Friday, January 29, 2016

Meet My Pet Family by Karen Rock

I'm a proud pet mom! Having grown up with pets, I've never considered a family complete without them. Each animal that's come into my life has taught me so much about unconditional love, about giving, about loss. The good times with a pet are some of the best moments of my life and the bad times have been some of the worst. Still, I would never want a day to pass when it's not filled with wagging tails, sloppy kisses and a furry snuggle.

Here's a peek at the wonderful pets that complete my family!

Angel is my fifteen-year-old Birman cat, called the Sacred Cat of Burma, who, legend has it, acquired its striking appearance through the intervention of a blue-eyed goddess, who rewarded a temple cat’s love for and devotion to his priest by turning his white coat golden and changing his yellow eyes to blue. Angel is quite the character. He hides when strangers come over, but when it's just family, he runs the household and is the alpha pet despite only weighing about nine pounds! He loves Christmas because he can lay under the tree like a lion in the Savannah and pounce on my poor, unsuspected dogs!

He's addicted to whatever chemical is on photographs and will lick anything glossy. He also loves to pull off present bows, wrestling with my puppy, laying on his back by the fire, and pressing every bit of his body against yours while flicking his plume of a tail in your face. He's quite the character and we adore him.

Lizzie is my fourteen-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel. She's always had health issues and we nearly lost her in her early puppy days because of low blood sugar. When she was ten, she was diagnosed with diabetes. Despite being a little fussy about things, Lizzie shocked me by never complaining or giving me a hard time with her twice a day insulin shots. I was actually more squeamish that her and her stoicism helped me! Lizzie loves to bark at her toys like they are real threats. It's sometimes so convincing that I'll race to her "rescue" only to find her distress is over a small, purple dinosaur... haha.

She hates going outside in the rain, though she loves a warm bath. She lives for car rides, walks and anything peanut butter flavored. In the past few years, Lizzie lost our other dog, Little Bit, lost her hearing and, most recently, her sight. Despite all of this, she follows my lead when I take her on walks, going on trust and love alone. She still goes outside a lot, navigates the house and will bark like mad at a toy she can only smell. I know my time with her is coming to a close, but I can't imagine my life without my little fighter who loves us too much to leave us yet.

Zoey is the latest addition to our family. A year ago we drove to an Amish farm in PA to buy a breed of puppy we'd never heard of: Cava-poo. She's half Cavalier King Charles spaniel and half mini poodle. Since we'd lost our dog, Little Bit, the previous summer, I wasn't in the mood for a new dog. However, my husband surprised me with her because he saw how much I still grieved and was also down about Lizzie losing her sight and hearing. The farmers had named her Courtney, but her picture was so zany and I knew instantly she needed a quirkier name; eventually, we landed on Zoey. It fits her perfectly. She's a very upbeat outgoing dog who loves people, kids, and other dogs--even really big ones.

When she met a huge German Shepherd recently, she was wiggling all over in delight and the Shepherd put a massive paw on her shoulder as if to say "Stop moving!" and she froze, lifted her chin, and sat there like a statue until he'd sniffed all around her. We all agree that her coat is softer than fleece and her dark eyes in her blonde face is so cute. She loves to walk, run errands with us, and is addicted to Wendy's Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers which has made her a little chubby lately :)

Most of all, she has a HUGE heart and caring nature that makes her never retaliate when a defensive and insecure Lizzie growls at her. In fact, Zoey, from a very young age, must have realized that Lizzie was blind, deaf and diabetic because she always sticks by Lizzie's side, guiding her down the stairs outside and watching out, even if she doesn't need to go out herself. She also brings Lizzie toys and stays by my side as I feed Lizzie, as if she knows how important it is that Lizzie eat to keep her sugar up. She only eats once Lizzie has her shot and will actually bark at me if Lizzie starts to go upstairs without getting it. In that way, and others, Zoey is a little bossy, but in a funny way that just melts my heart.

I love all my pets, past and present, and I hope you enjoyed getting to know my pet family :) Please tell me who's in your pet family. I'd love to meet them!


