Twister’s First Adoptiversary!

Twisted Twister cat has been a part of our family for a year now.

He’s on a special diet because of his bladder, and frustratingly he’s still peeing where he shouldn’t, but he’s the most lovable little Twister-pister!

Twister is completely unconcerned about the dogs, flat ignoring them even when he’s being “hounded” by a puppy. 😀

The cats are another story…
Greebo is the only cat who is not concerned with Twister at all. They’ll nap together and occasionally play together too.
Magic will play with Twister every now and then, but he’s always been a grumpy bum.
Minx is a different story. She won’t tolerate Twister anywhere near her, and has taken to sleeping as high up and as far away as she can, as Twister’s vision limits his access to high-up perches. Unfortunately, Twister won’t leave Minx alone! It’s as if he is determined to make friends with her even though she hisses at him and swats him if he comes near her, and if he manages to corner her, they have a rolling fight with her yowling like mad. 🙁

It makes me sad that they still can’t get on, but I’m hoping it will improve in time…

Must Love Dogs…

From the moment I adopted my Greebo cat – twelve years ago already – I knew I would always have cats in my life.
I (we) have had as many as six cats, and currently we have four – Greebo, Magic, Minx and Twister.

“Dogs are better than human beings because they know but do not tell.”
— Emily Dickinson

If you had told me, even five years ago, that I would one day share my bedroom with as many as seven dogs – I would have laughed in your face! I would have told you I was a cat person with no plans to change that.
We adopted Thelma and Louise mainly to let us know if someone came to our gate, but they were mainly outside dogs and certainly not spoilt.

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“Dogs got personality. Personality goes a long way.”
— Quentin Tarantino

Yet, here I sit. And I laugh at myself.
There are seven dogs in our bedroom. And they’re not small dogs either. Thelma and Louise are too big to be lap dogs, there are 3 big Labradors, a Labrador-sized bitch who has taken over the pack, and the biggest fox terrier you ever did see!

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“Anybody who doesn’t know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.”
—Franklin P. Jones

Two of the Labs are not ours – snuggly Patrick will be graduating as a Guide Dog soon, and wiggly Nimble is our Guide Dog puppy, who will probably also go on to become a Guide Dog – then it’s only our own five dogs.

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“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.”
—Dean Koontz

I’ve had furniture, shoes, cables, phones, and the garden wrecked by pooches of various ages. I’ve cleaned up a mountain of poop and puke. One dog is epileptic, and one is blind and diabetic, and our rescue has some behavioural issues that we’re working through.
I love our Guide Dog puppies, I love all our dogs, but my Riddick is mommy’s baby and our Penny is her daddy’s girl.
I’m frequently surprised by how different their personalities and quirks are, and their “tells” – like when they’re asking to go outside.

Who’d a thunk it!

Etiquette at the Vet

If you have a dog, or a cat, or a few of each like we do, you will have been at the vet at some point.

I spend quite a lot of time at our vet… We do the normal vet visits for inoculations – with four dogs and four cats we take one a month so we don’t go broke. 🙂 We also have some special needs pets. We have a half-blind cat named Twister, who was born deformed and is now on a special diet ‘coz he gets crystals in his urine and then pees everywhere except in the litterboxes.
We have a blind Labrador name Riddick, who has cataracts as well, and has now been diagnosed diabetic and is on insulin.
We have an epileptic dog named Louise who is pretty much okay most of the time, as long as she has her meds…
And I stop in once a week with whichever Guide Dog puppy we have so they can be weighed, and get used to being in the vet’s office.
Our vet’s receptionists get to know our zoo quite well.

When I do go to the vet, my dogs are on lead, and my cats are on lead AND crated – as per the signs in the vet’s reception.
Keeping the cats away from other animals in the reception is pretty easy, their being in crates. Keeping the dogs away from other dogs though, is a whole ‘nother kettle of bananas! :/
I try not to let my dogs meet the other dogs in reception while we wait for our turn, for a few reasons.
One – I don’t know if the other animals in the reception area are sick or injured, and whether or not the reason they are at the vet is contagious.
Two – I don’t know if they are properly socialised, or treated for ticks and fleas, and whilst I am getting pretty good at reading doggy body language, I would rather not risk illness or injury to my dog by letting them play willy-nilly. Not at the vet, at least.
Three – my Guide Dog puppies are in training, learning to be okay wth vet visits as well as learning to ignore other dogs.

In my experience, people with dogs who may be aggressive will usually wait outside until they are called in by the vet, but too many people waiting in the reception – who don’t know anything about my dog or why we may be there – will ignore my attempts to keep my dog’s attention on me, and bring their dog over to “say hello”!
They don’t know, and they don’t ask, if I’m there to get my dog treated for an illness, or something that their dog could catch, or just for regular inoculations.
I don’t understand it!

Please, for all our sakes, take a seat and keep your dog close.

You aren’t doing your dog- or mine- any favours by getting them all excited in the vet’s reception area, and you could be putting my dog- or yours- at risk.

The “My Most Beautiful Pet” Competition!

My Most Beautiful PET Celebrates South Africa’s Furry Friends

Do you think YOU have the most beautiful PET?

Well, I can tell you right now that I – in fact – have the most beautiful pet, and that you shouldn’t even bother entering, but that wouldn’t be a fair win for me!

😛

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The competition website www.mymostbeautiful.com is proud to announce their new competition My Most Beautiful PET which is now open for entries.
Hurry along and start snapping and uploading your pics on www.mymostbeautiful.com to win the grand prize of R50 000!
What’s more, there are cash prizes for the rest of the top 10 ranging from R15 000 – R1000 and also prizes for a few lucky voters!

My Most Beautiful PET celebrates all of South Africa’s furbabies by donating a portion of profits to TEARS who are a pro-life, non-profit organisation based in Cape Town.  They rescue and rehome lost, abandoned and abused animals as well provide free sterilisations and primary medical care to animals in underprivileged communities. Around 300 animals are cared for daily at the shelter from veterinary care to providing food.  The My Most Beautiful team want to help ensure that many of these animals become pets to a loving home.

Joining in the search for this year’s My Most Beautiful PET are two celebrity judges, former Miss SA finalist Vanessa Haywood – Sandes who is an avid animal lover, and animal- activist and singer, Louise Carver, who have come on board to assist with the difficult task of crowning the winning pet “the most beautiful.”

Now that the cat’s out the bag, convinced you are the owner of South Africa’s most beautiful PET? Create a profile on www.mymostbeautiful.com, upload your pet pics and get your friends and family voting via SMS! Entries and voting close on the 9thSeptember and the winners will be announced on the 16th September.

To make a donation directly to TEARS, head over to http://tears.org.za/ for more info.

I Know I’m Scarce Here…

but I actually blog once a week – at least – about our furry family!
I blog about our dogs and cats and about the guide dog puppies we raise for SA Guide-dogs on one of my “other” blogs.
Its called “Conradie Zoo“.
I split the blogs years ago because I was getting comments about all the cat pictures on my regular blog… Teehee…

Recently, I blogged about our beloved yellow Lab, Riddick, who ended up having surgery to remove a foreign object from his intestines as he has a tendency to swallow the things he chews on. He’s still in hospital so they can make sure there’s no infection, and I miss him so very much.

I also blogged about our two “old ladies”, Thelma and Louise, and how they handled the move to our new house.

And I post a weekly update about our newest guide dog puppy-in-training, Lennox, who also has his own Facebook page!

So I may not be blogging here very often, but I am blogging.

😀