Back in 1948, I spent some time with my cousin on the farm in western Minnesota. It was haying time and her dad and older brother were busy in the field (although they had a tractor instead of oxen).
Obert and Virgil were working in a field not very far away from the house so my Aunt Gusta had us two girls take lunch out to them. My cousin had a darling new puppy that she had named Bitsy. Bitsy followed us out into the field, but apparently didn't follow us back.
Later, when the guys came in from the field, Virgil told us that Bitsy was run over by the haywagon and badly hurt so he had to kill the puppy with a pitchfork. My nine-year-old cousin shed a few tears at the time. But, it seems that I was more bothered about it than she was.
At our family reunion in August, I mentioned the incident to her. She didn't remember Bitsy. Even though I was only eight, the memory has stayed with me all these years.
I wonder if that's because kids raised on a farm see animals from a different perspective. The cousins had cats, but they were "barn cats" and not allowed in the house. They had batches of kittens up in the hay mow and never cared if they survived. The cats that showed up at milking time were given milk in a big dirty pan but otherwise had to fend for themselves.
I remember every pet we've had since childhood. I guess animals played a bigger part in my life than they did in my cousin's. She now lives in a condo and has no pets, while I live in a condo and have my four kitties. I feel kinda sorry for her.