Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Pets!

Hello everyone! How was your weekend?

Today I thought I would introduce the furry members of my family. We have some new readers here at ALPITC and I figure they deserve a proper introduction to my furry family!

First, a little background on my family's love affair with animals.

Growing up we always had pets. My mom is the biggest softie you will ever meet and she was constantly bringing home strays. Talk about a role reversal, huh?! Luckily, my dad was a softie too, especially for dogs. We always had at least one dog and one cat. Both my parents sides of the family love animals and just about everyone has pets and had pets while growing up.

Jump ahead a few several years later and today my aunt regularly takes in rescue dogs at her home out in Dexter, IA next door to my grandmother. They both have plenty of space for them and equal amounts of love, so they enjoy opening their home to these animals in need.

At times my aunt has over 10 dogs that are rescues and will eventually be adopted. My grandmother has taken two dogs, my parents have adopted one and my sister has one. We can't help but fall in love with them!

That's basically the quickly summed up history of my family and pets, so let's get on with the introductions, shall we?

Oh, one thing first. My sister and I are roomies. So, not all of these dogs are "mine" but they're still a part of my family! :)

The first pet I got on my own, is my cat, Libby:

Libby is a character! She is 100% cat and can be a total snot. Libby enjoys playing in water (yes, water), playing with string and climbing just about anywhere. There is not a spot in my house that she hasn't found her way to the top of. If she can sit on it, she will get up there. She loves to sit outside on the deck and will sit out there forever, as long as it is not too cold! However, she does not mind extreme heat, which I find extremely odd. She enjoys sleeping in with me literally on my pillow and loves cuddling in the mornings - only mornings though, she's not a cuddler any other time and hates to be held.

Libby was a rescue that I found at PetSmart through Noah's Ark Animal Rescue in Newton, IA. Libby came home with me in early 2009 when my mom thought that I needed a cat. We spent a weekend looking for the perfect cat and we found Libby at the last place we went. I knew she was my cat the moment I picked her up, she was only six months old and we bonded right away.

Libby is named after my former employer, Club Libby Lu, which closed in 2009.

Next is Zeke:
Zeke was given to my by a friend-of-a-friend. She had just gotten married, had a baby and life was a-changing super duper fast for her. She just did not have time for Zeke.

After dog sitting him for a week I fell in love. He was a handful at times, but overall he was such a good dog. When she asked me if I wanted him, I jumped at the chance.

Zeke is an all black Puggle, that I am pretty sure was from a breeder (which, I am usually not a supporter of) I'm not positive though. Regardless, he is a rescue in my eyes because he has a much better home with me and gets the attention he deserves. I believe Zeke is about 6 years old, but again, I am not completely sure.

Zeke has LOTS of energy. He loves to run and play with other dogs. He does not play with a lot of toys, but loves bones and treats. He will eat, and eat, and eat, and eat... until he gets sick. Which, he does. Quite often. In fact, just the other day he found a bag of treats, ate a bunch of them and for a week I have been dealing with the aftermath of that... You know what I mean. I don't have to go into it. It's been awful though. AWFUL.

Zeke's favorite activity is going to the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings. He always gets lots of attention there, but most importantly, he gets lots of FOOD.

It's surprising that Zeke is not overweight. Must mean I am doing my job... ;)

Next is my sister's dog, Chico:

Chico is a chihuahua/rat terrier mix. He has a very similar story to Zeke's. The family that had him did not pay attention to him, nor work with him on his potty training. Since my sister got him about 3 years ago he has come a long way! He still has some issues with pottying in the house so he wears a band (which we lovingly call his diaper).

Chico is a happy fella, but he can get stressed if he doesn't receive the attention he feels he deserves. We frequently have to take him places by himself or take him on walks alone so he will feel special. He loves riding in the car and loves running free in parks. He doesn't need to be on a leash, but usually we keep him on one because he's not too friendly with kids. He's been known to snap at them!

Chico and Zeke are best buds and I don't know what we are going to do when my sister and I move on - they absolutely love each other and play quite a bit.

