Time Flies with Big Brown Puppy Dog Eyes

Jazzmin being adored by Daisy

Five years ago today I adopted my beloved pup Jazzmin aka Jazz/Jazzerboo/Puppers/Goofball etc., etc. I can’t imagine my life without her following me around and watching me with her big brown puppy dog eyes.
We’ve learned a lot from each other over the years. I’ve taught her how to play fetch and she’s taught me the importance of walking every day, weather permitting. We learned the right way to walk together and although it’ll always be a work in progress, we’ve come a long way. 

When I adopted Jazzmin from the shelter, she was untested with cats and I had two cats at the time, my senior cat Aviendha and my former feral cat Owl. Fortunately, with some patience, refereeing and the unavoidable affection of loving Owl, Jazzmin learned to live happily with cats. 

Avi has since passed and Jazzmin has learned to love our two newer cats Angel and Daisy. During the winter, all three of them are quite often snuggling on the couch with me as Owl sits closeby. Their furry, sleeping bodies help keep my body warm and their unconditional love warms my heart.

Jazzmin’s sweet nature helped my daughters get over their fear of dogs and see just how great pups can be. Jordan will walk her sometimes and Jaycie wants to become a dog trainer some day and own multiple dogs. Amazing what the love of a yellow mutt can do! 
As I write this, Jazzmin is rolling around on her back on the floor like the adorable goofball she is. I gave her a special treat to mark her five year adoptiversary and she was happy to snarf it. Five years with her and her big brown puppy dog eyes have flown by!  I don’t know if she even still remembers living in the shelter or who owned her before she became a stray, but I do know that she seems very happy now and that I’m very happy to have her as my loyal companion and walking buddy. 

Piles of Pathetic Pupness

Jazz flopped pathetically by the couch this morning.

Jazz flopped pathetically by the couch this morning.

I adore my pup Jazzmin but she, just like every other dog in the world I imagine, is an expert at flopping about in the most pathetic and pitiful piles of pupness. She can go from happy and tail wagging after playing to flopped on the floor in utter misery and woe because I haven’t pet her in the last two breaths. She goes from gratefully burping in my face after wolfing down her food to melting on the floor in feigned utter starvation as if her last meal was months ago. Full on doggy drama queen!

It’s been way too cold to take Jazz for a walk the past several days. Just to put her outside for her morning answer to nature’s call I have to dress her up in her booties and sweater to prevent her from becoming a pupsicle. I even had to carry her 55 pound butt back in the house last week because it was too cold for her to walk in the snow! She’s always so eager to get back in the house and I’m always so hopeful that feeling will last all day. Alas, it never does. Within moments, she’s wondering why I haven’t taken her outside for a walk. She looks at me in utter dismay wondering what horrible thing she’s done to make me punish her with lack of walks. My eyes are about to roll out of my head from her constant puppy dog eyes of death!

Time for a walk yet, Mama?

Time for a walk yet, Mama?

I love Jazz but bundling up to my eyeballs in a snowsuit and ski mask to walk her in negative temperatures just isn’t going to happen. Especially since she’d have to be equally bundled and would never keep a full doggy ski mask on, if such a thing even exists. It was so cold this morning that she was holding her paws up out of the snow even with her booties on! I don’t recall that ever happening before and with her leaky steel trap memory, Jazz doesn’t remember it happening at all by now.

The cold shoulder pout.

The cold shoulder pout.

My daughter Jordan asked me last night if I thought Jazz was born looking that pathetic. I said I highly doubted it and that from what I remember of puppies, they’re furry, round butterballs that sleep a lot, chew on things and pee and poo all over the house. I’m not up to dealing with THAT variety of pathetic pup piles around my house! Despite her constant “woe is me” body flopping in every room of the house, I know Jazz is a happy dog. She has by now forgotten her less than lovely life in the animal shelter but her periodic stays at the boarders remind her what a good thing she has in my tiny, cabin-fever filled house.

Ohhh woe is Jazzmin!

Ohhh woe is Jazzmin!

Eventually the weather will break and we’ll be able to go for walks again but for now I’m doing my best to ignore the sighs, huffs, grunts and stares of longing she keeps aiming in my direction.

Loving Jazzerboo

Two years ago today I adopted my dog Jazzmin from one of the local animal shelters. I fell in love with her the moment the shelter volunteer brought her exuberant, wagging butt out from the room where the kennels were. It was obvious in her whole demeanor how much she loved life and people and her energy was contagious!

My life hasn’t been the same since I adopted my Jazzerboo, it’s been infinitely better than it was before! She is the most loving, loyal and snuggly dog I’ve ever owned and her personality is as quirky as mine. The way she looks at me with one ear cocked higher than the other, the way she lies on the floor with her feet in the air, the way her entire rear end wags back and forth right along with her tail always make me smile no matter what kind of day I’ve had.

