or two, the creamy white egg will develop a dark spot – that’s the tiny caterpillar’s head! The caterpillar will push its way out of its egg and eat the eggshell. Then it will begin eating the milkweed leaf.

A monarch caterpillar will eat a lot of milkweed as it grows. Then it becomes very still while it prepares to molt. It sheds its skin and its tiny face falls off! When it becomes big and fat, it molts one last time, but this time is different. The caterpillar finds a safe place to make a silk button, digs its back legs into the silk button, and hangs upside down in a “J” shape. In time, the caterpillar wiggles out of its skin and tosses it on the ground. In place of the caterpillar is a wiggly green blob. Eventually, it hardens into a beautiful jade green chrysalis with shimmery gold accents.

About 10 to 14 days later, a monarch butterfly emerges. It has to drip excess fluid and dry its wings before it can be released outdoors. When the butterfly looks strong and ready to fly, we place it on a Joe-Pye weed in our flower garden and say goodbye as it takes its first flight. Then we look for more monarch eggs!

Collette Dramstad
Cass County Electric Cooperative

SEPTEMBER: Tell us about a first responder in your community who deserves special recognition.
Deadline for submission: Aug. 14
OCTOBER: It’s Co-op Month! Tell us what you like best about your electric cooperative!
Deadline for submission: Sept. 14

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU: Submissions should be no more than 250 words, typewritten or in legible handwriting. Include your name, complete address, daytime phone number and the name of the rural electric cooperative to which you belong. Note: Magazine staff reserves the right to make editing changes and cuts. We pay $25 for each letter we print. Email to or mail to READER REPLY, North Dakota Living, P.O. Box 727, Mandan, ND 58554-0727.