Happy Wednesday! I wanted to share a few personal pictures. Andy took these yesterday in our back yard, while testing out one of the new lenses we picked up for this year’s weddings. He uploaded them to his flickr, but I thought these were too cute not to share here, so please indulge me as I show off our pets.
What I really love about the image on the left is that when Abby was a puppy, I took a very similar shot at the dog park when she was all tired out from roughhousing. Just like in this shot, she just sat there with her eyes closed. I have it framed on my desk at work, and people always ask me about it. I totally have to get this adult version framed too.
One other fun thing, we get SOOOO many hits from people who do searches for yellow labs with pink noses. Seriously. Half our blog traffic is thanks to Abby’s nose. I just recently found out that her particular coloring is a genetic rarity caused by having a pair of double recessive genes. Basically she’s expressing the coat color of a yellow lab and the pink nose and light eyes of a chocolate lab. Labs like her can not produce any black pigment and the name for this coloring is “dudley”. (Actually, the way I found out is that an acquaintance saw the photo of Abby on my desk and clued me in because he has a Dudley as well.) So anyway, there you go! If google drops you off here, check out this link for an explanation of Dudleys. And now you can definitively tell all the naysayers that your lab is 100% lab.
Abby always has her ears down like this, so she looks all round-headed. We actually have to tell her to “put her lab ears on”. Sometimes treats will bring out the lab ears, or when hears something and is intrigued. Most of the time though, she’s too chill to put her ears up like a proper lab.
This is Lily. She belongs to my neighbors, who I wish I knew better, because they probably think I’m a freak the way I hang out at the fence talking to their dog. She is the cutest, tiniest, sweetest little beagle ever. It seriously takes all my willpower not to reach over the fence and snatch her up, because she is adorable. Instead, I just sneak her milk bones. If she stands up on her hind legs, she’s just tall enough for me to reach over the fence and scratch her ears.
This is Madeline. She gets two photos because she was the only one willing to sit still, unlike the other cats, who wanted to run towards the camera and rub up against the lens. Madeline was a stray that appeared on the roof of my carport one night when I was living in my first apartment. A few days into a week long thunder storm, I took pity on her and let her in. She’s survived a very traumatic injury – one night she escaped out the door at my apartment and some jerkface shot her in the face. She lost most of the bottom of her jaw and had her mouth wired shut for over a month, and I had to hand feed her 3 times a day. Throughout all of it, she was such a trooper with an unbelievable will to live. That was like….I dunno, maybe 7 years ago now? She drools a bit, but is otherwise fine, and from head on, she looks mostly normal. She weighs maybe 8lbs, but makes up for her small stature with pure annoyingness tenaciousness.
Last up, the newest and oldest members of the household. On the left is Freya, who is just the cutest, cuddliest, most awesom kitty ever. She was a stray that followed my neighbor home while she was out for a long walk. Freya followed her for over a mile, crossed a semi-busy road and took up residence in the neighbor’s garage. This was when I lived in Florida. The neighbor wasn’t a pet person, oddly enough, and when she decided Freya had fleas, she kicked her out of her garage. I begrudgingly started feeding her because she was skinny and pathetic. I did not want another cat, two is more than enough, and by this time I had Abby as well. So I wouldn’t let her in the house for a long time, so instead, she started climbing up on my roof. Thus began a cycle of the cat climbing on the roof, and me climbing up on a ladder and coaxing her onto my shoulder because I was worried she couldn’t get down and wasn’t getting any food/water. I started letting her sleep in the garage. The shelters in FL suck and had a horrible adoption rate, so when I had to move back to MI, I conceded defeat and adopted her properly. She is the most affectionate cat I’ve ever had. She always wants to cuddle and at night, she shares my pillow with me.
Draven is the black one. I got him when I was 19. He’s the only cat I paid money for, and is also the meanest creature on the face of the earth. It takes a team and a logistics plan at the vet’s office to give him a shot. He attacks people. The dog is petrified of him. Sometimes I am petrified of him. No one else would have put up with him this long. At one time he had his own prescription. For Valium. And yes, he was named after the guy in The Crow (I was 19, ok?) He was the first pet of my adult life, and even though he is evil and I have scars from him, I still love him for reasons I can’t quite explain or rationalize to others.
One last thing – I know letting cats outdoors is a big no-no, but A.) These cats have their claws, B.) We only let them out in the backyard and Freya and Draven are too fat to escape, C.) We only let them out when we are home. If you’ve ever adopted a stray you know how hard it is to keep them indoors, at some point the pathetic yowling wears you down and you have to grant them some freedom.