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Re: Do you have a pet? If so, what kind?
I seem to have an affinity with animals and all are welcome as pets or visitors and are fed on a daily basis along with a perpetual watering spot for all....birds of all varieties, squirrels, rabbits, an opposum, 2 dependable raccoons, a couple of deer, a skunk, and strays that wander in looking for food... however have to take a different approach with the coyotes that come by now and then and the resident hawk who thinks these critters look appetizing while they are feeding. The opposum usually shows up around 1am for a handout - he peers through the patio door screen and then sits on the deck waiting for his food (arw egg in the shell and some cat kibble). The raccoons show up separately - one around 7pm and the other around 11pm.....both take peanuts in the shell from my hand and then chow down on their dish of food (peanuts in the shell, a mix of dog and cat kibble)...also have another rogue raccoon that prefers rooting through the garbage cans to the food I provide...he's a real nuisance but still welcome. The skunk shows up usually after the first raccoon between 8 and 9pm and gets his dish of a chopped apple and whatever other fruit scraps are available from the day.
As to my dog - I wouldn't say best friend but definitely family member.
A pure white 85 pound Siberian Huskey / Chow mix - both parents pure bred.
I was present at her birth and had choice of the litter...she has been with me for 12½ years.
She has her own love seat, her own double bed, and her own full size bench seat in the van....and she is very seldom apart from me - she goes everywhere with me...in fact she is underneath my desk at this moment by my feet.
With age difficulties she now has a set of stairs (2 steps) to get into the van and a ramp to exit it. Also as the house is a raised ranch with 7 steps to the main floor - which is 5 steps more than she can easily manage - I have built her her own personal elevator lift to take her from the entrance level up to the main floor level.
Due to a tooth problem she has never been able to eat the normal hard food and treats, so she was raised on human food. She eats everything I do with the exception of brocolli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, citrus fruit and grapes. At holiday dinners a separate plate is on the table for her and is heaped with everything except potaoes and then she joins us from her eating location a few feet away as we eat.
I share everything (food) with her and as such she has learned there is no need to take anything. You could set your plate of dinner down on the floor beside her and she wouldn't touch anything on the plate, knowing there is no need to because she will get a small share from me before I am done eating.
She has been specifically trained in the following...
-not to chew (this was after she destroyed the drivers seat in my van when she was 4 months old and I left her in the van while I went into the grocery store)
-not to lick but show affection through hugs
-to not accept anything with chocolate content
-to not bite or attack anyone, or any animal, who is not aggresive towards her...she has never lost a fight with other aggressive dogs that wander into our property including a pit bull. She will lay beside her water dish outside and allow birds, rabbits, raccoons to drink without interference from her with the exception of Starlings - for some reason she has absolutely no tolerance for them.
-to use only one area of the property for solid waste
-to guard the kids (when they were younger) against anyone approaching them whom she didn't know
- to be curious about groceries but not touch...she will stick her nose in each bag to see what is there, and even when there is something specifically for her she will not touch it until it is given to her
- and several more areas.
She has never been physically disciplined, or punished, but about evey 3 months she's inclined to show some stubborn independence (kind of like raising a perpetual 3 year old) and not totally listen to me, so we have a 'unique' master / dog talk that I have used with her since she was a puppy to bring her back around.
All animals are welcome here...we have had dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, birds, rabbits,fish. and more...but preferentially I am mainly a dog person....I suppose because of the interaction and the way in which they respond.
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