Archive for February 8th, 2010

The start of each year Scottie takes photos of our animal family, our yearbook. We’ll share them with you. With so many losses last year it’ll be nice to brag on who we still have with us. Let’s start with the pups.

Eva is our youngster at 3 years old. She’s been with us since 10 weeks and was my surprise anniversary present. It’d been a long time since I’d raised a puppy but she was definitely worth all the work. And, yes, it’s a lot of work. She is my best bud. Australian Cattledogs (Blue Heelers) are not for the faint of heart. They are extremely smart, super energetic, oftentimes dog aggressive and wary of strangers. They bond tight with their special people and usually aren’t impressed with much else.

CindyLou is our littlest Hoo. She’s a teeny thing and doesn’t even look like she weighs her 5 lbs. but she does. She was the result of one of those phone calls from my friend who runs the county shelter – there’s a tiny dog here that needs your help…I shouldn’t have answered the phone that day! As sweet as she may look, this girl is a terror and hard to understand. She was a sickly 4 month old when we got her, she quickly improved her health but not her attitude.

She hates to be petted or held and seems to dislike everyone around her. She’s got to be around 5 years old now. She’s Eva’s favorite squeeky toy and does offer us lots of laughs. She had one best friend for a year and a half, an ancient doberman named Granny. They were seriously bonded and Granny’s death left quite a hole in her little heart. Everyone thinks Cindy is a chihuahua, but she’s not. We did the DNA testing on her and she’s Schipperke & Mastiff – yep, really. Dr. Rick explained the whole genotype versus phenotype thing to me so it is possible. I’ve found photos of Schipperkes in Europe that look just like her.

Jill is our big, mutt girl. She has the good fortune of looking exactly (and I mean exactly!) like our former dog, Jack. He was part of our Holy Trinity and was very important to the family. Jack had been dead a year and a half when I stumbled upon Jill at the shelter. I was there to evaluate a doberman for the rescue folks and she happened to be in the run across from the girl I was there to see. Fate intervened and she accompanied me home…right before a hurricane was set to hit us. She spent her first weekend in a crate in the closet.

She’s really a good girl but has a hair trigger temper with the rest of the pack. She’s put 3 of the dogs in the hospital and her intent was to kill them, not just wound. So, when she’s in general population she must wear her “mask”. It’s a greyhound or basket muzzle. She can eat, drink, bark, etc but she can’t bite anyone. It was that or she was a dead dog. She’s middle-aged now at 7 years. It’s funny but the only dog I actually trust her with is CindyLou. She scares Jill, too.

Blinky could be considered one of my greatest achievements or biggest failures, depending on how you look at it. He came here with his littermates and momma. Babies were just a few days old. At 3 weeks he began fainting into the food dish. After lots of tests and an ultrasound, it was determined he was born with a heart defect. I can’t recall the scientific name but his heart pumps way too fast and the blood bashes against things instead of nicely flowing. I was told by the specialists he would not live to be 6 months. Well, I believe he turns 9 years old soon. He’s about 10 lbs and there’s probably chihuahua and some sort of terrier in his lineage. He missed out on getting adopted into a normal family like the rest of his siblings. His momma sends us a Christmas card every year. He’s a sweet boy but barks at absolutely everything. I see his brother and sisters on a regular basis since they were all adopted by clients. He’s our medical miracle.

Barby is the newest family member and is just starting to acclimate into the pack, somewhat. She definitely prefers to be alone or have just a couple cats with her. She’s also an Australian Cattledog (Red Heeler) and is very dominant. We think she’s about 10 – 12 years old and feels much better than she did a few months back. (Her whole story is on the blog from September.)

We had a tick problem and had to shave her. They were only on her somehow. After a few baths and deticking at the vet it’s now under control. She looks cute with her haircut. Her coat is the densest I’ve ever seen, amazing.

Kaley is our Minpin / Basenji mix. She’s 16 and has been in “end-stage” kidney failure for at least 2 years, maybe more. Her mother died the same way. Kaley’s bloodwork is off the charts and the vets have no idea how she is still living. I raised her from a newborn and wish we would have kept her instead of adopting her out. She was in 2 failed homes during her younger years. Came back to us the last time when she was around 7. She didn’t leave again. She screams like a banshee and can run like the wind and even still tries sometimes. I made 2 different appointments last year to euthanize her but she keeps on going. She’s our little Energizer Bunny.

Joey is our elder statesman now. He’s got to be 19 sometime this year. He came to us middle-aged and sick, of course. He’s our lover not a fighter dog and has always tried to romance the ladies. He had a rough go of things last year with some eye issues but overall he’s in stellar shape. We think he’s a Minpin / Chihuahua of some sort. He used to sleep in the bed with us but it’s too dangerous now since he can’t see. We don’t want any one else falling off the bed.

The two old-timers are usually cuddled up with one another. (That’s CindyLou in the background looking slightly annoyed.)

Next post will be the kitties of the family.

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