Growing up on a farm in West Central Missouri, we had cows, chickens and pigs. So, of course, I had a pet when I was little.

If I remember right, the first one was a pet pig. I was under the age of five because we moved to town sometime during the spring of that year and I started first grade in the fall. I know I gave it a name. If my mom was still alive, I'm sure she would have remembered that name but for some reason it escapes me now. It had a ribbon that was tied to it's tail. For some reason Clementine comes to mind as it's name but I can't be sure.

I don't remember what happened to it. I'm guessing as it got older, it was put in with the rest of the pigs in the barnyard.

My most vivid memory was of my beagle, Lad. It's full name was Deepwater Lad since the dog was purchased from someone from around Deepwater, MO.

We went everywhere together. I'd take off down the dirt drive that led to our house and Lad would be right behind me, step for step. Unfortunately, Lad wasn't with us long.

One day we went to town and left Lad behind at the homestead. When we returned he was no where to be found.  This was the early 60's, and there was a crew helping to build a missile silo across the road in a field that belonged to a neighboring farm.

Lad was never to be seen again. We think that one of the crew members picked him up and took him.

I'm sure I had my fair share of turtles, snakes and frogs that were captured out in a field or down by the creek, but my first recollections of the first pet/s I had were my pig and my beagle, Lad.

Aleksandr Frolov