Last, but certainly not least, is Lexi:

Lexi is 100% a rescue dog. She came from a puppy mill in southern Missouri. Lexi is what you call a Dapple Dachshund, but she is unique because she is a double dapple. Both her parents were dapples. This is a big no-no, because when you breed a dapple with a dapple the puppies almost always have birth defects and health issues. Lexi was extremely lucky, and she was only born deaf. Many double dapples are born deaf and blind.

When the shelter that first took her in from the puppy mill found out she was deaf, she was going to be put down. My sister happened to be on the this trip picking up dogs that were scheduled to be put down and when she heard them say that she knew she had to do something. At this time the car was already full of kennels and dogs and there was no room for Lexi. My sister said she would ride home with her on her lap the 6+ hours back to Iowa.

That was about a year ago, today Lexi is still with us and she is the most amazing dog. I cannot imagine life without her, she's just the sweetest most inspiring puppy I have ever had. She adapts so well to her disability and seems to have no idea that she is different. She's smart and learns quick, at times she is better at letting us know when she needs to go out or when she wants something, better than the other two dogs! Lexi definitely makes life sweeter!

Having three dogs and a cat is definitely work, I'm not going to lie and say it isn't. Have ONE dog is work. There are definitely days when I am tired and grouchy and just don't want to walk the dogs or take them out to do their business. Although, overall the good days always out-weigh the grumpy ones. All of the animals are happy to see us every time we walk in the door and that unconditional love makes it all worth it!

I'm a big supporter of adopting pets, not buying from a breeder. There are so many animals out there that need good homes. If you are willing to put in the time to look for the breed you want, you can almost always find it! We have had lots of dachshunds, malteses, boxers, chinese crested... the list goes on and on. All of the dogs are mostly purebred, because they came from puppy mills.

If you are interested in adopting a pet, the shelter we work with is Panora Pets and we always use the website Petfinder!

Now, it is your turn. Tell me about your pets! If you do not have a pet, tell me about a pet you once had, or would like to get!


Lesli said...

Amber, this was a GREAT post and thank you for promoting the idea that we should get rescue dogs!! They make wonderful pets and they need loving homes. I have met all your furry family memmbers and they are great. They are lucky to have you and your sister I especially like Libby the cat!

Kara said...

I have one silly dog named Daphne, who I'm sure you're seen plastered all over my blog, lol. She's not a rescue dog though, I got her from a breeder. Her litter was an "Oops" though!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Lexi is SO PRETTY! And all your animals are really cute. I LOVE that picture of Libby on the TV. Cats are hilarious. I am definitely a huge cat person!

I don't think I realized you had THREE dogs at your house!

We got Webster on Craigslist for free. Pretty sure he would have ended up a stray or at the shelter though. He was the last cat in the litter because of his extra toes and the family we got him from were sketch! We got Chloe from a breeder. We were looking for a boxer for a LONG time and all of the rescues that came through the shelters near us had some major behavioral problems that we would not have time to correct (plus I would NEVER do anything to put Webster's life in danger and a lot of the boxer rescues around here were recommended to be placed in houses without cats).

That being said, I am a supporter of people rescuing animals BUT I'm also a supporter of people being smart about getting them from a breeder. We got Chloe from a family farm and we went and checked out her living conditions/parents beforehand. She was only the third litter they had had in over five years and the living conditions were great and very clean. I think that if people do their research properly (and make sure they are NOT getting the dog from a puppy mill) buying from breeders can be fine. When we get a bigger house with a bigger yard in a few years I want to get a second dog that is a rescue, though!!

Whoa! Didn't realize how long that comment was :)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I don't have any pets and probably never will!! I am not an animal person, which really illicits alot of strange looks from people as they think that means I am a horrible person. I was just not raised in a house with pets... we had dogs when I was little, but I dont' really have fond memories of them... My HS boyfriend did give me a cat, though, and my parents still have him. He was always more of my mom or sister's pet, though... Wow, I sound like an awful person in this comment. I swear I am really nice and friendly and likeable. And I do like my brother's dog, Reagan! She's a springer spaniel and has been a great family pet for them.

Mandy said...

It makes me so happy to know that your pets are all rescues. I'm a huge advocate of animal rescues. My golden Sandy is from a rescue and earlier this year my brother adopted on from the same rescue. Both have been such great dogs. I always feel that rescues are just a little bit more special.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Rescue pets can be the best!