Early Morning Open Thread: Pets Will Find You

From commentor Jacquie:

I had to share the story of how I found my little pack. I will preface these comments by saying that while I grew up with adopted dogs and cats, I had no intention of getting my own, at least until I had my own house.
Ah, but life sometimes has other plans for us, does it not? And so, on Good Friday in 2008, I found myself at Lollypop Farm with a friend who was picking up a kitten she had adopted during a charity event. Because school was out for the day, the shelter was mobbed with families, and my friend had to wait two hours for her little fluffball. While we were waiting, I decided that no harm could come from looking at the dogs (WRONG). It was then that I met a 6-month-old beagle-Great Dane mix (I KNOW) named Freckles, for the black spots all over his belly, who was the cutest animal I had ever seen. I was living alone in a crappy apartment with no money, but my friend insisted that this “Freckles” would be happier living with me than in a cage. I had one of the workers introduce me to the mutt, and I was in love. He had had a rough life, dumped on the street with his brother, who had just been adopted himself. After $125 and a traffic stop during which he tried to leap out my car window, he was rechristened Eliot (Known Aliases: Jellybean, El Poochacabra, Moan Chompsky, Wondermutt). He has an amazing personality, a mischievous couch-eating streak, an infectious smile, overwhelming separation anxiety, and a mighty powerful wagger. I don’t remember life without him anymore.
Fast forward to last November. I make the short drive home from work every day at lunchtime, year-round, to take a walk with Eliot. This is partly because he will destroy my apartment if I don’t, and partly because I will destroy my office if I don’t. So it was a very cold, dreary day with a soaking rain, but I had my duty to my dog, and we were going to walk, by God. By way of backstory, I had also found a wonderful boyfriend since getting Eliot, and we had been idly discussing getting a cat. And when we returned from our walk on that cold, wet, gloomy day, there was a tiny gray tabby kitten sitting on our doorstep, mewing as if to say, “I wondered when you would get home.” It was like the universe picked the kitten and delivered her to us. After some failed attempts to find her owners, we accepted that we had a cat now, and dubbed her Steve French (Known Aliases: Stevie, Miss Stevens, McMurfle). She is trying to figure out how to operate the microwave. Her favorite game is “hide in an empty beer box until the dog walks by, then attack.”
The moral of my story is that when it is your time to have a pet, don’t fight it. My kiddos make every single day better. Even when they’re awful.
P.S. I attached the pictures that I thought best conveyed their charming personalities. I wish I had a good video of them playing together.

28 replies
  1. 1
    Phyllis says:

    Is your kittie sitting in boyfriend’s lap? Because she has the same look our tweetiebird used to get on her face when she perched in my late husband’s lap. The look that says ‘he’s mine’.

  2. 2
    JWL says:

    We were snowbound outside Reno in ’75. Arch (a labrador) and Melissa (a chihuahua) kept us alive. Umm-um.

  3. 3
    J. says:

    Beagle-Great Dane mix?! I know: YOU KNOW. But still. Impressive.

    Another GREAT story, another great human. And I particularly love the picture on Steve French’s face.

    Thanks Anne Laurie and Jacquie for brightening my morning.

  4. 4
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    I met a 6-month-old beagle-Great Dane mix (I KNOW) named Freckles

    Am I the only one thinking, “OUCH!?”

  5. 5
    Bernie says:

    Thank you for posting this. Yesterday the pack was really, really, really getting on my nerves. I even woke up mad at them a few hours ago.

    But after reading, “The moral of my story is that when it is your time to have a pet, don’t fight it. My kiddos make every single day better. Even when they’re awful,” I have decided to forgive them all of their trespasses of the past 48 hours.

    I love my two Airedales, one Wire Haired Dachshund and two cats. Love them all… thank you. :)

  6. 6
    debit says:

    @MeDrewNotYou: Not the only one. Unless it the was the Beagle who climbed the step ladder.

    @ Jacquie I hear you on the walk thing. As long as we get our walk, nobody had to die.

  7. 7
    donnah says:

    Sweet story!

    When I took my sons to a local shelter to find a small lap-sized, friendly dog, we were heartbroken to see so many there waiting to be adopted. As we walked past the row of cages, desperate dog after desperate dog would hurl itself at us, begging for attention. It wasn’t until we had made our way around to the other side that we spotted a “much too big for a lap” dog sitting at the back of the pen. My sons stood at the front of the cage and the dog rose up, walked daintily to the front of the cage, sat down and raised her paw out, offering to shake hands.

    All four of us looked at each other and said, “This is our new dog” and she’s been with us for nine years.

  8. 8
    KyCole says:

    We just returned from our walk. My puppy must have them twice daily or “moan chompsky” doesn’t even begin to describe it. So far we’ve been through 3 dog beds, a foot stool, every toy that isn’t a kong or nyla-bone and all the fringe off my rug. And I’ve only had her for a couple of months.

  9. 9

    My cat adopted me while I was walking to the local C store June of last year. He saw me and recognized me as the guy who bought him a can of cat food early one April morning on the way to work. He literally sprinted toward me and I took him home. He’s been with us ever since. He’s a tom and has the “Lick me, peasant” attitude to go with it. But he sure howled when Mrs. JP and I rolled home after being gone for 3 days at the Rally in DC. So, apparently, he is human, after all.

