Merle was our iguana from about 1997 to December 1998. Yes, he was named for his resemblance to a famous country singer. He was a good sport, never did he bite. We thought we had his environment right, only to discover that he didn't get enough light to help him create enough calcium.




Early was our first bird as a pet - a little Lutino Cockatiel. We got him from a pet store in Conyers in 1999. Thing was, Diane loved Donna's bird Buzzard and wanted one of her own that could talk. Well, I've got this recording studio, so a talking (screaming) bird was not what I wanted. So we compromised and got a semi quiet, whistling bird.

Early was even tempered, loved to be held, and didn't mind it when mommy dressed him up and made him do embarrassing things like put on a tiny sombrero or ride bareback on her albino pheasant's back. He died suddenly in August 2001 from metal toxicity.


Napoleon (Po)


We got Napoleon at the same time we got Tater, our cockatoo. 'Po was David's bird, and Tater was Diane's bird. Then we got Buzzard and Sam and Wink, and all the new bird human relationships began to develop.

The first jealousy was with Sam, who bit poor Po on the leg and caused him to limp from then on. After Sam flew off, Buzzard began picking on Po and one day we found him on the floor with two bite marks, one on each side of his head. We hoped he would recover, but the damage was too severe.




We got our African Grey, Sam, from Tommy and Donna. It immediately claimed David as his "big bird." He could mimic any sound with uncanny accuracy. One of the first things he learned how to do was to say the word "David" in Diane's voice, soft and low. Creepy.

He was David's morning buddy, watching him shave in the bathroom and walking over from his room to wherever David was to be with him.

David had him outside one day on the top of a step ladder thinking that his clipped wings were still short enough to prevent him from flying away. He was wrong. Sam flew off into the woods and we never saw him again.




My dog Shadow and Diane's dog Roc got together and made four beautiful little puppies. Since he was the only male we gave him the playful name of Rocky II (pronounced Rocky Two - like the movie). Then we decided to keep him, so to avoid confusion with Rocky Sr. we shortened it to Two Boy, and then finally settled on TooBoy. He was a sweet dog, well mannered, and lived for love. He would stay with Diane and be her "protector" while Roc and I went downstairs.

He was also a most destructive digger. He would dig holes in the back yard deep enough to fit his body. He was once accidentally locked in the bathroom and was able to claw and chew his way out through the door.

One day in July 2007, we were having some friends over and as happens sometimes, the dogs got out and went to the creek to get all wet and stinky. They both came back but they were too dirty to let them back in the house, so we made them wait outside. They both left again. Rock came back, but TooBoy never did. We think a nice family adopted him, but we sure do miss him.


Belle and Michelle


Belle (white) was our second pet rat, and, unfortunately, the first one to go. Diane wanted a companion for Michelle, and we picked Belle out from the feeder rats at Petland. She really liked Diane and would always hang on at the edge of the cage whenever she came in the house. She was always very active, but would stay still long enough for a kiss now and then. She developed large tumors all over her body and eventually they took her life. On her last day, she waited until Diane came home from work and had a chance to pick her up and play with her. Ten minutes after putting Belle back in the cage, she was gone.

Diane got Michelle (brown) at Petco. While there one day, an employee asked Diane to take the cute little rat home. To her surprise, Diane said she would. She named the rat after the employee, Michelle. Michelle and Belle would party all night after we went to bed, rattling their cage and squealing with delight. Like Belle, Michelle developed huge tumors that took her life. She lived much longer than is expected - almost by six months.

Critters-PetHeaven-Belle and Michelle (cropped)

Roc (Roc E. Feller)


Diane got Roc as a 2-year old from a tech guy who did work for her company. Roc was very well trained with voice commands and hand gestures. His only vice was being a thief - anything left on the table was fair game.

He was very even tempered and made a great "studio" dog. Of all the dog pets we have ever owned, Roc was by far Diane's favorite.

In his final days, he was almost blind and barely able to walk.We scheduled a private euthanasia session at our home with the people from Sweet Dreams. They couldn't have been nicer. They listened to Diane's every story of Roc's life, and made sure she was prepared when they gently ended his life.


Timmy, Tommy and Lenny






After TooBoy disappeared and we had tried all methods of locating him, we felt that we needed to get Roc a companion. Diane was firm that we should adopt a rescue animal, so she went online in search of one.

On the Homeless Pets site, she found probably the saddest case I'd ever heard of. A Staffordshire Terrier had been found with her back badly mutilated, chained to a tree and left for dead. Well, we had to meet this dog.

We found her to be playful and friendly and sweet natured, and we took her home for a trial period in the middle of November 2007. We spent months helping her recover from the necessary operations on her back and in the end we formally adopted her in 2008.

She loved to ride everywhere in the Honda Element with David, preferring to sit in her own back seat. She was another great "studio" dog who would bark to announce clients at the door and cuddle up with them once they were inside.

She became very sick at the end of 2016 and the vet was treating her for pancreatitis over the New Year's holiday when they opened her cage and found her passed away inside. It was a terrible shock for us. The vet felt she must have had something more severe, like liver cancer, in order to have been taken so suddenly.




Whenever we would attend a Banks family reunion in Carnesville, we would stop by Diane's cousin Elaine Honea's house to visit with the border collies she was breeding to sell. After Roc passed away, our next visit to Elaine's was to see if there might be one we could adopt for ourselves.

Sissy was the mama breeder dog. She was about 8 years old and had given birth to 6 litters of pups. Elaine was retiring her and so we took her home with us.

Unlike the other dogs, Sissy was not the overly-excited type. Because she had only lived in an outdoor pen, she had to be trained how to do simple things like walk through doggie doors and navigate stairs.

She hadn't been spayed when we got her and she had developed cancer, which was successfully operated on.

Occasionally she was the object of Lucy's territorial aggression, and it resulted in a few vet emergency room trips. If she ever got out of the house, she never looked back. We would get a call from some neighbor that they had her, and we would go over and retrieve her.

She was very gentle, and in the end suffered from blindness and dementia. Still, she was able to get around and it was a difficult decision to have her euthanized. We again called upon Sweet Dreams and got the same doctor who euthanized Roc to administer it to Sissy.