A Tutorial, By Request: Who’s Who At My House

I’m doing it this way, because Facebook isn’t letting me tag most of my photos.  

First of all, I have three cats.  Ellie (really Ellison, because she was abandoned as a teenaged kitten at Ellison Park), is almost ten.  Book Boy, abandoned as a tiny kitten at the small branch library I frequent, is coming up on three.  Mike is close to two.  I saw him being loaded into an animal control van last summer and stopped to see what was up.  He was desperately sick, and had probably been hit by a car, too, and all of us (the animal control driver, the man who had been feeding Mike but couldn’t bring him in because he had cats of his own, and I) knew what would happen to him.  So they gave him to me, and I drove him right to Most Valuable DVM, and now he’s peachy (except for so-far chronic soft stool) and is a permanent family member. 

Now here’s the group that’s harder to keep sorted–the dogs.  I will try to do them oldest to youngest, as far as I know.

Jiminy, Chihuahua/Basenji or Chihuahua/Beagle mix, is fifteen years old but has the blood work of an eight-year-old, as per MVDVM.  Jim was lost on the streets of Burlington, VT, adopted to a family where he nipped, was returned and adopted to me and my now-ex-husband.  Jiminy is a smart, feisty, and very loving, devoted friend of mine.  He is the cream/beige little dog sitting up in the photo of the four dogs in bed. 

Grace, thirteen years old, I adopted from the Brooklyn Animal Care and Control facility on December 1st of 2010, because her next-day euthanasia was publicized by a wonderful person who goes by the name, ‘Urgent Part II’, on Facebook.  Grace is a Collie/Terrier mix, and although she has pretty bad arthritis in her hips, she’s responding very well to meds and supplements, and is starting to move around more and have better control of peeps and poops.  She seems happy, and I feel like she enjoys being surrounded by friendly brothers and sisters.  She is the first of my dogs whom Soyer met.  I judged that she would be almost completely non-threatening to him, and that was true (although by now I know that he’s not even dog-aggressive, so he didn’t need such an ‘easy’ dog).  He sniffed her nicely on first meeting, and did a play bow for her on the second meeting.  I love watching her look up at him.  Grace has two photos by herself, and Facebook let me tag one, so you can get her straight, anyway.

Anna Belle has a photo to herself, too.  She’s curled up in a nap, and just opened one eye when I took her picture.  She’s cream-colored and looks like a miniature Yellow Lab, kind of (she weighs twenty pounds).  She has a very unusual personality.  I am still ‘learning’ her, and I’d say she is still being surprised by how much love it’s possible to share with a human.  She came from a rural shelter near here, where she was being held as ‘evidence’ in an abuse case that went to trial.  I wasn’t told whether the abuse was just hoarding (which was certainly part of it), or worse.  I do know that she was kept in a cage with two other dogs, and the other dogs ‘had’ to be euthanized.  Annie has neurological damage to her hind legs, whether through genetics or trauma MVDVM can’t say.  It looks like her hind legs are too tall for her front legs, and she moves a little funny sometimes.  But often she loves to run really fast all around the perimeter of the yard, which is a joy to see.  All the dogs like her, and Soyer was touchingly gentle to her.  Annie is between eight and twelve years old (almost nine to thirteen, actually, by now), and that’s as close as MVDVM can call it.  Just recently, Annie has started to lick me, very, very gently, and although I’m being licked by dogs all the time, there is something different about it when Annie does it.  I think it’s a definite decision on her part.  I think I had to earn it, and I feel very proud and warmfuzzyish when she licks me.

P.D.Z. (Pretty Damned Zippy), or P.D. (Petey), is a total character.  Maybe that’s why he has so many names–that’s not my usual pattern.  Sometimes, when I’m being funny with him, I call him Peter Zed.  He is the little black and tan dog in the pictures.  He’s a five-year-old Miniature Pinscher mix, and I’m guessing Corgi for the rest of his ancestry.  He belonged to a woman who had five dogs and a slew of cats, who had to give up all her pets for financial reasons.  She felt that P.D. (she spelled it, ‘Pidi’, and I didn’t want anyone to pronounce it, ‘Pity’, if he ever got lost, because he wouldn’t recognize it) would be unadoptable, because he had some ‘issues’, and was thinking of having him euthanized, although she was also, in the meantime, trying to sell him on Craigslist (I know…what is there to say about any of that?).  A rescuer here convinced her to surrender him, instead, and she placed him with me.  His issues were nothing that a lot of love and patience and structure couldn’t fix, and he’s a great little guy.  He is an amazing runner–super fast, with outrageous endurance, too–and he is very happy to have Soyer to run with.  You see him in the photo, jumping up towards Soyer’s head, as they run.

I will take a break now.  This is a bigger writing job than I’d realized, and I want to give them all equal time.

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