  1. Sadly my favorites are both long gone, well, all my favorites are long gone. The first being my pet chicken! I got this Rhode Island laying hen from my parent's friend way back when I wasn't even 10 yrs old. She couldn't walk back then as I was told she was " lame". I had no idea what lame meant. I must have worked some kind of magic because I don't remember her not walking! I taught her by rewarding her with catching grasshoppers and feeding them to her. When I was 10 that Feb, and we were moving that summer I had to say good bye to her forever. We gave her to the people who babysat me . They had a dairy farm and ton's of chickens. I hope she stayed with them and didn't try to run off in the woods. My two fave dog's would be Sam and Simba. Sam was mine for 10 yrs and I still remember the first time holding his fat belly how he grunted. Simba we had 14 yrs! She was part chow chow. Chow's have a bad rep but not our Simba. She went to all my daughter's softball practices and games with us. She was fed gold fishies cracker's by two little girls that sat beside her. She learned to be a thearpy dog to my disabled daughter and second and third husband! Yes, second husband , Mike , was in a wheel chair. She learned no jumping up! She would not leave my side if her leash was dropped or I fell. She would not go out of the house when the door was open with out her leash! My fave cat was actually my youngest daughter's, Scrapper. We got him as a tiny kitten . He loved chicken! He loved chicken so well, he stole fried chicken off a neighbors stove one time! She had the back door open and he walked in, smelled the chicken, jumped up to the stove, grabbed it, and ran out the back door!! He also went nut's over anything chicken. If I was making it he HAD to be outside. He even climbed to the roof, looking down into the window at me meowing! I kid you not even chicken soup wasn't safe with him! To this day I can't think of chicken meals with out hearing Scrapper in my mind and feel him in my heart! Now Doug an I have Stormy and he sure has a stormy tude every day! We rescued him on a stormy day three yrs ago. He hasn't let us forget it. He will do his best to trip us, swat at my hand when I'm asleep, and look for us when we leave the house. Wouldn't trade him either!!!

    1. I just fell hard for all of your pets! It's amazing to me when people say that animals don't have feelings because I think they must never have welcomed one in their family! You have been a wonderful pet mom!

  2. I love your little beasties, Karen. And the story above made me smile, too.

    We have two small dogs and a rather large cat. The cat only began being large when we got dog #2 - stress eating! Not just a problem for writers...

    1. Lol! Stress eating is not just a problem for writers!! My puppy likes to wrestle my cat and then my cat retaliates by eating her food- kids... sigh* lol

  3. I love the stories about your furbabies... Thank you for sharing with us!
    Everyone that knows me, knows I'm over the moon crazy about my Maltese, Maisie. I got her 10 years ago as a 30th anniversary gift to myself.... From myself... Yeah, the hubby had no clue! Even though I had talked about getting a puppy playmate for our Lil-e Belle...
    A girl that worked for me had the puppies... And I picked out my little girl... I searched the Internet for the perfect name... After all, she was to be my 30th anniversary gift... And the traditional 30th anniversary gift is pearls..and she is white like pearls... So I had to have just the right name.... I found Maisie... Which means Pearl in Gaelic... The perfect name!
    She is my joy... She even has her own FB page... And she is the smartest little dog ever!
    She will often tell me it's time to go outside to go potty, only to just sit there while her little sisters go potty, and then she's ready to come back in... The little sisters never tell me when they need to go out.... But then, why should they... They have Maisie!
    Maisie loves to dress up... When I pull a dress out of her closet, she dances around and actually lifts her paws to put in the dress sleeves... Yes... She does! And she loves to have her picture taken, but like a typical model... When she's done, she's done!
    Now about Lil-e... She is our oldest... And was a rescue... At the time we got Lil-e, we had a older ShihTzu named Shelby ... She was just about ready to leave us.. And I wanted my last days with her to be with her alone... But when a friend called and said her friend had saved this little ShihTzu from a very abusive home... But couldn't keep her.. We could not say no...
    It breaks my heart just thinking about all our sweet Lil-e went through before being rescued. She was only 10 months old... But had been so abused by those horrible people, that she has mental scars for life!
    It took me two years to get her trained to go potty in the yard... She was terrified to be in the yard... Because this is where most of her abuse took place...
    It took her over a year to be comfortable enough with my husband to come when he called her.. And to allow him to pick her up and hold her!
    After we got Maisie.. Lil-e would wake up suddenly as Maisie would walk by... And just attack her... We would pick them both up and love on them until they calmed down... Then the most amazing thing would happen...
    After Maisie stopped shaking... She would walk away from me... Go over to Lil-e and lick and clean her face and eyes and ears... She still does this all the time... It's like she has always known Lil-e needed the tender care!
    I should explain Lil-e's name... The people that rescued her, named her Fifi... That name didn't fit her... I love NASCAR and wanted to name her Dale Jr... The hubby said no.. You can't name a girly dog Dale... So.... I opted for Little E... As that was a nick name for Dale Earnhardt Jr... Thus the shortened's the perfect name for her...
    After our beautiful Shelby died.. And Maisie and Lil-e were comfortable with each other... We decided to add another ShihTzu to the family...
    We found the cutest little black and white girl and named her Sophie... She goes to work with my hubby every day... Three months after getting her... The breeder decided to sell her litter mate Sugar.. A liver brown.. Beautiful rare coloring... How could we not take her!
    Both little girls go to work with the dad... He is retired Navy, and now owns a coin store... They are his mascots... In his commercials... And people even come into the store just to see them. Sugar even helps the dad with the radio show he does with Miss Wendy.. Well... Sugar stays in Miss Wendy's lap the whole time, because she just loves her!!
    Having four dogs is a lot... It sometimes makes me crazy... But every now and then, I want another puppy... For some reason the hubby keeps saying no...

