Saturday, January 3, 2009

These Christmas Misfits are Forever Home

Later today, my parents, Paint Girl, her cowboy, and myself are celebrating our make-up-due-to-snow Christmas. We get together like this every year, just the immediate family. We always gather at Paint Girl's place since she works in retail management and can scarcely escape the ball and chain of the mall at this time of the year. We do something easy for dinner, like get a pizza to go. We open gifts, visit with all of the animals, and just relax. Oh, and Paint Girl's cowboy always makes us a really good breakfast, too.

But around five years ago, we did something a little different. And as I was at my parents over the holiday watching White Christmas with my dad, I looked at the cat on my lap and the dog on the floor and I thought- you know, these beloved pets were all from the island of misfits. Two of them were specifically Christmas misfits.

I mean misfits in an endearing way. Because they were all adopted into our family. Unwanted by someone else. This is their story.

That Christmas approximately five years ago, somebody suggested we visit the local animal shelter where Paint Girl and her cowboy had adopted a kitten several months prior. Dad and the cowboy did not want to go. They stayed home and watched football. No surprise there. But we ladies bundled up and drove to the shelter.
At the time, my parents had an aging beagle named Riley. My mom had been talking about getting a dog that she could take on walks. Riley wasn't much of a walker. He was often too distracted by his superior snout.

We ogled and awed over the many kittens and older dogs at the shelter. Then we saw a dog in one of the rooms that seemed a perfect age. She was around 1 and half years old, a medium-sized Australian Shepherd mix.

She was sweet, but really hyper and eager to get out of her doggie room on the leash. We also saw a cat in one of the cages we knew my dad would love. He was big, furry, had huge paws and a regal face.

Back at the house, we told my dad and Paint Girl's cowboy all about the dog and the cat. Absolutely not, my dad said. No more dogs. But we were able to convince them about the perfect dog and the awesome cat. Being animals lovers at heart, I think they were curious. And they decided to go back with us just look. MMM-hmmmm.

Although my dad was skeptical, my mom had already fallen in love with the scrawny little dog. And as we suspected, my dad took the big cat into the "cat room" for a visit and immediately fell in love with Frank, a blue-eyed Norwegian Forest cat that snuggled up next to my dad's leg. He was mellow and yet quite the character. The next words I heard my dad say to my mom were well, if you get the dog, I get the cat.

The adoption papers were started and two new pets came into my parents' life. Rosie, the Aussie/Border collie. And Bogart or Bogey, (despite the blue eyes, Frank just wasn't working) the Norwegian Forest cat.

Bogey is playful, whether he lays on your shoes, attacks your shoelaces or a rolled up piece of paper. He is addicted to drinking water from the sink or bathtub. He has been known to be a little of Jekyll and Hyde at times. He spends his cozy afternoons cuddling on the foot of the bed with my parents' other cat, Lily.

This picture really shows how big Bogey is. Lily is an average-sized 9 lb. cat. I don't know what Bogey weighs but he could take me down if he wanted to, I think!

Even though my dad initially didn't really want Rosie, she has become his constant sidekick and partner in crime. It wasn't hard to fall in love with Rosie's amber colored eyes, loyalty, and quick intelligence. As anyone who has owned a herding breed can probably attest to, these dogs are practically telepathic! By the way, she has the name Rosie (which she came with and we kept) because of her rosy pink nose!

She goes everywhere with him, hopping in the car even for just a ride to the store. He faithfully walks her in the park every morning, rain, shine, or as of late, snow.

I wonder if we'll make it through the day without visiting the shelter again? It is always tempting. It is what they call a "no-kill" shelter so we don't feel as depressed looking and not adopting. I am glad that a few Christmas's ago, we were able to give a few unwanted pets a second chance on life.
By the way, it is spitting a little snow. Again. It looks as if I will be getting two white Christmases this year!


  1. All 3 of my dogs are from shelters. My golden retriever was going to be PTS the day we got her. 1 1/2 years old, spayed, housebroke, and a few tricks. Pekenese #1 Owner had to go into nursing home and she ended up at shelter, Peke#2 actually was a cast out stray living under an abandoned mobile home, 1 1/2 years old. All shelter dogs yet purebred. Now all living the good snuggly life with us. It relly does not matter at all to me that they are purebred, they are just the ones that landed in our hearts.

  2. Men are suckers and that's just all there is to it. Our first All American Reject came straight from the pound (a kill shelter) and when my hubby went to look it was a mess. He had to go to every single dog run and schmoozle every single dog. If it were up to him I swear we'd have 50 dogs packed in our home.
    I LOVE Bogart, the hubby is asthmatic and highly allergic to cats or we'd have one just like that big guy. I like my cats BIG. Polydactyl too, makes their feet bigger...

  3. What a sweet Christmas story! I love both of the Christmas misfits.
    Particularly Bogey because I am just a cat lover at heart.

  4. Great story. Glad to hear of 2 more animals placed in forever homes. It feels good don't it?

  5. What a wonderful, heartwarming story :) And Bogey is gorgeous!!

    Our lab X was left at the local shelter with his whole litter just before Christmas, all the puppies were named after Santa's reindeer (our's is Comet).
    Our golden X was on the way to the shelter but we decided to take her instead. (her's is a bit of a long story).
    BTW our local shelter is sadly not a no-kill shelter. :(

    So PG do you have any pets at your house?

