It was late August 2016 and we were on our way home from a very long day. We drove 6 hours round trip to pick up a horse trailer. While sitting at a stop light I saw a sign that said Beagle puppies. My husband pointed out that we just had a very long day, he had teeth removed the day before and we were both tired. We could see them the following day if I wanted. We were talking and listening to music as I drove.  A few miles out of town I mentioned that I’d never seen a Beagle puppy. Since I’ve been around dogs all my life, he couldn’t believe I never saw a Beagle pup. He told me to turn around.

There was one female pup left. I picked her up and I was done. She licked my face so much she made me laugh. She was beating my ribs with her tail. I handed her to Greg and she did the same to him. I put her down and sat on the floor with her. She sniffed and crawled all over me. I was really done. Although we enjoyed not being tied to the house, we both missed having a dog. We lost our old Beagle just before Thanksgiving the prior year.

We had bowls, beds and a crate. We needed a collar, leash, food and toys. And there was that matter of putting fence up. I couldn’t stand to look at it after we had to put Raisin down so it came down. Ready or not, we were going home with a 2 month old Beagle pup! The cats are going to be thrilled …. or not.

Even though our 3 cats grew up with dogs, they stayed true to form when we came home with the new pup. Harlie was Raisin’s best buddy. She’d check on him every night after he went to bed, before she came up on our bed. If she thought he was sleeping too long, she checked on him. After he passed away I brought his ashes home and put them in the curio cabinet. Harlie sat by the box every day for weeks.

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Raisin and his buddies

Harlie was the first of the cats to hiss, spit and run when she saw the pup. Life as the cats knew it came to a very abrupt halt. It’s amazing just how much a 6 lb puppy can disrupt a household!

For the next few months we didn’t see much of the cats. They had dry food, water, toys and a litter box upstairs and a bouncy, annoying, tri-colored reason not to go downstairs. Their can food was served to them on the stairs. When they did see Daisy it was hiss, spit, growl and swat. I was beginning to think they’d never accept her.

I’d had enough of not seeing the cats during the day. I work at home and they always visited while I worked. Indy sat on my office chair behind me every day. I brought their dry food down and put it back where it belonged. If they wanted to eat more than twice a day they were going to have to suck it up and face the puppy. It took a few days, but they eventually came down looking for food.

Daisy hasn’t helped herself with the cat situation. She wanted playmates.  There were 3 in the house and she couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t play with her. Being the typical over active, playful Beagle pup tried playing with them which resulted in more hissing, spitting, growling and swatting. Oh well, at least the cats were coming downstairs.

It’s taken 8 months, but Indy and Mouse have finally accepted Daisy…. sort of. They’ll cuddle and rub on Daisy then swat her in the nose.  Indy will take a light away at Daisy’s tail as she walks past. Daisy bounces and barks. When the pup gets too noisy Indy swats hard and ends the play. Daisy is scared to death of Harlie and the cat knows it so Harlie toys with her.


We were without a dog for almost a year when I really started to miss having one. Greg convinced me that we should get a Beagle.  He said they were just like Labs, only much smaller and manageable. A local shelter had received about a half dozen Beagles from West Virginia. It was a cold Saturday in mid February and after being snowed in for several days, we were ready to venture off the property. When we got to the shelter most of the Beagles were already adopted. They said Beagles go quickly. There was a smaller male that was under weight, a bit sheepish and wore a cone of shame since he’d recently been neutered. We asked to see him. I took him outside for a walk and to spend some time getting to know him. What a different dog! He strutted with his head held high in the too big plastic e-collar. He was very friendly and wanted to be fussed over. We really liked him, but decided to go to another shelter to see what dogs they had before we adopted one. I walked him to the door to go back in, opened the door and he put on the brakes. He wasn’t going back inside. After a little struggle I did get I’m inside.

At the other shelter there was only a young female Lab and she really had no interest in me. We left and stopped for lunch. We decided to go back to see the Beagle again. If he was still there, we’d adopt him.

He was still available! After I had finished the paperwork and paid the adoption fee they told us he had been adopted by a young couple but he wasn’t suitable and they returned him after a few days. Oh boy – lets hope it was just a mismatch. They also said the information that came with him was that he was 3 years old and fully housebroken. We saw him come out of the back but he didn’t see us right away. When he did his head shot up and he started to run toward us. At that moment he was probably the happiest dog in the world. He pranced out the door and across the parking lot to the truck that waited to take him to his new home to start his new life. He strutted around Petco like he owned the place as we picked out a collar and leash, a crate, a bed, food and some toys.

We took our new dog and all of his belongings in the house. The introduction to Harlie, Indy and Mouse went better than I expected. The cats seemed to take to him right away. He found his bed and laid  down in it. And there he stayed. For the next three days he did nothing except sleep, eat and go outside once in awhile. Greg was starting to think we made a bad choice. I was hoping he was exhausted from everything he’d been thru. Tired, underweight to the point of his spine sticking up with slightly deformed back legs, he was our new dog and he was here to stay.



