Monday, April 1, 2013

Full House !

We've just had a couple of very nice, mild days during which I was able to get outside and do some garden tidying.  Mostly, I was "harvesting" a bumper crop of "doggie do".  If there was money in dog crap, I'd be a wealthy woman.

My daughter and her boyfriend moved out recently: so I am now free to let you in on a secret.  Are you ready ?  

While they lived here, we had a total of seven -- YES !   SEVEN !  -- dogs in our house: in a semi-detached house with a small yard.   Two of the dogs were rescues, that they were fostering.  Luckily, Kait's boyfriend, Des, is a dog trainer, so things were not as chaotic as you'd imagine.  Nevertheless, as far as the poop production goes, it was very impressive.

Kait working with her wonderful, Red-nosed Pitbull, "Sooki".

But I can hear what you're thinking: and you're right.  Seven, is too many dogs.

My other two boarders had moved out over a month ago, taking their two cats with them.

Did I mention that Kait's boyfriend, also has two cats ?

Yup.  We were living in a lil' house with SEVEN dogs and SIX cats !   And FIVE people.  

A funny sign from the Happy Dudes Surfing Emporium.

Are you sitting there with your mouth gaping open ?    There certainly were days when I did.

Des's beautiful pit bull, Rascal, enjoying the rope swing.
The dogs did not have the run of the house or chaos would really and truly broken out..  My dogs, Wendy and Trey never go downstairs, and the kids' dogs never came up un-escorted.  And "no", we never had a dog fight.   In an year, not one dog fight.  Four "pits" or "pit bull crosses", two Bouviers and a lab-cross, lived in relative harmony.  The lab-cross is Wendy.  My sweet-natured, darling, Wendy.

So in this house full of dogs, would you be surprised to know that Wendy and the Des's female, Bouvier, Liza, were the "alpha" dogs.  Wendy posses a calm demeanor, but the mere subtle curl of her lip causes Trey to flatten his ears and turn away in deference to her higher status.  She doesn't need to fight.  She exudes confidence.

My cats, Roswell and Butters.
In a way the cats were more trouble than the dogs.  Of the six, five were inside cats.  Butters as a rescue, never adjusted to indoor life, and displays his displeasure in very tangible ways, and hence gets to go outside and play in the traffic.

Surprise number two, regards the identity of the "alpha" cat in our animal-hoarding,  home.

Roswell, my space-alien cat.

It's the smallest of the cats, none other than our own resident, space-alien cat, Roswell.  If Roswell decides one of the "other" cats (anyone who isn't Butters) shouldn't be upstairs, he chases them back downstairs

I'm still pet-sitting Des's two cats: Max and Bocce, aka, "Bean", so I'm currently living with two dogs and four cats.

Still, the house seems VERY quiet with five fewer dogs, four fewer people and two fewer cats.

The house seems so much bigger now.

This is the first time I have been alone since I retired here in '09.

Ahhhh bliss ...


  1. Well Sybil. I'll let you know my little secret only I'm not telling the number. I am one individual among a "few" more than your number. It is all in the training and how you allow dogs and cats to mix. Feeding time is the crucial time and I don't have dog fights because I am careful. Muddy the big lab is food aggressive. He was not like that until about two years ago. He is now about 5 years old. He is fed first in the back yard that is enclosed. The other two hogs/dogs are fed in their crates. I just point to each place and they know where to go. Each dog has a spot in the house to eat and I do not deviate from that. If food is not eaten and they walk away the stainless feeding bowl is picked up. If it is very much food I put that in a container with a lid and store in the fridge to be recycled the next day. Cats have certain places to eat. Dogs are not allowed nearby and they know not to bother. The big dogs are mostly in the yard in daytime and if cold, rainy, or it is night they are put back in very large crates. Each dog has his/her own crate.

    I got into rescue with no intention and had to stop for lack of money, energy, time, and so on. But I have these animals now and I love them all. I am inspected by the city yearly and the inspectors are always impressed. I scrimp so that I can take care of my animals. You can read some of the replies to the post comments about the woman that spent 6 grand on surgery for a Bichon Frise.

    My animals are like family and I have a few favorites. Very much attached to these. Specially two cats, followed by four other ones. I have a helper 2-3 days a week and the rest of the time I am doing the work. I have to be frugal or I could not afford to keep these animals. It is a lot of work but I don't mind at all. It is for love not for my convenience so that I can spend on crap that I don't need. So that is my story. I live a simple life and where I am located I either need a gun or the dogs. I have both but I do not think I will ever need to use a gun. That is what my bad a-- dogs are for. They are protection only if it is needed. And I don't allow them to bark when outdoors. If they begin barking I bring them inside. They pretty much know not to bark needlessly.

    So, I am glad that you can relax now and have more peace of mind.

    1. Phew. Those critters are lucky to have you. I don't need to crate Wendy and Trey. I can shut them in my bedroom and they just settle down and never scratch the door or bark.

      At Dinner time I place the bowl of 1/2 kibble and 1/2 raw in front of each dog. They sit. They look at me. They wait for permission to eat.

      Going in and out of the house they must sit first.

      Coming in the front door they must sit and wait while I enter first and give them permission to enter.

      They know places like "kitchen", "bedroom", "stairs".

      They can be told to stay in a room and don't cross the threshold to leave the room without permission.

      Several of the dogs that don't live here now were crated.

  2. Wow! You have had a busy time of it. Enjoy the peace.

  3. NOW I see what's been happening at Sybil's in Nova Scotia. :) When you're done harvesting your "crop", enjoy--enjoy--enjoy!--your new solo life. Just think of the new possibilities in your life!

    1. Thanks Kathy. Waiting for some warmer weather so I can harvest the rest of the crop.

  4. Wowsers! What a well run dormitory! Enjoy the peace and quiet. I love Roswell!

    1. Roswell is hard not to love. But it's really stupid of him to pick fights with other cats when he's BALD.

  5. You must be soooo enjoying your quieter life now Sybil! When my daughter and her boyfriend moved home a few years ago, we had seven people, two dogs and three cats and that was a handful at times. We have been down to four people, one dog and two cats for some time now, far more manageable. :)


Thanks for stopping by. I really do love to read your comments.