Sunday, December 28, 2008

FAMILY PETS

I went to see Marley & Me yesterday and I found this movie both funny and sad. I am an animal lover and owner of three dogs and it occurred to me that we have not really shared any stories on the blog about our pets.

Please tell us about your family pets and any favorite pet moments you might want to share. If anyone would like to send in pictures of your pet, I would be happy to post them on the sidebar.

46 comments:

Nina Bell said...

I have three dogs, none of which I set out to acquire.

My oldest is a Dalmatian mix and turning 16 years old this year. She was wondering the neighborhood as a 3 month old puppy and my neighbor was going to take her to the pound. I said, "Let me find a home for her" and that home ended up being ours. She has lost her hearing and is having many senior moments now. That is why Marley & Me was so hard to watch. She is definitely our lover.

My second oldest dog I found as a 6 month old puppy in a shopping mall parking lot beaten, dirty and bleeding. I picked her up and put her in my brand new car to take her home and clean her up before I took her to the pound. She proceeded to pee all over it because she was so scared. There was no way I wanted two large dogs in my house. 11 years later, I still have not taken her to the pound.

She is our protector. She howls like a wolf or a coyote if a stranger comes to our house. Several years back she was pepper sprayed and beaten by an intruder attempting to break into our house while my son slept. She was beaten pretty bad but I am pretty sure he did not walk away unscathed. The police credit her with protecting my son from any harm. She also stepped in when my older dog who has no fighting instinct at all was being attacked by our neighbors Korean Jindo. The older dog received a few bites but our middle dog required surgery to a leg she almost lost in the attack. She has never really recovered from that attack and requires pain medication at times to get around.

Our third dog is four years old and she is our "Marley". She is a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix and a handful. My son's girlfriend was being threatened with eviction if she didn't get rid of the puppy and I told her to put the dog in our back yard until I could find a home for it. When I came home that day, the puppy had shredded all of the screening off of our brand new french door screens we had just installed. That is just one of many "Marley" type stories I could tell. And of course the home I was going to find her became my own.

nomoredrama said...

I have a cat named Annabel (it's actually Annabel Lee, named after the Edgar Allen Poem poem). She will be 2 in February and she is a feisty little thing. She wants to be around me all the time but only on her terms. If the mood strikes her, she'll bite (seemingly for no apparent reason).

She's the first cat I've ever had and even though I like cats, I'm much more of a dog person. My dog growing up (Rusty) was a beagle mix. I loved that dog and as soon as I move into a place that is big enough for a dog, I will get a dog (provided Annabel doesn't tear him apart)

Anya said...

Nina, your post had me on the verge of getting choked up - especially the part about dog #2 defending dog #1 and defending your son from the intruder. Wow.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback mix sounds like a handful. I had a dog like that in a past life.

No dogs currently reside in my abode, but I do have some cats - one of which insists on rubbing up against my hand as I type on the keyboard (she's doing it right now). No wonder if I have so many typos!

happymama said...

I have a Bloodhound named Kandi. She looks just like the dog in your picture. If fact, I thought it was her. She is the sweetest dog you could ever meet. The really strange thing about her, is that she loves to eat carrots for a dog treat. If I give her the choice of a MILK-BONE or a carrot, she takes the carrot. I love her sooo much!

FIONA said...

Wasn't it a great movie?

We have an old yellow lab, so it really hit home. Although Zoe has never been a bad dog, ever! She prefers to sleep! She really likes my husband the best. She had major hip dysplasia surgery when she was 11 months old, so she doesn't do too well in the cold.

Our other dog,the younger of the two is Millie, a black and white Springer. Very high strung! She went suddenly deaf about 9 months ago, so that has been and adjustment. You can't yell at her anymore!

She is very smart and is learning some hand gestures and I always wave bye to her now!

We love dogs, not cat people at all.

Saint said...

Great topic!
Nina, it sounds like those dogs really earned their keep!

We used to have the samrtest dog in the world. She was an Australian Shepherd mix, from the streets of NYC. My husband's brother brought her home. She was really great and we miss her. She also saved us once. We disturbed a nasty ground hive while hiking with our first baby. We scattered, but she stayed and fought those 1000's of bees. She had to be hopitalized. We loved her.

