My Animals

God's Animals, My Blessings
This page was created in dedication to the animals I am blessed to have, and to have had.  I hope that you will stay long enough to read what each one means to me, and how very special they are.
She's a keeper
This gorgeous creature is the newest to our family, and she's as sweet as she is pretty.  She's got personality galore, and makes me laugh more than I can tell you.  When we lost Jasmine, I thought my heart would never heal.  As time went by, I started to pray for the right dog.  Of course there would never be a replacement, but another I could love.  I tried three different dogs (two adoptions and one rescue off the street), only to rehome them because they didn't work out for one reason or another.  I assure you, I did make sure the homes were right.
Then, through a job, I met a gal (Denise who is now one of my best friends) who's daughter owned Harmony.  She was looking for a new home for Harmony.   Her husband is in the service and they move a lot, sometimes to small apartments.  I had told them all I had been through with other dogs, so they allowed me to take her for two weeks to see how it all worked out.  I knew after only two days, she was a keeper.
Talk about Miss Photogenic

This is how Harmony looks at me 90% of the time.
How can you not love a face like this!

True Friendship
Not the best photo ever, but I had to show this to prove it.  This is Harmony and Buddy (my Mom's cat).  Buddy is rubbing against Harmony, as Harmony licks him.
The Brothers
Why?  Because, when we lost Peppy, my husband insisted we get Opie a new friend.  When we went to look at the puppies, these two were the only ones left and after watching them together, I just couldn't take one and leave the other.  I said to Jack, "let's go somewhere where there's more, so we don't leave one alone.  If you think my logic was off, it was Jack that said "Let's just get them both".
Ain't they the cutest!

This is Little Opie
Bootsie was nearing 2 years old, when we decided to get him a friend.  Opie was the runt of the litter (hence "Little Opie"), and although he was never diagnosed with anything, he had learning issues and did some strange things.  The seating on our couch was short, but it took him over a year to learn how to jump up on it.  He would bring small pebbles in from outside, lay down beside them, and proceed to pull the hair out from the bottom of his feet!.  We later found out his front legs were not growing at the rate of his back legs, which made him look like someone gave him a swift  They said we could have his front legs broke to fix the issue.  We said NO WAY!!  Little Opie grew to be the biggest of the small dogs, and has been a true joy to have.  Opie belongs to both Jack and I, but he truly is Jack's dog.
Opie is less than a year in this photo, and his eyes are fixated on Jack.

Hard to believe, but this is Little Opie today.  He is nearing 13, and has been diagnosed with diabetes.  He is also completely blind, and only weighs about 15 pounds.  He use to weigh about 21.  He's lost most of his teeth, and is never without his sweater.  We don't expect Opie to live out the year, so we cherish each precious moment we have with him.
April 1990 to April 2013
Our Bootsie
This is one of my favorite pictures of Bootsie.  We hadn't had him that long, and my son snapped this shot while Bootsie was running up a slight hill.  He was the first dog Jack and I ever owned.  We had seen the movie "As Good As It Gets", but didn't have $800.00 for a Griffon Bruxellois, so we opted for a Lhasa Apso.  Bootsie looked like a little teddy bear when he was a puppy, and I was as protective over him as I was with my son...I'm not kidding!  I was running the one man office for my husband's small roofing company, and had to make trips into town to visit customers.  If it was at all possible, Bootsie went with me.  If he couldn't go, then I didn't go, or he stayed with my Mom.  As he got older, and we had gotten him a friend "Little Opie", I started letting him stay home.  Bootsie had personality plus!  He would smile so big, that you could see his teeth.  He didn't sit, or shake hands.  As a matter of fact, he didn't listen more often than not.  But he did let us know he loved us, and was truly a loyal boy.  We lost him this year to cancer, and I miss him more than I can tell you.
LOL..this was a really bad hair cut, and no I didn't do it.  We were trying to get a good shot of him, so that my Mom could carve a statue of him (long story).  This was just one of the photos, and I just the expression seemed to fit the I thought I'd share.
LOL..this is one of the stamps I did, and how I viewed Bootsie.  When his hair was between cuts, one ear would always flip, and that tongue would be hanging.
Sweet Jasmine
Jasmine was a dog that had been adopted by a friend of my husband.  Because he was moving to a deed restricked community, he had to find her a new home.  My son (at the time) was wanting a big dog, so needless to say, we took her.  James (my son), grew up and out, but sweet Jasmine stayed with us.  She was such a great dog, and I honestly believe there wasn't a creature on this earth that she couldn't get along with.  I've seen her walk up to a calf, and reach through the fence and lick the calf on the nose!  She will truly be missed!

