We are animal obsessed. Like my nan with cleaning. Like a guy with boobs. If we could afford it we'd run an animal shelter and have a massive house full of them. All together i've had 6 hamsters, 2 guinea pigs, a rabbit and 3 dogs and we plan on having many, many more. We've even planned that when we retire we're going to adopt old dogs and give them amazing last years. Sad, we know. But, right now the clan consists of...
Izzy was originally Michael's family dog, they got her as a pup from the old managers of his mums pub when they had to move. They got her in the year before we got together when she was coming up to be 1. She is a very small rottweiler and must have been the runt of the litter! People always go on about how dangerous rottweilers are, but seriously, this dog is the friendliest, softest and most beautiful dog you'll ever meet. She thinks she's a lap dog and climbs all over you to get comfy, she gets super excited when anyone comes in the door and she tries to make friends with every animal out there, bless her. Izzy's now our dog, we take her to the vets, have her every night we can and pay for everything she needs. But, we can't have her living here at mums because the family dog, Scamp, wouldn't sleep, he'd just want to hump her all day! So, for now, she's staying at Michael's mums until we get a flat of our own and can take her on full time. It's hard looking after her, when she's so excited and cuddly, and then having to take her back there, it makes me cry every time. Michael goes to check on her twice a week and walk her for a bit, and she loves it, all she wants is some loving. She is crazy about kids! She sees one and she's gone, leaving Michael running after her, sorta like a comedy sketch. We want to have kids while she's still around, so they can experience how loving she is and play with her all the time. To be honest, she's amazing for me, she's so loving and gentle and licks me to death when i'm feeling especially ill, it brightens my day. So, this is Izzy, the softest rottie in the world and she's sending you a massive lick :)
Jesus, where to start with Scamp?! His is a very long story but he's been there all the way with ours and this dog is going to walk down the isle with me. We got him 10 and a bit years ago, when we moved into our house, he was only 9 months but he'd already had a rough time. Someone gave a grumpy old lady a puppy for a present and she didn't appreciate it. Instead of giving him to someone else she beet him and locked him away, i have no clue how anyone could do this to our Scampy! So, he already had a few fears and a bit of anger. I loved him from the first day i saw him, he can be such a pain sometimes but that's part of the charm, yup, crazy lady here! We had a lot of problems at home and this made him very protective of me and mum, so now he's aggressive, quite grumpy and very noisey. Then, just as we were coming out the other side of all the bad stuff he got hit by a transit van :( My brother was coming in the front door, Scamp saw some people on the other side of the road and decided he was going to chase them, half way across the road and bam, hit. We live on a main road and we get a lot of *rude word here* zooming up and down over twice the limit, luckily, the guy driving was going at 20mph, still enough that no dog should really survive being dragged up a road under a car. Not our Scamp, this stubborn dog survived. The poor guy was so upset that he hit Scamp that he was crying and when he got home his mum rang to check up on Scamp for him. Mum took Scamp to the emergency vet, the sweetest vet ever, and she said we had to wait the night for him to pull through. Next morning, mum rang to check up on him, and he was up barking at the vet and whining for food, same as always, that was the best news i'd ever heard. He stayed at the vets for the whole week to look after him and recover. Scamp must have been about 6 at the time and i was in year 9 of school. I walked in the back gate after school, saw Scamps poo on the grass and broke down crying! Weird, i know, but it meant so much knowing he was at home and doing well. I ran inside and he was on a cushion on the sofa with mum, he couldn't stand up, his eye was cut, had bald patches everywhere and tire marks up his back, it was so sad to see him like that, but i missed him so much. It was a long recovery, lots of scrambly eggs and rice, but he made it through. It didn't change him though, still grumpy, aggressive and whiney, but i wouldn't have him any other way. It took him a while to get used to Michael but he loves him now and Michael's nearly in the same group as me and mum for being able to do whatever we want with Scamp. He stays with us in the day now while mum works and this will continue, we couldn't imagine not looking after him now, or not seeing him every day. A few months ago he was limping and i told mum i thought it might be arthritus, so she took him to the vets and i was right. But, instead of being a