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.
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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.
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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.”
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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.
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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.








Early Morning Open Thread: Yay, Hyperbole!

Many, many thanks to commentor Comrade Darkness for the news that brilliant cartoonist Allie has a new post up at Hyperbole and a Half:



Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving
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Packing all of your belongings into a U-Haul and then transporting them across several states is nearly as stressful and futile as trying to run away from lava in swim fins.
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I know this because my boyfriend Duncan and I moved from Montana to Oregon last month. But as harrowing as the move was for us, it was nothing compared to the confusion and insecurity our two dogs had to endure.
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Our first dog is – to put it delicately – simple-minded. Our other dog is a neurotic German shepherd mix with agonizingly low self-esteem who has taken on the role of “helper dog” for our simple dog. Neither dog is well-equipped with coping mechanisms of any kind…

You should click over and read the whole piece immediately. Unless you are eating, maybe, or at work in the sort of environment where fits of helpless laughter are considered ‘inappropriate’. Fair warning: If you have yet to be exposed to H&AH, it is the sort of blog that makes it very, very easy to lose all track of time. But reading it will improve your mood, and probably your day.








Early Morning Open Thread: Max Blessing


From commentor Lisa D:

This is Max. He’s an American Eskimo and Dachshund mix (odd but it works well for him). When I first started my search for a dog, I saw his photo (he was named Bose at the time) and fell in love. He had such a sweet face and was the right size and well, perfect. But after inquiring about him, I found out that a family was just a home visit away from adopting him.
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Braving on, I kept looking. Went through all the steps I needed to be approved for adoption (the rescue organization I adopted from is such an amazing group – they really care where these dogs go – Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan is their name) and waited. A few dogs were talked about (even one my sister eventually adopted) but nothing seemed right. I went to the adoption site again and there was Bose, back up for adoption.
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I contacted the foster family and fate worked out that I had my dog at the end of the week. Talking with the foster mom, she said he was so quiet when they first went to see him – his soulful eyes just watched them as they looked at other dogs. He wasn’t one to bark for attention and I think that’s what helped him the most. He was to be put down later that day but for some grace in the universe, he was selected and taken out of the kennel.
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When he first came to my home, he was a bit nervous and quiet (he didn’t bark for a good month), he wasn’t great with strangers and marked his territory at my parents place a few times. Don’t even get me started on the crate disaster. But soon, he started to shine. I read how John’s dog Lily blossomed into the great dog she is and I completely understand that. Seeing Max relax and adapt to his surroundings was nothing short of amazing. The quiet timid shell of a dog was now playful, cuddly and ‘smiling’ at me.
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I told countless people that since I brought Max into my life, I laugh every day. He’s totally changed my life – I think we rescued each other.
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Having a dog growing up was completely different from being a dog owner. Max and I are a pair and the fact that someone gave up on him, while is a damn shame, have been the biggest blessing I’ve ever had come to my life.








Wednesday Morning Moment of Zen

This never gets old to me:

I just love that little dog.








Early Morning Open Thread


From commentor Grover:

Maggie, aka the Blonde Bombshell, aka Queen of the Dog Park, was acquired two years ago from a local family who was losing their house. Our old Dalmation-Australian Cattle Dog mix was on her last legs and we thought some company would perk her up a bit. We were looking for a Golden Retriever and that was what the ad said, but when we arrived the woman apologized and said the ad was a mistake, she was a Golden Lab. Maggie was kind of timid, especially around me (it was an all-female household) but she seemed sporty enough and very obedient, so we brought her home.
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Unfortunately she couldn’t do much for our old dog, who was sinking into blindness, deafness, arthritis and general disorientation, till in the end she wandered the house day and night like an Alzheimer’s patient, miserable and in pain. We finally put her to sleep, but Maggie has stepped in admirably. She is the happiest dog I have ever met. Her timidity around men has vanished and she has definitely become “Daddy’s” dog, much to the disappointment of my seven-year-old daughter, who really wanted a tiny ball of fluff she could dress up and cuddle.
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Maggie is like one of those irritating children in elementary school who is so well-behaved, so smart and so endearing that she makes the other (normal) children look like wild beasts by comparison. She’s quite large, but she flits around like a Jack Russell and never seems to be in the way or underfoot. She is the daintiest of ladies — never wolfs her food or slurps her water — and when you offer her a treat she NEVER grabs but just reaches up and softly takes it from your fingers. Her mouth is so gentle I had to teach her to tug, but she loves to fetch a ball and, best of all, play hide and seek. This is her favorite game with other dogs — she’ll hide behind a tree or bench and pop out like a jack-in-the-box. I don’t know what all is in her, but she runs like no Lab I’ve ever seen — arches her back and flings her hind quarters forward like a jackrabbit. It’s quite a sight. Hikes in the woods and mountains are a joy–no leash necessary, she’s always within earshot. Our only shock came when we discovered she hated water and couldn’t swim! We’ve gradually been coaxing her into the lakes and rivers with us during the summer, and she’s getting the hang of it.
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But my wife works part-time and she seems to be getting a little lonely during the day. We had a friend with a jaunty male Akita mix who use to let us borrow him for a weekend for “play dates,” but they’ve moved away. So we thought some company was in order — especially another lab, since Maggie gloms onto the ones she meets at the park.
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Enter Ruby. We went to the pound Saturday after looking at the pictures online and spotting a big black lab mix. When we got there we sought her out but she was cowering in her igloo and wouldn’t come near us. Huh, I thought, what kind of dog is THAT? I left my wife on her knees trying to coax the poor thing into the light, while I sauntered around in search of a peppier model. Hey, here’s a big old Shepherd mix with a busted hip, jaunty in spite of that handicap, but…oh, he’s showing off by shredding his blanket with his teeth. Okaaaay. Ah, here we go! A skinny little skeezix of a border collie who would have jumped into my arms if there hadn’t been a gate between us. Now that’s my type! I spent a few minutes with him then trotted back to alert my wife that the hunt was over, only to find her…with a huge black lab head crushed in her lap, the two of them embraced like long-lost lovers. And that, my friends, is how my wife got her very own dog.
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