Life with Senior Dog Rescues, Bikini the pig, Stuart the rabbit, and etc.
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The morning temperatures have been hovering around 0 degrees here for the past few days. So, except for Enoch, I put coats on each of the dogs and Bikini before they go outside. I'll let you guess which one raises the biggest fuss. Here's a hint; if the big bad wolf huffed and puffed and blew her house down, she would just complain about it until he went away.
Enoch (the Irish wolfhound) and Melvin (the Dachshund) have formed a very special friendship. Melvin has only been here since August, but he's already made friends with everyone (well everyone without hooves anyway). I find him napping indiscriminately with each of the dogs but the only dog I ever see him play with is Enoch, which you can probably imagine it's quite funny. I've tried to get a video of it but it's usually over by the time I'm done fumbling around with my phone. Enoch will gently bite Melvin on the butt and then Melvin will chase Enoch around the house. Melvin, with his two inch legs and long body, loping around the house chasing a dog that can literally run with the wolves. It's beautiful really.
(photo bomb by Edna)
Here's a throwback from the early days of this account. Front-and-center, a younger, slimmer (but just as ornery) Bikini, and then the rest of the crew behind her with a few that are no longer with us. The faces of this account will unavoidably change over time, but the message of love for senior adoption will remain the same.
Loretta, Phyllis,Josh ,Engelbert, Waylon, Hercules, Eeyore, Madelyn, Edna and Bikini.
The combined ages of these four rescues is almost 60 years. They come from completely different backgrounds and they have completely different personalities and looks. But they're all friends now, and they all know love and they all know security. #thisiswhyirescue
Loretta 16yrs, Eeyore 17yrs, Englebert 11yrs, Edna 15yrs.
She's sleeps in on Sundays.
In both good times and bad I'm always grateful for the love of each one of these guys. (Bikini is keeping her love in front of the fireplace today, but I know it's there....) Thank you for all the kind words regarding Josh's recent death. I'm still making my way through the comments but they are touchingly comforting.
At night I always count all the dogs when we go to bed to make sure no one is missing. Tonight, we are missing Josh.
The death of a pet is always a punch to the gut. It doesn't matter if they've been sick and their death is certain, or if they are taken without any real warning. I've had pets die both ways and I can't tell you which is worse. The pain is just piercing, and the ache of their missing presence follows me everywhere. Josh passed away without warning. We just celebrated his 17th birthday a few weeks ago and I was certain that 18 and probably 19 was easily in his future. But life has a way of tricking you sometimes and he left as quickly as the decision was made to take him in, almost 3 years ago. He was the stoic, regal presence of this house and without him everything seems off balance.
He suffered with pancreatitis for years and never complained even though it can be extremely painful. That's just the kind of dog he was. He was never demanding of attention or full of expectations. Even when he would lean into my leg for affection, I always knew it was more for me than it was for him. He just wanted me to know that he was there if I needed him.
I know I was blessed to have this dog for even a day, or a month, or 3 years. Until we meet again Josh.
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A few months ago Animal Planet came to my house to film my dogs (and Bikini) for a segment on The Dog Bowl which will be airing this Saturday on the Animal Planet channel. It's a spin-off of their popular Puppy Bowl, but with older dogs featured from 15 shelters in 11 states. If you have time, tune in and hopefully we can find homes for all of the homeless dogs they will feature. Saturday February 3rd at 8 p.m. eastern time on Animal Planet. further info on link in bio.
Except for Edna in her fancy new owl sweater, most of my dogs are sporting football jerseys this week in honor of the upcoming Super Bowl. "Security" seems a more logical choice for Engelbert though since he's always on the alert and he loves to tell everyone what to do and what not to do. Not to mention @jodipicoult gave him that shirt.....
I think of all of us in the house as one well-adjusted pack, but there are subgroups within the pack that have their own special relationships. For example, Bikini pairs up with Enoch. Before I had her spayed it bordered on a fatal attraction, but now, much to Enoch's relief, it's more of a normal friendship. Eeyore and Englebert are almost never apart. They are obviously best friends. They clean each other's faces and Eeyore is the only dog that Engelbert allows to eat his food. No one else is even allowed to look in that direction. And then there is Edna and Waylon in the picture. Even though I don't see them hanging out together much during the day, they always end up cuddling at night, even if it's just back-to-back, or one paw on the other. Their personalities are very different, but I can tell they find comfort in each other at the end of the day. I think they are a good fit, like two old pieces of a puzzle.
