My Pack and Philosophy

Animal rescue volunteers end up with the best dogs and cats—but sometimes the worst, too—the unadoptable misfits nobody wants. You do what you have to and sometimes tough decisions have to be made. Nothing is easy—except when you know you’ve found a precious gem and can’t let it go. All of our animals came from tough beginnings, even tiny Maxi was found on the highway. Now they are living the good life while providing nonstop entertainment—as well as the best security system known to man. All of our animals are spayed and neutered. We are completely against breeding companion animals, except for specific working dogs such as bloodhounds. We are unconditionally against breeding cats. Period.

We do not believe in throwing food away so all of our dogs get table scraps mixed in with their kibble. We feed our dogs twice a day and it’s a ritual they all learn quickly. They must stay behind a line out of the kitchen and wait for their bowls to be put down. The fast eaters are not allowed to harass the slow eaters.

Many animal lovers and vets tell you not to feed your dogs table scraps. These dogs were eating maggot-ridden garbage and insects before we got them, so when someone says giving them human-grade bits of meat and vegetables is wrong I go ballistic. Besides, the meat you scrape off your plate into the trash can came from a creature who died for you. Never forget that.

My precious family who keep me alive. Back row, left to right: Jewel, Jasmine, Blitz. Front row: Sparkle and Jessa. Note: September 2011, RIP dear, dear Jessa. We love you and will miss you forever.

Sparkle and Smudge  RIP Sparkle 4/1015  11 years old

Jasmine, Jewel, and Jessa

Jasmine is my number one girl. She’s a “sato” or Puerto Rican street dog, rescued and brought to a feed store back in CT. They asked for a $100 donation—best $100 I ever spent. I can hardly bear to think of her getting old. She’s got some slightly feral personality traits, remnants of her heritage, which make me love her even more. None of the other animals diss Jasmine—they learn fast.

Jasmine, my protector, best friend, and the most beautiful girl in the world./// Note added July 2012: RIP my love. Jasmine Argosy, 2001-July 24, 2012. I will miss you every single day for the rest of my life. Wait for me Jasmine, I’ll be with you again someday.

Maxi in her tiny hoodie

Sparkle and Blitz

Gri-Gri    RIP Gri-Gri 2/10/14  8 years old

Matilda, stray cat come to stay. Matilda will not let a human touch her and who can blame her? I had to set a trap to catch her for her spay.

Kiley, another outdoor cat who wandered by and stayed. The outdoor cats have a comfy set-up in a shed with plenty of boxes and beds. If they’re wise, they don’t leave the property and live long lives. If they venture into the desert, they don’t come back, taken by either rattlesnakes or coyotes. I take inventory every day and worry if I don’t see one. Sometimes I lose one.

Sparkle and Maxi at gas station

Gri-Gri and Mops

Can I get you guys anything?

Jewel playing in the snow    RIP beautiful Jewel  8-29-14  12 years old

Rabbit and Mops

Rabbit and Mops, always together. Rabbit has no tail and Mops has only one eye, together they’re partners in crime…helping each other seek out new frontiers on countertops, tables, bookshelves…

Maxi in disbelief that two foster kittens are in her bed

Rainy days don’t bother Maxi, in fact she prefers them.

Maxi and USBP truck

Sparkle and Smudge

LucyFur, found at Safeway parking lot 11/09. She grew up to be a big cat, playful and sweet. She does not like to be held, but will stand on her head for any kind of treat.

Ajulet Big Boy  RIP Aji  3/20/15  18 years old

Rabbit, Mops, and Virgil. Virgil has a white marking on his lower belly that looks like he’s wearing a bikini, so we often call him “Panties.” He’s kind of embarrassed by this and doesn’t like to show us his belly.

Maxi’s bandanna somehow ended up on her head, making her appear to be a tiny wizard…okay we put it there.

October 2011. Jada, new addition to the pack.

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18 responses to “My Pack and Philosophy

  1. Beautiful in either form Debra. I love anyone who loves animals.

    Thank you. 🙂

    – Papa Joe

  2. Hi again Debra!

    Saw this yesterday and still love it. 🙂

    – Bob

  3. Thanks, I know you guys love animals (all the best people do)!

    I was having administrative problems with this page so I had to republish, I think it’s OK now.

