For any of you that know me, you know that my dogs are three of the most important people in my life. I can’t remember ever not having at least one dog, and since my parents were/are veterinarians, I grew up with four-footed siblings instead of tw-footed ones. This week, I thought I’d formally introduce you and give you some background on each of my furbabies.
Lexie: Sheltie/Border Collie Mix | 8 Years Old | 34 Pounds
First and foremost, meet Lexie. Lexie is probably the dog that I’m most proud of, the one that’s come the furthest since we got her. I’m sure that some of you have read my blog about how we trained Lexie as my service dog, so you already know some of this. Lex came to us at about a year and a half old from Gulf Coast Sheltie Rescue. When we got her, she didn’t know her own name, let alone a command like sit or stay. She was a wild child, and I definitely had my doubts about whether or not we would be able to keep her.
It became instantly clear that Lexie was incredibly smart, and if we were going to get anywhere with her, we needed to teach her things…anything. Her brain needed that stimulation and she needed a job. We started with basic obedience, come, sit, stay, etc., and then moved on to stupid pet tricks like spin, rollover, crawl, etc. Lexie literally picked up each of these commands in no more than two training sessions. As long as there was food involved, Lexie was happy to learn anything we were willing to teach her. We decided that she might do well as a service dog, and we worked with a trainer for several months to teach her to pick things up off the floor for me. It was a process, but now she is able to come anywhere with me in public and has become a completely different dog than the day we got her. Lexie is the ultimate poster dog for showing what a little bit of love and work can do to completely change a dog’s life.
Everyone loves Lexie. She has a big mouth and a lot to say, but she is absolutely hilarious…and ridiculously smart. She has a few bad habits (don’t we all?), but she is our protector and our watcher. She always knows where everyone is in the house, and she will definitely scare anyone that comes to the front door without her permission. Lexie has a mind of her own, and the look of disgust she will give you if she doesn’t agree with what you are doing is hysterical. Lexie is truly like having a hairy human in the house.
Paisley: Papillon/Pomeranian Mix | 4 Years Old | 11.5 Pounds
Out of all of our dogs, Paisley is the one I call mine. We rescued Paisley when Lexie was about four years old thinking that we needed to get a younger dog before Lexie got too much older and wouldn’t accept one. Paisley was an eleven-month-old owner surrender at the St. John the Baptist Animal Shelter. How someone can give up a dog after having it for eleven months is beyond me, but now I’m so glad they did.
We were actually looking for a dog for a friend of ours online when I stumbled across a three-year-old male papillon that needed a home. Papillons were always a breed we had talked about having, and Mom and I went ahead and inquired about him (even though we didn’t really want a male). The rescue group got back with us and said that he was already spoken for, but they showed me the cutest picture of a little papillon/pomeranian mix that no one had shown any interest in. Long story short, we went to the shelter that weekend and walked out with two dogs (Paisley and another dog, Bandit, for our friend).
Paisley is a goofball and a firecracker. She is smart, but not as smart as Lexie. She often uses her smarts for the wrong things, like getting food she is not supposed to have, or darting out the front door and running across the street to eat cat food. She picked up basic obedience quickly, and I want to get her into an agility class. We’ve done a little bit of private training in our backyard and she seemed to like it, so it might be something fun to do with her in a group setting. She is an avid squirrel hunter, and she LOVES to chase and murder lizards. She has a slight anger management issue, but most of the time that is taken out on a toy, so at least she channels it in the right direction. She loves other dogs, and her favorite word is probably “park,” which she can also spell (along with “walk” and “lizard”).
Porsche: Italian Greyhound | 4 Years Old | 11.5 Pounds
Where do I even begin with Porsche? Porsche (who is sleeping on me as a type this) is a nutcase. And I mean that in the most endearing way possible. We adopted Porsche from some friends of ours that are breeders who could not keep her to show her because her ears are wonky (but we LOVE them). They wanted to be sure she found a good home, and after we lost our first Italian Greyhound, they knew we were considering another one. Mom fell in love with her, and she instantly took to Paisley, so we knew almost immediately that she was a keeper.
Porsche is incredibly sweet, but, and again, I mean this in the nicest way possible, there’s not a lot going on between those ears. Her favorite bad habit is to play “got your nose” where she grabs your nose and runs away (thanks again for teaching her that Terry), and she barks at EVERYTHING. And she’s loud! If she doesn’t like something, or she’s excited, she sings “the song of her people” as we call it, which is something between a howl and a cry that is ear piercing…but hilarious. We can leave absolutely no food unattended in our house, because she can and will jump from the floor onto our kitchen counters and clean them off. She has even been known to steal vegetables out of a hot pot on the stovetop.
She can be completely obnoxious, and in those moments she is MOM’S DOG, but Porsche can also be the most loving animal on the planet. She is so sweet and loves to snuggle. She really tries to be a good dog, but sometimes I think she just can’t despite her best efforts. She has a great personality (even if it’s a little ditzy), and I understand why her breeders wanted to make sure she found a great home. She’s a complete clown and always making us laugh. She loves to snuggle with me for about an hour every morning, and she is almost always sleeping on top of me while I work on my computer. She’s a nutcase, but she’s a lovable nutcase.