Thursday, September 9, 2021

The New Boys at My House

 Julia Spencer-Fleming: It's been an all-female hang out at my house ever since Youngest and the Guest Son went back to U Maine over a year ago - just me, the Maine Millennial, and her dog Janey, the occasionally terrified rescue pup from the streets of Tijuana. But last month, I rectified that by adopting two adorable little guys: Rocky and Kingsley. 


The boys had been surrendered in Mississippi, and found their way to the opposite end of the country thanks to Maine Lab Rescue (an organization that obviously helps out more than Labrador retrievers.) 


I had been thinking that after three years of not owning a dog, I might be ready to pick up a leash again. (This is a metaphor. Since my sweet little Louie died, I have fostered one dog and taken on nearly full-time care of  Janey since Victoria got a new job last November. But, you know, my dog.)


I was looking in Petfinder, as one does, and saw a picture of a "bonded pair of Shih Tzus," which is not accurate, since Kingsley is a Shih Tzu and Rocky is a Shih-something else. Terrier, maybe? By happenstance, they were going to be at an adoption event at the local Pet Smart store that Saturday. So I decided I would go to just take a look.

I know, I know.


These two have been an absolute delight. Someone loved them very much, as they as as friendly and affectionate with the guys at the transfer station as they are with me. They love to ride in the car, they're pretty well housebroken (anyone who has had a Shih Tzu knows it's a process) and they are extremely obedient to sit, wait, come, up, down, etc. 


Integrating them into a household that already had two cats and a dog has also been a process, but the edges are well smoothed off at this point. I've even gotten comfortable enough with juggling three leashes that I've started listening to podcasts during out morning walk again.


There are downsides, of course. I did not think through what a three-dog home would sound like when the mail truck pulled up to my post box or, God forbid, when the next-door neighbor was inconsiderate enough to slam her car door when getting out of her vehicle. Barking, it turns out, increases exponentially as you add more doggos into the mix. 


I'm taking shorter walks, because I haven't figured out how to meet the needs of the two younger dogs while not taxing the older Kingsley past his endurance. (I tried separate walks, but they all looked so broken- hearted!)

Then there's the matter of keeping Kingsley out of the cat's litter box, since I discovered a few days after he arrived that he's a connoisseur of the delicacies found within, if you know what I mean. I've had an ever-expanding barricade consisting of a window fan, then the fan plus a board, and recently, the fan plus two boards. This seems to have finally stopped him, although I keep catching him with peeping over the top, mournfully contemplating the unreachable buffet.  

But overall, as is so often the case, these two puppers give back much more than I give to them. If the prospect of another closed-up winter spent ducking the Covid delta variant has you down, I can highly recommend making a visit to your local rescue organization or animal shelter. 

How about you, dear readers? What's going on with your pets?

96 comments:

  1. Your dogs sound delightful, Julia . . . .

    Although we are currently pet-less [maybe we should adopt the deer that wander through?] . . . we always had dogs and cats when the children were growing up [and it often felt like having a dog was like having another kid]. Our dogs were always the big guys . . . Golden Retrievers and Labradors, all of whom were wonderful with the children. Pets definitely have a place in a family . . . .

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    1. Joan, we always had big boys as well; it wasn't until we stumbled across Louie in a shelter (we had "gone to look"...) that we ever owned a small dog. I really fell in love with the breed, and also the convenience. When Marvin got old and shaky, I had to hold his hips up outside and hoist him onto his favorite sofa - and he was 85 pounds! Meanwhile, both these guys together weigh 24 pounds, and I've toted frozen turkeys that weighed more.

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  2. Good Morning everyone: Thank you Julia for sharing your canine joy with us. What wonderful wiggling energy is yours for the asking. Happy Days to you and the barking/purring ones.

    You may remember, that I have shared on Nome Street we had 3.5 cats. Sunday 5Sep came and Tong Len died. We now have 2.5 cats. Tong Len was 18 years 4 months. A venerable domestic short hair who was mostly Siamese. Tong was named for a specific type of meditation where the practicioner breaths in the suffering of the world and breaths out peace and harmony to the world. It is one of my favorite forms of meditation. Tongie was very good at expressing the suffering of the world with his insistent Siamese yowl. His purr gave us unlimited peace and harmony. RIP Tong Len.