    1. I adored hearing the HEA stories for your wonderful dog, Vickie! Maisie is so adorable and you've given her, Lil E (whom you saved!!) Sophie and Sugar the most amazing life, home and family. Animal lovers are the best people and you've just proven that! <3

  4. Love the photos of your furry friends. We don't have any pets now, but over the years we've had six cats and five dogs. Our last dog lived almost 18 years. He was a pound puppy we named Pepper. We also had hamsters and fish. Now that we are emptynesters and like to travel, we don't plan to have more pets. When I get too old to travel, I'd like to get another cat.

    1. Thanks, Merrillee :-) You have been quite the pet mom yourself- and such a good one! 18 years with your pup is just amazing. I can def understand why you need to take a break from pets while traveling and why you already want one when you finish <3

  5. I have had Schipperkes since 1977. I love this breed of dogs. I show in conformation, obedience,and tracking. I am.getting ready to start barn hunt with my heart dog, Jack. He is a very active critter hunter and has dug some pretty deep holes after chipmunks and moles. He will spend hours worrying a chipmunk hiding under the dog ramp or in the downspout. I currently have nine Schipperkes, two of which are adopted rescues.

    1. I saw Jack on your facebook post! He's so handsome and has an intelligent determined expression. I bet he's an amazing Hunter and best friend :-)

  6. Karen, You truly have the sweetest family. I love your furry pets!

  7. I loved reading about all of the fur babies. Since we never had children out dogs have filled out lives. We started with a poodle because that is what my husband had grown up with. Bear of course needed company while we were at work, then the bantam relay team he took to AAU junior nationals gave him a lab (the grandfather of one of them raised them) Jackson's Bantam Relay was the last registered dog we had; from then on we added accidents, throw-aways, runaways and pound puppies for a high of 7! Thank goodness for doggie doors! Everyone still holds a place in our heart. We have four filling our days will warmth and laughter. We have added three since we said it was time to stop. I could talk for hours just about how they came into our lives much less about their delightful personalities. Although we have had to say goodbye to too many over the last 33 years, the hardest loss was a baby girl who had come to us with her "brother". She was 3 pounds and he was 5. They were about 2 years old chihuahuas and obviously had know love in the past but not recently. She was Miss Personality and each of our four males adored her as much as we did. The little boy (adorable stress eater) who came with her slept on top of her for the first two weeks until she decide she felt secure enough with us. Six months later someone stole our little angel. I pray that she is now as adored as she was when we had her. When she steps on a person's feet to be elevatored (I know but it fits) high enough to walk into that person's lap, she is sure win new hearts. We lost our 14 year old male schnoodle (he was one of the runaways)a month later so when a neighbor ask us to take their runaway pug/chihuahua mix, we just couldn't say no. Our yard is pretty much escape proof and he likes being a house dog.