“Moose thinks he’s a lap dog. I bet he weighs about 75 lbs and is five and a half months old. He’s 3/4 great Dane and 1/4 great Pyrenees. He trips over himself continually.
He’s a mischievous little fart who gets into everything. We’re renovating at the moment and this dog can sleep through a hammer saw right by his head – happily. He’s really friendly. Happy. Adventurous. He’s not scared of anything.
I’ve got nephews that are two and four and he’s fantastic with them. One of them is quite sure he’s going to be able to ride him. We’ll see who gets bigger first. He lets them crawl all over him.
He’s smart. He’s learning his stuff pretty well. A calm, happy, easy-going dog. He’s just great.”
Valentino Moustachio aka Moose
“He’s lucky. He was found, running down the road in Springbank with coyotes chasing him, by my friend. She caught him, took him home and tried to find his owner. Went through all the groups, put up posters and no one came for him.
She kept him but they have a very busy household with four kids. She had him for a long time but he wasn’t great with kids. He only likes a few people and she’s one and I was one. The rest of her family, unfortunately he didn’t care for. She rescued four other puppies that grew up to be big dogs and they decided Lucky was a great chew toy. So he came here.
He’s a bit tricky. She didn’t want to give him to just anybody, but someone who could manage his biting. He doesn’t really bite around me. Mostly he’s a pretty good little guy. Just needed a quieter home and as long as people don’t bend over top of him, he’s fine. I take him to the park and have him off leash. He likes dogs better than people.
He’s a loving dog. He’s my buddy. I can take him to a BBQ and tell everyone to ignore the dog. If they ignore him for 15 minutes and he can check everyone out, he’s just fine. He needs a chance to decide whether you’re okay, and he always decides you’re okay if you ignore him. My friend who gave him to me can’t believe he’s the same dog. He’s not – because he was so stressed out where he was.
He’s really smart. I wish I was better with training and stuff because I think he could go a long ways. So smart.”
Lucky aka Luck, Luckers
“When he first came to me I couldn’t get him to walk on the grass. If you put him outside he wasn’t like a regular dog. He wouldn’t stop and sniff, would just do his business and want right back in. Hated going for a walk. If I made him walk on the grass it was like torture. He’s still not crazy about it but at least he’ll stop and smell the roses.
He’s a rescue. He came to me as Noodles and it just didn’t fit. He was Louis for a while, but I ended up calling him Bubba and it suits him. He’s like a little Bubba. He was from California. Apparently his original owner died and the kids took him. I’m not sure, they lost their house or something and brought him to a shelter. He was already an old dog.
When he arrived here it was winter, which I think is his hell. Because he is a dachshund – he has no hair, no legs for snow. I have to shovel for him. He just hates winter.
He’s a highly anxious little dog and when I first got him I almost sent him back. He was just so overwrought all the time. Totally stressed out, pooping and peeing, shaking and barking. But we got through that and he’s better now. He’s trained me into everything that he likes. He’s an old man so I give him lots of grace, because he needs it.
If he sees sparkles or things in the window or your cell phone is making a reflection, he barks and chases it. He chases the laser light thing – it’s hilarious.
He likes to sleep with me at night. I don’t know how he does it but I wake up and his head is on the pillow with the blankets up to his neck. He’s not a very affectionate dog, but he needs to be around me.”
“Henry is a go-along, get-along kind of guy. Not much bothers him. He tends to fall down stairs a lot because he gets going so fast. If you give him a ball, that’s all he wants. He’s just a dog, whereas Maury is more ‘human’ than that. I probably sound like every dog owner you’ve heard talk about their dog.
Henry almost died about three weeks ago. We were at the park, and you know the dog theory that if it’s on the ground I must eat it, we think he got some sort of a drug or something. The vet thought at first he had a stroke, but then they didn’t know what he had. Then it just wore off. He hasn’t been quite the same since. He’s never been a noisy dog, but he’s been quieter.
He’s just a love. Always wants to cuddle. He likes to sit by you, head on your lap or a foot on you. He has to be touching you. He’s just my baby.”
Henry aka MonkeyButt, Bubbles
“He is the smartest dog I’ve ever seen. Seriously. He knows how to answer you. You make a rule and he follows it. He’s a very rule-driven dog. He taught Henry to be house trained. He really is the smartest dog. He gets his feelings hurt and gets angry. Maury does all the people things that people say dogs do but they don’t usually do. But he does it!
He loves the ladies. We were walking downtown with him and he disappeared. Go around the corner and there’s three girls petting him. He totally ignores the men. If you were here with a man, he’d have nothing to do with him. Well, he might check for treats but that’s it. It’s girls that are important.
Every day he does something that makes me laugh. He’ll answer you. I think he understands, I really do. When he was just a little puppy, my son had just got him and brought him to my place. Dan called him, Maury looked back and kept on going. Dan called him again, he looked back again. The third time Maury game him a ‘screw you’ look and kept going. Dan says, ‘what have I got?’ I said, ‘more than you can handle.’”
Maurice aka Maury
“I named her Maple because she came to me on Canada Day. It’s a good Canadian name. She’s just an amazing cat.
Surprisingly, because she’s a very petite cat, she has NINE kittens! They arrived when they were one day old. Maple was a bit nervous – understandably, she’d been uprooted and was in a new place with her babies to look after. Moms can be protective of their new babies so the first few days she hardly wanted to leave her nest. I had to offer her food and water in her bed. Then she really came out of her shell and she’s just the friendliest, sweetest cat.