Having Jazzmin as part of my family comes with all sorts of perks. Her puppy dog eyes of death are great motivators to go outside and walk, she taught my girls that dogs aren’t something to be afraid of, she’s shown my cats that dogs are just as fun to snuggle with as humans and she’s kept me from ever feeling alone. She’s my shadow when I’m walking through the house and my copilot on driving adventures.

I’d say I don’t know how I survived without her but I do know how I survived and it wasn’t nearly as happy an existence. I know dogs aren’t for everyone but they are for me and I plan on adopting more mutts in the future when my circumstances allow. Every dog deserves a chance at a great life full of love and I gave Jazz that when I rescued her from the shelter. Even better, she rescued me right back!

A Cat Named Owl

Yes, you read that right; I have a cat named Owl. I receive all sorts of perplexed expressions and responses when I tell people my black cat’s name is Owl. “Owl?” they repeat. “As in O-W-L?” Yes indeed! The story behind her name goes like this…

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted a solid black cat. I’ve had black and white cats but never an all-black cat. I see black cats as a sign of good luck and I believe they possess positive mysticism. One winter morning in January six years ago, I went into the barn of the house I lived in with my then husband. I don’t remember why I went in there but I do remember what I found. There was a small, orange, tiger-striped kitten scampering across the floor of the barn. Two stray kittens had shown up in our barn the previous spring so I wasn’t entirely surprised by this new visitor. Those two kittens had found a lovely home so I’m sure I could find this orange one a home too.

The orange kitten was somewhat friendly but uncertain so I went back inside the house to make him a bowl of warm milk. The two cats I owned at the time, Avi and Zoey, knew the sound of milk being poured and were not impressed when I took it outside the house. Once back in the barn, I put the milk down and the orange kitten began eagerly drinking it. As he lapped up the milk, I noticed movement from the far side of the barn. There wasn’t much light in the barn and it was very dark over there, so all I saw when I looked were two big glowing eyes. That steady gaze reminded me of the intent eyes of an owl. I could then make out the shape of an even smaller, all black kitten huddled among motorcycles and wheelbarrows. When I tried to get close to her, she hissed at me and backed away.

Owl my Howloween cat!

Owl my Howloween cat!

I went back in the house and fetched another bowl of warm milk much to my cats’ annoyance. Back in the barn, I set the second bowl of steaming milk down on the floor between the orange kitten and the hiding black kitten. The black kitten wouldn’t come any closer but I hoped she’d come drink before the rounder, orange kitten drank all the milk.

Zoey and Owl lounging in the sun..with some owls.

Zoey and Owl lounging in the sun..with some owls.

The next day I went out and bought some kitten chow for my new guests and again the orange kitten was friendlier and came to eat. It took a while but eventually the little black kitten would come over to drink the milk and eat the food. She seemed to be warming to me. The funny thing was she didn’t seem to know or remember how to meow. She’d obviously been chased away a lot so when she came over to eat and drink, she’d hiss at me instead of meowing. I could hear her purring loudly so I knew she meant to be friendly but she’d forgotten how to meow.

I named that black kitten Owl because those big, glowing eyes were the very first part of her I saw. The name suited her somehow. I named the round orange kitten Pumpkin, though he’d come to any name if there was food involved. I was so happy that an all-black cat had found its way to me! I bought them a cage so they could live inside the bathroom of the warm house. I would have been happy to let them roam free in the house but my then husband wasn’t a big animal lover. He also told me I wasn’t “allowed” to have more than two cats so I put an ad in the paper offering the kittens for free. I was not happy to have to give the little black kitten away.

Avi and Owl tolerate each other.

Avi and Owl tolerate each other.

When my then husband was at work, I’d let the kittens out of the cage so they could play in the house and they were so much fun to watch! I knew I was going to miss them both immensely but I hoped they’d have a loving home. Eventually a young woman called interested in the kittens and we scheduled a time for her to come over and pick them up. I put both kittens in the bathroom, but not in the cage, and closed the door. The woman arrived and I took her into the bathroom. The moment I opened the door, Owl ran back behind the dryer and hid. Coax and call as I might, Owl wouldn’t come out. The young woman was content with just Pumpkin so I let her take him alone.

Zoey and Owl involved in a lazy cat fight

Zoey and Owl involved in a lazy cat fight

I wasn’t about to give Owl away all by herself because she’d bonded with Pumpkin and was skittish to begin with. Despite much grumbling on my then husband’s part, I got to keep Owl and I finally owned my beloved all black cat! By then she had remembered how to meow and she’s so “talkative” now that my nickname for her is “Owl the Mouth.”

Owl fell asleep on the phone again!

Owl fell asleep on the phone again!

She and my youngest daughter Jaycie practically grew up together and Owl adores Jaycie to this day. These days when Owl starts loving up Jaycie she says “Owl’s bugging me” but every now and then Owl gets a pet or two.

Jaycie and Owl when they were "little"

Jaycie and Owl when they were “little”

Named after a bird or not, Owl is one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever owned and she even taught Jazzmin to like cats! Though that’s a story for another day…

Owl and Jazzmin snuggling on the couch

Owl and Jazzmin snuggling on the couch