Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Animal Introductions

This morning I saw the New York Times posted Reader's Photos/Stories of their pets. I loved flipping through them all and decided to post my own on here. If you aren't a huge fan of animals, you might want to skip over the post. But for those of you are, and haven't heard our little "pet family" story, here it is:

Holden was our first cat. Colin and I had only been living together for a month or so before we got her. We happen to be in this tiny town that Colin serviced for his old job as a merchandiser and decided to stop by the shelter. We had planned to get a short-haired dark colored cat. But, destiny had other plans for us. Shortly after arriving at the shelter Holden reached out her paw as I walked by. I lifted this fluff ball out of the kennel and heard the loudest almost motor-like purr, it totally won my heart over.

In coming home, after a vet visit we learned Holden was actually a "she" but her boy name stuck. She also learned how to come to a "kissy" noise. So whenever we were in the apartment if I made that noise she would come running (she'll still do it!) She is playful and sweet, but as she's grown older has gotten fiercely independent. But she still will let one of us lift her up whenever a bug comes in the house so she can see it (She LOVES bugs!) Her second favorite thing is kettle chips, yep, salty potato chips!

Gatsby was our next addition. She wasn't a "planned" pet, but she had a pretty sad story. My Mom called to tell me this cute little cat had been eating dog food off her porch. She was pretty sure she had been abandoned after her owner had died. So one evening she caught her and we met up with her and took her. So there we were with a cat who HATED the car. She screamed the entire way back to our apartment. I remember looking at Colin panic-stricken, like "What have we gotten ourselves into?!!" We let her in the apartment and she immediately hissed at Holden and went and hid on the highest shelf we had. We kept them separated for a few weeks and eventually introduced them slowly. It took a few years, but they are buddies now.

Gatsby got her name because we kept on my literary theme, and figured we were gender-neutral when it came to cat names. As she's grown she has gotten extremely affectionate. Her favorite spot is wherever my macbook is (which she sees as a cat-warmer) Her adorable (bad) habit is to drink out of water glasses, she sticks her paw in and then licks the water off of it (So watch your glasses for cat litter specks!)

We had just stuck with two cats for a couple years, when we really started to get the itch for a dog. We started brainstorming which sort of dog we wanted, maybe a small lab mix or border collie mix. Maybe a little dog, but nothing Chihuahua like, we hated the snappy/shaky qualities. We couldn't quite convince ourselves to take the leap though. We had just settled into Sacramento in a new apartment (that was pet friendly) and were jealous of all the other pet owners who took their cute dogs around for walks. Then one day, my Mom, Aunt, and Grandpa had come into town for a jaunt to Ikea. On the way there we got lost, and saw this little black speck running in the road. I immediately thought, "oh my gosh! it's totally a cute little lab mix, my dreams are coming true!" But as it got closer, I lost sight of it. My Mom opened the door and in popped this little Chihuahua.

He totally bonded with my Grandpa and mostly ignored me. But as the day went on, he came over to check me out. I texted Colin a picture from the least Chihuahua-looking angle I could (Which he saw through) and we left it up for discussion when he got off work. So there we were that night, with this little tiny dog debating whether or not we should keep him. We were leaning towards no, and decided to sleep on it. Huey slept in a pile of clothes next to the bed, but that morning, climbed into bed onto Colin and started licking him. Not too much, but just enough for a "Hello!" and from there - the rest is history. He totally won our hearts over.

Huey has totally busted our Chihuahua stereotypes, he loves sunny spots and well, any sort of food. He is very social, and loves other people and animals. His best friend is Gatsby. He wins over pretty much anyone who comes to our house (even the Chihuahua haters!)

We had begun toying around with the idea of having a second dog after we had Huey around a year, year and a half. We thought it would be fun for him to have a playmate. We had originally thought of getting a dachshund (My sister has one) But had held out. Then one day, my Aunt called me. Someone had found a dog on the side of the road in a box, and they were trying to find a home for it. So we shuttled on over, and saw this tiny little dog that was literally all legs. We were really leaning towards not a puppy, but Mimi was just too stinking cute. Colin picked her up, and I think from that moment on she was pretty much a Daddy's Girl.

Mimi is by far one of our smartest pets. She gets bored easily and seeks out trouble. She's been our "rebelous" teenager, but this little lady had a huge heart. She makes you work for her trust, but inch by inch she's been giving it to us. She's tested out patience, but made us both better pet-owners. I think she has been, by far, one of the best preparatory tools for having a child. Huey was such an easy dog, that we both felt like pet-parent-champions! Mimi has made us rethink that, we have to work really hard to be good pet-parents with her. She still has some room for improvement, but she has made her self a cozy spot in our home, and taken the last spot of our "pet" family.

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