  4. Merci pour ces instants privilégiés … les clichés sont splendides …
    J’aime énormément les animaux … ils sont une leçon de vie et de logisme permanente. Ah … si certains humains pouvaient en prendre de la graine …!!!
    Amitiés
    Fanfan

  5. I love it! All of our current brood (three dogs, three cats) have been rescued from something. We have taken in basket cases forever and wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s nothing like dog and cat love to make one’s heart a better place.

  6. That’s great. I hate dog breeders, they have no idea the damage they do to the millions and millions of animals languishing in shelters. People breed pitbulls around here, why on earth I do not know, except for the vile practice of fighting. The pounds are full of them and they are very, very hard to adopt, even though most of them are very sweet and like all dogs, just want a little lovin’. Thanks for writing.

  7. Your ” how many paws?” family looks wonderful ! I loved looking at and reading about them all. We are animal lovers who just lost 2 of our pals within 1 week. Max & Checkers. (rescue Border Collies ) We still have our little Cora aka. Motormouse .
    We spend our winters in and near McNeal… and our so sadened to read of the terrible fire destruction. Kelly

    • Hi Kelly, thanks for writing. I’m so sorry you lost two best friends in one week, that is just horrible.

      The fires are devastating. I’m out of words to describe what it looks like here. Like war.

  8. A Border Collie in the Middle East? Poor puppies.

    AKC number one dog today, shelter ditto tomorrow.

    • The soldier was from Ft. Huachuca, our local military base. If he gets deployed they won’t let him take the dog. Soldiers are always looking for people to care for their pets while they’re serving. The last place on earth a sane person would take a dog would be the Mideast anyway.

      Yes that’s so true about dog breeds—remember when the movie 101 Dalmatians came out? A year later pounds and shelters were deluged with Dalmatians. I blame the breeders as well as the idiots who thought they were just so cool—these dogs grow big and need an enormous amount of exercise. I do not have a high opinion of dog breeders—they profess to love animals but just contribute to the misery by exploiting purebreds while shelters with perfectly good mutts are bulging at the seams. I can’t go into pet shops and see kids banging on the glass cages and people shelling out a thousand bucks for a designer dog.

  9. Jean, I just realized this comment went to the wrong post—I think you meant to send to the Tiny Speck, Big Windshield post of 2-27-12.

  10. My own stock dog, Jada-wise, just favored me with a request for a pet. She was a nut for years, is a doggy Einstein, now

    her vocabulary is equal yours.

    • Hi Jean, years huh? I keep hoping by some magic birthday Jada will become the companion and guardian she was meant to be. She bounds around the house and yard like a colt, crashing into anything in her path. Thank you for something to look forward to—that someday this will pass!

  11. Thanks for sharing your additional family… they are precious!! We just got a new dog, he’s not a rescue, but our dog is old and we had to be selective. Hope you’re doing OK. I’m still reading your old stuff…obviously.

  12. Whoa, Jewel is in a lot of snow. That can’t be Bisbee, can it? That’s one awesome family. I feel for you with Jasmine. It would rip my heart out too if a dog I loved for over 10 years was no longer there. Actually even having a dog for 1 week and having it taken away from me cause it didn’t like my mom destroyed me a bit. I would smell its scent on the carpet to remind me of him. She just took it back to the pound when I went out one day with no remorse.

    It’s funny how your dogs act totally different when they are outside the house than inside. They get all crazy once outside. Blitz starts humping everything bigger than him. Jada looks like such a mutt! Hahaha..love it. People are so annoying when they go out and spend a thousand bucks on a dog. What’s wrong with mutts? I love them. No one I know got their dog from a shelter or anything similar. They buy all these expensive lap type dogs that remind me of snobby princesses.

    Guess what Chinese people feed their dogs. Rice! hahaha.. and they love love it! They won’t go back to regular dog food after having rice with meat. It gets them fat though.

    • No, that’s Jewel’s younger days in CT. Poor old thing, now she has trouble getting up. I have days where I grieve for Jasmine so bad I cry all day. Sometimes I try to meditate and just start thinking about her and start crying. Meditation usually makes me feel worse.

      The dogs loved you. I don’t understand why more people don’t adopt dogs from shelters. I f*cking hate dog breeders. How could people who say they love dogs bring more into the world? It’s a sin. We give our dogs rice sometimes too, they love it, and anything else we’re having. That was a crappy thing your mother did.

  13. Dogs, at least, are honest. Possibly this is why some people don’t like them—dogs make them feel inferior.

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