We have a total of 6 with us now: 3 cats, 3 dogs--ALL rescues of some kind--shelter or private adoption--often from another rescuer who has a houseful.
The little black one is Shotzi, Pug/Shih Tzu mix. We got him in August of 2005 from Laramie, WY shelter about 3 months after my daughter's 13 year old Pekingese, Meja, died of kidney failure. (Meja had been a gift from her friend's grandparents--having grown up with hunting dogs i was not a 'small dog' fan--but she won me over, paving the way for Shotzi. He was about 3 yrs then so he's around 14 yrs now. His owner was entering a nursing home and family didn't want him. The shelter 'warned' us he was shy...but the minute they released him in the getting acquainted room he came over and climbed in my lap (i was sitting on floor ). Loves cats. Is kind of a curmudgeon but our curmudgeon. Then there's Suzy Q, approximately 2 yrs, in the middle. Rescued by a local (NM) lady from life as a starving, mangy stray. The woman got her healthy but the 6 other dogs in that household made it clear she was not accepted by them. So we took her. She's clever, but a slow-learner (possibly stubborness a factor). Also she may simply seem like a slow learner because our Jinksy, approx. 3 yrs, is so quick. i put my dogs out on long leads so they won't harass neighbors livestock or tangle with wildlife at night---Jinksy learned in barely a week to stop at threshold of door and wait to be hooked up. He's a gentlemen too--ladies and elders first. Adopted from a foster home after he was dumped. First time i went to see him he ran over to me as if he knew i was meant to be his 'Mom'. He's so gentle with cats that my daughter's kittens actually seek him out to play with him. They trust him totally. He bonded with my grandson immediately on their first visit and at that point Liam was 4 yrs old and had energy burn from long car trip. But Jinksy felt protective of Liam--becoming very alert when my Daughter in Law scolded the boy for something. i essentially had to say: It's ok, she's doing her job as his 'Mama' to get him to 'stand down'. At least part pit bull he the only way he'd be ferocious is if someone was hurting a member of the household (animal or human--he's actually blocked Suzy from annoying Shotzi by trying to get him to play).
This is Frosty, Laramie shelter named her, when she was brought in with frostbite having been 'dumped' during a spring blizzard in 2002. while under 6 months old. Her eartips were necrotic so we had them amputated when we took her for spaying. She would hide at first whenever it snowed, once she realized we would not put her out, she'd sit in windows seeming to 'gloat' that the storms couldn't get her. Our senior cat now, she's a bit of curmudgeon like Shotzi. But sleeps with me at night and sits on the desk by me when i'm on the computer. She is slowly 'warming up' to my daughter's youngest kitten. We think part of her wariness of the kittens is that she had gotten close to one my daughter got, cuddled with him on cold winter days...then he died suddenly when still under a year old. She's been thru the death of 4 animal 'siblings (1 dog, 3 cats) since 2005...we think she doesn't want to get 'close' and suffer another loss.
Technically my daughter's kittens but since we share a house they're part of my household and my 'grand kitties'. The 'Tuxedo' cat is Kameko about year old now. We adopted from original rescuer of the feral litter she was part of who's mother had died. She's smart and can be very sweet. She seems to make a point of cuddling with grandma twice a day (just before i get up and when i'm settling in on couch late in day after all chores done--times when i most miss my 'Boo' who died last October. The orange and white kitten is Annie, approx 7-8 months. She just turned up outside in late Sept 2014, was clearly hiding under house. Very feral,and apparently totally on her own. i started putting food out for her and put a basket lined and covered with old towels out. She and Kameko would 'talk' thru guest bedroom window. Then one October day she climbed up thru opening around kitchen pipes (that's how tiny she was...small space that was not closed off because we'd thought we had a leak last spring and it hadn't gotten cold enough yet for me to remember i needed to 'winterize' it. Glad i hadn't. We teased her that she 'broke in' and stole our hearts. Ultimately named her 'Annie' as in 'Little Orphan' She's smart, adores Kameko and Jinksy. Boo liked her (Kami had been too boisterous for the elder's tastes). These two are frequently found cuddling together. Kami tries to 'mother' Annie...Annie accepts it patiently mostly, occasionally putting a paw on Kami's nose as if to say 'enough, i can groom myself, you know.'
Sorry this is so long, but my animals are such a part of my life. As with children i love them all---couldn't say loved any more than others---but the bond is 'different' with each and more intense with some. i debated about adding this a photo of Boo, she died last October at approximately 18 1/2 yrs old. But she was so very special. You have to understand---the way our animals respond to our spoken words would have gotten us suspected as witches in another age, but this one, would have gotten us killed as witches.
Part of a feral litter, we had to really earn her love (even me...and usually animals take to me in about 5 minutes, like Shotzi and Jinksy did. This photo was taken our first fall in NM, i'd brought the seed pods in after a walk and then 16 yr old Boo, chief of security in her mind at least, had to inspect. She was with us over half my daughter's life. A mackeral tabby with orange splotches overlaid. Very dignified but a good mouser too. She's buried under the two little pines out front, next to Fargo who died at barely year old--she'd loved him, he'd kept her warm winter of 2012-13. We think his death hit her as hard as it did us--so unexpected. She died relatively peacefully here at home. Arthritic, half blind her quality of life was going. i was agonizing over taking her to vet as i have other fursons when they were in pain/ill and unrecoverable to stop their suffering. (i always insist on being WITH them at the end--would change vets if one refused). Then late one night her breathing got ragged and i swear, tho i'd told her i was ready to 'let go' she hung on till i dozed off,..i was awakened by Jinksy sort of moaning...He'd been on floor where he could watch her. i felt for her and the heart had stopped.
They all bless our lives, but this one was an Anam Cara.