She loves dogs. I let my calmest dog in to see her and Maple immediately rubbed against and was weaving between Desi’s legs. She’s a very sweet, special cat.
Strangers come to visit with and socialize the kittens and Maple is never shy with anyone. Just leaps right on their lap. I’ll foster her until the kittens are ready to go, so probably just a couple more weeks. She’s the whole package this cat – cute and just gentle. Whoever adopts her will be very, very lucky to get her.”
“It was meant to be – getting Halen. I was devastated when Aiden died. Then I remembered that someone I knew had posted some months ago that she was looking to re-home an adult male Belgian shepherd. I contacted her and went through the requirements of what I’d expect from a dog and he was just perfect.
We wanted a fun dog to play with Desi, keep her company, and to be a watch dog and good with the cats, be a friend for us. And to play ball. A requirement was for him to play ball. I wanted him to enjoy going for truck rides with Bruce when he does his Saturday chores. They were just fun things that I used to do with Aiden. But I wasn’t replacing Aiden, I knew he’d be a completely different dog.
His registered name is All Fired Up, which is a Van Halen song. So Halen. We haven’t given him nicknames yet because we want him to get used to us calling him.
He’s goofy and friendly. Just full of fun. He settled in instantly. I thought it might take him a while to settle in because he was quite sad when I brought him in the car and he left his previous owner. But, my gosh, within two days he was right at home. And I’ve only had him twenty-some days now and just look at him, he looks like he’s always lived here. He loves it here. And he’s just so much fun.”
“He actually Facetimed my mom and dad once! I was impressed because he had to click on the contact info and then the Facetime icon. Then he sat looking down at the phone when it started to ring. I heard the ringing and was like ‘what the heck?’ Saw him on the counter looking at the phone and that he’d called my parents. My friend was there and we were both laughing, waiting for them to answer. They didn’t!! So disappointing. So we helped Stewie call again. This time they answered and saw his face looking down at them.
I can’t say he did the Facetime call on purpose, but he starts the roomba vacuum on purpose. And he does it at some horrible time in the early morning – like 4am. It’s parked in my bedroom and the first time I heard the beep-be-be-beep I wondered what was going on. Stewie was sitting by the vacuum. I told it to dock and lay back down. I thought it was a fluke. Not even two minutes later, off it goes again and there’s my cat sitting with his paw in the air like he’d pushed the button and watching it go. After this happened again the next night, I had to store the roomba in the closet for months – until it was no longer interesting to my crazy cat.”
Stewie aka: Stew, Little Bean, Don’t-Even-Think-About-It
Ed Note: If Stewie seems familiar, it’s because you’ve seen him before. He’s my cat and a bit of an inspiration for Our Quirky Critters. I’ve never met a cat quite so quirky before – I swear I could write a book just about him. Hopefully you are entertained by his stories as much as I am by him.
(2/2) “Ray, as in Ray Charles, was born completely blind like his brother Stevie. He likes to growl when he’s on the bed. I live in denial and say he’s purring. But really he just wants us to get away from him. He’s a really sweet, lovable dog except when he’s on the bed.
He does have a great hunting instinct and loves to have fresh mice – which Spice provides for him. Spice only brings them to Ray, not Stevie. At first he just licked one but then he learned quickly I would take them away. So he eats them within seconds now.
We say that Ray comes with curls because when you bath him he has naturally curly hair. I tried to gel and fluff it up once, that didn’t work too well. He’s not as cuddly as Stevie and not as trusting. They’re very different dogs. When he sleeps he likes to be at the end of the bed away us all. He likes his own space. Everything is on his own terms. He’s his own dog.”
Ray aka Coojo
(1/2) “A co-worker was supposed to get the puppy but didn’t want him when she found out he was blind. So we rescued Stevie first. He wasn’t ready to come home yet – he was only 6 weeks old. Speaking with the breeder, we learned there was a second one in the litter who was also blind. There was only two blind puppies – I was very adamant to make sure they came as a pair.
They were actually born without an optic nerve so they can’t see light or shadows – nothing. Every day is a wonderful joy that they can do things like normal dogs.
We say that they see with their hearts.
When they were puppies, everything they did, they did together. If they played with a toy, they did it together. If they had a beef curly they chewed it together. They would bump into stuff as puppies and that’s how they got the lay of the land. We were told not to move furniture, but they are totally fine – even if i bring them to my mom’s house they’re fine. They know where stairs are. They put their paws out first to kind of gauge where everything is. Every day’s a miracle.
Stevie – like Stevie Wonder – is such a lovable dog. He’s always into cuddling on the chair. Just really, really sweet. He’s a pretty good walker and doesn’t get distracted easily. He does like to eat though – anything edible. One time he got to a bag of white chocolate Hershey’s kisses. Bloated and feeling awful but he got better.
He sleeps like a person, so it doesn’t matter where you put him on the bed he will make his way up to the pillow, make his way under the blanket and lay with his head on the pillow. He sleeps on his back and he snores!
If it’s raining, he does not go outside to go to the bathroom. No way! So we have to put a pee pad inside for him. He doesn’t like to get his feet wet.”
Stevie aka Steven B Puppy