We've had a cat who thought he was a dog and palled around with our dog and her doggy friend from next door. He's gone, too. And now we have the world's most useless cat. I got him to keep the critters out of my garden/yard. He jumps when a squirrel or chipmunk comes by. Every critter scares him. I have no help from him at all. He was sleeping near the hamster cage, when the hamster went up to the bars to sniff him. He jumped 10 feet in fear. Funny. He's the kids' favorite. They gave him a new boot box to hide/sleep in for Christmas, and he loves it.

The hamster is cute.

My kids handle most of the pet stuff. I only have to feed the little goldfish. He's my favorite. He's very undemanding.

I want another dog. Does anyone have a greyhound? I think they are so beautiful.

FIONA said...

My dogs love carrots!

My Springer was the watch dog, but since she can't hear anymore we rely on a dog that would gladly lick an intruder to death!

The funny thing is, the lab has a way of getting the deaf dogs attention, so she will still bark if she sees something interesting.

desben said...

I have a beagle named Texa and she is a joy to have. She was a christmas gift 3 years ago from my sister. My husband always wanted a beagle growing up but his parents didn't want a dog. She is so much fun and our family loves her. I read the book Marley and Me which was really good so I can't wait to see the movie!

Nina Bell said...

Fiona,

My oldest dog's named Millie also. Yes I loved the movie but had a hard time at the end.

Happymama, I love Bloodhounds, and that picture on the post is so adorable.

Saint,
Our friend had a Whippet which just recently passed away at the age of 18. What a great dog he was.They resemble a greyhound.

MoreCowbell said...

I saw Marley and Me yesterday. Bawled like an idiot. Good movie, though! Unfortunately, one of my friends who went with me had just put her coonhound down a month ago, so she was a bigger mess than I was.

I have a nine and a half year old female version of Marley. If I had a nickel for every time I heard a well intentioned neighbor call out, "Who's walking who?" when we'd be out on a "drag," (because we never have "walks.") Oh, those know-it-all Lab owners who would tell me, "Oh, she'll grow out of that puppyness after a couple years." Well, nine and a half years later, I'm still waiting. Sure, she's getting gray on her head and paws, and she does sleep a lot, but she's still loud and rowdy. She went through a glass window on the front porch when she saw another dog in the yard. When she was a pup, she completely shredded a love seat. I was actually embarrassed to put it on the curb for the trash guy, because I was afraid my neighbors would think I had furniture that looked like that. She removed several thick, hardbound college textbooks from a bookcase with her jaws and proceeded to turn my laundry room into a Times Square ticker tape parade of shredded paper. She is my spoiled baby, though and smart as hell. You have to spell in front of her, like a little kid. Last week, we had to induce vomiting with peroxide because she ate my Ny-Quil tablets off the counter top. When she was about two, she ate FOUR DOZEN peanut butter balls off the counter at Christmas. Luckily, I hadn't dipped them in chocolate yet.

Another similarity to Marley is that she was also a "clearance puppy." I got her cheap from the "backyard breeder" because she was shy and she was the runt. Well, there is something about runts. They grow up to be alpha dogs. It's called Napoleon Syndrome. She's now 70 pounds of lovably pushy piss and vinegar who demands to be center of attention at all times.

Then there's Micah. He's a five year old shelter dog who is half Shepherd and half Lab. I originally started "fostering" him for a local no-kill shelter that I volunteer at. He was my tenth foster dog and for some reason, he stuck and never left. Unfortunately, Micah started limping at a year old and was diagnosed with hip dysplasia when he was still a pup. He can barely make it around a city block without his hips bothering him. But, he's happy and sweet and quite content to let Molly run the show even though he outweighs her by about 15 pounds. Like a lot of rescue dogs, he is quite clingy. He follows me from room to room. I can't even go to the bathroom without him barging in and plopping his 85 pound body at my feet.

Then there's the old man of the group, my little black cat named CJ. He was also a rescue and is almost 12. He rubs up on Molly, but doesn't trust Micah too much. When Micah was a pup, he thought CJ was a cool looking toy, meant to be chased and flung. He doesn't do that anymore, but CJ still seems to remember those days and treats Micah with utmost caution.

Incidently, I love The Daily Puppy! Don't ever get rid of that link!

FIONA said...

Nina,

I knew there was a reason I have felt kindof connected to you!

Love this thread BTW!