    Ginger, now senior cat, moved into her Nurse Ginger role. She washed him thoroughly, on Saturday, providing cat comfort. She misses him, searching high and low, even behind my black out curtain. She has moved into my bedroom, soaring from her up perches to me when I say "Well c'mere". Understanding comfort is needed. Nurse Ginger complies.

    Kitsune is puzzled. Monday morning she awakened Amy. She was standing on Tongie's sleeping spot, squeaking for attention. She knew something was wrong and needed comfort.
    The youngest of the clowder, this is her first experience with loss.

    Major the outdoor indoor member seems indifferent. She and Tong were in a power struggle; which is now over. Unless it is true that cats do see into the Undiscovered country, we shall see.

    The humans are grieving and healing. We chose to end his suffering through euthanasia, our last gift to him. My parting words to Tong Len. Good bye beautiful boy. Maybe next time you get to be the human and I get to be the cat.

    Thank you to all the commentators from this group who gave comfort to me on my Facebook page. Your loving words and thoughts have sustained me.

    Today I am flying to Maryland to assist with another transition. This time a human I will be back on Tuesday next. May all of you write speedily, live joyfully and remember to change the litter boxes in life.

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    1. Hugs to you and your household, Coralee. I know how hard it is.

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    2. That's a beautiful tribute to a wonderful cat. thanks for sharing with us Coralee, you're a treasure

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    3. So sorry to hear of your loss, Coralee. Those of us who bring pets into our families know that they will not live as long as we do, but we do it anyway, and it is worth having their love. TOng Len sounds like he was a wonderful companion.

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    4. Well-loved animal companions leave us too soon, but Tong had a wonderful life with you, Coralee. Condolences, and godspeed to your human friend in transition, as well.

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    5. Even though I've had my chare of pet deaths, losing Toby last year was the gold standard of loss. I miss him every single day. Thank you Coralee for sharing your grief with us this morning. And farewell Tong. You are leaving a Tong shaped hole in hearts.

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    6. Oh, Coralee, you are a treasure. Yes, next time maybe you get to be the cat.

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    7. Coralee, sorry for the loss of your Tong Len. We have 'Doctor' Munch instead of a Nurse Ginger here--they give comfort when we need it most, don't they?

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    8. Oh, Coralee, this brought tears to my eyes. I've said this before here and I'll say it again: the last kindness we can do for our beloved pets is to give them a painless, peaceful end.

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    9. I'm so sorry, Coralee. It hurts.

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    10. So sorry to hear this, Coralee . . . sending hugs

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  3. You are a brave woman to take on two doggies at once, Julia!

    Our maniac COVID-adoptee kitten Ganesh is much calmer now that he gets to go outside during daylight hours. He still comes and naps on my lap some afternoons, which is always sweet.

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    1. My oft-bitten forearms are glad, too!

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    2. Edith, there is a reason I ONLY adopt adult pets! I always tell people, I housetrained three humans, I'm not going to do it again.

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  4. Like Coralee, my household is down by one since my sweet elder cat, Conrad, went into liver failure a couple of weeks ago and I had to help him pass peacefully. Conrad, a reformed barn cat, had aspirations to be an operatic tenor, and would serenade me any time he was hungry, alone at the other end of the house, or interested in taking a nap in my lap. I don't think I realized how vocal he was until he was gone and the house became So. Quiet.

    Now I'm holding at two cats and four dogs. My ideal is two cats and two dogs, but I will only reach that through attrition, so I'm not eager for it. I salute you, Julia, for opening your heart and your doors to Kingsley and Rocky. May they bring you years of cheerful companionship, and may you never learn the "joy" of having the whole pack howl at once in several different keys.

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    1. sorry for the loss of Conrad Gigi! You have a big heart:)

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    2. Gigi, are you seeing Conrad out of the corner of your eye? I still see Sam who died eight years ago last month. In my experience Cats and Mothers have a penchant for hanging around in some ethereal manner. Much love to you and I'm so sorry xo

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    3. Oh yes, my Lola visits in my dreams and talk to me quite often. I was so surprised the first time, and now I just am welcome.

