Aimee’s Cast of Characters, part two

These are the dogs in my extended family… I can definitely say I never met a dog I didn’t like!

Becca… joined the family 8/1998

We talked my father into “just going to the shelter to look” at dogs. We visited Jersey Shore Animal Center in Brick, NJ twice just to look, and ended up taking a lot of dogs into the meet n greet yard. Mom liked Kelly best, an aging German Shepherd. Mikey (my brother) liked an energetic mutt called Peanut. Dad liked a fluffy chowchow mix named Rebecca – she reminded him of Sparky, the dog we had until my brother and I developed bad allergies when I was five and he was three. We put a R for Rebecca and a P for Peanut in a hat with some blanks, and took turns picking. The R was the first letter out, so we decided to adopt Rebecca.

A few days later (after the shelter approved us), we went to pick Becca up. She was freshly washed and fluffed, and sitting in a small exercise yard, waiting. The shelter folks told us she had just gone into heat, worried that we wouldn’t want her. We took her anyway… and my funny little Sissy joined the family. It’s funny how protective she is of me – more than once, she’s jumped between me and one of the other dogs when they’re playing with me. Becca isn’t the smartest dog in the world… but she sure is pretty. She is my parents’ special little princess – my father built a special “eating tray” for her so she wouldn’t have to bend down to eat and drink!

Kuma… joined the family in 1998

As soon as my brother moved off campus, he wanted a dog. A friend had a dog who was about to have puppies, and offered Mikey his choice. He picked a little black lab/pit mix puppy with a white butterfly shape on her chest. Wiggly, whip tailed Kuma joined the family as soon as she was weaned. She used to be so afraid of my father that he’d look at her and she’d piddle.

Kuma is the “Boss Dog” at my parents house. She firmly believes that all the people belong to her, and should be scratching her chest at all times. She’s also a toy and rawhide thief… if the other dogs look away for a sec, Kuma steals whatever they have. True to her lab history, she likes to have something in her mouth, especially as a symbol of greeting. Show up at the house, and she’ll run to get some shred of a former toy to bring you. For a while she had a fake credit card she would carry around the house. Too cute!

Lily Biscuits… joined the family in 1999

From walking Kuma around the campus of UNC Wilmington, my brother met a girl with a white American Staffordshire Terrier about the same age as Kuma. Her name was Lily Biscuits. The girl was planning to give up Lily because she was too much of a handful. My brother said he would take her, and added Lily to the family.

Lily looks (and sounds) scary, but she just LOVES everyone. She isn’t happy until she’s licked your face when you come to visit – whether she has to jump up and get you, or climb on the back of the couch to reach your cheek. Lily “trumpets” when she’s happy – it’s a growly kind of noise, and she likes it if you trumpet back at her.

Other dogs I have known, loved, and may refer to:

Jester, aka Pest – a smart little terrier mix, belongs to an ex-boyfriend. Pest actually taught Lally how to play ball. Don’t worry, I’ll tell the story.

Baby Casey – a little squiggly black and white puppy, belongs to friends. Adopted from a local NJ organization called Puppy Love. Such a cute, goofy little girl!

Shiloh aka Little Pooh – a little white fluffball dog that belongs to my fiancee’s sister and her family. I nicknamed him Little Pooh because he liked to use my fiancee’s bedroom as his bathroom… you had to watch out or you’d step in little poo piles.

And one cat…

Cricket – a lovely, sweet, friendly calico who lived at a state park I worked at one summer. She would keep me company all day! The rangers, fearing the start of a large feral cat population, were going to have her put down. I caught her first and brought her home! She only lived with me one night… but she was the best cat I’ve ever known.