I was the one who had to take our first dog to the vet to have her put to sleep. She was "pet of the week in the Durango, CO humane society. We had her for 16 years. She slept under the baby's crib, and would run to the crib and look in whenever she made a peep.

We told her, Jessie Jane Elizabeth Jackson was her formal name, that when we brought the baby home from the hospital she had to be very good because no one would want to adopt an old dog...and she was. When we laid a blanket on the floor we told her, "no paws on the blanket" and she would lay just to the edge! She tolerated soooo much from out daughter growing up! And then she did a great job breaking in Millie.

When it was time, I called ahead. It was very sureal to have an appointment for putting your dog to sleep. I took popsicles, her favorite treat and fed them to her as she drifted off. I didn't cry at all until she was gone...just told her how lucky we were to have such a good dog.

And then it was over and a little bit of purple popsicle came out her mouth.

Sad huh?

We still have her leash hanging in the garage.

I have fish now as well thanks to my daughter who got me an aquarium for Mother's Day last year.

MonicaW42 said...

After reading Nina,s post I had a three hankey moment.

We have a rottie/black lab mix that we saved from a no kill shelter in CA in 2003. He just turned 6 this November. He is my baby. That dog follows me all over the house and sleeps on the bed at my feet. He is very protective of me and will bark and wedge between my husband and myself when my hubby tries to hug me. I can't even imagine what I am going to do when his time comes. I had to put down my pure black lab Bagheera 2 years before I got Cabo and swore I would never get another dog and go through that, but when I saw Cabo I had to get him.
We also have a cat named Princess who has special meows for everything. She will have a fit if her litter box is dirty from her last use. She is pretty much my husbands cat and follows him upstairs to the office when he gets home. Though the past couple of days she has crawled into my lap to get petted. Maybe she feels sorry for me being laid up. My husband wants to get another cat. He wants a Mr Biggelsworth before he goes bald. Sometimes I wouldn't mind getting another dog as well but I want to wait until we get moved and have more space for them.
Nothing pisses me off more than watching or reading anything that has to do with animal cruelty.

Saint said...

I had to take our dog to the vet to be put to sleep. My husband couldn't do it. It was raining. Oh! I hated it.

I couldn't get another dog because of it. I felt that dogs just ripped your heart out when they died. I felt betrayed. I felt like a failure. She was my first and only dog.

My daughter read this book, Marley and Me. She said I am going to cry when I see this movie, if it's like the book.

FIONA said...

Mon,

Are you sick?

Barbara said...

Saint, I know exactly what you mean. When our dog died quite a few years ago I told my husband I can't do that again. There is just no reason to put yourself through that when they don't live very long anyway. So, what happened? My son gets a dog and she stays with us a lot, we love her to death -- she is so sweet, a German Shepherd that is just this wonderful, calm, loving dog and now I am so attached to her I will have to go through all that other bad stuff again. Right now she is worth it, but when the end comes, oh, I can't bear to think of it!

MonicaW42 said...

Fiona,
Nope. Was clumsy and broke my ankle.



And you guys have made me sad with all the "putting dogs down" stories. This is a 2 Kleenex box discussion. That or I have raging p.m.s.

Jenn said...

We have a mini zoo. Our oldest is Makia, a Husky. She's stubborn and naughty. If she can find a way out of the house or yard it's almost impossible to catch her. She runs and runs. My husbands friend found her on their doorstep and he adopted her.

The next oldest is Willie. He's a sheppard mix. He starting to get grey around his muzzle. I call him my old man. My husband adopted him from a spay/nuetar clinic that found him wandering the street. He's also a runner.

Both Willie and Makia will destroy anything they can get their hands on. The first christmas Mark and I lived together, they ripped open the presents and knocked the tree down while we were out looking at christmas lights.

Our youngest pup is a 2 year old Puggle named Izzy. She's a handfull but I have never had a dog with so much personality. She sleeps in bed with us, jumps on her dog food bag when she's ready to eat, chases the cats, plays in the snow and has a unique bark that sounds like a howl/scream (when she gets excited).

We also have 2 cats. Janice is all white and is the grouchy old lady. Batcat is all black and a very unique cat. She plays with the dog and plays in the snow. If she's sitting on the couch behind you, she'll smack you in the face with her tail. If you move away from her, she follows you and positions herself the same so she can continue to smack you with her tail.

