Animals enrich our lives in many ways. Which is good, because they de-rich us in countless ways also.
I have always had animals in my life. I remember a turtle, a rabbit (Pepper), a slew of gerbils (Hocus, Pocus, Fudge, Maxwell) and their yellow tubes for climbing around, and multiple goldfish. I was exposed to dogs through my grandmother and uncle. And cats through my parents.
When I met Melissa in January, 2000 I had one cat. In the space of 4 short years we expanded on that with 2 additional cats and 2 dogs. Sadly, the last two years were tough on our pet population. We were down to a single cat (Tucker). However, in September, 2014 we adopted another dog from MAGSR, and named her Acadia.
I adopted Dax in November, 1994 while I was still at school in Pittsburgh, PA. She was 8 weeks old when I got her, and very active. Over the years, she moved with me from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington, DC, then out to California, then back east to Philadelphia, PA, and finally to Maryland. She was the diva of the bunch, and had no problems swatting the dogs on the nose when they invaded her personal space. Dax passed away on June 30, 2012 after kidney failure. She was a good kitty cat.
Tucker was the first new animal addition to our household. Melissa’s parents live in Plymouth, PA. In October, 2000, Melissa and I were up visiting. A scrawny tabby cat made friends with Melissa, and after a bowl of tuna, and a trip to the vet for shots and blood tests, we adopted Tucker into our family. He was about six months old when we got him. Dax did not like Tucker at first, and it took her several months to get used to him. Tucker passed away on June 24, 2016. We will miss our little shadow!
In August, 2001, we adopted Maho. Melissa and I had returned from our honeymoon on St. Johns, VI, and decided to adpot a young cat to play with Tucker and take the heat off Dax. We found Maho through the CPR For Cats Society, and also ended up volunteering there on Sunday afternoons. Maho is named after one of the bays on St. John. He is our most “dog-like” cat. He was about 4 months old when we adopted him. And the plan worked, for the most part. Tucker and Maho enjoy romping around together. Maho passed away from heart-related issues in February, 2014.
In February, 2002, our lives changed dramatically. Melissa and I were at the King of Prussia, PA mall, and waiting for a reservation for dinner. We popped into a pet store, and looked at the puppies. A small black lab was looking very sad in his little cage, and had been there for four weeks. We got him on the spot, and I named him Macintosh, per an earlier agreement with Melissa. He was 12 weeks old when we got him, and nothing could have prepared us for dog ownership. It was like having 10,000 cats at the same time, yet more hectic. After more education and training than most people, he has settled down a bit, and even the cats are starting to tolerate his presence. Macintosh passed away in May, 2013 due to cancer.
Fenway came to us from the Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue in Maryland. He was part-lab, part-GSD, and all clown. We saw Fenway while we were with Macintosh at a doggie “Howl-o-ween” event in Annapolis. We decided to go for it and get Mac a playmate. So we filled out the 3 page form, and waited. After a successful house inspection we were cleared for adopting, and Fenway joined our household in November, 2005. Our best guess is that he was 8-10 months old at the time, and the 58 pound dog ended up at a respectable 98 pounds! Unfortunately, we lost Fenway to a very sudden cancer on July 13, 2012. He was a wonderful, loving dog, and will always be in our heart.
Acadia came to us from the Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue as well. They are just a fantastic organization. She was fostered by a great volunteer, and even at 10-11 weeks she is sleeping through the night with no accidents. She is earning bonus points at a young age. A year and a half after losing our last dog, it was time for some more excitement in our lives! She is a GSD/something mix. The consensus right now is GSD/Mastiff, which would mean a pretty good-sized dog. We’ll see if that’s true or not in a year or two when she gets to her final size. Hope it is under 100 pounds!