Coffee Talks: No More Pet Apologies
So, my house is a zoo. I’ve even done a post about our lovely zoo when we got the newest fluffy edition to our home. You can check it out here.
With having 4 animals, I find myself constantly saying “I’m sorry” every time we have company. I also believe that we rarely get company is because of my pets- kids included. I want to talk about my pets and give some more backstory to a few of these fur balls.
I won’t lie and say that my dogs and cats are angels. I have a very robust doberman named Toretto who has long nails. Not even a vet with a muzzle can get near his feet, so he bites them on his own or wears them down on the concrete pad we have off of our patio. Aside from his big head laying in laps, he will also jump up and put his paws on your shoulder for a “hug” when you first come in my house. It’s like a security check, I guess. Honestly, I think he just wants to make eye contact and feel important, but he does sit on command and knows one or two commands in sign language. Overall, he’s fairly calm and does his own thing after greeting company.
The other pup we have is still a literal puppy in every aspect. While Toretto is almost 6 years old, Fergus turned a 1 on Thanksgiving this past year. He’s bouncy and barks like a car alarm. He’s very much all over the place, and most people aren’t big fans of him. We’ve been working on his commands and use a spray bottle, but he hasn’t been easy to train.
Where It Gets Difficult
I can only assume that the people we rescued him from weren’t very nice. Besides wanting to give him to a kill shelter when he was a few months old, there were other signs I couldn’t ignore. They posted online that they were getting rid of him, because he wasn’t the breed they thought he was. They wanted a pit bull, and he was a pit mixed with something else. Originally, they thought he was Great Dane, but their story was wishy-washy. They were only keeping him until the weekend. If someone came for him and gave them the same amount of money they paid for some bag of dog food, they wouldn’t take him to the shelter. So, we drove two states away to get this little guy. He just looked so sad in his picture, and even though we wanted to adopt an older dog, we couldn’t say no.
When we met the “owner,” he sort of tossed a very dented crate that was too small for this pup at us. Then, he handed us a pee soaked dog bed and an almost new bag of food. When this man opened his door, all I could see was a visibly terrified, malnourished dog. He was all but skeletal. I had instant tears, because he looked much worse in person, and I didn’t want my kids to see how bad it was. I waited no time to yank him from this guy and put him in my coat.
On the ride home, he bonded with our entire family. He was so happy to see us. He would shake when we stopped for bathroom brakes, but he seemed happy to be saved. He had such a hopeful face when the other guy left.
Since going to save him, he’s become the greatest gift to our son. He helps his anxiety, and they are best friends. It took awhile to get him to a healthy weight, but he’s doing wonderfully. I said earlier he wasn’t easy to train, which launched the story, so I’ll get to my point. He isn’t easy to train, because if you approach him too quickly he cowers. He cowers if two people argue on the TV sometimes. He gets scared if he sees our workout weights. He’s just super afraid of a lot of things, and he needs time to heal from whatever happened, so that’s why he is coddled so much.
You Don’t Have to Come Over
I understand people hate being jumped on and having a dog in their face, but this house isn’t just mine. It’s my pets’ home too. They are allowed on couches and beds. They are apart of my family. I understand that there are some people who don’t operate their homes the same way, but we like our animals more than most people.
I will try to keep my dogs on their best behavior, but if you can’t greet them with love like you do with us, then we will come to your house instead. I’m just tired of the constant apologies I have to give. I know it’s overwhelming to have big animals all over you for the first few minutes you’re in my home, but I can’t say much more. It’s going to happen. I know my house smells like animals even though I’m an avid cleaner. I know my carpets have a few spots on them. I love my pets, and all that comes with the territory.
The Cats Are Lurking
Not only do we have 2 dogs, but we have two cats. In the previous zoo post I did, I talked about how we got our newest edition, Moose. He’s a 14 year old orange fluff ball from a shelter. He was an elderly cat who needed a home, so we gave him one. He does his own thing for the most part, and he will lurk around you when he’s good and ready. Then, there’s Winnie. Even if you despise cats, she will know and be in your lap staring you down.
Winnie’s mom was hit by a tractor at a farm near my in-laws. She was only 3 weeks old. My in-laws bottle fed her siblings until they were old enough to find homes. My father-in-law showed me this tiny grey, fuzzy ball, and I said I wanted to help. I took home a kitten and started to bottle fed her, and that was how Winnie came into our lives. We got Toretto from a family a few hours away shortly after, and they bonded. They grew up together and were only a month apart in age.
Winnie has all of her claws, but she doesn’t scratch. She’s very playful and cuddly. She will get in anyone’s lap for attention, whether they want her there or not. We have a friend who’s allergic to cats, but Winnie has to greet him regardless of us trying to keep her in another room. She’s very friendly, and she loves attention.
Our animals’ names all have some meaning or reference. Winnie was just called chubs by my father-in-law, and her little belly made me think of Winnie the Pooh. She looks nothing like Winnie the Pooh, and her belly isn’t as chubby anymore. She’s grey and white with green eyes. She’s not very graceful or majestic, but she’s very sweet.
Toretto is our only animal that doesn’t necessarily have a sad backstory. Originally, we got him as a companion for our Rottweiler, Sarge. We were going to get him from a family who had unplanned puppies as soon as he was old enough. Unfortunately, Sarge was hit by a truck, and died in my arms. It was horrific. We still made the drive to get Toretto. Raising him took away some of the pain, but it also reminded me of it. It wasn’t easy. Even though Toretto came from a good family, the circumstances for us are what were the most difficult.
On the ride home, we didn’t know what to name our new puppy. We had watched some of movies from The Fast and Furious franchise the night before. We settled on Toretto.
Fergus and Moose both have names that are references to our favorite TV show- Supernatural. Our son, Dean, is also named after a main character from that show.
Fergus is the real name of a character named Crowley- who is the king of Hell. He’s very charming, despite his job title. On the show, Crowley changed his name from Fergus to Crowley once he became a demon. Since our pup is goofy and not very demon-like, we went with Fergus.
The shelter wasn’t sure Moose’s real name, so they called him Muffin. He didn’t look like a Muffin though. He always has a scowl on his pretty, fluffy face. Moose is the nickname that Crowley gives one of the main characters, so it worked for us.
You’ll Get Hairy
If you come over, you’ll get covered in pet hair. I clean and vacuum, but there’s always hair. I have a hair roller if you need. I work to keep up after the pets, but they are like kids and always leave a trail.
If you don’t like animals, my house isn’t the place for you. I like my animals more than most people, and I won’t put someone over them other than my kids. I’m sorry if you don’t like it, but after this, I’m done with apologizing.