We acquired Toby three years ago from a kill shelter, after the dog my husband had had for 16 years died. I say his dog because it hated me.Toby is one-half Jack Russel Terrier and one-half Australian Shepherd. As an 18-week old puppy, he looked and acted all Jack Russel. We didn't really expect him to get very large, but as you can see, he did.
Roxy is also a rescue and is now going on 11 months old, but she was taken from a foster home. We were originally told that she was a Beagle and Jack Russel mix. Funny thing is, she's neither of those! It ends up that she is a Dachshund and Chihuahua mix. In other words a Chiweenie. We had actually planned to adopt her brother, but the way she jumped up on our laps and showered with kisses was enough to win us over. Besides, I needed another female in the house.
Since these two are with me pretty much 24/7 is shouldn't be surprising that I call them my kids, my shadows, my side-kicks. I do admit there are days that they drive me absolutely crazy, and I feel like I am cleaning up after them constantly. (Kind of like having toddlers around the house) In the fall it seemed like they both felt the need to bring sticks and twigs into the house. Now that it is summer time, and the fact that we live in Florida, Roxy's new discovery is lizards. She lives for chasing them around the yard. Amazingly, even with her short legs, she is quick as lightning. Which means that she catches the lizards more often than not. Just like a cat who has caught a mouse and bring you the trophy prize, Roxy does with the lizards. I cannot tell you how many lizards I have had to scoop up from my floor, because she needs to bring me her "prize". Oh, by the way, she kills them prior to bringing them in to me.
I honestly don't know what I would do without the these two characters, because they truly are characters. There are some people who will tell you that animals are dumb. That they cannot understand human speech. I will argue that with them on any given day. At 5:15 every day, these two dogs go to the door to wait on my husband to come home. If he is running late they pace and whine. In the morning, without him saying a word, they will go into their kennels as soon as they see him fixing his to go cup. At 10:30 - 11:00 at night, they will go to their kennels knowing it is bedtime. Beyond that, animals know when their human is not feeling well. When I am having a really bad day these dogs will not leave my side, except to chase the occasional squirrel. When I talk to them, Toby in particular will sit and look at me directly with his complete attention. Even giving the occasional tilted head with a what are you talking about look. I have heard them whimper when I am not feeling well, and even though my husband was home, they both became depressed during my recent hospital stays.
I don't know about you, but for me these animals are just as much a part of my family as the human members are. It has been proven that pets can help calm people, bring down blood pressure, ease anxiety, and almost always bring a smile to a persons face. This is why there are now dogs that are trained so they can be taken in to nursing homes, and hospitals. If you don't have a pet of your own to give you unconditional love maybe you have a friend who has one that you could go visit. Or maybe you could volunteer some time at a local animal shelter. Whatever you decide to do if you don't have a pet, and you think you might want one as a companion, like mine our to me, please consider going to your local shelter first. All the pets I have ever had in my life have been rescues and I have never been disappointed. Until tomorrow.....
Many Blessings and remember LIVE, LAUGH and LOVE!