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    4. Gigi, sorry for the loss of Conrad--within less than a year we lost two doggos--Lily a year ago this August and sweet, funny Malcolm before her, and we still miss them. But they're still with us, to the degree that my grand-nephew 'remembers' them (the stories we tell have become memories to him).

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    5. Oh, Gigi, I'm sorry about the loss of Conrad. Our pets' great joy is that they can have us for the whole of their lives; our great sorrow is that we cannot.

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    6. Thank you all for your kind wishes. Conrad was ready to go, and depended on me to make it easy for him. It's the last loving thing we do for any pet.

      No, Ann, I haven't been seeing him out of the corner of my eye. That was Scrap's talent when she left, but Conrad always announced himself when he entered a space. We had each other for 14 years but he seems to be well and truly gone now. Perhaps he is helping Coralee's Tong Len through the Bardo.

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  5. Julia, congrats on the new guys! I always look at who's available in the shelter (to torture myself), and wonder about the bonded pairs. Does it seem they came from the same household, or did they bond in transit? John would kill me if added more to our pack, but someday I may become the crazy old pet lady with a sea of dogs and cats:)

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    1. They were bonded in Mississippi, and were listed as brothers, but I think if anything, Kingsley is Rocky's sire. The former is purebred, and Rocky is either an attempt at a "designer dog" or a case of someone jumping the fence (which I have learned Kingsley is good at!)

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    2. Shelter surfing can be dangerous. That's how I got my sweet dog, Chess. He looked so miserable I just had to get him out of there.

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  6. Congratulations on your bonded pair AND achieving dog walking with all three. Our pandemic pup, Louie, has separation anxiety. He constantly checks on us to make sure we haven't sneaked away. Jazz is more concerned with the local squirrel and deer population. Both black standard poodles.

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    1. Margaret, how old is Louie now? I feel like you've had him for at least a year, or am I misremembering?

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    2. Almost 2, born on a September Friday the 13th (I should have known) 2019. We brought him home 2 weeks before Christmas and the continuous puppy dance commenced. "I hear chewing. What's Louie chewing, or eating, or shredding?" Jazz just turned six and is a ferocious hunter.

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    3. Didn't he eat sunglasses at some point? He and Roberta's Lottie should hang out together!

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    4. Sunglasses, my PRESCRIPTION glasses, several pairs of reading glasses, blue fine point pens that leaked on the LR rug, and, with Jazz's help, the outer otterbox case of my cell phone.

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  7. Julia, it must seem a lot more busy at your place these days, with so many living things roaming around. How wonderful for all of you.

    I've talked about my grand dogs, but have never mentioned the grand cat, who lives in Portland, OR. Ella was accidentally adopted by my daughter after she accidentally moved to Portland permanently. If you knew Robin you would instantly know this is not unusual for her, but I digress. Ella is a lovely little Siamese, and was a kitten when they got her. For some reason they thought she was both blind and deaf, but now Robin says Ella just wanted them to think that. (Also not surprising to hear from my daughter.) When the rat got into the house and onto Robin's bed (they've since gotten rid of them), Ella sat and looked at it, despite Rob's totally understandable freakout.

    I'm deathly allergic to cats, but if I wasn't, Ella would have been on my lap the whole time we visited. She's adorable.

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    1. Ha! The modern, non-rat-catching cat. I have one that is positively lethal - she killed four mice in two days - and another who I have seen with my own eyes watch in puzzlement as a mouse darted across the kitchen floor. You can't blame them - I get my meals from the grocery store, too, and so don't go nuts when there's a deer in the yard!

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    2. Conrad was a former barn cat. He must have survived on his hunting skills when he lived in the wild, but once he moved into the house he had zero interest in stalking vermin. He'd just look at me with those deep green eyes as if to say, "Why? You bring me food in a pretty dish twice a day."

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    3. Gigi, people say dogs are smarter than cats, but who's more clever: the pet who gets trained, or the pet who trains us?

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    4. I just can't with cats and their indifference. LOL

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  8. Awww! They're so lovably cute! We have three cats. Well, technically, we have two cats, plus we're taking care of our military daughter's cat (Mycroft), but given her location and likely future locations/work, he's our cat. Plus he's the popular one. Our little female cat Luna isn't sure of the youngest cat, Sammy. Sammy is intrigued by Luna. Both Luna and Sammy love Mycroft, and Mycroft loves them. I catch Mycroft often cuddling with one or the other. I'm hoping I'll catch all three cuddling at some point. Our daughter named Mycroft after, well, Mycroft, as she's a Sherlock fan. Luna is named after Luna Lovegood. And Sammy is named after Samwise from Lord of the Ring, or Sam, from the TV show Supernatural.

