“He is a garbage hound and has throughout his life eaten very inappropriate items. He’s eaten a loaf of bread and pound of butter in the same sitting. He’s eaten part of a frozen turkey. He ate a 2 kilo bag of chocolate chips, which I thought was going to kill him, but it didn’t. It just made him really sick for a couple of days. He ate some bread dough that was rising on the counter and an hour or so later threw it up. And he’ll be 15 in three months. He has a cast iron stomach.
He’s a good boy – a good example of a golden retriever. All the animals love Bruno. Pippen, who doesn’t like anybody else, loves Bruno. Any of my foster animals that come in always want to spend time with Bruno. He’s very tolerant, but will on occasion correct if he needs to. He’s kind of like the old soul in the house that everybody wants to be next to.
He’s also a healing dog. He used to lick…this is kind of gross but…he used to lick lipomas and tumours and stuff off our previous golden retriever and would heal them. And with my sister’s dogs as well. When her dog would get little lumps and bumps, he would lick them until they were raw and keep licking until they healed. He’s kind of like a cancer-finding dog or something.”
“His full name is Fuzz Boots Sullivan. He was named after a character on Third Watch that we liked, was Fuzz at the shelter and I’m not sure where Boots came from.
He is a very, very friendly cat. Loves people. But he’s a brat. He’s like the little brother in the group. He knows that Pippen especially doesn’t really enjoy his presence so he’ll go and he’ll just sit within a couple of inches of her, and she’ll ‘reowr’ at him. So, he’s like that little brother who’s constantly poking the sister.
He sleeps on top of my head in the bed, which is really, really annoying. Something that I’ve just experienced since my son moved out. He likes to go outside but then only goes out quickly and then runs back in. My cats aren’t outdoors, but he sneaks out and comes back very, very quickly. Too scary out there.”
Sully aka Fuzz Boots Sullivan
“She has never really liked me. She’s my first cat ever and she was a barn kitten. We got her out of somebody’s barn that I knew from hockey. I’ve had her since she was about 10 weeks old and she is 13 and a half now. Even though I feed her and care for her and take her to the vet and love her, she doesn’t care for me too much.
Now that the boys have moved out she tolerates my presence a bit more and she will actually come and sit on the arm of my chair. But really, she still doesn’t want to be touched or picked up. In the 13 years I’ve had her I think she has sat on my lap once, but if somebody else were to come in, especially men, she is all over them. I call her, you know that thing from Saturday Night Live? Jane You Slut? Well, I call her Pippi You Slut. She loves the boys and will sleep with them. She’s been in my room maybe two or three times in the years I’ve had her. She tolerates my presence because I feed her.
The only other animal she likes in the house is Bruno. She adores him and would lay with him all the time if she could. She doesn’t like the other dogs, doesn’t like the other cats. She just wants her and Bruno, alone in the house with food delivered through a slot in the door.”
Pippen aka Pip, Pippi
“Gypsy is the dog who enjoys the scraps left behind by Trekka, in the blue bowl. We met her at the SPCA and loved her immediately. In fact, she was so scared when we met, that she bit me when I tried to pet her. No problem!
Now, we try so hard to spoil her. We bought her a large, luxurious dog bed, which we then added a sleeping bag to. She does sleep on it, but I know she would move if we asked her to, which we never would. Gypsy loves to lay her head on a pillow, so it’s no surprise that when I come home from a late night call out, I try to climb in bed only to discover a furry pillow replacement where my head should go…Gypsy!
Our dogs are such characters, sometimes I’m not sure who is the human and who is the dog.”
Gypsy aka Gyppybear
“She is a bit of a devil. We have a red and a blue dog bowl for their food. We decided to give the red bowl to Trekka. She always gets what she wants and she has high class taste. She would prefer caviar to a dead fish, but of course she wouldn’t turn her nose up at the fish either.
Following her feast she sleeps between us on a king sized bed. Sometimes this isn’t even enough. If it does not suit her, she will let you know by standing directly on your chest and staring you in the face while you try to sleep. This is her command that you must then lift up the covers so she can climb in and also be nice and warm under a duvet. What?!
Trekka is the commander of all situations. When it is time for her to come in from outside, she does what we refer to as the ‘Trekka slow-walk’. This is when she stares you in the face from about 50 yards, and slowly, so slowly, walks towards you, communicating the fact that she is in control. She will come inside, but only at her pace. Which is so, so, so slow.
