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Fur Children

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I wake up in the morning to the sound of my baby crying because she is hungry. I roll over and try to enjoy a few more seconds of sleep, but she really is ready for breakfast now. I get up and I let Sassy out to go to the bathroom and I get her breakfast ready while I wait. I step on toys as I go fumble for the door to let her back in. She zooms through the house before pigging out on her favorite meal. This is what it’s like to be a fur parent.
In our house, we have eight animals: 5 dogs and 3 cats. Silky was our first dog in the group, we brought her into our family when I was 10. She has been with us for 11 years and counting. Odee is our second oldest, swinging in at 10 years of being our family’s stubborn little boy. Sassy is 9, I got her when Silky ran away for a month when I was in 6th grade. We then found Silky the very next day. Odee and Sassy are our only store bought puppies in the house. Angel is our giant chocolate lab that we adopted when I was in 8th grade. She is 7 years old. Teddy is our newest dog, we adopted him after my dad’s dog, Sammy, had to be put to sleep and Angel got severely depressed. He is 3 years old. Our cats are all adopted. Jomo is Britt’s baby, he is 5 years old. She got him when she was rewarded for finally doing her back handspring. Bella is mom’s cat,
she’s also 5. Mom has always been a fan of cats and when Britt got Jomo it was an excuse for her to also get a new cat. I got Willa my senior year, she’s now 4 and becomes more and more evil with every day that she’s alive.

Each of our animals has their own unique personality—they’re so different from each other. Silky enjoys wandering the neighborhood and begging everybody on the hill for food. She has Memaw wrapped around her little chubby paw and is her very best friend. She had to go to fat camp last year because she was 30 pounds overweight. Lucky for us, that stay at the vet bought us some more time with the furball, she is just on a very strict diet and has to come to work with us to keep her from begging people for food. She has been hit by a car, shot, went missing for a month, and so much more. Silky is our little fighter.

Odee is our dachshund, Andy’s dog. He used to be mom’s dog, but gradually grew attached to Andy as he got older. He will literally eat EVERYTHING. He has had chocolate, bags of cookies, crackers, any food that he is able to reach and drag into his room. I once found my camera bag under Andy’s bed. Odee likes to cuddle, and he’s like a little space heater. He will keep you warm even when you don’t want to be. He is also our smelliest dog. His favorite hobbies are digging in the litter box for hidden treasures and rolling in dead animals he finds outside.

Sassy is my little girl, and she’s my greatest gift. I got her because she was on discount, nobody wanted to take her home. I thought she was the best thing in the world. She protects me like she is a dinosaur dog, and knows when I am not feeling good. She won’t leave my side when I have a migraine. Throughout her years, she has had her fair share of bad luck. She has been attacked 3 times and
managed to pull through. Sassy is my little trooper. I don’t know what I would do if I lost her, she has saved me from myself more times than I can count.

Angel was Britt’s dog, and has sort of rounded into being everybody’s big baby. She is our big baby and keeps Teddy in line. Angel has puppy anxiety because when she was younger, her best friend died from a brain tumor. Sammy was her “big brother” and was with her for her entire life up until his last day. When Sammy died, she started chewing on her leg, and she became aggressive. It was so sad because our once perfect princess had become something so depressed. We got Teddy after a few years of her being grouchy, and now she’s back to being her big baby self. She still chews on her leg, but it isn’t nearly as bad as it was before Teddy.

Teddy is our pitbull, who is completely opposite of what the stereotyped breed is supposed to be. He is so smart, and he’s one of our sweetest animals. Teddy likes to play fetch, except he only likes to get the toy when it’s in Angel’s mouth. My favorite thing Teddy does is when he starts chasing his tail, and he goes so fast it looks like he’s going to take off into the sky. Ted likes attention, so if you aren’t giving it to him he will nip the inside of your thigh (where it’s sensitive) until you give him some cuddles.

Jomo is Britt’s pride and joy. He weighs in at 15 pounds, and looks like a baby panther. He is a really smart cat, he can open the shower doors so he can lay down in the tub. Jomo has his own giant kitty condo, where he will lounge during the day and sleep during the night. He will find fun in anything, he plays in bags, will carry around mouse toys like he killed it himself, and pull up the edges of notebooks to hear
the noise it makes.

Bella is terrified of everything. I have scratches everywhere from her where I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She stays in mom’s room because she doesn’t like dealing with the other animals. She’s also very spoiled: every Sunday is soft-food Sunday for Bella. She will cry until mom feeds her, but her cry sounds more like a dying scream.

Willa is the spawn of Satan. She will do anything just to spite me, for instance, knocking over my makeup mirror while I’m sleeping so tha
t I will wake up. She is a very vocal cat, she will just walk around meowing and will meow back at you if you talk to her. Her favorite place to be is outside all the time, and she will sneak out if you aren’t paying attention. She likes to roll around on the sidewalk and eat the grass. Her favorite person is definitely Andy, she will snuggle up with him without any trouble and take a nap.

If you can’t picture what it’s like to live with five dogs and three cats, just imagine it’s like living at home but it’s a little happier. People look at us like we’re crazy because we have so many animals, but I look at them and think why wouldn’t you want to? Of course it is difficult, but loving them isn’t. Because of us, six animals were taken out of shelters and given a home. Without our pets, our
house feels empty. What would we even do with the spare closet if we didn’t put all the pet food in there?

My animals are the lights of my life, and make each day worth waking up to see what will happen. They make me look at life like every day is an adventure, and that each moment is whatever you make it. They taught me that life is short and to do whatever you love doing. Chase the stick, steal the humans snack, roll in the dirt. Don’t stop being young just because you’re getting older and your hair is turning white. Love everybody no matter who they are. Take the afternoon nap.

Do you have a fur friend? What do they mean to you, and have you learned anything from your pet? I love hearing stories about animals, and I can’t wait to hear yours!