My daughter wants another cat for her 8th birthday. Not so sure about that yet....

FIONA said...

Sorry to hear about your ankle.

Jenn said...

If you click on my name, it will take you to my profile and i put up a blog w/ pictures of the family pets

Nina Bell said...

Jenn

It certainly sounds like you have your hands full.

I will have to say that I am really enjoying reading all of these posts as they come in.

Nina Bell said...

Jenn,

Adorable, all of them. Do they like the snow?

Jenn said...

Nina,
Izzy, batcat and makia do. Willie sometimes refuses to go outside if there is snow on the ground. Janice, the white cat, is usually in hiding. She's not very social, unless it's dinner time. She sits on the counter behind my husband meowing for scraps. I got janice as a stray. My moms boyfriend at the time found her living in a boat yard. I adopted her and a few weeks later she had kittens. Janice will eat anything if you let her. Pizza, green chili, ham, tuna. She loves my enchillada casserole. I don't encourage my husband to feed her table food but he feels bad for her since all the rest of the animals rule the roost and she hides.

MonicaW42 said...

Jenn,

That picture of your batcat in snow kills me. That is to funny. Our cat would think she was dying. She hates being cold and lets us know it. Too cute.

Thanks Fiona.

Saint,
We have a useless cat as well. At least to me. The only thing she is good at is stalking and killing crickets...She is very good at that.

Bridget said...

I love dogs, but we have none at this time. We do have three cats. My "special baby" is Genesis. She was my Easter present from my then boyfriend, now husband in 1999. We wanted a baby, but decided a cat would be better for 21 and 23 year old college students. Well, life is full of surprises and a year after we got Genesis ( and another cat), I became pregnant. The pregnancy was very difficult, I was hospitalized 20 times. My cat was my saving grace. Every time I would have to get up to puke, she would escort me to the bathroom, wait while I puked, then walked me back to bed. She did this 10x a night for over 5 months.
When we brought our daughter home, I was quickly replaced as the best friend. Genesis fell in love with my daughter and they are still tight as can be. Genesis let my daughter ride her like a pony and pull her ears. (Not that we encouraged that:) Even now, every night, Genesis lays on my daughter's bed and looks at books with her. It's so sweet.
I love this cat. She's nine and a half and I know she won't be with us forever, but our lives have been so enriched by this kitty.

I love reading all the stories about pets. Great thread!

rain88 said...

This is a great thread. We got our dog, Dusty from a shelter when my daughter was ten. He was about a year old and because he was a stray we had no history on him. At the time my Mom and Dad babysat for my daughter before and after school so we started taking the dog over there with her. My Dad's first comment when we got the dog was negative "what do you want a dog for?". Now 11 years later we still bring the dog over to visit with Gramma and Grandpa every workday. They now talk about Dusty like he's their grandchild, telling us little stories about what he was up to during the day. Even if I have a day off work we will bring him over there because they miss him if they go a few days without seeing him. He loves going there because he's treated like the favoured grandchild.

MoreCowbell said...

Nina said that she has three dogs, "none of which I set out to acquire."

That just kind of confirms my philosophy. You don't find a pet, they find you. None of my current three were actually "planned." Even Molly, the one that I purchased, wasn't planned out. We weren't dog shopping when we saw the "Puppies for Sale" sign. In fact, I wanted a different breed at the time. Now? Wouldn't change a thing and I want another Lab eventually (but perhaps a different color next time).

My other two pets were rescues that kind on fell into my lap. Look at most of these stories. True friendship finds you.

scarfoot said...

I practically needed therapy after reading Marley and Me - wonderful book, but I cried for hours. I'm a total sap. I'm afraid to see the movie!!

I had a beagle that was very ornery, but so loving. She was very cuddly, and has been there for me more than some humans in my life! My father was critically ill, and the beagle curled up with me and stayed by my side the entire time. For all her good moments, there were the moments when she would drag trash out of the trash cans and spread it all over the house, eat all the crayons, eat a pair of retainers for teeth, eat shoes, eat glass Christmas ornaments off the tree, get kicked by a horse - I think she may have been part goat, and part mule (stubborn).

All that aside, I absolutely loved that dog. She was put down while I was out of the country for three months and my family chose not to tell me so as not to upset me while I was gone. I was devastated to come back and find she was gone.

