Thistle is currently my oldest cat. She turned seventeen on June 14 of this year. She was originally a birthday present for my mother. That lasted about two weeks. Mom wasn’t up for kitten-hood. This is exactly why they tell you not to give critters as gifts!
She was an adorable kitten, and was, and still is, just as sweet as she could be….but Thistle has some issues. When she was younger, she got an inner ear infection which left her with a mild head-tilt, and for some reason after that she began sticking her paw in the water bowl and licking the water off her paw instead of just drinking. No one knows if the two are connected, but it is what it is. She used to love to play with the toilet water too. I finally had to tell everyone who came over to put the lid back down because I got tired of the whole bathroom getting doused!
A few years ago she got ‘gotten’ by one of the dogs that comes here for daycare (we didn’t know the magnitude of his prey drive for kitties). Because of that, she has nerve damage which leaves her a little…unsteady. You can only pet the top of her head…anywhere else will send her back legs into a kicking frenzy, then she will shake her head and nearly fall over, because her front feet will slide out from underneath her on a slick surface. It’s sad, yet I admit it can be a little comical at times. If there is one thing this little gal has taught me, it is about overcoming adversity!
I absolutely loved the dog in question, so I told his parents to hold off on daycare for two weeks while I figure out how to keep it from happening again. It began with keeping the cats in my bedroom, but the litter boxes were downstairs in the basement…hmmmm. So, the only logical thing to do was to cut a hole in my closet floor and build cat walks along the basement ceiling and walls so they could have the run on of the basement as well. That’s logical, right???
Pardon the unfinished walls and ceiling, but I had to draw the line somewhere!
Then, that wasn’t enough so I bought a cat door for the basement window, and I fenced off the area immediately around the house and under the deck so that the cats could have their own yard and the dogs couldn’t get to them.
Then, that still wasn’t enough (guilt is an amazing motivator), so I began converting one of the rooms in my basement into a ‘Cat Room’. I laid vinyl flooring, bought several 1×6 boards and 4×4 posts, and cut and covered them with carpet. I then mounted them on the walls to make ramps and shelves for the cats to climb on. A few pieces of cat furniture and some cat beds later, and their cat room/my exercise room was completed!
It may seem crazy to a lot of you…I don’t know, maybe it is. But to me it’s love. I love my clients and I love my critters. If I had to do it all over again, or something even crazier, I would. For every problem there is a solution. You just need to get creative and remember to do it out of love.
And then there’s Liam…..
This is Liam.
Liam is a 10 yr. old Yorkie that weighs barely more than 5 lbs., but has a TON of attitude! He is tiny! I refer to him as my ‘half dog,’ partly because he is so small and partly because he is half mine. He was my best friend/roommate’s dog and when she moved across country she couldn’t take him with her. So, he became our ‘.5 addition’. He has fully earned the respect of every Boogervillain, native and honorary, because of his giant personality.
Liam enjoys the finer things in life. He relishes in taking naps, sunbathing on the deck, going on walk-about around the yard (hey, that’s a long walk when you’re that small!) But alas, Liam has a darker side…He’s a stuffed toy rapist. No stuffed toy is safe around him, although he does have a favorite…his stuffed zebra ass. Yes, Liam has a toy ass! Hahahaha! I kid you not!! Look, here it is…
Hahahahaha!!! You thought I was kidding, right? I had to toss it to him after I took that picture because he saw me with it! But hey, everyone has a vice! Liam’s just happens to be a little disturbing…hmmm.
His other favorite hobby, when he’s awake, is looking out the front window for cars or people going by. Then he gives one quick yip and all the other dogs go running out the dog door to go bark at them in the yard. That is, until I get to the door and give a sharp ‘HEY’ to stop them in their tracks, LOL!!! The funniest part is that the other dogs get stuck in the dog door because they have no concept of ‘one at a time’! Whenever I turn back to Liam to scold him he is just sitting there, paws crossed, with the sliest looking snicker on his face. It always ends with saying ‘you’re proud of yourself, aren’t you?’
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know the native Canine Boogervillains. In the next few posts I’ll tell you about the Feline Boogervillains. Thanks again for reading and we’ll be seeing you soon!
This is Cracker.
I adopted Cracker on Dec. 11, 2015. He was a neighborhood dog whose owner would let him run loose for months. He was returned once by one neighbor and the owner asked him if he wanted him. He was then taken in for a night by another neighbor and returned, then captured again by yet another neighbor who called animal control. They picked him up and posted his picture on their facebook page in an attempt to find the owner. We all knew who the owner was but no one said a word because we knew he didn’t want him…that’s when my ‘Sucker Light’ came on.
