Bette

Bette is a 13-year-old terrier with the best hair you’re ever likely to see. She’s named after Bette Davis (think “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane”). Bette was a stray so we can only imagine where she came from. If she were a person, I imagine she would have her hair in curlers, wear puffy slippers, a raspy voice and a cigarette hanging out of her mouth.

Bette is neither nice nor mean. She lets you know what she thinks of someone on a case-by-case basis. She will always get what she wants from you…whether that be loads of attention, or for you to leave her the fuck alone.

Bette’s true talent is catching live flies in her mouth. She relentlessly stalks birds, cats, reptiles, and rodents…but if she “catches” them, she simply sits down and heaves a big sigh. It’s the journey, not the destination that matters.

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Frida

Frida is a 14-year-old Chihuahua. Frida is named after the artist Frida Kahlo. Why? Because they both shattered their pelvises in horrific accidents, were told they wouldn’t walk again – then did. And because they both have a flair for the dramatic.

Frida loves to bite visitors, hump Erik’s arm endlessly and follow me everywhere I go. Even if it is two steps. She walks with a limp from her shattered pelvis and her tongue hangs out of her mouth. She absolutely hates Lolita and is frenemies with Bette. Chester is her boyfriend.

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Chester

Chester is a 15-year-old Chihuahua. He is tiny…like three pounds. The kind of dog little girls dream about. He came from a hoarder where he lived outside with 70 other dogs. He survived the winters by crawling underneath the other dogs to stay warm. Sort of like Luke Skywalker getting inside the tauntaun’s warm carcass. When he was rescued he had a stick that was duct taped to his leg which had been broken but had also healed.

Chester loves to pee on everything. Beds, pillows, other dogs, guests. He refuses to have his nails clipped (making him look a bit like Mr. Burns when he rubs his long skinny fingers together and says “Excellent”). Chester can make your ears bleed with his bark. However, his real gift is that when he begs he can cry real tears. Sara McLaughlin and the Humane Society have nothin’ on Chester.

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Fig

Fig is our youngest dog. He’s about a year and a half. Being a Chihuahua means he is crazy. Being a Chihuahua with a brain injury means he is off-the-charts psycho.

Kicked in the head as a baby he was hospitalized and then taken to the shelter where he was subsequently adopted. His lovely new parents who had promised to love and cherish him forever apparently spent most of their time chasing and threatening him in an attempt to housebreak him. When they weren’t doing that, they were trying to forcibly restrain him so they could clip his nails. I guess all of this quality time got old and they dumped him back at the shelter.

Fig is super-sweet – loves to be cuddled and held, but he’s highly unpredictable. He has shrieking spells where even he is left wondering WTF. He’s terrified of bananas, will kiss you and then bite you in the span of a fraction of a second, pukes when nervous, sucks on your finger and has seizures. His head is misshapen, his tongue hangs out for no apparent reason, but when he curls up into a tiny ball to sleep (like a psychotic gerbil) your heart will almost burst from the adorableness of it all.

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Lolita

Nobody knows how old she is, but we do know she is a Chihuahua with dwarfism, huge anime eyes, creepy sideways shark teeth and two pupils in one eye and was found living behind a dumpster.

She’s mean as fuck and tries to bite and subsequently maim everyone she meets…but she’s so fucking cute you’ll reach in again and again. She’s been likened to Gollum in LOTR. And no, she’s not available for adoption.

Lolita is so evil that Erik is writing a Creepy Pasta about her.

She hates everyone and everything. Well, she doesn’t hate me, and she doesn’t hate cream puffs. But she hates rainbows, butterflies and unicorns, for sure.

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Roscoe

Roscoe is a 17-year-old Beagle. He’s like the world’s smallest Beagle, which BTW doesn’t make him any quieter.

We took Roscoe as a favor to Animal Control after his owner was hospitalized with mental health issues. Which makes sense…you’d have to have mental health issues to have a beagle, right? Just kidding. I think.

