The Menagerie

Stop Puppy Mills
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    For as long as I can remember, we've had some form of animals. Sometimes we only have dogs, sometimes we have a virtual farm (minus the pigs and cattle, though we had both when I was REALLY young). This page is devoted to the animals I have pictures of and the memory of the other animals we had that I actually liked. Deep down inside, I really did like them all, but turkeys and geese hiss and peck when you come in to provide them with food. Talk about ingrates!

    The first dog we had that was ever really mine was Misty. Prior to her I remember a cat named Holly, who we had to give away because of my grandfather's allergies; a dog named Tippy, who disappeared a while after we got Misty, but still when I was quite young; and a couple of pigs who ate stale Hostess brand snack cake products and were converted to ham and bacon long before my clearer memory storage kicked in. Misty wasn't really ONLY mine as she was a Christmas present from my parents to my sister and me. Being an 8-week-old Cocker Spaniel, the first thing she did when we got her out of the box was run to the middle of our living room carpet and pee on the floor. This instantly set the tone for the entirety of her relationship with my father. Coincidentally (I make no accusations), when she was 6 months old she ran in front of his motorcycle and incurred injuries that resulted in the removal of her left front leg.

The next addition to our family in the long procession of dogs we have owned was Max.

Now almost 11 years old, he is the coolest dog ever. We happened across a box full of free puppies being given away in the Super Value parking lot, and, being the soft-hearted puppy lovers that we are, decided it couldn't hurt to just look. If it hadn't been for his black spots, we'd have probably gotten away unencumbered, but he was too cute to pass up.
Here is a picture of him tolerating the sweatshirt I put on him:

    One of Max's more enjoyable tendencies is his ability to run roughly 30mph. He often practiced this talent by running over Misty in the middle of the lawn and sending her tumbling through the grass. She snarled the whole way, but once she lept to her feet to let him have it, he was long gone, grinning all the way.

Another of Max's talents is singing, and/or mooing. I know, you may not believe this, but it is true! All you have to do is sing "Oh Solo Mio" at him, or simply moo loudly like a normal farm bovine, and he will tune in enthusiastically, and even try to match your tune! Here is photographic proof, in case you are too cynical to believe my dog is that cute!



  It is with sorrow and regret that I tell you that we had to have Max put to sleep in the end of March 2004. He lived to be nearly 12 years old, and was always healthy, happy and fun. Rest in peace, Maxie...




The next addition to the animal collection (and Max's lawn target collection) was Buster, who we got in 1998.

As you can see, he is adorable as a little Jack Russel Terrier puppy, but in reality he is a Jack Russel Terror. We love him!

And on the saga of pet acquisition goes! As of about April 6th, 2004, I am a new mother! Well... sort of... I have a new puppy! He's a little Rottweiler mix (mixed with what, we have NO clue, though black lab is our best guess...), and Will and I have named him Beast, though I more frequently call him Biddy (as in "little-bitty") cuz he's SO cute! LOOK!

Beast is absolutely the sweetest little dog. For anyone who believes that all Rottweilers are inherently vicious and unfriendly, Beast exists as living proof that your misconceptions are completely untrue. Don't you, Biddy?

June 18, 2004





Well, Beast is now 4.5 months (approximately) and he has grown like a sprout on steroids! But he is still the total sweetie and I can't help calling him Biddy. Guess he'll always be Biddy to me... He's really smart, too! He learned "sit", "down", "shake", and "up"(where he just has to stand up and take the treat) at least 1.5 months ago.






*sigh* He's just my little sweetie...

So, go figure... my sweet lil' pup is ever so slightly aggressive toward other dogs, so he got to attend obedience school, which was fun for him. It was more of a training exercise for me to learn how to handle such an aggressive dog. At least he's still putty in the hands of the neighbor kids. Guess he just must dominate all things canine...





Take a peek at the photo album of the puppies I'm putting together! I'm working continually to update and expand it.











Also recently added to our extensive (yet always changing!) animal collection is my sister's new lab, Merlin. She adopted him from the animal shelter later in the afternoon on the same day that I got Beast, and it was totally unplanned and unawares! Poor Dad...







Isn't he a sweetie?! Impeccable timing is one thing he seems to possess and use in the most visually and behaviorally detrimental way that he can...

"What? What did I do?"

    But really, he is a really cool dog. He and Biddy are always wrestling and playing tug-of-war with anything, and he's really fun for playing fetch.


And here is the most recent addition, which Caro adopted from the animal shelter in early July 2004:

This, ladies and gentlemen, is Snickers. He is a Border Collie mixed with something else (we have various possibilities in mind), and he is a sociopath. Cute, but conscience-free...




October 12, 2006

     And on it goes... our first lil' girl since Misty all those years ago - this is Angel:

     She is an absolute doll, and Biddy is dealing with her presence surprisingly well! He still growls occasionally, and he is quite possessive of his food and toys, but overall he just kind of ignores her. She'll probably get more interesting to him as she grows up and can actually play more rowdily like he does. In the picture above (and currently as I write this) she is just over 6 weeks old, but she's HUGE for a puppy so young! There were only 3 in her litter, so they were big puppies! She, like Beast, is a Rottie mix, but she's about as much Rottie as Lab, and her dad was a mix of who knows what, so she's just another mutt. Kind of has the Rottie build, but we'll see how she looks as she grows up. Stay tuned, more pictures will come your way! I'll try to do some where she's actually awake, and if I'm holding her, I won't be wearing a black shirt... so you can actually see HER!