I contacted Animal Control and began the adoption process. It took a few weeks to process and in the meantime Cracker was attacked by another large male dog while at the shelter. He was okay, but he began showing signs of fear aggression when they took him to the vet to be neutered. Because I was supposed to pick him up from the vet that afternoon, they informed me of his reaction to seeing other dogs in the waiting room and said that they would understand if I wanted to change my mind about adopting him. I called the vet mid-day to see how he was doing and they said he had shown no aggression with any humans or dogs in the back. I then knew that is was fear-based and that me and my boys, whom he had already met, could help him get over it. So I picked him up that evening and brought him home.
(Gargoyle on guard!)
I am not going to lie…I was concerned because he is a pitbull. Not because I ever thought they are bad dogs, I know several pits and they are very sweet. But, they are pits, nonetheless. They are a very powerful breed that have the power and the strength to do damage. They need an alpha leader. I call myself The Alpha Chic, but even I can lose my mojo from time to time. I wondered if I had what it takes…
I already had a Meet & Greet procedure for new dogs in place so I started with that for him as well. I let all of my existing clients know that we would be repeating that process for Cracker when they brought their dogs by. Everyone agreed and it worked great. Cracker was a bit too excited at first but we just waited for everyone to completely calm down and he did fine!
…Oh, and by the way, he was terrified of my cats at first, HAHAHAHA!!!
There were 2 dogs, however, who were particularly cocky and who each showed their teeth to either Cracker or the other boys. He tolerated it at first but then he had had enough…my Alpha-Chickness was to be tested and I passed!!! I diffused the situation each time and added some tools and steps to my Meet & Greet process. Now Cracker knows that I am in control and don’t need him to step in. He has also learned that when his ‘greeting Leash’ goes on him, he is to stay calm.
Cracker has completely stolen my heart because he is such a goofy lovebug. His favorite hobbies are sunbathing and napping, which he can do at the same time… And oh, he snores when he is awake haha!! He had almost perfect indoor manners right from the start, making him one my easiest adoptions ever as far as training and learning my rules. He has been a wonderful addition to our band of Boogervillains!
(Just plain dashing!)
This is Jack.
Jack came to live with me in 2009 when a friend posted on the neighborhood forum that he needed a home because she could no longer keep up with him. That wording alone should have sent up a red flag for me but obviously, I missed it!
I told her to bring him by to meet Munster and we’ll see how they get along. She showed up with his food, bed and toys, stayed for 20 minutes and said ‘they seem to be getting along fine.’ …Then she ran like hell! Hahaha!!!
Jack is a sheltie that has a lazy ear and he is too tall for breed standards. He’s a show reject, basically. But I don’t care about that because his personality is larger than life! Anyone who knows shelties knows that they are springy, cocky, mouthy dogs and Jack is a typical sheltie.
He is also part goat…he will eat ANYTHING! I now have ‘step’ trash cans because he would eat the trash. I don’t leave any clothing, paper, tissues, rubber bands, plastic…anything, laying on the floor…or on my night stand, for that matter, because it will be consumed! When I walk the dogs, he is constantly trying to eat the tall grass on the side of the road. He has mastered grabbing a clump of grass in his mouth and eating it on the go!
He is also a tire biter…he runs the fence when cars go by. Some of my neighbors used to rev their engines and egg him on! When we go for walks the neighbors like to stop and chat, but while we’re talking they will roll their vehicle back and forth just to make him go crazy over the tires moving…
Jack goes Commando all year round and he LOVES it! He has a collection of sweatshirts for the colder months. I keep him shaved…short, because he gets so hot that he sleeps on my a/c vents and makes my electric bill go through the roof. I have to go almost down to his skin because his undercoat is too thick for any clipper guard, but, he also gets hot spots so keeping him shaved alleviates that. I’ll have to get someone to take a video of him after I’ve shaved and bathed him because it is so funny. He runs around the house and yard barking like “I’m naked!! Look at my junk!!!” We’re both happier with him naked so it’s a win-win!
Hey! It’s about function, not fashion! Notice the flag on the end of his tail…I love it!!!
Thanks again for reading and stay tuned to meet the rest of my Band of Miscreants!
Sorry It has been a while since my last post. I had the nerve to take a mini vacation for 3.5 days and naturally work was 5 times busier for a few weeks afterward, just to get even, haha! I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend!
I want to introduce you to my dogs; Munster, Jack, Cracker and Liam. They are my boys,..my pack,..my unwavering clan of cronies. Can you tell I love ‘em? I’ll start with Munster, because he has the most complicated story.
This is Munster.
I got Munster in 2007 when he was approximately 10 months old. His ‘family’ kept him tied to the back of a truck near their chicken coop and his job was to protect the chickens. They must not have told him that because every time a chicken got killed they would beat him. I actually saw children hitting him with sticks…
Long story short, animal control picked Munster up and I brought Booger there to meet him and he came home with us! He was very shy and timid at first but that quickly changed. Within a couple of weeks his lack of any socialization and training was VERY apparent! He was a nightmare!
