Pet Pics, 042016 edition

Two dogs watching out separate windows

At this point I may as well just confess that I like taking pictures of animals and plants, especially my own. Like you haven’t guessed. So expect this sort of thing to show up more frequently. Questions and comments always welcome.

Dog Abbey watching out window
Curtains to the balcony (and squirrel viewing) weren’t open yet. No matter. [April 11]
Black Lab guarding black chew bone
Black Lab guarding black chew bone. [April 12]
Dog Abbey draped over chair rungs
I don’t know how this is comfortable. [April 12]
Two dogs watching out separate windows
My son left in the truck and didn’t invite them. [April 12]
Dogs sleeping at opposite ends of a couch
Bookends. [April 17]
Cat Daryl sitting in open window
After early spring brought snow at least once a week, I think the entire mid-Michigan area was thrilled when 70 degrees finally seemed within reach. I opened windows all over the house and Daryl was quick to take advantage. [April 17]

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Pet Pic, 041116 edition

My cat Daryl watching a squirrel through a sliding glass door

My cat Daryl watching a squirrel through a sliding glass door
Daryl watches a squirrel. A squirrel watches Daryl. I put birdseed, critter mix and fresh water out on the balcony for whatever wants to stop by. [April 7]
Me with my dog Abbey getting in my face
Sitting on the floor with my back against the couch is a comfy way to work. Abbey was lying behind me on a couch cushion and had to check in periodically. [April 10]

Pet Pics, 040316 edition

Maggie, at left, had some of her fur shaved off for recent surgery to remove a 1.5-pound fatty tumor. She weighs 95 pounds to Abbey’s 55, so sometimes the blonde gets dragged across the floor.

The dogs didn’t understand this tug toy at first. It took considerable coaching to get them to grasp that they should be on opposite ends.

The dogs didn’t understand this tug toy at first. It took considerable coaching to get them to grasp that they should be on opposite ends. [April 1]

Maggie, at left, had some of her fur shaved off for recent surgery to remove a 1.5-pound fatty tumor. She weighs 95 pounds to Abbey’s 55, so sometimes the blonde gets dragged across the floor.

Maggie, at left, had some of her fur shaved off for recent surgery to remove a 1.5-pound fatty tumor. She weighs 95 pounds to Abbey’s 55, so sometimes the blonde gets dragged across the floor. [April 1]

This poor little squirrel is one of the reasons I keep water and food on the balcony. It has mites, so quite a bit of its fur is missing.

This poor little squirrel is one of the reasons I keep water and food on the balcony. It has mites, so quite a bit of its fur is missing. [March 31]

Guess who likes watching the squirrels? Abbey has to be reminded not to charge at them. [March 21] Sometimes she gets tired of waiting for them to return. [March 13]

Guess who likes watching the squirrels? Abbey has to be reminded not to charge at them. [March 21] Sometimes she gets tired of waiting for them to return. [March 13]

Another big squirrel fan is Daryl, who sometimes stalks them, then settles into pounce position. Today is his 2nd birthday. [April 3]

Another big squirrel fan is Daryl, who sometimes stalks them, then settles into pounce position. Today is his 2nd birthday. [April 3]

Pet Pic, 101915 edition

Photo of black cat and black Labrador retriever on quilt-covered bed
Photo of black cat and black Labrador retriever on quilt-covered bed
Daryl and Maggie, Oct. 17, 2015

Black on black.

Generally speaking, black animals are difficult to photograph, often smearing into dark blobs. I thought this dual challenge came out OK.

The context: cat Daryl already was lying on the bed with me (that’s my jean-clad knee at the bottom) when Maggie, the faithful Lab assistant, came to check in. I invited her up onto the bed to hang out while I worked and after brief hesitation, up she hopped. She often does lie on the bed, but never before with Daryl. He looked back over his shoulder at her then laid his head back down, unperturbed.

Yes, they are touching. No, they are not anywhere near the same size – he weighs about 11 pounds to her 97. Perspective is a tricky beast.

Pet Pic, 092215 edition

DarylAbbey062915
Daryl and Abbey watching birds

Periodically I’ll post a photo of one or more of the household animals for no particular reason. This is one of my favorites, taken June 29.

Daryl and Abbey were born just two weeks apart, on April 3 and April 17, 2014.

Their arrivals here were quite different. After we lost our Brittany and cat, both 11, our deeply mellow black Lab had gone from being the baby of the animals to the only. This would not do.

My husband thought he might like another Lab, yellow this time, or perhaps a golden retriever. We found a happy bouncy girl who was half of each and brought her home at age 10 weeks. She quickly established her digging fervor and her goatlike tendency to perch atop furniture, even after she reached her adult weight of 50 pounds. And after initial suspicion, dear Maggie mothered the newcomer, wrestled with her, set her straight when need arose.

I loved our two dogs, but I missed cat energy. In poking about area rescue websites, I saw a lovely longhaired female but also a lot of photos and desperate pleas about a beautiful black male. He had spent the first 10 months of his life outdoors while his littermates were inside. A woman provided food but not much shelter from mid-Michigan winter, and in February the devoted Chris Morris persuaded her to hand him over.

His life was much improved but took an unexpected turn when a trip to the vet revealed he was FIV+, the first time Chris had ever had a cat test positive. Potential adopters were skittering away. I asked some questions, did some research, and decided he’d be a fine addition, so he joined us a few weeks short of his 1st birthday.

The acclimation period was long. Sometimes noisy. Our older dog had lived with a cat before and after a few deep sniffs took the attitude of, “Oh. One of those. Evs.” The dumb blonde reacted like, “IS THAT A GIANT SQUIRREL? IN THE HOUSE?” And the cat, who had to adapt to not only two huge roommates but this whole “inside with run of the entire house” thing, did a lot of hiding behind furniture and leaping up to the high spots we cleared for him.

All this to say, for them to nestle together watching birds fly in and out of the birdbath was a sweet sight indeed.

Got comments, questions, or stories and photos of your own? Please share them below.