Dogs are wonderful animals.

desben said...

Lend Me a Pup
I will lend to you a puppy, God said. For you to love him while he
lives and to mourn for him when he is gone. Maybe for twelve or fourteen years, or may for two or three. But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me?

He'll bring his charms to gladden you and (should his stay be brief}
you'll always have his memories
as solace to your grief. I cannot promise you that he will stay, since all from earth return, but there are lessons taught below that I want this pup to learn.

I've looked the whole world over
in search of teachers true. And from the folk that crowd life's land, I have chosen you. Now will you give him all your love, nor think the labour vain. Nor hate me when I come to take my pup back again.

I fancied that I heard them say "Dear Lord, thy will be done", for all the joys this pup will bring, the risk of grief you'll run. Will you shelter him with tenderness. Will you love him while you may. And for the happiness you'll know forever grateful stay.

But should I call him back much sooner than you've planned, please brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand. If, by your love, you've managed, my wishes to achieve. In memory of him that you've loved, cherish every moment with your faithful bundle, and know he loved you too.

Daisy said...

I have 2 cats and 2 dogs. We got the cats first.

Our first cat is named Blackie and weighs 25 pounds. He just lost 6 pounds and used to weigh 31. We got him from a friend who's cat had kittens 9 years ago. We were told he was 8 weeks when we brought him home but that was hard to believe because he was large. As soon as we brought him into the house he hid under the rocking chair. He has been a 'fraidy cat ever since. He grew very large and we put him on lower calorie food. All he did was lay around and we were concerned we would loose him. I put him back on regular food and he perked right up. Recently our neigbbors have had rats and Blackie has become a ratter. He lost 6 pounds and runs around the neighborhood now. He brings his trophys home and leaves them on our front lawn for my husband to dispose of.

We got our second cat a few months later for a companion for Blackie. His name is Ittle for Ittle Bitty Kitty. He is gray and white. We got him at a local pet store. He was very small but grew into a normal sized cat. My son is going away to college next year and we think Ittle knows it. He recently started sitting outside his bedroom door and meowing loudly until my son pays attention to him.

Our next pet is a cairn terrier/poodle mix name Isaiah and he's 4 years old. We went to a pet store to "look" at the puppies and he endeard himself to us. He was hairless and cold and started licking my feet. His coat is similar to a poodle but he's a terrier through and through. He has large expressive ears. When he's happy his ears look like a jet and when he's concentrating he looks like Yoda. He also has his flying nun ears.

He's our protector. My husband had a job in the past that required him to be out of the country for a few months and Isaiah took good care of us. He barks at anyone that goes by our house and some people are afraid of him. Little do they know that if they came to our door they would be licked to death.

Our last pet is a 20 month old German Shepherd named Elsa. My husband and son always wanted a German Shepherd so we got her for my son's 16th birthday. German Shepherd's are scary dogs to me. I don't like dogs that have ears that stand up. She was supposed to be guaranteed to have ears that stand up and I'm so happy they don't. She looks very gentle, which she is.

merryway said...

MCB, I couldn't agree more that your pet finds you. I have two cats that I acquired at times of two traumatic divorces. The last thing I needed either time was another animal to take care. My little girl cat is dainty, she was found at 5:00 a.m. In the cold cold weather trying to get into a convenience store. She wasn't big enough to be weaned and had a handful of problems. She is 8yo. She thinks she is a dog and she is the queen. When the dogs are scolded, she comes running to make sure they stay in line, She only cares to be petted at night when she curls up in her box on my bed. She loves to play fetch with her mouse. She hates the new dog which is now 3yo. My big black tom cat came to me right after the birth of my daughter. I heard the meow way off in a cow field covered with snow. About 6 hours later my two dogs treed this little black kitten. He is very mellow and reminds me of Baloo the Bear because he flops so hard it thuds when he wants his back scratched.

Nina, your dogs sounds wonderful. How lucky for you that your second dog was protective. I'm sure you have to wonder “what if?” Dogs are wonderful in this way.

