Wednesday, November 23, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 23

Today I was supposed to tell you about my favorite movie, but we already discussed favorite movies on Day 7. Today I've decided to tell you about our family pets instead.

Bella squaring off with Helo
Bella is our cat. She has calico markings, and is your run of the mill mutt cat. She's got these huge green eyes, and fur that sheds everywhere! Lint brushes sure do come in handy at our house! Bella was a gift to my daughter for her 8th birthday. A friend of mine from work had a cat that had kittens and was giving them away. We went to her home, and Karissa picked Bella out. She also picked out her name.
When I was planning to move here three years ago, there was some discussion as to whether or not Bella would be going to live with Karissa at her Dad's or moving with me. Lucky me, I got to take her with me. Poor Bella didn't like the long drive to Florida. The trip took us about 18 hours, during which she refused to eat, drink, or use a litter box. She meow-ed for the first 45 minutes of our trip, then she just huddled quietly in her kitty carrier. It wasn't long before she was out and about, learning to tease the big dogs and hold her own! She has since adopted my husband as her "person", even though he's not really a cat person. She keeps him company when he's home by perching on the kitchen counter while he makes his breakfast, and huddling between his legs at night when we're in bed.

Helo is our boxer boy. We adopted him when he was 8 weeks old in October of 2008, shortly after Tommy's dog Rocky passed away. Tommy would get up every two hours during the night to take Helo outside, and he was housebroken in just a couple of weeks. I would sit at my computer to get my work done during the day, and Helo would be sleeping on top of my feet (it's hard to believe he was that tiny!). Oh how I miss the tiny Helo! Now, Helo is almost 70 pounds. He's so strong and muscular! He's also about as sweet and lovable as a dog can get. He loves to be rubbed and played with. He has proven to be highly tolerant of children, and Tristan is constantly taking advantage of that by sitting on him, patting him hard, and tugging on his ears. I knew Helo would be great around Tristan when he was constantly at his side right after he was born. Helo thought that Tristan was HIS baby. No joke! We've raised Helo as we would raise any child of ours - we've taught him his manners, disciplined him when he forgot them, and loved him unconditionally.

Boxer Bash, December 2010 with Helo & Lilly
Lilly is our sweet rescue girl. Lilly was originally a foster that we got from Coastal Boxer Rescue. I had my eye on another dog, but it turned out that he was already adopted when we inquired. They let us know that they had an owner surrender that would be coming in and felt that she would be a good fit for our family. We agreed, and so our journey with Lilly began. When she arrived at our home, she was skiddish, filthy, and reeked of cigarette smoke. Tommy gave her a good bath, and she was very submissive. She just laid down in the tub, didn't try to fight that bath a bit! After her bath, Tommy let her and Helo outside to use the bathroom. I was sitting in my bedroom nursing Tristan when I heard a loud splash. I got up to see what the commotion was, and Tommy informed me that when Lilly ran out the door, she went straight...into the pool! It was pitch dark outside and she didn't see it coming. Poor girl! Luckily she was able to swim to the side and Tommy pulled her out.

She was, and still is, really shy around strangers. Especially men. It took her forever to get used to Tommy, and our good friend Bryan. In those early days, when we would have family or friends house/dog-sit for us, it wasn't unusual for her to run outside when she was let out and hide out under the trailer for hours, refusing to come back inside. It was pretty clear she had been mistreated by a man at some point in her life. We were also told that Lilly had pancreatitis - a condition that was kept under control with special prescription dog food. We were told she could ONLY eat that particular type of food. I did my best to try to keep her food separate from Helo's, but she wanted nothing to do with her food, and everything to do with Helo's. We gradually introduced his food to her, and I'm happy to say that she and Helo eat the same regular dog food (Natural Balance - the good stuff!), and she has shown absolutely NO symptoms or signs of pancreatitis at all.

As I mentioned, Lilly was a foster. About 3 months after we got her, I realized that there was absolutely no way that I could part with her. She was MY dog. She follows me everywhere. If I'm at my desk, she is usually underneath it. If I'm at the dining room table, she is sitting next to me (unless Tristan is eating in his high chair - then suddenly she's HIS best friend!). Lilly is 9 years old now, and she's just as active as Helo is, for the most part. I'm so thankful that she's as healthy as she is!

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