Roscoe is loud. And he’s not very brave. He gets beat up on a daily basis by a tiny blind Chihuahua named Story. Well, Story never actually touches Roscoe, but he gets near him and that is enough to send Roscoe over the edge. It takes a valium or two, a gin and tonic and an hour of venting for him to get over it.

Roscoe has arthritis (his leg was broken and healed back in a funky way); he has a horrible heart and yucky teeth. However, at 17 a dental would probably kill him, so we’ll take bad teeth and a live dog. Roscoe agrees heartily with this decision.

Roscoe loves men, and smiles when he sleeps. I smile when he sleeps too…as I always say; a good beagle is a sleeping beagle.

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Hamlet

Hamlet (or Hami as we like to call him) is a 3-year-old Chiweenie.

Put in a box at eight weeks old, driven to the desert and abandoned, his life didn’t start out so great. Then Animal Control found the box. So that was great. Hami is one lucky dog.

He suffers from Cerebellar Hypoplasia, meaning his brain stem isn’t fully developed so he suffers from constant tremors and instability (probably why he found himself in a box in the desert). Think of a drunken toddler. That’s Hami.

Despite his disability, he is fierce. He is always up for a fight…he is the bravest dog I know. He’s small but thinks nothing of taking on our 185-pound Great Pyrenees, August. He’s like that little guy in prison that everyone knows to avoid. Yeah, he may be small but he’s fucking crazy. Crazy trumps size every time.

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Edith | Nigel

Edith:
Edie is a 15-year-old terrier. We like to call her Little Edie after the character in Grey Gardens. If you haven’t seen this, stop what you are doing RIGHT NOW and go watch it.

Edie is blind and has anger management issues. She also has a boyfriend (though she’d probably tell you they are “just friends”) He’s an excruciatingly high-strung Maltese about half Edie’s age (yes, she’s a cougar). Edie is very chubby and Nigel is very thin because he lets her eat all his food. Think Jack Spratt.

Nigel:
Nigel is a 7-year-old Maltese that I found behind a dumpster at the Taco Bell during a blizzard.

He’s the most skittish dog I have ever had. He’s like a hummingbird he is so high strung. He’s terrified of thunder, of any loud noises, and being reached for. The one calming influence in his life is Edie. He’s madly in love with her. I’m not sure why he picked her to fall in love with. She’s bossy, mean and barely tolerates him. But, love is blind. Nigel and Edie are the only truly bonded pair of dogs I have ever come across. Sure, dogs are advertised as “bonded” all the time, but I’ve never seen it actually be true. Usually, you bring a bonded pair home and they never spend another minute together again. But Nigel is completely and utterly bonded to Edie. Edie, not so much. Nigel panics if he can’t find Edith. He guards her against the other dogs. He lets her eat his food and treats. If Edie dies, I’ll probably have to enlist the help of a taxidermist, because I don’t think Nigel could handle that kind of loss.

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McLovin

McLovin is a 10-year-old min pin. And just for the record, I did not name him McLovin. I’ve never seen the movie “Superbad.” But he knows his name so there will be no changing it. And strangely, McLovin suits him…and he is superbad.

We rescued McLovin because the shelter and McLovin’s previous owners thought he was terminally ill with pancreatic cancer. His owners said they couldn’t handle the thought of him dying, so they dumped him at the shelter, because dumping a terminally ill dog at the shelter was something they apparently could deal with. What the fuck people?

McLovin was having a ton of seizures coupled with low blood sugar…leading to his pancreatic cancer diagnosis. However, my vet doesn’t think he has this at all. He thinks he’s just epileptic. So we started him on Zonisimide and presto…he hasn’t had another seizure since.

McLovin is wicked smart, fun and full of personality. He loves to give hugs and makes growling lovey noises. He loves pie and wiggles when he’s happy. And he’s so damn handsome. He has got the looks of Cary Grant and the swagger of Dean Martin.

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Hoover

Hoover is a 12-year-old long-haired dachshund. He’s beautiful on the outside, but a bit of a mess on the inside. He suffers from severe IBD, he has a bleeding/clotting disorder, his teeth are a mess, he has severe allergies and his back goes out frequently. And let me just tell you, IBD and a penchant for eating trash are not a great combo.

