7 in a bed and the little one said …

You know those moments when your life resembles a song so closely you think it was written just for you? Well, lately I’ve had a song of a different type running through my head day and night. A nursery rhyme. Yup – the one about the nightly fight for us all to find the perfect spot to sleep for the entire evening without falling out of bed! We are literally at maximum capacity over here!

 

Luckily Cooper and Phoebe prefer their own beds, but that leaves me, my partner, 3 cats and 2 little dogs to fight over the queen bed! This is also not made easier by the ongoing disagreements between one of the cats and Bella (who is obsessed with crawling up to all the cats and staring at them for hours expecting some kind of spectacular tap dancing event, or something equally thrilling, that only she knows is coming).

With all these bodies fighting for space and snuggles no wonder it’s so difficult to get a decent nights’ rest!

When doing a quick google search you can see the opinions are divided on whether it’s a good or bad thing of you allow your pets to sleep in the bed with you. Does it cause interruptions in your sleep? Yes. BUT It raises your oxytocin levels (those feel-good hormones) increasing your sense of calm and wellbeing. So as with most things, you have to decide which outcome is more important to you.

In our house however, bed sleeping is such a habit that we couldn’t even change it if we tried. And frankly, I don’t know if I would want to. The occasional shuffle or need to move (often in an odd unnatural serpentine fashion so as not to disturb the sleeping pets!) is totally worth all the happy snoring and cute dreamy huffs as they each follow their dreams every night.

In case you think I'm exaggerating, I made a handy visual guide to the nightly sleep and bed space wars. That bed is so full there's barely space to represent it as a diagram even! :-)

In case you think I’m exaggerating, I made a handy visual guide to the nightly sleep and bed space wars. That bed is so full there’s barely space to represent it as a diagram even! 🙂

… So for now I’m off to bed, hoping that all 7 of us stay in and no one falls out!

“Roll over, roll over…”

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How about you? Do your pets share the bed with you? Or do you think it’s a bad idea?

Introducing Rocky Rockstar and Bella the Beautiful…

Our family has grown once again! It seems like just the other day that my only dog was Phoebe and that because of her extreme fear of other dogs I couldn’t even consider allowing the canine family to grow… And then came Cooper crashing into our lives… and now we have two more (unplanned) additions to the family!

“I say, thirteen is too many dogs for good mental health. Five is pretty much the limit. More than five dogs and you forfeit your right to call yourself entirely sane.
Even if the dogs are small.”

– E. Lockheart “The Boyfriend List”

I’ll post more on the blog about these two new cutie-pie’s, but in a nutshell, the way they got here was through a long series of re-homing events. These two had originally been my Boyfriends first dogs that he got as puppies in 2005 and 2010 respectively when he lived in another city for work. They then moved back into the family home with him when he moved back into town, and then stayed there when he moved again last year as his niece and nephew loved them and they had free reign in the large house. But as they were about to move again in October new homes were found for them with family members as the new place they had to move into doesn’t allow pets, and I was too concerned about Phoebe and the cats accepting new dogs (not to mention the sheer amount of animals that would be in the home!). All was going according to plan until literally the day of the move when the new homes for them fell through.

What to do now?!

We knew that with no other good homes available we would have to take them in, and if they didn’t adjust we would deal with it either through training, or finding a new home with trusted families. Only time would tell how the household would adjust.

We’re a few weeks into the new arrangement, and I can report that all the pets were a bit rattled in the beginning but are now adjusting wonderfully. There are obviously a few hiccups we need to address (which I’ll post about soon!), but overall, the newly extended family has been mostly successful!

So there’s the back story, and here’s the part you’ve been waiting for… the introduction to the new additions! <***drumroll please!***>

Rocky Rockstar (Chihuahua, 10 years old):

rocky

…and Bella the Beautiful (Pekingese x Jack Russell, 5 years old):

Bella 2

For those regular readers trying to keep track of the animals in our household, here’s a quick (updated) recap:

Dogs:

  • Fabulous Phoebe
  • Super Duper Cooper
  • Rocky Rockstar
  • Bella the Beautiful

Cats:

  • Angel
  • Cleo
  • Katz

So now we’re an ever-growing, big, happy family of all species!

