Well almost wordless... Molly the Ball-Obsessed Monster's favorite toy is the purple ball (see post below). I had them both immortalized in this painting done by the talented Shelley Brant - used with permission.
I'd like you to meet Angel. Our Angel has been with us since December of 2004. We adopted her from Homeward Bound Animal Rescue. We think she was about three at that time. That makes her a lovely older girl of about 12-13 as of this writing.
I'm often asked what kind of dog she is. The best I can offer is Spitz-mix. I've read that the Spitz breed is somewhat aloof. Angel is very aloof but there's something more. She had a rough beginning. From what her wonderful rescuers told us, Angel was abandoned on a local highway near a Chevron station. She waited on the median for over a month for her owners to come back for her. She had to be trapped to get her to safety. (The first few months Angel lived with us, she used to sneak up on her food.) Sadly, she's never gotten over her experiences. Angel and Grandma are very bonded. But in nine years, she's never fully warmed up to me. She greets me with kisses every time I come home so I guess it's not a total loss - even if she ignores me five minutes later.
It makes me so angry that people can be so cruel to animals. If you don't want a pet, please don't get one. Animals are not disposable toys. They feel pain as well as joy. They have a sense of humor and unfortunately can have a sense of despair. They look to us for everything and are so grateful for anything. Their love is a great gift and should be cherished.
She looks innocent, doesn't she? Hah! We adopted Molly from Homeward Bound Animal Rescue in March of 2009. It's a day I'll never forget. I should have turned around and taken her back before we even got home from the adopt-a-pet. She was a wild woman in the car jumping from front seat to back. When we got home, Molly decided she was going to let us all know who was boss and started humping everyone - including me. The other dogs were in a total uproar. No one would have anything to do with Molly the Monster. That craziness lasted a few weeks until I was finally able to establish that yes, I was indeed the dominant member of this pack. But Molly was second! I took her to the vet to see if there were health issues that made her so hyper. All clear there. I took her to obedience class. She was the most well-behaved dog in the class. I had the canine version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I tried exercise. It was like trying to walk a fish on the end of a hook. I gave that up and decided she might like to chase a ball. Those words should be etched on my tombstone. Molly the Monster became Molly the Ball Obsessed Monster. I have never seen such focused, single mindedness in my life. If you're sitting, you should be throwing. Laying the ball or toy at your feet isn't the end of it. She gets vocal about the whole thing. And once you reach for the ball, watch out. She tries to grab it first. The whole thing is really quite crazy. Established play time has been the best means of keeping Molly under control. I try to wear her out but it takes a lot! Bailey has been great for Molly. For some reason, Molly is very gentle and sweet with Bailey. They'll play tug-of-war and Molly will just sit there and let Bailey pull away. I think she even lets Bailey win on occasion. Rick the Groomer (although he now has the title of K9 Cosmetologist on his business cards) has told me that Molly really is the biggest wimp of the pack. Can a dog have Napoleonic Syndrome? With all her bad traits, Molly is quite smart. Her antics are a marvel that keeps us amazed. To be perfectly honest, I still wish I had never seen her sweet face in March of 2009. But I wouldn't trade her for anything now.
Bailey came to live with us in August of 2009. We believe she is a poodle / bichon mix that was rescued from a city shelter by Lost Paws Rescue of Texas. Bless them for that as she surely was a diamond in the rough. Bailey adds so much joy to our lives. It kills me when I think that we initially returned her to the rescue.
I became ill shortly after Bailey arrived. The care for the five dogs landed on my 80+ year old mother. She believed the five dogs were too much for her. The day Angela came to pick Bailey up was awful. It didn't get better. As I recovered from my illness, we decided to try and get Bailey back. The rescue wasn't keen on the idea at first but did finally agree. My mom and I couldn't wait for the next weekend when we could pick her up. I can't express enough how happy we are to have her and how grateful we are for every day that she's with us.
What's so special about Bailey? She loves to sit on your lap then lay her head on your shoulder. If I ever get a good video of this exchange, I'll post it. She gets along with every dog in the house - even Molly the Monster. In fact, they're good friends. Bailey is one of those dogs who run to you if they know you're upset and just lean up against you to let you know they're there. Whether it's a quick cuddle or a long play session, Bailey's on the spot.
Bailey has to be testament to the quality of dogs available in city shelters. She has had no health issues in the four years we've had her. Why do people buy animals when they could help save a precious life like our Bailey's?
Kelly was adopted from Harbored Souls Rescue in April of 2012. I had lost two schnauzers to illness within the previous six months. But I couldn't see myself without one in our home. I wasn't sure initially if Kelly was going to fit in. She went crazy every time the other dogs played. She also wouldn't make eye contact and wasn't really warming up to us. Well, I played, hugged and tickled her until she finally gave in. She still barks when the others play but now it's her special form of play. She gets that happy look of ears back and eyes soft when she sees us. Kelly's not a cuddler but does want to be near her family. The rescue group guessed her to be around eight years old. I have to wonder if she ever had much love and affection in her prior life. I don't think she was abused - perhaps just neglected. That's all behind her now as she's firmly rooted in our pack. Don't you just love the ear thing she has going on? That wasn't a special pose for the picture. Her ears are naturally that way.
We opened up our home to our 5th four-legged resident on December 28, 2012. "Taffy" was listed as possibly being deaf, housebroken and around 12 years old. Taffy soon became Muffin. But it doesn't really matter what we call her because she is most certainly deaf. What she's not is housebroken. This is still the case eight months later. It's been a challenge trying to train an older, deaf dog. With all her imperfections, we've come to love her. Here's a photo of Miss Muffin shortly after she came to live with us. She and Rick, our groomer, have finally come to an understanding. (The first time or two were a bit rough with her being expelled for misbehavior on one occasion.) But she does clean up nicely as shown in the second picture of Muffin bonding with Grandma.