wimp, Scamp decided he was going to live life to the full. He pulls the kitchen bin down if no ones in there with him, eats snotty tissues and has worked out a way to get into Terri's (my mums patner) oven. So far he's eaten a bag of bad meat out of the bin, curry and the dirty stuff in the bottom of an oven, and most recently galmon steaks. Not good. He's still recovering and his breathe absolutely stinks of salt. Really not good. He had his hair cut last week and you can see how fat he's got from all of this, when he's meant to be staying at a low weight to help his joints. Really, really not good. But, i love it that he's trying to do this stuff, it means he's still going strong and has a lot more to give. So, Scamp sends you a growl, all in good humour though :)
His name is perfect. He's the dog version of Superman. He leaps over everything and anything. He's 6 years old, just over half of Scamps age. Technically he's not our dog but we see him as that and Scamp definitely sees him as family. He's my mums partner's dog but that doesn't matter to the dogs, they spend all day together. Bouncer is Scamps apprentice and they get up to all kinds of trouble when unattended. Like escaping from the garden. Like eating whatever's available. Like barking at anything and everything (this one's more Bouncer than Scamp though). We really don't know how Bouncer will cope when Scamp goes, he loves him so much. Mum leaves for work before 7 and doesn't want to wake me up so she takes Scamp to Terri's where Bouncer waits by the door every morning at the same time waiting for Scamp to get there. Terri then brings them to us when she works at 10, and we have them with us until 6 at night. Scamp loves Bouncer too but he likes to pretend he doesn't. Bouncer comes in, licks Scamps face and leaps all over him, whilst Scamp growls with his tail wagging, work that out! The thing is, Bouncer hates all other dogs, and if they go near Scamp, God help them! When Bouncer was tiny he met a few big dogs who were a bit over excited and pounced on him so now he's scared, bit of a pain when you have a rottweiler. But, in the summer we're going to be doing a lot of gentle introducing and Bouncer is going to learn to play well with others. Oh, Bouncer has a favorite person too, Michael. He comes running in when he gets here leaps onto me, over me and off me, all to get to Michael! It's sweet, i suppose Bouncer just has good taste and picks his friends carefully. So, Bouncer sends a huge bark to everyone everywhere :)
Barley's the grumpy resident of the hutch. He's so snuggley, so curious and loves attention. So much, in fact, that he stamps his feet in the middle of the night until someone goes down to stroke him, then, when he's had his massage he lays down and goes to sleep. Silly rabbit. My Nan and Pamp bought him for me as my 15th birthday present and i fell in love with him as soon as i saw him in the pet shop. He was so tiny when we got him and the hutch looked massive around him. I gave him a lot of cuddles straight off so he's good with people, unless he's in a bad mood, then he'll stomp his feet to tell you he is definitely not happy! Barley has his favorite people though. Me, i snuggled him and talked to him from the very beginning, even through having M.E, and i was the one that looked after him when he kept being sick, snuggling him up in towels and talking to him to keep him calm. Michael, since he moved in with me he's been the one to do food and cleaning, but he doesn't just do this, he goes out to give him a stroke a few times throughout the day, and so now, Barley's attached to him and loves to see him. Finally, Mum, she's the one who looked after him when my M.E was bad before Michael moved in, so Barley sees her as the food lady! Although, Barley has a new found love for Izzy, and boy! does she love him back?! When she stays with us she whines at the back door to see him, and when we finally let her out we take the front of the hutch off so she can can get up to see Barley and have a sniff. We only did this a few weeks ago so it was new, but they are already totally in love. There's something else, Barley has the biggest male parts of any rabbit that our vets ever seen! So, you think he'd be a bit aggressive and territorial but he loves everyone, apart from the mean vet who just grabs him, when he doesn't like to be picked up by anyone apart from me or Michael, we must smell good. Michael brings him up for a cuddle in bed sometimes, so that i can see him and check him over (i want to be a vet and i'm pretty good with animals). So, Barley sends a little snuggle to everyone out there with M.E :)
Basically, animals can improve anyone's life by enormous amounts, so if you have M.E, even severely affected, i recommend having a pet or even someone else bringing theirs round for 5 minutes. It will leave you feeling brighter and happy, it's proven that pets lower people's heart rates and reduce the risk of depression.
Laura & Michael
Laura & Michael