Our Gaggle of Pets
Harley is a lab/Australian Cattle Dog (ACD or blue heeler) mix. She is approximately 15 years old (we adopted her with Chloe when she was 3). She is the most loving dog with everyone - she adores snuggling up to you as soon as you sit down, and nudges you for pets. She just sucks up the attention, and puts up with the trials and tribulations of a life with small children with very good grace.
Harley has a very soft mouth, and has enough retriever in her to carry things around in it. We will frequently find missing socks, stuffed animals, and other things in her crate. She never chews them up, though, just carries them around. Now that she's older, she is less inclined to go for long walks, but she still loves laying in the sun outside!
Jack is a purebred blue Australian Cattle Dog. He was born on a Navajo Reservation 10 years ago, and his tail was docked (cut off) soon after birth. He has one blue eye and one brown eye, as well as one "lazy" ear. Jack is the first male animal we've had in years! He recently came to our house when his previous family needed him to find a new home due to their tiny kids.
Jack is our first dog to be excited about balls and frisbees! He loves to catch balls in the air, or when they are bouncing across the yard. He loves swimming out to get balls, too - but he doesn't like it when they're sandy! Jack has a lot of energy for running, walking, and jumping after flying things, but he is also incredibly cuddly and thinks he's a lap dog.
Bill is enjoying teasing Rachel about Jack's attachment to her, as she had teased him about Mystic's attachment to him. He's a very sweet and snuggly dog who gets along with all the kids at home and at the park.
Yuki is a beautiful calico cat we adopted from friends in Connecticut before we moved. She is our third furry friend, and like the other two, she adores attention. Yuki isn't all that particular about who pets her - she will purr loudly anytime anyone pets or cuddles her, and she loves to lick people with her little sandpaper tongue. Sometimes when the children or dogs are a little rowdy she will hide, but in general she is amazingly tolerant of everyone. The girls will pick her up, read her stories, or follow her around, and she just loves all the attention. We were very lucky to find a cat who was already used to children and dogs!
We had some trouble with flooding in the spring of 2006 which required some exensive renovations. During the renovations we found out that Yuki is an amazing mouser! We never saw a sign of the little critters until she had left them for us as a "present"
Chloe was a lab/chow mix, approximately 17 years old (we had adopted her at age 5). She acted all protective of the house, Rachel, and the girls - barking at strangers. But, she was really a sweet old dog who just wants to nap on the couch all day. She had cateracts in her right eye, a limp in her right leg, and she started to have hearing and memory problems. She used to be all black, but she has seems to have more grey every day.
Chloe loved the children more and more as they have grown older and dropped more food. We tried to train her not to beg, but it didn't stick because the girls kept slipping the dogs treats at the table. Chloe slowed down a lot as she aged, and in August of 2007 she needed to be put to sleep due to complications of old age. Rest in peace, Chloe-bear.
Mystic was a purebred Australian Cattle Dog. She was considered blue merle - and if you looked at her in the right light, she really did look a pastel blue. She was also deaf and very much her daddy's dog - She would follow him anywhere, and wanted to jump in his lap whenever he sat down (unless there was already a kiddo in his lap).
Sadly, Mystic had to be put to sleep (though the children still think she found a new home). She bit Isabel by accident, and Isabel was hospitalized on IV antibiotics for 5 days over Christmas, 2003. Even though it was an accident, but Mystic could not live in a house with small children. No rescue or SPCA will accept a dog with a bite history, especially not a deaf dog. So, while we had wanted to rehome her, it wasn't possible. We had told the girls we were finding Mystic a new home, and didn't change the information - there was enough trauma with the hospitalization over the holidays. She was much loved, and we were very, very, very sad to have to put her to sleep.
Please - if your dogs are acting nippy or edgy around your children, look into rehoming them now while you can. And if anyone is bitten by a pet, speak to a doctor immediately about antibiotics for the puncture wound. It is sad to rehome a pet, but nothing is sadder than having your child hospitalized and putting the dog to sleep. Rest in Peace, Mystic.
last modified by rra - 12/08/2007
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