When I was a kid my dad would come home after work and sit in his recliner to watch the news. I think he would get a kick out of seeing Bikini relaxing in my recliner. It's nothing out of the ordinary at my house of course, but during my dad's time people would have thought having a pig in a recliner was crazy. Okay, maybe it's still a little crazy.
In anticipation of the most asked questions:
Yes, bikini is housebroken.
No, she can't jump up there herself. I lifted her up. She seemed to enjoy it and hung out there for a while.
She weighs about a hundred pounds.
Once a month I work with the Maxfund rescue group in Denver to help them find homes for senior dogs in need. This month I'm featuring two beautiful dogs for the price of one. I'll pay the adoption fee for one dog if you take them both.
Lady is the gorgeous red-haired, photogenic dog in front. She's 11 years old. The black and tan dog next to her is her son Blackie and he's only 7 years old. (If you want I will also help you pick out new names.) If you've been thinking of adopting and are in the Denver area I don't think you will find two better dogs. They both calmly walked in to check out the house, said hello to all my dogs and then came right over to give me a kiss before exploring some more. Neither one barked the entire time they were here, even when my dog's barked at something they saw across the street. They both have so many good years ahead of them and they are sweet, affectionate and obedient. Blackie at 7 isn't even really a senior but since he's Lady's son I'm hoping this post will get them adopted together. It is obvious that they are great friends.. (It's rumored they don't like cats but I can tell you they didn't even blink around my ducks.) I will update this post as soon as they are adopted
Maxfund is open today and everyday except Tuesday. 1005 Gallapego, Denver, Colorado call 303.595.4917 with any questions or email Kim at email@example.com
Today is Josh's 17th birthday. In honor of that I've listed 17 things about him that I love.
1.He's still feisty, just ask Bikini
2.He shows affection by leaning against your leg
3.He is determined to still climb the stairs (I don't let him)
4.He sleeps all night
5.He never has accidents in the house (although I would still love him if he did)
6.Sometimes he falls asleep when he's eating
7..His name is Josh, which just sounds cool in the middle of all the other old names
8.He loves movie night but falls asleep as soon as the movie starts
9.He needs boots for traction because he's back legs slide out from under him
10.His boots make thwap thwap thwap sounds when he walks
11.He has pancreatitis flare-ups but never complains
12.He follows my housekeeper everywhere when she cleans
13. He likes to sleep crammed in a bed made for a dog half his size
14.He's almost completely deaf so he's the only one with a real excuse for ignoring me
15.He almost always falls asleep when we are taking group pictures
16.He still thinks he can catch a squirrel
17.He's still with me at 17
I adopted Melvin as a rescue from Florida (through @truefaithfulpetrescuemission). He's estimated to be around 15. I have to assume he lived in Florida all of his life because he seems so perplexed by the cold weather. I ordered him the snow cap last week when the weather was in the teens and of course today it's in the 50s. It still looks good on him though and it kind of makes me want to listen to some reggae music.
Since Bikini was in front of the fire, I asked if she wanted to take her coat off and she immediately stuck her foot out. I interpreted that to be a half-hearted attempt at helping me with the process. But she squealed so loudly when I got close it must have really meant, 'don't even think about it'.
I put together a cross-section of some of the different personality types that you might see at the gym this year. From left to right:
Edna is obviously really into the gym. But she probably puts more thought into her outfit then she does her workout plan.
Enoch enjoys playing basketball but needs a gym to stay fit for the game.
Waylon is there to work on his flexibility. If he happens to fall asleep while he's stretching, so be it.
Engelbert only works on the upper body, the show off muscles.
Stuart hopes to fall in love at the gym.
Everyone has different fitness goals. Planet Fitness wants to celebrate everything that makes us different and unique. No matter which one of these guys you identify with Planet Fitness has a place for you. January 1st through 10th new members pay $1 down and just $10 a month.
Link in bio
I let Bikini open her present early. I got her a fireplace for Christmas. Normally, getting a pig her own fireplace would make me sound crazy, but since I bought her the toddler bed last month that you see her sleeping on, I think that line has already been crossed.
But hear me out, there's actually a completely logical and sane reason, well... there's a reason for this. In the winter when I'm home Bikini likes to sleep in front of the fireplace in the living room. When I'm not home she's quarantined to the kitchen to isolate any mischievous activity. In the kitchen the warmest place is the heating grate on the floor, so that's where she sleeps. Besides being completely in everyone's way she's decided the grate hampers the flow of warm air and she rips it out as fast as my handyman can fix it. I don't want him to quit, so I bought Bikini her own fireplace. See, completely reasonable.