She is quite a character, which is why we think she is the absolute best.”
Trekka aka Trekkadoodle
“She’s probably the easiest horse we’ve ever had. She’s 15 this year. We’ve had her for 10 years. I rode her to start, then Alissa took her over. But the mare does everything. People ask ‘what are her vices?’ Uhhhh… She’s an easy keeper.
She just looks at grass and gets fat. And I always feel bad, like I’m starving her. And she makes me feel like I’m starving with her calling and carrying on.
She’d cow-horse one weekend and we’d load her up the next and she would go penning. She has won…oh I don’t know what her earnings would be. Thousands and thousands of dollars. She’s won trailers, bronzes, buckles. She’s just amazing. And what’s so cool about her is she never panics. She’s just calm, steady. So cool. You can load her, ride her bareback, rider her bridle-less.
Things she’s not good at? Not very good at jumping and she sucks at barrels. Knocks them all down. I don’t know if it’s on purpose, but we can’t get a barrel pattern on her.
We pull the toboggan with her. Anybody can ride her and she’s just calm. She’s super cool.”
Lexi aka Sexy Lexi
“He slides into the room, just like Kramer on Seinfeld. That’s how he got his nickname.
Greymalkin is the biggest of the boys and he’s a little chicken cat. He gets all cuddly when he’s scared. He’s very concerned. The neighbours mowing the lawn, fireworks, it all sends him under the quilt – a shaking lump.
When he lies down he crosses his front paws – the gentleman thing.
With all three brothers, we have to be careful what toys we get them. Other cats will play with them, these guys will destroy them – Greymalkin in particular sits and tears them apart. He ate the hide off a toy mouse and had a bit of a health scare, had to have emergency surgery. They used to leave the sopping wet, torn up toy mice in my daughter’s bed – bringing her presents.”
Greymalkin aka Kramer
“In this house when you hear the thud, thud of all those paws you just stand still, it’s easier that way. Because when they wrestle they full body slam each other, bounce off the walls. The brothers play with each other, curl up and groom each other.
I find when you adopt kitten siblings they develop disparate personalities really quickly. Winston’s the middle child, very sweet, very quiet. When Graham comes home at night Winston won’t even let him get his coat off, he stands there and he wants up. Feet up and he wants up on his chest. He’s always looking for that hand that’s supposed to be petting him.
Winston is broken – he stretches out on the bed and twists the top part of his body one way and the bottom another, while he’s bent.
He’s had a crush on Jet since the day the brothers arrived here – much to her annoyance. He’s a sweet gentle soul who loves his family. Winston is the only one who kept his shelter name – he’s just a Winston.”
“He has a bit of a foot fetish….My daughter and her roommates had all grown up with animals and when they got their apartment they decided they needed kitties. They went to the shelter to adopt two kittens and there were three kittens left in the litter. They couldn’t decide and couldn’t leave one behind, so all three brothers came home – Loops, Winston and Greymalkin.
Loops is Mr. Social Man. He likes to meet everybody and come out to visit. He just likes to be with people. In the morning when we’re getting ready, when Graham’s putting his socks on… well, Loops has a bit of a foot fetish He likes to make sure he gets your feet clean before the socks come on.
He’s always happy, content. He flops out on his back a lot – just a relaxed, social guy.”
Loops aka Fruit Loops, Looper
“He’s the kind of dude that if you put a kid on him, he will be very careful, he will walk very slowly and just all around a nice horse. If you put somebody on him who can ride and he thinks they’re not being respectful, oh boy, look out! He has all kinds of buttons to push and if you don’t push the right ones, if he thinks you should be able to, you’re in trouble. But other than that he really is a super horse. He’s reliable. Just a nice guy. Fish Creek Ranch’s reliable horse.
This year, we actually had a coach visit from Holland who is one of the Dutch superstars for driving. He’s the guy who everyone takes their driving horses to to be sorted out, he breeds Friesians for driving and can do anything with a driving horse – but he doesn’t ride. So, he wanted to go for a ride and have a look at the scenery. We put him on Gizmo. He packed him all the way the hill. Was exceptionally good with him and packed him all the way back down and looked after him very well. I told my niece about him riding her horse and she asked ‘Why is this super, duper horseman from Holland coming all the way over and riding my horse?’ And then she saw a picture of him on Gizmo, and said ‘Oh, I understand.’”
Gizmo aka Gizz, Gizzard