July 25, 2007

Ok, I'm sure I have some younger pictures of her, but this is my most recent addition the computer I'm currently using. This is Angel now that she's about 11 months old - she's bigger than Biddy, overall... MUCH bigger feet and thicker legs, plus she's longer.


    Aside from dogs, we have also had multiple horses. The first one I can ever remember us owning was our thoroughbred, Tess.

I have many memories like this picture of my mom and me (me when I was probably 4 or 5) going out for trail rides together on the Monster before I was in my teens and started riding her in shows and lessons.
Since this picture includes my mother, I have made it a link to my Family Tribute page (in case you're interested in what manner of abnormality could possibly create moi).

A few years after buying her we also procured Sienna, the crazy Morgan, then Star, and then came Timmie the gorgeous quarter horse. Sienna didn't last long because my sister and I were simply too small to handle her. Star was a camp horse who was on the brink of death, but fairly easy to ride. We fattened her up and made her happy before she croaked. Then Timmie was my sister's show horse for around 8 years or more until my sister was in college and could no longer afford her.



The next buy was my horse, Jake. He was an appaloosa and beyond stubborn but very beautiful. College also forced me into having to sell him in August 2003.










February 12, 2007

I have been paying for a lease-to-own on a new horse since November of '06, and as of yesterday, she is at my house! This is Tucker:

She is a 5 year old registered Tobiano paint, and is probably 16.1 or 16.2hh. She's gorgeous and sooo friendly! I rode her when I first called on the ad for her sale last spring (April '06) and she was green, but very willing and fun to ride, so I'm really looking forward to working more on her training. Very exciting! I'll get some better pictures of her soon with more light, and I'll definitely get some this summer once she's shed out her fuzzy winter coat! Stay tuned!

March 21, 2007

Hooooo-WEE did I get myself a bronc! I longed (lunged? Whatever...) Tucker last night, using a longe whip as a sort of spacer/deterrent just to try to keep her in more of a consistent circle around me, like I used to do with Jake. The difference between Tucker, and Jake, it would seem, is that this FREAKS Tucker out A LOT and she goes into a huge bucking fit all around me. One time she freaked out enough to be able to pull the longe line out of my one hand, since the other was holding the whip. So that was fun... she went galloping around my yard for a while, snorting loudly and looking impressive. I eventually got her to calm down enough that I could walk back up and get her in hand again. So I decided to quit using the longe whip, but I put the chain part of the longe line over her nose to see if that would help to restrain her a little. I suppose it did, to an extent, but that, too, made her freak out a lot. So I quit using that. At one point the went bucking over an uneven pile of snow and tripped her back feet so she wound up sitting on her haunches. Didn't seem too distressed by that, at least. Eventually, she had bucked herself out a bit and was more willing to trot calmly around me, but it was starting to get dark and my fingers were kinda sore from where the longe line had caught a bit when she pulled it out of my hands, so I put her away for the night and gave her dinner (only once she was cooperating with me more). She's going to be a fair amount of work, but she is a lot of fun, so we'll just have to see how it goes!

March 27, 2007

     Alrighty, I rode Tucker twice this past weekend, and I am in love with this horse!


  She's spunky, somewhat spooky, big, strong, and green, and she's just freaking AWESOME!!

I longed her first, trying to work some of the buck out of her since it'd been so long since I'd last ridden a horse and didn't have too excessively much faith in my balance...


Based on the amount of bucking she did during the longeing, I'm thinking this was a good idea...




Once I got up on her, she was actually calmer than Timmie, of whom I have finally got a picture for the site:

The first ride I took was with Ree riding Timmie, and since it was a bit chilly it was rather short, but we had fun. The second ride was with Will riding Timmie - this was only his second time on a horse EVER. The last time was on Jake, when Buster helpfully came out to bite at the horse's hocks and make him kick around and fidget in a way that Will seemed to find rather unnerving. He dealt well, though. This time on Timmie, he also did well. He made her listen, after a little fight over whether or not they were turning around and going home before he wanted to. :) It was kinda funny... he won, though.

So after things went so well with Timmie there, I decided to just go out by myself with Tucker to see how she dealt with being out on the trail on her own, since before I got ahold of her I guess she had spent little or no time out of the arena being ridden. This was when she tried to buck me off, since she didn't seem to fond of the idea of leaving Timmie whinnying behind us. She didn't succeed at getting rid of me, though she fought a fair amount. Once we got a little farther away from Timmie, she did better, and I successfully got her to work on some lateral flexion. It was VERY fun! Look below for a few more pictures of her.


Click the cute close-up if you're interested in reading the blog I've built describing my progress with Tucker's training, as well as any other anecdotes involving animals that I choose to include!


Okie doke, I've got a couple more pictures of Tucker, this time without the winter coat. The only thing is that she's not had a bath yet this summer, and she has white hair on her that shows every speck of dirt ever encountered, and her mane is long so she looks a tad scraggly, but still gorgeous. :)


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