Harlie and Indy

In early fall  of 2010 the feral cat that lived in the woods behind our house started bringing her 2 kittens to our front porch while ate the dry food that we always had out for Furball. When he passed away I left it there for the feral momma cat since she was used to it being there. They weren’t very old, but they were wild and unapproachable. I watched from the window as they played. Once in awhile when I was outside I could see them playing at the edge of the woods. One of us saw them every day for a month or so. They got used to seeing us. We could go in and out of the house, but couldn’t get near them. One day we went out. The kittens were playing on the porch, but no momma cat. That was strange. She usually wasn’t far. For several days we saw the kittens, but momma cat was no where to be found. I was sure they were too young to be weaned, but she dumped them on our porch and left. It was getting chilly so I made sure they had a box with a towel, food and water. They were getting friendlier, but I still couldn’t pet them. It was getting cold. The little grey and white kept trying to run in the house when we opened the door. Apparently she felt the heat from the house. The tiger and white scooted for my truck when I came home and climbed into the engine compartment. Winter was coming and they were too young to survive. They were cold and loosing weight. Greg said we should bring them inside and we could find homes for them when they were a bit older. It wasn’t an effort to catch them.

They were too tiny to be loose with Mouse and Dakota so we put them in a spare room with food, water, litter box and toys. I checked on them multiple times a day and it took no time for them to become very friendly. After what seemed like forever, they were finally big enough and comfortable in the house to introduce them to the other furry family members and let them have the run of the house. Mouse seemed to really enjoy cat company. Dakota was a bit rough so we had to keep any eye on him. They’d get turned around in the house and call. I’d say something and they’d come flying from another part of the house. I’ve been adopted as “momma cat”.


Dakota Wade

It was close to a year after we lost Mocha and I was starting to think about another dog. Every once in awhile during that time I’d stop at the local pet shop to see the puppies. I always looked at the puppies and walked away. I knew I wasn’t ready. On Saturday Feb 18, 2009 on our way home from the barn I wanted to pop in to see the puppies. I expected to look and walk away. I started to play with them and pet them. I was going from pen to pen looking at puppies. It looks like I might be ready. It’s time to keep an eye on the shelters to see what they had for adoption. I looked in the last pen just to see what kind of puppies were in it. A little liver & white Springer came bouncing over to me. Unlike the other puppies, he was all licks and nuzzles. I picked him up and he melted into me and tried to give kisses. I know better than to get a pet shop puppy. The owner is a friend of a friend. I know his puppies come from breeders and not puppy mills. But it’s still a pet shop. We took him into the puppy play room. He played with toys and bounced on me, played a bit more then visited Greg. I tried putting him back in his pen and he clung to me. I shouldn’t … I know better … I’m going to anyway. Greg decided he needed a good cowboy name. Dakota Wade (named after Greg’s saddle) was on his way to his new home and family.

When Mocha passed away I washed all of her stuff and put it away – just in case. Apparently it was more than just in case. Mouse wasn’t quite 2 so she found Dakota to be a fun playmate instead of an annoying puppy.

Dakota settled in quickly. It didn’t take long for him to be house trained and rarely touched anything that wasn’t his, but he was a very active puppy. He loved to get on the wall separating the dining room from the living room, over to the portable dish washer and jump off. Oh boy, we really need puppy insurance for this one! Puppy soccer was how I spent my lunch time during the week. It didn’t take him long to learn his commands or how to con us into playing with him.


After Jasmine died I didn’t want another cat. My heart was broken and I really had no interest. Thanksgiving weekend in 2007 Greg convinced me to go to the shelter and just look. What I saw was a tiny, mouse grey kitten all alone in a cage. They took her out an handed her to me. She was brought in as a stray and they estimated her to be about 7 weeks old. Although a little timid and frightened, she seemed to be a nice kitten.

Furball was good with kittens and he seemed to like having company again. Watching her play she looked like a little field mouse. That little kitten turned out to be hell on four little paws. She was always beating on Furball until he smacked her hard enough to send her tumbling across the floor. She was put in her place and was much more mellow with him. We’d try to play with her and she’d viciously attack us with biting, clawing and growling.  After only two days she’d worn out her welcome. If the shelter was still open the miserable kitten would have gone back that night. I don’t remember what Greg was doing, but it has nothing to do with Mouse. She ran over and tore into his arm. As as reaction he pulled back and smacked her (probably harder than he should have). She got up, shook her head and suddenly became a very nice kitten. Attacking people stopped. She got very cuddly and lovable. She’d sit in you lap and sleep. She was still hell on paws. We’d catch her sitting on top of the living room curtain rods and walking across clothes on hangers in the closet. Mouse was going to be an interesting kitten to have around.