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    1. A literary family - no surprise!

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    2. Perfect names! I had two cats, Lola from whatever Lola wants Lola gets, and Leon because he was a stray I found on Ponce de Leon Avenue. They never once admitted that the other one existed.

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    3. Jess, it's nice that they've bonded. My two are more like Hank's Lola and Leon - they keep a détente cordial by each remaining in her territory, with the litter box being Check point Charlie.

      My grandmother got her beloved dog Frisky in the same way you've gotten Mycroft; we were allegedly posted for a three year stretch at Fort Rucker, my folks gave in to our begging for a dog... and after six months we were transferred to Germany. By the time we came back stateside, after three years, the dog was Grandma's.

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  9. Julia, it is wonderful of you to take on these two and make the rest of their lives safe and loved. Three dogs is a nice sized pack. And I can appreciate the cacophony of the morning howl --- and the midday and evening and nighttime chorus.

    Sgt Pepper finished boot camp on Monday. Two weeks ago we delivered him into the hands of our trainer, Melissa. They we came home and missed him dreadfully, but oh how quiet it was. We found Penny Lane isn't much of a barker, never has accidents, sleeps most of the day. Who knew!

    This Monday we picked him up. I think it's him. Certainly looks like the same dog. But this one responds to both voice command and hand signals, has all those commands down pat. Instead of barking hysterically to alert us that the plumber's come to steal the toilet, he gives a low gruff woof, leaving the actual defense of the bathroom to us humans. And -- best of all -- he doesn't pull on his lead, preferring to walk at heel, asking permission to pee on the odd tree.

    That settles it. We took a wild child pepperoni poodle off to training, and we got back his doppelganger.

    That works for me.

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    1. I wish all dog owners did that! (I've realized the dogs I don't like have humans who haven't trained them.)

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    2. Ann, what a smart boy! And what a skilled trainer. I need to learn how to keep Janey from pulling - she's so bad, and so powerful despite only being 25-30 pounds, that I walk her with a rope leash that's looped around my shoulder and waist. (You can kind of see it in the dogwalking photo. I've taught other dogs not to pull by shortleashing them when they start lunging, but that hasn't worked with Janey.

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  10. WE lost out oldest on three weeks ago and a week later lost a second one unexpectedly, a dump I inherited from my sister who found him and spent months trying unsuccessfully to locate his people. She had him for two years and we had him for just under three. Our other three, two boys and my sister's little girl are still keeping us on our toes. Thank goodness we have and enclosed yard and a doggy door. Unfortunately out little girl had a second stroke the day our old man crossed the rainbow bridge so I have to beg her to let me carry her outside. Yesterday she went down the ramp by herself for the first time since the most recent stroke! She lost and eye last year so it is extra tough for her but she is extra tough with every one of her 12 pounds.

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    1. Had to run to the kitchen and didn't edit. Where is the delete button!!!??

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    2. Jeanie, I can delete it for you if you want, but I think it's perfect just the way it is. I'm so sorry for your losses! And yes, it constantly amazes me how dogs have such an indomitable "get up and go" spirit. My Youngest has a partly deaf and mostly blind Shih Tzu, my sister has a three-legged dog. Nothing stops them.

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    3. It's amazing how dogs can come back from a stroke. One of my old sweethearts had two in the years before he left me and, with the right meds, was able to continue on as his own sweet goofy self until the end.

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  11. I love reading about other people's pets. We had two cats (plus a rotating cast of temporaries we'd find in the basement of our Manhattan apartment building) early in our marriage. Eloise and Soot. But I ended up in the hospital with allergy-induced asthma so we had to give them away.

    We had hamsters for our kids. Starting with 1 that two days into moving n with us gave birth to 6 pups. Our kids insisted no more hamsters when it became clear they only live for about 2 years and it was too hard watching the sweet little things expire. No pets since, though my daughter brings her cat when she stays with me and the cat seems quite content to hang out in the basement.

