Aimee’s Cast of Characters, part one

I’m one of your new pets bloggers… but you’re not here to read about me, are you? NO! You’re here to read about my mutts! We’ve had lots of dogs in the family over the years — and you’ll get to meet all of them soon enough — but there have been three dogs who have been Mine.

Miko… joined the family 4/25/2000

After graduating college in 1999, I lived in an apartment for a year. After that, I moved home to live with my grandmother. As soon as my stuff was home, I went to Jersey Shore Animal Center to look for a dog. I’d had a dream about a big wolfhound type of dog, and was sure I was going to find THAT dog there. I did two laps of the kennels and liked the looks of a giant black and white husky, but kept going back to a older dog who kept giving me the eye – Miko, a husky/shepherd mix. We took that one in the meet n greet yard first.

As we walked out, the shelter lady told us that Miko wasn’t generally very friendly. Well, as soon as she let go of the leash, he jumped into my lap and stuck his tongue up my nose. She couldn’t believe it! I was won over. The shelter folks remembered us from getting Becca (my parents’ dog), and they let me take Miko home that day. Almost immediately, he was doing tricks – shaking hands, sitting up to beg, and the deadly chin-on-knee trick. He had us trained quickly.

Ah, my Miko. The cranky old man in a dog suit. He didn’t like the young – kids or puppies. He loved spaghetti, and would eat it off my grandmother’s fork! When he was nervous (like at the vet’s) he would have terrible gas. He sang with the fire sirens. At the ripe old age of eleven, Miko climbed a mountain with me and some friends who had come to visit us in Vermont. I was amazed. He loved the dog park, and any dog bigger than him. (I once saw a Great Dane sit on him, it was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen!) He passed away in his sleep in September, 2003, and it took two dogs to replace him. It’s hard to believe he was with me for such a short time… I miss ya, Bub.

Lally Beeber… joined the family 9/13/2003

(Apparently, dogs with L-names in this family get a middle name, too.) Three days after my Miko passed away, I went to the Rutland County Humane Society in Rutland, VT to look for a new dog. Honestly, I was afraid to be alone. There were a lot of cute, funny dogs there, like Zeus, the great dane/pit mix who barked and barked and barked UNTIL you approached with a biscuit. Then he sat so nicely and waited for you to pass it through the bars. It was soooo cute to watch my little 5ft grandmother and this huge dog having biscuit time. There was Spuds, the Dalmatian/lab mix, who bounced around his kennel like he had endless energy. (I got the chance to see both Spuds and Zeus again before they were adopted and they were both such sweethearts outside of their cages! Zeus was a perfect gentleman, no barking at all. Spuds was just a lovebug! I hope they’re both in wonderful homes.)

Lally was down at the far end, quiet and kind of timid. One of the shelter guys said she was his favorite dog. We took her into the meet n greet yard. She kind of ignored us. The shelter people told us that she was found as a stray, with obvious signs of having had a litter of puppies recently. They didn’t find the puppies, and nobody ever came to claim her. I wasn’t really won over by any of the dogs immediately, so we left. Halfway home, we turned around and went back for Lally.

Moose… joined the family 1/25/2004

I really wanted two dogs. So I thought as a trial, I’d offer to foster a dog for a shelter out of Ticonderoga NY called Faithful Friends. They sent me pictures of four or five dogs that they were planning to fetch from somewhere in central NY. I picked a german shepherd sort of fellow named Coyote. He arrived, scared and confused and stinky, and I brought him home to VT. From the start, he never answered to Coyote. Or any variation of the name. The folks from Faithful Friends arranged for him to be neutered, and the day I picked him up after his surgery, I fell in love and decided I couldn’t give him up. He was just so cute, stumbling around all drugged up after his surgery. He’d take three steps and collapse! So I told Cathy from Faithful Friends that I was going to keep him. In lieu of an adoption fee, she had me pay for the neutering instead.

One day, while playing with Coyote and Lally, he started making these funny groaning kind of noises. I laughed and told him he was a moose! When I said it, he sat right up and started paying attention. He’s been Moose ever since. (Though sometimes he thinks his name is Cookie.)