On Cats

>> Thursday, May 27, 2010

When I was in second grade, all I wanted was a cat to name Melody. My parents were never big on animals, so when the day came and we brought home a black cat with thumbs, I was thrilled. Instead of naming her Melody, I named her Mittens. She was all black, and of course the cat of my dreams, because I love love loved cats back then. A couple weeks went by, and my mom said the lady who gave us the cat wanted her back. I was heartbroken.

I also believed this story until I was 28 years old. It was not until last summer that my mom told me the TRUTH: she hated having a cat and gave it back to the woman. I always wondered what happened to Mittens, and what kind of life she had.

Now, we have two cats. Piper, the one-eared feral wonder, and Aurora, the deaf girl with bad knees. Piper really made me fall in love with cats all over again. My favorite part about cats is just watching them play and hunt. We don't have many bugs or flies in the house despite it being spring, and I give all of the credit to Piper. She sits at the patio door and in the window waiting for birds to show up or bugs to try and get through the screen. Aurora isn't too shabby on the hunting either. Together, they sit side by side at the patio at night and watch the moths flutter against the glass, jumping up and down as the moths fly away. It has only been about six weeks, but I'm hoping in time they grow to be the type of cat buddies who snuggle.


Wembley Wednesday

>> Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Would Wednesday be devoted to anyone else? Of course not. Every day is Wembley day, if she had any say in it. That's definitely how it was when she was here. This leads me to my topic: fantasy dogs. I was reading a dog forum and this question was posed: "Is/are your current dog(s) your 'fantasy' dogs?" Since most people have a specific breed that they love, I found this an interesting question. Of course, right away I thought of Wembley. She was the perfect dog from puppyhood until her passing. Graceful, kind, beautiful, and obedient. Wembley was an angel, and she knew it too.

Wembley and I had a bond that is difficult to explain. In the past couple years during some major work stresses, all of my anger melted away when I got home and she ran down the stairs to greet me. Not being much of a kisser, sometimes she would be so happy I would actually be rewarded with some smooches. Because they were so rare, they were incredibly special. After a bad day, I loved nothing more than curling up on the couch with trashy television and Wembley by my side- more like in my lap. She loved to cuddle as much as I did.

Anyone who knew Wembley knew how special she was. She was a princess (oh, how I hate using past tense) who loved to be pampered, but not in that "diva" way that is often carried by little dogs, but a Glinda the Good Witch way.

Now back to fantasy dogs-of course Wembley was truly a dream, but so are our other dogs. I read through this thread and found many comments that said "No, my dog sheds too much", or "No, but I love them anyway", or "No, I hate everything about the way my dog looks, but I love his personality." To me, this was incredibly disappointing. I just can't look at their faces (and Alan agrees), and think, "This isn't my fantasy dog." They're just all different and all dream dogs in their own ways. After all, they picked US.

I'm just so happy Wembley picked us first.


Boarding Woes

>> Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I seriously don't know how parents send their children to day care day after day. Nothing against day care, but I can't stand leaving the dogs behind with someone I don't know, even if their establishment has every award, certification, membership, or other fancy credential, it is definitely not the same as their mother watching them.

Will a kennel know that Quincy bears her teeth and wags her whole body when she's happy to see someone or scared? Of course not. Will they know Reagan has a tendency to get bellyaches, or that Walter is painfully shy and still in the process of rehabilitation? No and no. And this is why when we drop them off, I'm going there: I will be the crazy person with the typed up paper that includes a brief personality profile of each dog.

Now, this has several uses. First, it lets them know a little bit about each dog, but I will also have this file for later on, if we should hire the dog sitter again, or if we bring them to a different kennel. The Chi Pack, back when it was just Wembley and Reagan, stayed at a kennel one time. It was a Fourth of July holiday, everyone was busy, and nobody was able to watch them, so we brought them to a kennel. Poor Wembley didn't eat at all while there, and spent the whole time terrified and huddled in the back corner of the kennel. Reagan had no problems. Deep down, I've never quite forgiven myself for leaving Wembley there. Hopefully through the years we made it up to her, and it definitely made us plan events around dog accommodations.

This weekend, we are going to a wedding that is two hours away. Alan is in the wedding, so he has to be all involved with everything, which means we will be staying two nights at a hotel. My sister was supposed to come down to be our dog sitter, but her plans changed and she can't make it, which left us searching for a kennel. Quincy and Reagan have bordatella vaccinations, which are required at all good kennels, but Walter did not have one, so our dreams of the dogs living in luxury at the Paw Print Inn were dashed, since the vaccination needs to be administered at least seven days before.

With a little research, we discovered Halliday's Pet Resort. Walter is good to go with his bordatella vaccination, the dogs can all sleep in one room, and if the VIP suite gets a cancellation, we are the first ones on the waiting list (it has a VCR and rental movies for the dogs!!! How CUTE!). Plus, we can bring their dog beds (the spoiled pups have orthopedic beds), food, and any toys they might want. And let's not forget this little bonus for all three pups:

Combo Package
"Your dog will have a day packed with fun, while he or she enjoys all three of the above (happy hour, busy bone, extra play session)."

Another bonus? They are staying less than 3 miles away from our hotel. If there should be fire trucks or emergency vehicles in the surrounding area, I will be fully prepared to break down every door and wall and free them (a little dramatic, but come on, I don't want this to be Martha Stewart's chow chow part II).

All we have to do now is enjoy the three nights until doomsday.



>> Monday, May 24, 2010

A first post is always so daunting. Where to begin? Is an introduction? Just start randomly? Because it is first, it is truly is an introduction. Chi Pack began growing eight years ago with the most beautiful golden retriever, ever (seriously!). Now it has reached five members, all with unique personalities and challenges.

We have met some resistance and judgment from others along the way, saying we are silly and stupid to have so many "pets." Anyone who has truly loved an animal knows they are not merely pets, they are family members to be loved and taken care of . They are not disposable, they are not a nuisance, they are not solely an expense. They are the only creatures who are capable of unconditional love. They provide love, entertainment, and comfort after a bad day or a bump in the road. We simply can't imagine our lives without them.

Although you can see our pack on the right side of the page, here is a little more about them to start:

Wembley- Our girl who started it all. Sadly, we lost her to cancer in January 2010.

Reagan- Our five-year-old golden retriever who was recently mistaken for being five months old. That is how hyper she is!

Quincy - An eight-month old border collie mix. She is not the brilliant mind one might expect from a border collie mix, but she is extremely quirky and incredibly sweet.

Walter - We have no idea how old Walter is, but we are guessing somewhere between eight and eleven. Our vet guessed ten. He has been with our family since February.

Piper - I found Piper at work when she was just a little kitten. Noticing her ear was cut off and all bloody, I lured her out of a pipe with a can of tuna (and the help of some co-workers).

Aurora - She is the latest addition to our family and was recently diagnosed with two luxating patellas, which is not very common in cats. She is also deaf. Aurora is three years old and has been a fantastic addition to our home. We just love her!



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