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    1. Hallie, we only ever had ONE small pet. When the Sailor was in kindergarten, the class had a guinea pig he was allowed to bring home one weekend. That was it, of course, for Christmas he wanted nothing except his own. The thing is, we already had a dog and a cat, both with strong prey drives. The poor guinea pig lived in a cage on a table with a wolf circling below and a mountain lion staring at him through the bars.

      We came down one morning after a couple months and he had just keeled over. To this day I think he died of fright.

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  12. Yes, pet stories are so much fun to read! Jonathan is very allergic, so we only have our ducks, and chipmunks. Julia, I have to say, I cannot even imagine. Three dogs. Truly, I cannot even imagine.

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    1. Victoria says I'm addicted to nurturing, hank, and she may be right.

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    2. ^^ This nurturing instinct has been my M.O. all my life. We've had everything from chicks, to turkey poults, to goslings, to lambs, to bull calves in our kitchen. Currently just two dogs in the house but a cow, two heifers, six sheep, a dozen chickens, goose, and a barn cat in the barn.

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  13. Oh, they are absolutely adorable! Yeah, just looking. Riiiight.

    Koda is, well, Koda. He spends most of the day napping and moves from bed, to bed, to floor, to bed depending on his desires. He reminds me to get up and get him a snack...uh, to move regularly. My brother-in-law comes to walk him most days and he loves his walks.

    Oh, he's taken to digging, especially if he's bored. Those powerful running muscles can make some killer holes. The Hubby is not pleased but, oh well. I just rake the dirt back in and I figure at some point we'll get some topsoil to fill them.

    I so want to adopt another dog (preferably another greyhound), but that's a hard no from The Hubby. Sigh.

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    1. Liz, I always love hearing about Koda! As for boredom - does he respond to those dog toy/puzzles where they have to work at something to reach the peanut butter inside?

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    2. Kind of? He's not big on toys. I have a homemade puzzle box for him, but I have to show him, "Look, food inside." Then he gets excited. I think mostly he likes the adventure of going somewhere not the house. New sights, new smells, new places to pee on. LOL

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    3. So after this comment, I loaded up the puzzle box - which is just some loosely crumpled newspaper in which I hide bits of kibble - and brought it out. Koda found all the treats. Then he took the papers in the backyard and had a grand time ripping them up. LOL

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    4. Liz, maybe he needs a more challenging paper, like the NY Times. :-)

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  14. Julia, what a trio! I also look at the bonded pairs and keep my fingers crossed that someone will take both. Currently I am the caretaker of my brother's remaining mini dachshund, Nemo. He had a rough time, first losing his brother Malcolm, then being introduced into a household with four! GASP! cats! It took six months for them all to settle into a routine. PK, our senior calico, let him know she's the big cheese after one day. Our ginger boy, Jimmy, is now his buddy, our youngest female, Missy, thinks he's just another rather odd cat and touches noses when she passes by. Munch, our longhaired male, took six months to stop hiding in my bedroom windows, but now he steals Nemo's food when he thinks no one is looking. And then there's the stray Sadiebelle in the garage who gifted us with four kittens in the spring. We gifted her with a spaying as soon as her kittens were weaned. There was a surfeit of kittens in the area this summer, but we managed to find a forever home for one kitten and are still working on the other three--one female who will also be spayed shortly. Older nephew is in love with her and the feeling is mutual--he's lobbying hard for five indoor cats.

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    1. And I thought my household was a bunch! I love that Nemo has a kitty friend, Ann. I'm convinced our big boy Marvin thought Louie was another cat - he interacted with them the same way. We're still working on total dog-cat harmony here. A squirt bottle of water, vigorously applied, is helping.

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  15. My guys, 3 kitties and a pup, are such good company! Lately though the cats have been giving me fits - they seem to throw up everyday. Not all at once, maybe they are taking turns! But it seems the problem is I give them too much dry food and they gobble it down until the bowl is empty. Then up it comes, barely used. So now I'm giving them just a little bit, and a while later a little bit more. Now that I've brought my citrus trees inside one of the cats, I think it's the male, Rocky, likes to chew on the leaves. Trouble is I don't catch him doing it.