    Anyway, Sarah Palin had a hit show and Bush a hit book while Obama drags his ass home after making the USA the sick man of Asia and House Democrats prepare to slink out of their chairmanship offices. How the fuck did we let this happen?

  10. 10
    jayboat says:

    Great lookin’ critters. Love that pose- it just screams: “Put down that stupid camera and (feed) (scratch) (hug) me.”

  11. 11
    Josie says:

    @KyCole: I can relate. I am keeping my son’s pug for an extended period, and am finding that nothing can be left on the floor that I don’t want destroyed. Fringe is absolutely forbidden, and she can tear up anything and everything. I did find a toy yesterday at Petsmart called a Kong Wubba. It is really tough fabric, looks somewhat like an octopus and is great for throwing and fetching and general chewing. It seems to be the answer for all the chomsky’s out there.

  12. 12
    Annie says:

    Great story…You have a beautiful family. Love Steve French’s lap picture. You can tell she has quite the personality.

  13. 13
    Poopyman says:

    Great story, Jacquie. And the post title is one of those universal truths. We’ve had 4 cats from shelters over the last 30 years*. The majority have landed on our doorsteps one way or another.

    *Actually, 3 of those shelter cats were from 3 years ago, but that’s another story.

  14. 14
    JPL says:

    I’d love to see a video of the two playing together. Does Steve French ever let Freckles win?

  15. 15
    Kristine says:

    @debit: A friend told me that the female will dig a hole to stand in if necessary.

    @jacquie: thanks for the lovely story.

  16. 16

    Jacquie I’ve been waiting for pictures of Eliot. He is wonderful. Thanks for making my morning.

    In other news, I have a cat (my big tuxedo Tom) who is just angry. I came home from work and he was giving me dirty looks and stomping around the house. He is still that way this morning and won’t even let me pet him. And he loves his pets.

    For the life of me I cannot figure out what I did. And I’m pretty sure he’s not going to tell me.

  17. 17
    debit says:

    @TaMara (BHF): Maybe he’s not feeling well?

    Hey, as long as I have your attention: yesterday I stopped at a local coffee shop that serves vegetarian/vegan soups and snacks and I had a bowl of the pumpkin corn soup. Dear god, it was so delicious I can’t stop craving it. Do you have any recipes you’d be willing so share? It was mildly spicy, very creamy and rich (but probably no actual cream in it).

  18. 18
    KyCole says:

    Josie- thanks for the tip. Tried one of those unstuffed squeaky toys that are advertised for heavy chewers. Bitch had the squeaker out in seconds. Someone gave me one of those “dog puzzles” where they take much time to find the treats. She solved it immediately. Friend gave me another one where they take tennis balls out of a “tree”. She chewed up the tennis balls. Hoping that when she ages a bit we’ll get over the chewing. I was spoiled by my older dog- never chewed anything ever.

  19. 19
    quaint irene says:

    The fourth miracle- You have an apartment that allows pets!

  20. 20
    Mister Papercut says:

    @KyCole: You just described my mom’s dog, to the letter. (Your’s isn’t a schnauzer, by chance?)

  21. 21
    call_me_ishmael says:

    Steve French is a great cat name. Can I assume that he’s a large Canadian cat who likes him some weed?

  22. 22
    serge says:

    I can’t get over the Dane/Beagle mix. I’ve had a Dane, Maggie the Wonder Dog, but the logistics necessary are mind boggling. I had a rescue Lab at the time who could walk under Maggie, between her legs, without mussing a hair…

    I’m sure stranger things have happened.

    BTW, Danes are maybe the best dogs on the planet. They’re gentle and even-tempered, they love like nobody’s business, and they often get returned to breeders for reasons I can’t understand. Maggie was a rescue from the woman who bred her. The woman, a friend, had contractually bound the buyer to return the dog if things didn’t work out. Things didn’t work out, and she refunded the sales amount…I’ve never been so lucky.

  23. 23

    Happy sigh. I love waking up to the rescue pet threads. Eliot looks like such a happy, lovable boy, and Stevie French is just hilarious and sooo charming with her come-hither look and pose.

    @KyCole: Damn. That’s one smart dog!

  24. 24
    Jacquie says:

    I’m late to the party, but glad to see the outpouring of love for my kiddos! Eliot is quietly nagging for a walk as we speak.

    @KyCole, the chewing takes a looong time to get over. But at around two years, Eliot calmed down impressively. He still needs his rawhide toys, or he reverts to chewing tin cans, though.

    @call_me_ishmael, Steve French is actually pretty small, and we’re close to Canada. And yes, she loves her some weed. One of her favorite hobbies is actually licking the necks of discarded beer bottles, so it just seemed like she had the right attitude for the name.

  25. 25
    moe99 says:

    thanks for making my day, Jacquie!

  26. 26
    cathaireverywhere says:

    So cute!!
    Great stories, too.

  27. 27
    David Ullman says:

    Do you write for a living? That is a terrific post.

  28. 28
    Liz says:

    It’s official-I come here only for pet rescue stories. Keep it up!!

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