Right now, our pet family includes two dogs and the two cats Previously, I had four dogs. One was a 17 year old poodle who I had to let go last March. The other was our “sainted” 120 lb golden retriever that had an age injury that couldn't be fixed without amputation of one of his back legs, he already had back problems. I mention him because he is how I got the current love of my life. My 11 yo Briard followed him home while we were out walking. He was about 3 months old at the time. I found out where he lived and took him home. He came running back after me up the sidewalk. He came into my mind several times over the next couple of months and I kept having this weird feeling he was my dog. He started running away more and coming to my house and I got to where I'd keep him overnight before I took him back. I'd never seen a dog so empty. He didn't have anything reflected back in his eyes and every time I took him back I felt like a traitor. He was a little over 5 mos, when I told the mom if she ever wanted to get rid of the dog, I would take him (I already had the Retriever and the Poodle). She let me have him right then. I didn't know it, but, she had promised the dog to some other mother in the neighborhood. She and a couple of others had chipped in $100.00. They really wanted the dog and there was a little drama. The thing is, I had always been nice to the owner of the dog, which is why I believe she forwent the $s and let me have him right then. The other mothers were trashing her and treating her as if she should have been able to do it all. She was a sp working two jobs with two little boys. She had good intentions but the dog was just too much and the little boys were too young to understand how to treat a dog. The poor little guy didn't even respond to his name. It was about 8 mos later that my Golden Retriever suddenly had leg problems and I had to let him go. I always thought the new fuzzy came to comfort me and help fill his place as no dog could ever replace him. My Briard is our protector. He's so fuzzy and now his eyes remind me of a deer, they are very soulful. He hates the mail carrier, which is very embarrassing since, right now, she is a woman. No man in an uniform can come without me having to put my dog in the bedroom.
I have another dog that is only normal when my little girl and I are at home. She hides from everyone else. She is getting better and will finally come in the same room and lay down if her other dog is in there. She's a small yellow lab and it's taken three years to get her to this point. She was only about 2 ½ mos old when we got her. She was running wild in the back of the houses and wouldn't come near anyone. A neighbor caught her underneath the car and it took him a while to drag her out. She sat in a corner and shook for first 3 days. We had to talk nice and mostly ignore her to let her get comfortable. Everyone says they've never seen a dog so traumatized. She would just shiver when friends stopped by. She had no injuries, but I'm sure she was mistreated over housebreaking, her body would go limp with relief when she realized she was only getting squirted. I think she was kicked and almost hit by a car because of her reaction to them when they pass by when we're out walking. She's gotten better, but I've never seen one take so long to recover especially since she was so young. I swear to everyone she's completely normal when it's just us. The amazing thing is that she was never afraid of my little one, even in the beginning.

We also have a beta fish. We did have a hamster scenario that I don't like to even think about. There should be away to tell if you're buying a pregnant hamster. It was the dwarf kind, so very tiny. It also makes it difficult to determine their sex which led to more hamsters.

Fiona, Saint, My husband so totally fell apart at the vets with our Golden Retriever, I couldn't get upset at all and had to drive us home.

There was a special on PBS about Hurricane Katrina and pet owners. It was these people trying to sneak in to recover their pets. In all their loss, that was their biggest concern. Talk about the tears flowing.

Thanks everyone for sharing and this is a great post. I love reading personal animal stories.

merryway said...

Just an fyi, the fourth dog in there that I didn't mention was a little breed. He was about 6 yo when I took him in. He was sweet but I was more his caretaker. He had many health problems and I was never sure how long he was going to be around. I liked him and all but it was more that I wanted him to have a decent life and he loved being with the other dogs. He was my ex-husband's ex-wife's dog. I'm a sucker for helpless little creatures.

Saint said...

Aw. Nice stories, everyone. Even the ones that hurt my heart a bit.

Does anyone watch It' Me or the Dog? I love that show.

Linda said...

Our house is a mini-zoo too. We have a bearded dragon and a euromastx. The bearded dragon is about 10 inches and the euromastx is just shy of 2 ft. We also have a dumpy tree frog and an albino leopard lizard.

My favorite pet is our 13 year old Corgi/Shitzu mix. He is so sweet, but he is just starting to show his age.

Kelley said...

My husband and I are the people of a cat, Abbey and a black lab, chief.

Abbey is a 5 year old black and white cat, she's got attitude and sharp claws and she's not afraid to use them. She loves Jer and suffers my existance. I try to tell her I was the one who wanted a cat...but she won't believe me.