    Julia, you are so ambitious taking all your guys for walks at the same time. You've got it down though if you can listen to a podcast while you walk. As for your litter box temptation, is it a covered box? That could help, especially if it is backwards against the wall, if you know what I mean. With just enough space for the kitty to enter. Of course your dogs are small so they might still get in there.

    Did you hear about the woman who wanted a pet sitter? Outrageous! Do a search for demanding dog owner wants sitter for her diabetic dog.

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    1. Good lord, Judi, I did look it up and that woman is crazy. My youngest was doing dog sitting (along with her online job) this summer, and she got $100 a day if she lived in the house with the pets!

      My cat Neko has had the gobble food down and bark problem forever, so for years now I've been feeding her "sensitive stomach" food in eleven minute intervals (I arrived at the time though trial and error, the error being cat sick.) I set the oven timer after every mini-scoop. She can go longer if need be, obviously, and I find sticking to at least that eleven minutes prevents 95% of her porblems.

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  16. Oh my! That is brave joy in action. As a mixed species household - human, dog, cat - I have found sanity in these specific gates (and apologies for the long link): https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/you-and-me-extra-wide-walk-thru-pet-gate-29-52-w-x-30-h-2859484?cm_mmc=PSH-_-GGL-_-SPP-_-PME-_-PET-_-AQU-_-0-_-PM_GGL_FY20_SBU04_PrivateLabel-You%26Me_ALL_PLA-SMRT-_-0-_-0&gclid=Cj0KCQjw4eaJBhDMARIsANhrQADpb7E3D_eClpvZ7vQbP1FyK4cFotSE_-3Z6wUkDsQemq90Dn2WTicaAjQJEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds The cats can wander in and out as needed without providing canine "snack" access and they are completely portable so I can choose different spaces to protect as needed. Wishing you love in the chaos.

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    1. Thanks, Lysa. I took a look, and it's very clever, but I'm afraid any door sized for a cat to stroll through will also allow a Shih Tzu. I did see a stand-alone, step-over gate on the same page, however, that might be the thing. I need the cats to be able to leap over, and me to step over, but a firm barrier for Kingsley.

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    2. Of course - I completely forgot about the smaller dogs. Mine is huge in size and personality and I tend to forget that there are smaller models. LOL!

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  17. Congrats on your newest additions to the household! I am totally sold on adopting older dogs. Our Jack is 14 and slowing down, especially on the stairs. He still takes turns between our son's bed and ours when it is bedtime. Suits me. I come up to bed and he is lounging in my space. You have never heard so many grunts and groans when I make him move over. I don't know if there will be another dog after him. It takes me longer and longer to recover after losing one.

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    1. Pat, that's why I had a three year gap between Louis and the boys. I just wasn't ready to commit to any more losses.

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  18. Since I live alone, in a mobile home park with no yard and I work 40 hours per week there are no pets in my world at this time. Leaving a pet alone, trapped inside, all day doesn't seen fair to the animal. Maybe when I retire I'll look into finding a pet that fits into my life.

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    1. Deana, that's a wonderfully responsible animal and I wish more folks had it! Yes, pets are grand, but only if you can give them good quality of life.

      You may find a pet in retirement is a great call! Nothing like a dog to get you outside and walking, or a cat to keep you company during the day.

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  19. This is wonderful, and congratulations on your two newest - they are adorable! Ah, yes, when I had a German Shorthaired Pointer he adored what we called the kittie buffet. Finally solved the problem by confining the litter box to a separate room and using a hook/eye latch on the door rigged in such a way that the door could not shut (eye on the front of the door, hook on the front of the jamb). The opening was large enough for the cat - the dog, despite his best efforts, could not get through.

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    1. Clever! I suspect I'll eventually get a pet or baby gate low enough to step over, but in the meantime, my jury-rigged version seems to be working (fingers crossed!)

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    2. I solved the problem with top opening litterboxes.

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  20. Aw, they are adorbs. Congratulations. I am a geriatric ward of elder pets - two cats (17) and one dog (11). Then there's George the cat (4). That is enough. I think I am done adopting animals for the foreseeable future.

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    1. Yeah, I definitely glad I took a break, and honestly, if I hadn't been the primary caretaker for Victoria's dog the past ten months, I'm not sure I would have jumped back in the pool this soon.

