Puppy Goes Zoom

Dogs, cats, randomness–my adventures in pet ownership and fostering

Welcome to the Zoo

on June 21, 2012

This blog chronicles my and my husband’s adventures in pet ownership, rescue dog fostering, and advocating for pit bulls and their owners against breed-specific legislation. With lots of references to My Little Pony, just so nobody thinks I’m an actual grown-up, job and mortgage notwithstanding.

First, let me introduce you to the cast of characters:

Thomas

A fat gray and white cat, lying on a carpeted floor

Thomas, the sprawl-kitty

Nicknames: Porkchop, Emo Cat

Pony He Most Resembles: Applejack – mostly for the stubbornness, but also for the love of the outdoors

Hobbies: mewing piteously in front of a full food dish, planning and executing dramatic escape plans, picking on dogs several times his size

Thomas is our cranky 13-year old cat. He was our first pet and grudgingly tolerates the presence of other animals in his house, but he’s not particularly happy about it. Nor is he happy about being an indoor cat. He can frequently be found staring longingly out the window, or pawing furiously at the back door. In his mind, he’s a fierce and mighty hunter who should be roaming the backyard, terrorizing squirrels and bunnies.

Haley

Close-up of a gray and white cat

The kitty princess, in one of her less destructive moments

Nicknames: Demon Bunny, Avatar of Chaos, Bitey Cat

Hobbies: Grooming, playing, destroying knitting projects, causing allergy attacks

Pony She Most Resembles: Rarity – she’s constantly grooming herself, her toys, the dogs, and anyone or anything else who holds still  long enough.

Haley is six, and was adopted from the local animal shelter. She and Thomas have almost identical coloring, and people keep asking if they’re related–or if we just have a thing for gray and white cats. Nope, she was just the sweetest, cuddliest kitty at the shelter. She no longer likes to be held, so we’re pretty sure she was just putting on a good show to get us to take her home. She’s still very purry and loves to be petted, but feels the need to bite the hand that pets her.

Diamond

 

Diamond (a medium-sized, brindled dog)

Diamond, looking vaguely concerned

Nicknames: Puppers, Little One, Chicken Hound, Baby Dog

Hobbies: Napping, licking people, keeping the world safe from socks and dryer sheets

Pony She Most Resembles: Fluttershy – sweet, full of love, scared of everything

Diamond, our sweet shar-pei mix,  is two years old now. We adopted her as a puppy. We were emphatically not looking for a baby dog, but she was sweet and quiet and we fell in love with her instantly. Shortly, we discovered that she was fairly timid and not at all comfortable with new situations.  Loud noises, new people, all sorts of things freak her out. So I started reading up on how to work with shy, fearful dogs.

She was also the dog that got me interested in pit bulls, since one of our friends is fairly certain she’s a pittie mix. (The more pit bulls I see, the more I think that she’s not a pit mix, or if she is, it’s a pretty minor component. But the brindle and the muscular build are things people hone in on as pit qualities.)

It’s taken a lot of work, but Diamond is now pretty happy and confident. Having another dog around seems to help her cope with new situations, as does being aware of her tolerances and doing our best to train other people and keep them from getting in her face.

Reba

Reba (a fawn and white pit bull) running

Whee! Zoom!

Nicknames: Reebles, Crashy

Hobbies: Running in crazy circles, shameless flirting, chasing tennis balls and forgetting to bring them back, being the center of attention, stealing the best spot on the couch

Pony She Most Resembles: Mostly Pinkie Pie for her random goofiness, but also Rainbow Dash’s need for speed

Reba is our current foster. She was picked up as a stray, so we don’t know her history, other than that she came in with a lot of injuries and the fear was that she had been a bait dog. But based on her happy-go-lucky personality and how much she loves everyone, it didn’t seem all that likely. And based on her complete lack of manners and inability to comprehend personal space, we wondered if she might have just ticked off another stray dog and gotten in a fight that way. Her manners are much improved now, and she’s currently in CGC classes, but she still has the the occasional tendency to jump up and lick faces.

Reba is a total goofball. Loves to run, loves to chase things, but sadly lacking in grace. She doesn’t corner well, particularly on smooth floors, and she’s been known to run headlong into people and park benches.  She’s also convinced that she’s a lap dog despite weighing in at about 60 pounds.

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