Chief is 2, and he's the sweetest most beautiful black Lab I've ever seen. He's all Lab, and all boy. But he loves his mama! Good thing or I'd be out of luck in the pet department!

Guinevere said...

I have three cats - I guess I'm more of a cat person. I do love dogs, but they seem like so much work to me! I usually have a breed that I'm jonesing for at any particular time - right now it's a miniature Australian Shepherd - but I think dog ownership will have to wait until I have more time on my hands.

Meanwhile, I do really love the kitties. I'd have more if it didn't put me in crazy-cat-lady territory. We joke that our three cats add up to one full cat with their various personality quirks. There is the older one - a tortieshell who is about six. She's very neurotic, but she's the only one who actively seeks attention and affection.

The two younger ones are two-year old tabbies - they are sisters we got from the pound when they were kittens. When they were babies, they looked very much alike, and got along well. As they grew, one evolved into a long-hair and the other one a short-hair, so they don't long alike anymore, nor are their temperments very similar. The long-hair is sort of mellow but oblivious - she will let you pick her up but she does not make eye contact, like, ever. She also kind of drifts around as if she doesn't notice that anyone else exists - she will come right up to one of the food dishes where one of the other cats is eating and start eating herself, not so much being obviously aggressive but just more like she doesn't recognize the presence of anyone but her own fluffy self. Her sister is the most-catlike of the three, at least in terms of bringing in unwanted "presents". I have a soft spot for her, though she's very prickly - she mostly likes to be petted, but she will not tolerate being picked up, and I kind of feel like if she wanted to, she could seriously kick my ass. She's not a big cat, but she's all muscle.

Sadly, the days of youthful amity between the sisters is long gone. There was a definite period of hostility, mostly initiated by the short-haired sis, who decided she hated her sister and would hiss at her whenever she got the chance. That has mostly subsided, and sometimes they will sniff each other or play a bit in the yard, but don't think I'll ever see them curl up together in sleep again, which makes me kind of sad.

FIONA said...

OH! Desben!

That was lovely!

FIONA said...

I love German Shepherds cuz they do look scary, but all the ones I have known are just great dogs.

My grandfather had German Shepherds when I was a kid. Gretchen had puppies and he brought them all over in his coat.

He was sitting at our table having tea with my mom and called me in. At that moment he unzipped his jacket and 6 very young pups toppled on the table. My mother had a fit because they were way too young to be away from their mother, but he did it for me.

I will never forget that.

Needless to say, my mom sent him straight home!

desben said...

Fiona,
Thank you! I saw this poem and wanted to share it with you all. I love animals, especially dogs. They are precious gifts!

Tonia said...

My family has a 7-year-old chocolate lab named Penny. She is hyper as they come, but so loving. Though full-grown, she still thinks she is a puppy and will eagerly sit on your lap, if allowed. She's protective of us, and had a great time opening up her new squeaky toys on Christmas morning. She tried to get all three of them in her mouth at once.

Our newest arrival is a 6-week-old yellow lab puppy, Zeus, who just came home with us three days ago. He's adorable, and super energetic. Though, unfortunately, he has Penny confused for his mother, and has been trying to nurse from her. He's so tiny, and likes to sleep all cuddled up next to someone.

Mom said...

Back on February 13 (it was actually Friday the 13th) in 1998, a friend called me at work and said she had a friendly yellow lab in her yard. "Do you want to come get it?" LOL! I worked at an animal-related organization/charity at the time, so I left the office in my then small sports car to retrieve him.

He was big, young and very "waggy". I lured him into the back seat of my car with Kraft cheese slices. He came home with me and spent the night. At the time, I lived with a girlfriend - she owned the house and I rented from her. We already had two little dogs in the house. She was on vacation and was out of town. I began calling him "Buddy" right away. I remember lying on the floor and his 95lbs of yellow fluff and loose skin right next to me. The movie "Old Yellar" was on and I remember crying my eyes out. He slept on the floor next to my bed and didn't leave my side. That night, I dreamt about my brother who died in 1993. He had a yellow lab mix for years - named Fiver. Buddy reminded me of Fiver and when I awoke from my sleep, I was convinced that my brother had sent him to me.

He had a tag on, but the Animal Control had traced the number and it was not working. I had the name of the owner, so I called information and begged a telephone operator to call this guy and ask if he was missing a dog. I gave her permission to have him call me and he did. Said his name was Caeser. He didn't look like a Caeser to me.