In this entry there’s no usual “Effectiveness Rating” because we’re still finding our feet, but I’ll update with all the trials, tribulations and successes as they occur in the future. Be sure to pop in to check on any new developments!

Blogtober Day 5: 3 things you want to say to people you admire

dog_talk

Cooper says:

  1. “You make food all day?! I want to be a ‘chef’ too!” 🙂
  2. “Thanks to the organisation that found me and networked me so that I could find this furever home. You rock!”
  3. “Thank you to the makers of ‘meat’. I don’t know where it comes from, but when my Mom or Dad put that into my bowl, I become so happy I could burst!”

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Phoebe says:

  1. “Love you Mom and Dad. xoxo
  2. “To the Behaviourist who came to Mom’s aid when she was so overwhelmed with me and all my issues: THANK YOU. Thank you also for keeping a class open for reactive dogs to attend so that I too can go to learn, love and enjoy!”
  3. “Thanks to all the animal lovers out there who volunteer at rescue organisations and shelters. You’re changing the lives of lucky dogs and cats every day!”

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To view the full Blogtober 2014 challenge, click here

Blogtober Day 2: Your best friend

“The pair of us are like salt and sugar: such different flavors, but so close in every other way you could never sort us apart once we’re together.”  – Sarah Miller

Phoebe Says:

That’s an easy one! My BFF is Angel. From the day I arrived I was so scared and didn’t know how I was going to cope in this new environment and it was Angel, the matriarch of the household, who immediately befriended me and showed me the ways of the home. She helped me to feel safe in my new home, and always makes sure that I never sleep alone. I’ve heard that dogs aren’t really supposed to be friends with cats, but I think that’s just because none of them have taken the time to find out that they can be as sweet and kind as Angel is!

Phoebe Angel

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Cooper says:

That’s a hard one! Even though I come across as quite over the top and dominant at first, I actually love everyone – humans, dogs and cats! If I really had to pick my favourite(s) I would have to say my adoptive sister Phoebe, and my Dad. Both of them love to play with me no matter what time of day it is!

Cooper friends

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Mom says:

I’m so lucky to be blessed with a calm, happy and loving household where everyone is friends with everyone else. This is especially important because of the dog-cat dynamics, and the dog-dog reactive issues that both Phoebe and Cooper have. The pets really love their nightly snuggle fests!

snuggle bffs blogtober

You can view the full 31 Day Blogtober Dog Blog Challenge here.

Finding Cooper: Our family is Growing! #42 Register as a Foster Parent

“Dogs love company. They place it first in their short list of needs.” – J.R. Ackerley

Well, I still have yet to inch any closer to my goal of becoming a foster parent to a human baby, but in the meantime, I became a foster (then adoptive) Mom to Fabulous Phoebe. I’m now happy to announce that the family is once again officially growing, and I have become a foster mom to yet another canine beauty – this time to “Cooper” (previously known as Droopy).

Regular readers may recall that I’ve been trying to get Phoebe to expand her social horizons from beyond our weekly classes, and have set up a few play dates for her to meet other canine friends. She was a bit anxious at first with each one, but eventually warmed up to them all. The most recent, and most important one though, was her playdates set up with Cooper. You can read all about him HERE.

I filled in all the paperwork, did the play dates, and patiently waited for my house inspection and allotted pick-up dates. Then, on a sunny Friday afternoon I embarked on a brazen last minute near-dognapping incident and swooped in and rescued sweet Cooper from his solitary existence (that’s a story for another day & blog entry! 🙂 ) and rushed him home to settle in at his new home, with his new family!

Cooper happy to be chauffeur driven to his new house, with all his new housemates!

Cooper happy to be chauffeur driven to his new house, with all his new housemates!

So how has Phoebe reacted to her new foster brother? Well, it’s difficult to say right now, but she doesn’t seem nearly as stressed as I thought she would be. The cats have also made themselves scarce, but that’s not unusual when there’s a new arrival. Though I’m cautious about being too optimistic, I have a suspicion that Cooper will be a blessing to the entire family, and that we’ll all be so much happier for the busier home!

In this entry I’ll save the usual “Phoebe’s Effectiveness Rating” for a time when I can better judge how Phoebe reacts and what the introductions are like. Be sure to pop in to check on any new developments!