Here are my furry sources of inspiration (and occasional sources of annoyance):
Ace is a one-eyed rescue dog with the sweetest of natures. The moment I saw his photo it was love at first sight. We have no idea how old he is, but we’re guessing 4-ish. We’re also not sure what happened to his eye, as he arrived with it injured at a local shelter, who fortunately called the wonderful folks at pug rescue who got him the help he needed.
He’s new to our crew this year since the passing of our dear, sweet Rocky, and has seamlessly slipped into our mix without a hiccup (house-training notwithstanding).
Ace is sensitive and a quick study who will play with just about any toy presented to him (caution to children not wanting to share theirs). He’s also a snuggler who will sneak his way under any blanket you put over yourself.
Martha is a Bernese Mountain Dog who joined our family, against my husband’s better judgment, as a full grown 2-year-old gigantor who was not house broken (and let me tell you, the volume her bladder can unload is jaw dropping).
She is a mouth-breather with huge feet and a heart as big as Texas. We adore her, despite her sonic boom bark and propensity to eat poop.
We adopted Oliver from a shelter at Lake Tahoe several years ago: a gift from my husband for my birthday. Ollie is very easy-going and couldn’t be bothered by barking dogs and squealing children. He just hangs out in the middle of the room, sprawled. One of his features is that he’s a tripod, due to an Unfortunate Incident involving our piano, but most people don’t even really notice since he’s so fluffy and mobile.
What’s amazing is how well all these furballs get along. The drama level between them is non-existent, and for that, amidst all the other chaos that swirls around our life, we are grateful.
In the last year, we lost two of our tribe.
He was larger than life, our Rocket J. A rescue dog with a heart of gold, he had a penchant for chasing his frisbee that he would tirelessly pursue as long as someone would throw it for him.
Rocky volunteered with me through our local humane society, bringing messages of compassion and responsibility to grade school kids throughout our area. And he is the voice of my children’s book, Lucky Me. He touched many.
But mostly Rocky was our pal, happy to go anywhere with us – small errands or big adventures. His sudden passing left us stunned and numb, but the joy he brought us over the 9 years he was part of our family with us leave us with no regrets.
Known as the sweet-and-sour cat, Gherkin barely tolerated our other animals, was a horrible traveler and had a way of getting into food that would make me tear my hair out. She was a pain, but she was our pain. Very affectionate with people, she had a way of weaseling into your heart.
Gherkin’s humble beginnings brought her from a “free kittens” box at a garage sale where my dear friend Amanda got her, to a plane flight to stay with us “temporarily” while Amanda’s living situation wasn’t conducive to the feline species. 15 years later, Gherkin was still living with us. Ahem.
Though Gherkin’s passing was not completely unexpected, it still left us shell-shocked and to her presence in our lives we pay her due homage.