Monday, January 9, 2012

The Fur Children

Now for a rundown of our many, many pets. I love animals, but I make sure that each one we have is properly taken care of and that we can afford to take care of any that we take in, otherwise I find new homes for them. We have 3 dogs.

Sassy, shes almost 2 now. A pitbull/greyhound mix. We found her on craigslist and when we went to meet her it was pouring outside and the trailer she lived under was flooded. The owner didn`t want to go into the rain so I crawled under the trailer home and pulled her out, muddy, wet and stinky. She came home with us that evening and we never contacted those people again. Sassy has a bit of a barking problem, but I think that`s because the fence surrounding our house is tall and wooden so she can`t see out. We go to the dog park whenever possible, trying to socialize her.
Sassy is very protective of Drake, and has been known to growl at the other dogs if they get annoyed with the baby. Sassy lets the baby chew on her ears, cleans his face. At one point she put her snout un his onesie and nuzzled him when he was sleeping on the playmat and was crying out in his sleep. She also has issues with men, and whenever I yell "sassy help!" will come over and put herself between me and whoever is "attacking" me. Usually she just licks them to death, but if either of my boys ever raised a hand to me I know she would do more than that.
Sassy has alot of energy. She`s tore up 3 pairs of blinds, the loveseat and the carpet before we realized she has separation anxiety. We crate trained her and now whenever I leave the house she runs and gets in her king sized crate covered in pillows and gets a treat. She`s such a doll.

Then there is Kingsley. He is a beagle, and a skinny Beagle at that. Since we took him from a hispanic guy he has gained maybe 5 pounds. He came back clean for all worms so no one can give us a clue as to why he doesn`t gain weight. We`ve tried puppy food, people food, protein, vitamins, bacon grease, everything. So as long as he doesn`t lose his energy we are just going to let him stay skinny.
Kingsley had a bit of an issue with potty training, and he seems to have been beaten at some point in his life. We think he`s 3. He cowers when you yell at him, and yelps if you grab at him, like to push him off your seat or trying to get him into his crate when we leave. He has a funny little trot and his ears fly up when he runs. Little man isn`t fond of Drake though, and gets an attitude whenever the baby tries to grab at him, but he loves Tony. Since its been cold here in sunny florida he`s been sleeping under the blankets between myself and Tony, like a little heater.

Last but not least is Diamond, my pitt/mutt mix. She`s a grand 15 years old. I have had her for as long as I can remember. I put her in my pocket not long after she was weaned and tail docked because the mama-dog`s owner was going to kill her. She was the runt. My dad let me keep her with a little coercion from my stepmom at the time. Later Diamond`s mother Brownie died along with most of the puppies, a rattlesnake had gotten into the pen with them.
She spent a few good years running around like crazy with our other dogs at the time Midnight and Bart. Then Midnight got out and was eaten by a gator. We later switched houses on the ranch. My father is the head mechanic for Babcock Florida company, and he lives on the ranch still. When we switched houses and Bart died of old age Diamond was a little too rambunctious. We had a pen out back that she shared with the pigs for almost 3 years. Whenever I came down for the summer from Maryland she stayed out of the pen till I went home when school started. Dad called it "the box" and we think that it changed her personality. Now I don`t agree with locking your dogs up for three years but I was like 11 and had no say in the matter, but it did make her want to stay at the house. When she was let out when I came to live on the ranch at 13-14 years old, she never left the yard.
Dad taught her lessons the hard way. If she jumped out of the truckbed at the supermarket in town, he left her. She would show up at home the next day without fail, or a cowboy would pick her up running down highway 31 coming home. If he was out on a job on the ranch and she wouldn`t get in the truck, he made her run home. In her prime she could keep up with a truck going 45mph for at least 30minutes before slowing down. But she always came home.
We took her with us when we moved off the ranch, and she does pretty well in town. She`s old and has arthritis from the years of living outside and surviving hurricanes and running miles a day, so we dont take her out for walks or for rides in the car anymore. She goes outside whenever she wants and justs lays there, gets cookies every day, treats and tablescraps. She has her own bed in nearly every room of the house except maybe the bathroom lol. She`s living the life now, finally retired.

Now on to the Rats. There are 9 of them, 6 males 3 females. Seperate cages of course. I`ve done a bit of swapping with a friend to get to where we are now. Started out with 3 white females. They weren`t ever handled as babies so they made pretty horrible pets. I then took in 4 more females because they came with a cage that the boys now live in.

Eventually we got one male rat, Curly seen above with Sassycakes. He lived on the back of the couch with no issues from the dogs, all by himself. Curly developed a taste for coffee, and would hunt Tony down and stick his face in the coffee mug every morning.

Well Tony was cleaning one day and put Curly in the cage with the girls not thinking. Needless to say we had babies.
Blossom gave birth and we kept 4 boys, (Brutus, Dante, Caesar and CJ "curly junior")and gave the rest away to my friend along with blossom and her friend Buttercup. We kept the 2 hairless females.

After they grew it became nearly impossible to tell the difference between Curly, Cj and Caesar. The children grew bigger than Curly lol. So I go by size and fur type. Curly is a rex rat, so his fur is...well Curly lol. Caesar was some curlyness while Cj is mostly straigh haired and fat...and lazy.

At some point one of the hairless females became pregnant. We suspected Brutus as the father because of coloring and because the mother, Kanga was so mean she bit everyone except for him. The reason he was even near her was because we thought he was a girl for awhile. His nuts dropped late. Anyway Kanga killed all but 4 babies and I kept the one boy Dimitri, he was so tiny. He is the biggest rat I have now, but he`s missing 2 toes and has no nails on that same foot.

Last but not least my fish. I have 2 tanks, both about 45 gallons. One has about 8 carp. 4 big goldfish and 4 koi fish ranging in size along with a large Pleco (suckerfish)My second tank has a green severum, a gold severum, an albino oscar, a giant gourami and a tiny tiny pleco who has to hide for his life every day. I`ll have pics of them later, they`re not the easiest things to capture on camera.

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