Hoover is very friendly and loves to kiss, but his teeth are gross, which makes his breath horrible, so though he loves to kiss, you may not love to be kissed. Until we can get his bleeding disorder under control, the dental is a no-go. Again, we are sticking by our philosophy that a live dog with nasty teeth is much better than a dead one with clean teeth.

Hoover loves sleeping under a hundred blankets, beating up on Winston, eating trash and not eating his special diet. He rivals Bette in the fly catching department and has the most gorgeous nose of any creature alive. Cyrano has nothing on Hoover.

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Zelda

Zelda is a 17-year-old dachshund all the way from Texas. I rescued her from a puppy mill when she was only a year old. Turns out, I also had rescued her mother Betsy, and her brother, Orville. She’s the dog I’ve had the longest.

Zelda is something right out of a Keene painting. She has giant eyes. Coming from a puppy mill, she also has her fair share of phobias and mental health issues. She pretty much lives her life in the closet. Not because she has to, but just because she wants to. She must have a hundred blankets available at all times and a heating pad. She doesn’t like most other dogs and if someone gets too near her “nest” she’ll jump out like a trap-door spider. She likes hoarding supplies and could probably survive the zombie apocalypse, as long as surviving had something to do with milk jug lids and socks. Sometimes she’ll take on a roommate. She lived with another blind, deaf, puppy mill dog named Henry until he died. She lived with a bat-shit crazy Chihuahua named Estelle for quite a while, too. She’s currently single and living alone.

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Story

Story is a 13-year-old Chihuahua/harp seal mix. He’s missing one eye and blind in the other. He has no teeth and is very round. He was found in a field in the middle of nowhere with a stick in his eye. So they took it out (the stick and the eye).

Story is sort of an anomaly. He’s sort of sweet and shy…but then his flip switches and he becomes quite fierce. He hates our Beagle, Roscoe. Though Roscoe is about three times Story’s size, Roscoe is terrified of him. Story makes little-clucking noises that just send Roscoe over the edge. Story spends all day and all night sleeping with a few brief breaks for eating and harassing Roscoe. He’s quite the professional. He prefers men to women and worships Erik.

If we were different people in a different Universe, we would probably let Story and Bette have babies. C’mon, can you blame us?

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Winston

Winston (aka Wishbone) is a 12-year-old Jack Russell Terrier. He was delivered to us late one cold and snowy night all the way from California.

Winston has been completely blind most of his life from having distemper as a baby. He had never lived inside before, so it was a bit of an adjustment…but he learned the stairs, where his bed is and how to find me.

Winston is a sweet guy, but he’s that kid that everyone picks on. Even the super sweet dogs that like everyone don’t like Winston. Maybe he has cheese touch. We aren’t sure. But you know what? Lolita does like him. Which is weird because she hates everyone. Sort of like the chubby boy and the Goth girl who befriend each other in high school. Strange bedfellows.

Since coming here, Winston has put on a ton of weight. Must be a Jack Russell thing. I’ve never had a JRT that didn’t resemble a beach ball.

Winston has creepy milky white eyes that can be somewhat off-putting to some people. His eyes will probably need to be removed at some point, which can also be somewhat off-putting to some people. None of this bothers us…we think he is beautiful inside and out.

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Romeo

Romeo is a 16-year-old dachshund. He found himself dumped at the shelter because he was “too old.” I wouldn’t advise doing this. Karma will have you kids dumping your ass in a nasty nursing home in a few years.

Romeo’s original name was Rambo, but we changed it because he is definitely a lover, not a fighter. Romeo looks and acts so much like a dachshund we had several years ago named Walter, that sometimes we just call him “not Walter.”

Romeo has no teeth and a pretty severe hot dog addiction…which is an unfortunate combo. But the good news is that one small piece of hot dog can keep him occupied all night.

Romeo is mostly blind, has a bad heart, many old man lumps and bumps. His tongue hangs out of his mouth making him the perfect Tongue Out Tuesday model for Instagram.

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