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  21. Julia, the boys are adorable--it looks like with Janey you've got a regular three-dog-night going there! As for the "kitty buffet" issue, we use hooded cat boxes and position them so that the opening faces a corner, with just enough room for a cat to squeeze in. Although, sigh, I suppose that would mean enough room for a Shih Tzu, too.

    I walk the two German shepherds together, but they are getting older and are pretty manageable. Then there are the rulers of the household, the three cats. Bram, the tuxedo kitty, has kidney disease, so that has been our challenge this year. If anyone need advice on administering sub Q fluids to cats, I am your person! Bram and Yasu were adopted from our vet as kittens and have always been indoor only cats. Lucy, the neighborhood kitty who adopted US, is indoor/outdoor. While we worry about her when she's out, we've loved having a cat in the yard. We get so much pleasure from watching her doing kitty things and patrolling her garden territory. She is a ratter par excellence, too, and for the first time in twenty-five years, we have no nasty critters in our attic!

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    1. Oh, good Lucy! I always pet and praise Neko when she gets a mouse. However, she doesn't seem to be keeping up with the sheer volume...

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  22. This touched my heart since I also had a "sweet Louie" who died in February this year. I really hadn't felt terribly isolated by Covid until he was gone. I can also relate to "looking in Petfinder, as one does". Unfortunately, multiple applications there and to other local rescues were unsuccessful due to competition for the pups I wanted to meet. Eventually, with a heavy heart, I gave up and deleted all the related bookmarks and IG accounts. The next day, my late mom's birthday, I spotted a picture of the pup who was waiting for me in the local paper.

    Congratulations on your new additions! They add so much to our lives, S'more and I wish you many happy years of companionship ;)

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  23. I love people adopting pets, as there are so many sweet animals needing homes. Kingsley and Rocky are adorable, and Janey is, of course, beautiful. Such a happy outcome for these two boys.

    I know I've mentioned it before on here, but we got our wonderful Lulu, an eight year old Brittany Spaniel, the end of June from the National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network (NBRAN). She was in Georgia at the time, and they had a caravan of volunteers bringing her via car to us. We just had to travel an hour to pick her up on our leg of the trip. I am so happy that we get to be her forever home. We may have given her a home, but she gives so much to me in ways of peace and calm and love. I feel like the lucky one.

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    1. Kathy, same here. I feel as a single woman with a large house and a stay at home job, I'm fortunate enough to responsibly give more than one pet a home... so I do.

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  24. Julia, new dogs are great fun, as well as a challenge. Jax has never been one to 'nibble' from the litter box, but I'll pass along a tip from my physical therapist that may be of help for you. My issue was my hip that doesn't like bending. She suggested I elevate the litter boxes so I wouldn't have to bend. Cats can jump up, the dogs--not so much. I'm in the process of setting my boxes high enough to make things easier for me.

    I'm a great believer in adoption. Over the course of years I've had a few purebred dogs, for the most part they've been dogs who needed a home. And Jax has been an outstanding dog. He'd been to three (or was it four) adoption events and never got any attention. Obviously he was for me. I'm so happy you're getting such enjoyment from your new furry family members!

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    1. Diane, that's a brilliant idea about elevating the litter box, and I will see how it works!

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  25. Looks like you're getting ready for the cooler weather. You're set for a Three Dog Night!

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    1. I know, right? I expect a percent reduction in my fuel oil bill this winter.

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  26. They are so cute and so lucky to have you. Lily (our 15 year-old Westie) loves a chance to snack on goose poop given the opportunity. Give them a cuddle from me.

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    1. Sherry, we think Rocky might be past Westie, from his muzzle and ears and his intelligence, which, to be frank, is a lot higher than the average purebred Shih Tzu.

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  27. You looked, they looked back, and history was made. I am allergic to feathered and furred critters, so I vicariously enjoy others' tales of pet antics. I did care for Prince the tree frog the winter he appeared in my house, and I sometimes fish-sit my neighbors' beta, and I enjoy the wildlife outside my house. It's almost time for the geese to return to the pond. I thought about an iguana, but conservation agents don't approve, just as they insisted Prince needed to go free.
    https://storytellermary.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/latex-and-other-allergies-bills-iguana/

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  28. We have a Shih Tzu rescue mix, Lucy. Sweetest dog, ever. Kudos for adopting!

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