Lisa’s Mocha Jewel

A farm needs a dog. Horse and dogs just go together. I’m home by myself all day and the cats aren’t going to protect me. All good justifications on why we needed a dog. We had to get a larger dog that could keep up with us when we rode the horses and follows us around while we did barn chores. I had Labs in the past and loved the breed. I did my research on breeders, picked out a pup and sent them a deposit. All I had to do was wait until she was old enough to come home.

It was a few days before Christmas 2006 and we were finally picking up our puppy. It was a long 3-hour drive. We had her new collar, leash and crate (in case we needed it). She was friendly, outgoing and playful. Everything I wanted in a pup. It was time to head home with our new addition. If we thought the drive out there was long, it was even longer going home with a whimpering pup. It was after dark by the time we pulled in to the driveway. We walked her into her new home. Just as Greg took her leash off, Furball came out to greet us. She saw him and took off after him. He bolted. She chased him around the house barking. He finally had enough & jumped on a speaker to get away from her and to see what’s been chasing him. She jumped up and put her paws on the speaker and got her first lesson from a cat. A good swat in the nose sent her runningaround the house yelping. When her nose stopped hurting she went back to bark at him again. Oh boy, this was going to be an adventure. Did I really tell the breeder I wanted the hell raiser of the litter?


Jazzy was like a brilliant shooting star that burned out all too quickly. She went 100 mph all day and crashed hard at night. She loved all life had to offer.

It was getting a little expensive to pay rent on the townhouse and board for my horse. My boyfriend and I were moving to a farm where we could have our horses. Furball had been mine for quite some time and I certainly wasn’t going to leave him behind when I moved. We decided he might like company so we went to the Humane Society to look at kittens. Greg’s daughter picked out a kitten and named her Jasmine. By the time we were ready to move Jazzy was litter trained and she and Furball were buddies.

They both loved the farm. A larger house to fun around, steps to race up and down. Furball could be out all day and not have to be on the lookout for other cats or traffic. When Jazzy was old enough to start going out, Furball stayed in the yard with her. They’d lay on the deck or in the grass. He never went far.

Jazzy was my puppy cat and loved to go for walks with us. On our after dinner walks, she followed us thru the fields, down to the creek and in the creek. I guess nobody every told her cats don’t like water. It was only a few inches deep so I didn’t worry about her being in it. She’d chase bugs and look for minnows. On our way home one day she lagged behind. I looked around and caught her taking a swim in a deeper pool she discovered. Every day after that it became a regular stop for her. We’d wait until she was done her swim and continue our walk.

In the house she was a terror. Racing around like a maniac, walking on the top of the window where they both meet, climbing up the screens. She’d finally crash and cuddle with us while we watched TV.

As long as the weather was nice, I left the back door open so Jazzy and Furball could come and go. I could see them on the back deck from my office. One day I heard a noise and looked to discover Jazzy bringing a 2′ snake into the house. I quickly ran into the laundry room and shut the door to prevent the snake from getting into the house. We didn’t need another episode like the time somebody brought a live mouse into the house, dropped it and both refused to catch it again. I separated kitten and snake, shuffled snake out the door and closed it with both cats inside.

All of us loved being at the farm. Jasmine would help us with outside chores, barn work and fencing. If we were outside she was always around us while Furball went off and did his own thing. Greg and I were on the back deck and Furball was in the middle of the yard. Jazzy came running thru the yard form the hedgerow. She caught her first bird and was bringing it to us. Furball ran up to her, snatched it right out of her mouth and took off towards the hedgerow. Poor Jazzy came up to us looking very disappointed. I told her it was a very nice bird and it was ok that she didn’t get to give it to us.


After 20 years of marriage I found myself on my own. This is the first time in my life I didn’t have a critter. Pets weren’t permitted in the townhouse I was renting and I really missed my cats I had to leave behind.

Furball showed up just when I needed him most. The grey and white cat that kept showing up at my back door every evening when I got home from work. He’d howl to get in and I told him to go away – I couldn’t have pets. Keeping the slider closed and closing the curtains didn’t discourage him. He’d be there every day, asking to come in. I couldn’t take it anymore. I opened the door to go out to introduce myself and he bolted in. Now I had a large, strange cat in my kitchen looking for food. I dig around in the refrigerator for leftovers to give him. I gave him some water. I sat on the floor as he ate his fill. When he was finished he came over, rubbed against my leg and played on the floor like he owned the place. We visited for awhile. He was a very nice cat. He had to belong to someone, but he was very thin like he’d been a stray for quite some time. He went to the door and meowed. I opened the door and he left. The following day on my way home from work I stopped and bought some cat food and bowls in case he came back. He was there when I got home. I opened the slider and he ran in like he belonged there. I filled his bowls and gave them a home in the kitchen. He ate, visited and left. And so our relationship began.