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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My furry family....

Today the prompt for Big Time Literacy's 30 day challenge is to write about the pets we love. So head over and read about everyone's pets!
This is Sam. Sam the Siamese. He started life with us when my now college freshman was in Kindergarten.
We love the early morning when the windows can be open!
Sam is watching the birds on the birdbath and feeder.
His lot in life was to be an indoor cat. We tried to let him be an indoor/outdoor cat, but as a kitten, that didn't work so well. Somehow he got "lost" in the neighbor's garage for three days. We could hear him crying, but we couldn't find him. Santa brought Sam to The Redhead for Christmas. They grew up together. For many of those years, about 8, he lived at her other parents' home. He came back to us a very sick kitty. What was not known at the time was that Sam has a severe flea allergy. He had been living with this for years when he came to live with us again and he came to us scabbed from head to toe (not pleasant to touch or pet), and missing a lot of fur.  I thought maybe he had mange. We took him to the vet and they gave him antibiotics, steroids, and flea treatment. Of course, that was the end of indoor/outdoor days. And he holds a resentment. He doesn't understand that romping outside is associated with the profound misery he no longer lives in. Ironically enough, Sam is an old barn cat, born to a momma barn cat, and he was the only Siamese in the litter. He's not the result of careful breeding. He does have the personality of a barn cat, and not so much of a Siamese. He's sweet and friendly and he's been known to be shy, but he is even overcoming his shy side recently. Sam is turning 13. He's showing some occasional signs of aging but much of the time he is still very much like a kitten. He has a very big personality and is hard to ignore. When he gets mad, he walks a few feet from us and sits down with his back to us and ignores us. I love this old guy even in times of grumpiness, but mostly he is sweet and irresistible. Did I mention that Sam has a foot fetish? Well, he is extremely fond of feet. Which is why he had to be declawed. As a youngster, he would attack feet under the covers at night. He drew blood at times. He still loves all things feet and he likes to play with dirty socks. We find them scattered all over the house.
Recently Sam found my sock basket. This has all my fuzzy socks and slipper socks in it and is his now nap-place-of-choice.

This here is a beautiful clear-eyed picture of Sammy. He is probably telling me that he needs fed.

We have a little red dachshund named Hundley. If you watch Curious George on PBS you know the little red dachshund in the show is named Hundley. And my littlest girl was four when we got him so she picked the name Hundley. If you know about Dachshunds, you know they are a bit high-strung. Hundley has anxiety. I don't think he used to, but he's developed anxiety. He's every bit as anxious as the people who live her and have anxiety disorders. The year we lived in Oklahoma he would start barking frantically as soon as we left in the morning and we'd hear him barking when we pulled into the drive at night. I assume he barked most of the day. He didn't do that when we moved back to Kansas, but has recently started doing this again. I think perhaps the Independence Day celebrations gave him PTSD. He's a mess. And naughty. His obsession with stealing trash has reached new heights lately and I've wondered if that is related to his anxiety, because both increased at the same time. But he's very lovable too. He loves me the most and so of course, I have a soft spot in my heart for him. Dachshund's are notorious for having back problems and he is no exception there. In his six years he has been on doggy pain killers at least three times. And he eats poop of all kinds. People don't really understand when I say.... "I wouldn't let him lick you like that...." But he's not picky. He likes to lick bird poop off the sidewalk. Guess what people! (This is a Junie B. Jones sort of "guess what" to be ready with a lot of feeling). Some kinds of bird poop make little red dachshunds sick! Sometimes he eats something he's not supposed to like duck poop. And then he's sick for days and has to go to the vet and get anti-nausea shots. Those are the days I wonder to myself about finding a not-so-expensive pet or two.  But I love him and he loves me. And when he's gone, the house is way too empty. Hundley sleeps in the chair with me whenever he can. He is a snuggler. So I mostly told naughty things about Hundley, but he's our dog and we love him. We often refer to the "Open Season" movies and call him Mr. Wienie in a high-pitched voice with a bad German accent like in the movie. We've done that enough that we looks and listens when we say "Mr. Wienie!!"
This is a view from my lap! Hundley is snuggled right beside me and since Sam cannot get on my lap....
I was probably writing a blog post.... He is crowding the dog. Sam is definitely the alpha male here.
Here he is when we were sitting on the floor.... he didn't want to be left out! 
** Notice all the grey hair! His face is almost completely white and he's getting some grey on his back now too! He's only six!**

Those are my furry friends. Well, I almost forgot Charly. She is our dwarf Robo hamster. You should google her. She is extremely interesting. I have no photos. Why? Because then I'd have to cop to her dirty environment. :(  Poor girl. She is going to school in fall and then her cage will get cleaned more often, I promise! Because it stinks otherwise! But right now I am content to just close the office door and let her and the stink stay in there. Poor little hamster. This little hamster was named by default. We had a Charly last year and my Kinders named her. They wrote journal entries about what they thought her name should be and then we voted on the names they chose and she was named Charly. I was gone the day they wrote in their journals, so I am sure the sub steered them to the spelling of Charly. Not sure there. But we had a Charly who met a tragic ending at the hand (or mouth) of Sam. And we couldn't stop crying. So off to Petco we went. And now we have another Charly because we never picked a name and eventually just started saying "Charly" when we talked to or about her. She's a bit of a ghost. She sleeps most of the day and runs most of the night. Remember when I said "she's interesting"? Well, dwarf Robo hamsters can run up to 22 miles a night! Yeah, she needs an office where the door can be closed because the hamster wheel is loud and she has to run. And tiny. She is tiny.
Here's her "house." She's chewed up a lot of the bamboo roof. It is completely full of paper.

I woke her up so I could get a picture. She loves yogurt treats, so I gave her one.
Charly is a school pet and is likely to get a new name when school starts. It's an easy way to give the kids some ownership and a buy in! We'll probably vote on a name again with journal entries defending the names they chose.


  1. What cute pets! Your post is so fun. I love your Junie B. Jones reference. That series of books is one of my favorites! I read them often to my second graders back when I was in the classroom. Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Great descriptions about your pets. I like reading about (not touching or petting) other people's pets.

    Mrs. Bartel’s School Family

  3. Loved reading about your pets. Hearing about Sam reminded me of Abby - the cat I had growing up. She would attack my feet under the covers, too! And I totally know what you mean about the house being too empty without Hundley. That's how I feel whenever my dog is gone!

    Carolina Teacher

  4. I would love to have a class pet, except the whole having to clean its cage and everything. Thanks for sharing about your pets.