  6. Wow Bogart really is huge! He makes the other cat look like a kitten.

    We haven't adopted any animals from a shetler but Ellie, one of our 3 cats, was a stray that I found in our back yard with a broken leg. I cried until my parents let me keep her lol!

  7. What a sweet post. Those pets were gosh darn lucky that Christmas! They are both beautiful. I can see why y'all couldn't resist em!

  8. What a great story.
    Have a lovely second Christmas

  9. What a sweet story. My dad was just like yours. I don't want that dog! Then in no time, the dog was his. That is how it was with all the dogs except the last schnauzer, he wanted her from the get go. I brought home a Catahoula Leopard/Australian Shepard mix and he would not let me have her when I moved from home! Men are so cute like that! Dads are the greatest! I miss my dad so much, he has been gone for 22 years now.

  10. Wonderful story PG...always love the stories with happy endings!

    My lil' Cindy Sue was an owner turn in and we found her on PetFinder...shelter dogs are the best!

    Enjoy your 2nd White Christmas~~

  11. A lurker here - what a sweet, sweet entry.
    My old daddy loved animals from the start, growing up in Iowa. Would have been a vet - but the War (II) changed that. We even have old war pictures of him with dogs along the way!

    I have 4 cats - my pup went to live with my great-nephew - she needed some children. I was too staid!

    Thanks, enjoyed.
    ~Mad(elyn) in Alabama

  12. I kept waiting for you tell Lily's story and about the painting...maybe in a new post?
    Your Desert Rose Auntie

  13. We have only have the pleasure of adopting one animal from the shelter. Her name was Amber. She was a Golden Retreiver we adopted from a shelter when I was just a baby and we were living in Toronto. She was the same age as me. And we went through life hand in paw if you will. I was devasted when she lost her battle with cancer when we were both 14. But I am very happy to say we gave her a very happy life. She was schedualed to be euthanized the following day if nobody showed interest. She had been abused and was too quiet and withdrawn for most that had seen her. I am glad we took her home. :)

  14. I am a sucker for shelter animals. I would take them all home if I could. My old Dog Brodi was from the animal shelter.

    Your dad's cat is so big and beautiful!! I love him!! And I love the sweet soft gold eyes of your mom's dog. So beautiful.

  15. They're both absolutely beautiful. Truly spectacular. Bringing a rescue animal home is truly a blessing for all involved. My cat Bear is a rescue, although I'm not really sure who rescued whom, if I'm honest. Bunny is a foster, but it's unlikely he'll ever leave our home.

  16. Sweet story! I've always said, if I ever have space to take in a dog, I would have to have someone else go to the shelter and just bring me one. I don't know how I would be able to leave without taking all of them. As for cats, mine have always just appeared in my world. No choices involved. They show up, I let them in the door.

  17. I worked to help establish our local no kill shelter. Those folks work harder than anyone I know.

    If you have it to spare, they always appreciate your donations to keep the doors open. It's a hard time for every shelter these days.

    Bella, Dyno and Lucy little star are our adoptees. We adore them.

  18. Awww-your dad is a big old softy! I always wonder why guys try to be so reasonable when it comes to pets?
    My Honey was allergic to cats when we first started going out. For a long time he sort of just tolerated them, but when a particular little fuzz ball named George perched on his chest and claimed him, he caved and has been a cat lover every since.

    Now if I could just find him the perfect horse...

  19. What a great story and they are so cute too. We have one rescue Aussie since she was 9 months old, she's 15 now and one of the best dogs we've ever had.
    You guys are a couple of softies. I think most of us are when it comes to animals of any kind.

  20. Oh that is a sweet story! We have 3 blue eyed cats. (I am a sucker for those blue eyes!) Our maleis huge too. He weighs about 25lbs! Nope no fat either, he is a muscley dude. I love Rosie tooo! She is so sweet lookin! I can't go to shelter, I would come home with the whole lot. Thanks for sharing your story I am all warm inside!!

  21. Your Dad must be very special. Most men don't care for cats. I believe it takes a confidant, compassionate, strong, and appreciation of beauty for someone to love cats.
    Kudos to your Dad. Bogey is quite handsome and huge.

    I enjoyed reading your 'misfit tribute', too.

    PG, maybe it's time for YOU to bring something soft, loving and furry into your home?

    New Mexico

  22. I loved this entry and was so touched to read the story and happy ending for Rosie & Bogey (he IS huge!) and Rosie is lovely.

    15 of my "cat house" residents came from a shelter - they were a step away from being put down (quite a few were badly abused and confiscated from the owners & have issues)...misfits as you say but they are the loves of my life along with all the other vagabond misfits on our farm. Thank you & your family for giving loving homes to these wonderful souls. People like you are very special and the world is a better place for it.

  23. {CDN Cowgirl} & {Lisa}~ You've inspired a new post! Stay tuned to Thursday for more details and answers to your question.

    {Desert Rose}~ I will definitely have to share Lily Bug's story one day, as well!

    I love reading all of your stories about animals that you have adopted into your families. I happened to catch an episode of Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures tonight about a retirement home for unwanted and rescued horses to live out their lives:


I love hearing from my readers!! I truly enjoy all of your feedback, advice, helpful tips, and stories. You all make me laugh and I learn so much from you, too. I will try to post replies to your comments as often as I can.

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