cats

Penelope, the dog that brings people together, (part 1)

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“My wife telecommutes from home to work.

She grew up with a beagle, as did I, but my family gave away our beagle because it got too big.

We had cats and hamsters.  We had a Siamese cat and many hamsters– at least 5 or 6.

My wife and I moved to the city in August and we knew when we got settled we were going to get a pet.  She wanted a beagle and I wanted a Siamese cat.

I love my wife, so we got a beagle.

Penny gets us out of our comfort zone to meet our neighbors.

A couple of people that work in a restaurant near us fell in love with Penny.  The woman wanted to get a dog, but wasn’t ready for her own, so she has helped out with Penny.

A former student of mine that lives in the city takes care of Penny.  I have known her for 7 years, 3 in high school and 4 in college.  I taught her band in high school and now she’s in the city getting her PhD. in biology.

Penny has brought us back together.”

Kirsten, the animal lover and pet care giver (part 1)

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“I started grad school and dropped out within a couple of weeks.

I needed a job.

My roommate was a dog walker for a company and got me a job as an assistant.  I worked for them for 2 years before I went out on my own.

What was funny for me, was that when I was a kid, pet care was my first job.

I grew up in the suburbs and when my peers started babysitting, I would feed my neighbors cats, take in the mail and general house sitting stuff.

As an adult, whatever jobs I had often involved pet sitting (on the side) for co-workers.

I didn’t put it all together, or see where I was headed until I started dog walking.

I think I could do this for a while, but I don’t really know.

All of the dogs that I’ve taken care of give me a way to be a better person.

Everything with a dog is immediate, so in the moment.  For example, with Gremmy, the Italian Greyhound, she’s so delicate, fragile and tiny, so when I am with her, I have to watch people and dogs in a different way.  I have to literally protect her from the cold (which for her, is September through June), feet (people stepping on her), and people trying to pick her up.  Those are the main things in protecting her.  Taking care of her reminds me to be patient and also assertive.  I have to tell people no, don’t pick her up.  I also have to be careful of her space, so I don’t accidentally step of her or make her nervous.”

Laura, as in Laura Dern (part 1)

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“We were going to get a kitten, but the animal rescue group said we would have to take two so they would have company and learn to socialize.

We were also looking for dogs because we weren’t sure what we wanted.

We looked at forty pages of puppies on Petfinder.

Laura was just so cute. She had ten siblings that were all very cute. Her photo was the weirdest of them all.   She had big eyes and her face looked squished.  They all had the same face, but different markings.  Some were spotted and others were just one color.

We fell in love with what looked like eyeliner around her eyes.  It looked like she had raccoon eyes when she was a puppy.

Social Tee’s is the rescue group we limited our search to.

They were having two event on opposite sides of the city on the same day.

The dogs were at the uptown Petco and the cats were at the downtown Petco.

I am more of a dog person, but my boyfriend wasn’t as sure. His experience was just with cats.

I had been putting for a dog and it seemed like more fun to see the puppies, because they are more interactive.

Once we saw the litter, the others were sleepy and dopey, but Laura was alert and climbing over the others.  She seemed the healthiest.

She pee’d on my boyfriend as soon as he picked her up and we decided that was a sign that she was meant to be ours.

They also told us she wouldn’t be more than 35 pounds and she’s 80 pounds. They told us she was a beagle, border collie, lab mix.   They forgot to tell us about the Great Dane, Ridgeback and Hound.”