Couldn’t imagine life without pets. We currently have four: Chandra the calico cat, Abby the black Chow-Chow, Sassy the grey Morab mare, and Moonlight my daughter’s white pony. They’re my current crew. Thought I’d share a bit on each.
Chandra was adopted from the Marathon Co Humane Society here in Wausau 8 years ago, back when they were still on Kent Street. Our old calico Cassie had to be put down at the young age of six (she got fibrosarcoma from her feline leukemia vaccination!) and we weren’t handing it well. We went to the humane society to look at a Russian Blue whose elder owner had died. I felt sorry for it and wanted to check it out – it bit Tami. Not good with kids. There was a mouthy calico a few cages down that kept snaking her paw out of the bars like, “Hey – over here!” Her name (then) was Harriet.
Someone had dumped her there b/c she was pregnant. She had six kittens and they all got adopted. She sat there for 6 months – they couldn’t bear to put her down b/c she was so sweet and figured SOMEONE would take her home. When they let her out of her cage she jumped right in my lap and started purring. So we took her home and hid her in my son’s closet so when he got home from kindergarten it was like, “Surprise!” We renamed her Chandra and she rules the roost!
My husband works with a young lady named Sabrina. They were talking horses and she mentioned she had her yearling for sale. Turns out her mom was a trainer and raised Morgans. She had a grey Morab filly for sale. Todd mentioned it to me and I had to go see her. She was very people-y and sweet and I brought my friend Faye (also a trainer) with me, asking her “Give me a reason NOT to buy her.” She couldn’t think of one.
Sassy was a dream to train, but she definitely has her quirks. She likes to rub her head on you and almost knock you over. She’s always gunning for a treat. She tried to sneak a snack while being ridden. She jumps trail obstacles she really COULD step over. I only had one bad accident with her – a passing Harley kicked gravel in her face and she shied. She jumped over a ditch and I fell INTO it. Collapsed lung and 2 broken ribs. Had to walk her back to the barn -Lori had to take her saddle off. Went to ER next day – they hollered at me for waiting so long. I healed up just fine and we still enjoy trail riding in the woods.
My daughter Tami wanted to go riding with me. Lori gave her lessons on a brown Morgan mare named Angel (aptly named) and then we started looking for a quiet old horse for her. A lady named Joyce had a couple of horses on trial, to see if she was going to buy them. One was a white pony w/Arab blood whom Tami fell in love with. I told Joyce, “If you don’t take her, I want her.” She decided to pass on then-Mae and we grabbed her and renamed her Moonlight.
Moonlight did not have the pampered beginning Sassy had. We ran into problems with her right away. One, she was hard to catch. Like, impossible. We put her in a separate pen and bribed her with treats for weeks before we dared to let her out with the herd. Two, as oldest mare, she thought she should be leader. She got into a lot of fights with Angel & Uno over that one, but she finally won when they conceded. Three, she was head-shy. Freaked and broke several halters by pulling back when tied. Lori worked long and hard with her on that one. Four, she had an almost-catastrophic run-in with a tree branch – impaled her neck and JUST missed the jugular vein. Treating that actually did wonders for her disposition. She’s MUCH calmer now, and is very careful around Tami, like she KNOWS “fragile kid.” They have a ball together.
And now we have Abby. We rescued a stray Lanseer Newfie, but the owner came to claim her on my son Joshua’s birthday. Kids were sad to lose Athena (real name Ursula) so I started searching the papers for another dog. A six month old black Chow caught my eye. I’ve had a black Chow before (named Aphrodite) and they’re great family dogs. Owner said she was housebroke, had all her shots and no eye problems. Went to see her. She was thin and shy, but very sweet, so paid $$ and took her home.
We were…misled. House-broken was apparently a relative term. She had roundworms and whipworms. She needed eye surgery to correct her eyelids-turn-in-and-lashes-scrape-her-corneas condition. And it’s HARD to put/keep weight on her. We went through a ton of different food she hated before we finally found one she likes – CANIDAE. She rocks with immediate family – very playful, with a silly streak. She and the cat are still at war after a year. She HATES other dogs. She doesn’t like other people. We went through an intensive training class before we can comfortably work with her out in public. But we love her to pieces, even with the occasional “oops” accidents – and her “cat wars.”
They all keep life interesting – and entertaining. They teach the kids compassion and responsibility. They keep us borderline broke…but I wouldn’t have it any other way!