He came and picked him up, just as my parents arrived for a Valentine's Day brunch I had made for them. Later that night, the guy called me and asked if I would like to keep the dog. He said he was too busy (blah blah blah) to take care of him the right way, etc.

Well, I would have picked him up then and there, but I had to convince my friend who owned the house, that I was meant to have this dog. My begging worked and by that Thursday he was mine. He was 11 mos old at the time. He will be 12 this coming March.

He has been with me through some of the happiest and saddest times of my life - single, married, divorced, single, married and now mommy.

Between eating things he shouldn't have when he was younger, multiple trips to the animal emergency clinic, surgeries for obstructions and now recently a knee (ACL) surgery, he is the most expensive "FREE" dog a person could own. But, worth EVERY penny.

When I began dating my H, he talked about having black labs growing up. Sooooooooo, I found him a little black lab puppy on a farm about an hour away from where I live in the city. I took Buddy along for the ride - and it was well, a very smelly ride home. You see, the puppy smelled like a barn and had some serious gas! LOL!

I got him all bathed when I got home, just in time for my H (then boyfriend) to get him when he got off work at 11pm. He (my H) was like a little boy with his dog. He slept on my sofa that night with the puppy on his chest. By about 6am the following morning, the puppy had a name - "Stanley."

And, Stanley, well, is Stanley. He ate my leather sofa, chewed my coffee table, ate numerous shoes and he, too, has been to the vet numerous times for numerous things.

Stanley idolizes Buddy. They are best friends - true brothers!

This picture was taken for my Christmas card back in 2004. They really did sleep like that.

Stanley will be 5 in March, just two days before Buddy turns 12. My wedding anniversary falls on the day between the dogs' bdays!

MonicaW42 said...

Mom,

That picture of your pups is so darn cute. OMG they are adorable. You can tell they are big old lover boys.

GLO said...

My pic is of my rat-terrier Payton. He was a "free" dog from a student's family. They bought Payton in order to breed him to their female. Unfortunately, she had seizure problems, and Payton was too energetic for her, so they had to find him a new home.
I talked my H into going to see Payton--he did not want a rat-terrier. Within minutes, my H said, "We'll take him!"

Payton loves to cuddle more than any other dog I've seen. He makes this groan/sigh noise when everything is right in his world. :) The funniest thing is how he sleeps. He has to get under the covers of our bed and scoot down toward our feet. Then he lays vertically, so that he is touching both my H and me.

Payton is now five and starting to get gray hairs on his muzzle. It will hurt terribly when he dies, but the love is worth the pain.

BTW, if you love mushy pet stories, I highly recommend the Chicken Soup pet books. Major tear jerkers!!

SamanthaNC said...

When I was a teenager my family adopted an aging golden retriever- Buddy. He was the sweetest dog I've ever had or seen. He had these wise old eyes and he always seemed to understand how I was feeling. Buddy was a great comfort to me during my first real heartbreak, he sat at my feet for weeks with his head on my lap, he had this look on his furry face like he was trying to will the hurt away. I loved that precious dog immensley- I still miss him.

michelle said...

I have two chihuahuas. Mady and Zoe. They are my babies.
I recently had to put asleep my oldest dog, Brandy, and it broke my heart. I miss her so much. Always will.

nc resident said...

Aleigh, Bailey and KC or Casey 3 goldens Casey is the daughter of Aleigh.

TMD= to many dogs lol

Bre said...

My family dog's name is Gotti. He has just marked his 6thyear with us and we all love him very much (even though our dad refuses to say so haha).

When he was given to us by our dad's co-worker, he was the most timid and shy little puppy you'll ever meet. He was even afraid of himself when he looked in a mirror we put outside one day. Fortunately he has outgrown that little issue and he's been the best guard dog we've ever had.

The thing I'll never forget that involved Gotti was when these neighborhood kids tried to jump our fence and steal oranges and apples from our trees. I ran out there and witness one kid kick him in the face and one throw glass bottles at him. When I saw that I grabbed the kid that did that and we got into it until my dad came around the corner and held me back. And the kid had the nerve to complain about our dog attacking him when he was trying to steal from us! He was doing his job and I've been proud of him of doing that ever since!