He chewed on my furniture legs, urinated in the house, ran away many times and scared a lot of the neighbors…more on that in a minute. I am sure there is much more but I’ll reveal his full rap sheet in the future, haha!
You might be asking yourselves how I dealt with all of this chaos and got him to blossom into what I now refer to as my role-model for the other dogs that come to stay here. Well, let’s see, the furniture chewing was the easiest to resolve…Tabasco sauce. Yup! I brushed it on all of my furniture legs and anything else he tried to gnaw on. All it took was 1 or 2 licks and he was cured of that deviant behavior. Victory!!!
The urinating in the house was slightly harder, well for me, anyway. I tried every conventional method and nothing worked. Finally I was so fed up that when my then boyfriend came home from work one day I told him he “had one week to teach that dog to pee outside or he is out of here”. Theo looked at Munster and said “come on Munsy, let me show you”. They went into the back yard and stood side by side. Theo began peeing in the yard with Munster watching. Next thing I know (I was watching from the window), Munster leaned forward and began peeing along side him! I was so mad I could have screamed! It couldn’t be that easy! But as God as my witness, it worked! And Munster has never peed in the house since!
Now…the scaring of the neighbors, hehe…
I mentioned in the past that Munster is the reason for us putting up the fence, hence Miss Booger’s Pet Sitting was born. He used to go wandering the neighborhood chasing deer and whatnot, and he would pass through other yards and growl at whoever approached him. So, we installed the fence and then one day I was channel surfing and came across The Dog Whisperer…I was amazed. I began watching it religiously and implementing his methods. I also started walking Munster 2.5 hours a day. This went on for months but I was definitely seeing results. He still growls…at everything, even himself, but eventually we noticed that even though he growls a lot, the other dogs seemed to pay no attention to it. That’s when it dawned on me that he chews on his feet and growls at himself for entertainment! After all, when you spend the first 10 months of your life tied to a truck, what else is there to to do?!
Today, everyone that knew him back then and even new people are amazed at how well behaved he is, and I couldn’t be more proud of him! He still grumbles nervously if strangers reach out to touch him, so I just explain his past to everyone and tell them to just ignore him and not touch him.
Well, I think I’ll leave it at that for now so you all can get on with your day. I will write about my other 3 canine companions in the next posts. I hope you are enjoying reading these posts and getting to know all of us Boogervillains, because I am really enjoying writing them for you. Have a great day and we’ll see you soon!
I can’t introduce you to all the Boogervillains without first paying homage to the gal who inspired it all, or at least the first phase; my best girl, Booger. If you haven’t already, read how Booger inspired my business on my website. Let me tell you about her as a dog and a friend here, if that’s okay.
This was Booger.
Booger was a beagle pointer mix and was the sweetest dog that ever lived. I know everyone says that about their dog, but she was! She didn’t have a mean bone in her body, which made her a terrible guard dog. If the doorbell rang she would bark while running to hide behind me – haha! She even had a heart-shaped splotch on her side!
When I would walk her and we would encounter people, I would jokingly say ‘kill, Booger, kill!’ and she would wiggle waggle up to them so they could pet her! I swore if anyone ever broke into the house she would just show them where the T-R-E-A-T-S were!
For her tenth birthday, we threw her a party! She used to love to rip open presents!
I can’t remember what year it was, but Booger was a Jefferson County Bark-In-The-Park Tail-Wagging Champion! She out-wagged all the competition that year and there were some tough competitors, haha!
This is Booger and I after she won!
She was very intuitive with me; I didn’t have to say anything to her and she always knew my next move. At first she followed me all over the house, but she eventually realized that I never stay in one place long enough for her to lay down so she found the perfect spot from where she could watch me wherever I went. She was always ready whether I needed a dance partner (yes, she danced with me) or a shoulder to cry on.
….That all happened later…once she turned about 7 yrs old. Up until then, she was a TOTAL NIGHTMARE! It took me 7 years to fully housebreak her. Finally, crate training did the trick but she still did the nervous/excitement pee until we consulted a trainer who gave us some simple yet effective advice. I will divulge that tidbit in a future post (hey, I gotta get you to come back somehow!)
She was full of energy, lightening fast and destructive…she shredded my childhood teddy bear, she ate cigarettes, she ate gravel…she ate a AA battery one time and pooped it out the next day!! …Total nightmare! She was lucky she was so sweet!
I adopted Booger when she was 6 months old and she passed away at 12.5 years old. I admit that there were times when she was a puppy that I almost gave up on her, but I’m so glad I didn’t. Booger captured my heart and inspired my imagination and I owe all that I am today to her.
So if there are any of you out there who are currently frustrated with a nightmare puppy, hang in there…it could very well end up being a journey that changes your life!