Peppy was a little dog that we happened up on while at a "Flea Market".  He was in a cardboard box, in stifling heat with no shade, and crying with those big eyes. He was just a mutt, but we all quickly fell in love with him.  Peppy, however, would not stay in the fenced yard.  We did everything we knew, from putting cement blocks in the ground, to hot wire along the bottom.  It was early one morning, and as I was getting ready for work, I wondered where he was.  Thinking he was just asleep somewhere, I headed out the door.  My husband called me a few hours later.  Peppy had gotten out once again, and was hit by a car.  He was the only one "Little Opie" ever played with.
Peppy la Pue



My Boys

My boy "Mr. Bugs"
I got "Mr. Bugs" as I call him by chance, and believe it or not at the time I didn't want him.  I knew of Bugs and his reputation, and to be quite honest he was intimidating.  He was a 1 - D horse, and I was not a 1 - D rider.  Not only this, I had two horses, and had just taken down some walls to make 3 stalls into 2. 
I was just coming home from a trail ride, and got a call from my husband Jack.  Bug's owner (young, and a new mother) was giving him up, and was sitting at my house waiting on me.   Several hours later, Mr. Bugs was in my barn.
We've travel lots of barrel shows since then, and have become the best of friends.  Mr. Bugs was 6 years old when I got him.  I had nearly lost him last year (from a throat infection), but thanks to my wonderful, and loving husband, several very smart vets, and the grace of God he will be 20 years old this year.
Maxi Boy
Max is a horse that we looked for, for almost a year.  I had been through several horses, trying to find the right one as my 2nd barrel horse (you always have 2, if possible).  Either they didn't have the mind for it, or was physically unable.  I nearly gave up, ready to quit looking when a lady from New Mexico called me about him.  Back then you had only VH1 tapes, so I told her to mail me the tapes and let me have a look.  Max had to pass 3 test before I even went to look.  My coach, my farrier, and  me.  As all the times before, I just knew he was going to fail one.  But, as luck would have it, he passed.  Jack and I hoped on a plane on a Friday, and Max was on my property by the next Thursday.
He was 4 1/2 years old, and wasn't a finished barrel horse.  Mr. Bugs was a finished barrel horse, and as I learned, we started to win in some races.  The second time I seriously ran Max, he matched Mr. Bug's time, and I knew I had made the right choice.  A little over a year after I got Max, he was diagnosed with "Navicular" for which there is no cure.  Although Max didn't barrel race anymore, I still own him.  He'll be 18 this year.

This is Pep, and his story.
I've known Pep since he was about 4 (he is 12 now), but I haven't always owned him.  Up until about 2 or 3 years ago, he was owned by one of my very good friend's son, a fantastic horseman whom I had and still have a lot of respect for.  Due to the recession, he was forced to give Pep and Pep's life long friend "Catch" away.  He'd given them to someone with a nice place where he "thought" they both would be well taken care of. 
This was true for Catch, but not so true for Pep.  All in the same night, Pep lost his owner, his friend, and his home.  He was ridden out to a pasture, and left by himself.   His new owner took Catch back to the barn to be used for riding lessons, and Pep was basically forgotten about.  He had water, and pasture.  That was it.
A little over a year ago, I got a phone call from my good friend, asking me if I'd like to have Pep.  Keep in mind that I had just nearly lost "Mr. Bugs" due to a throat infection, and had spent a ton of money on him.  I wasn't sure I wanted another horse.  I was told that the person that currently owned Pep had to down size, and that I could have him for free.  I told my friend I needed some time to think about this and speak with Jack (my husband), but that I'd get back to her in a couple of weeks.  I said yes.  "Thank you Jack!"
Pep was brought to me, and when he stepped off of the trailer, he was in bad shape.  He had bug bite scabs, loss of hair, needed a good worming, and to put on about 50 or so pounds.  The worst, is what I seen in his eyes.  I could tell his heart had been broken, and that he needed lots of love.  I gave it to hm - all he could handle.
This is Pep today.
And, just so you know, Pep has given "us" more love than we could ever give back in return.



The one horse I regret ever selling
Owned from 1998 to 2001
My goofy son "Punked" Tucson out at one of the barrel racing shows
(check out that hair do)
I know, I're wondering "where's the animal in this one?"  It only has to do with animals, horses more specifically.  I was at a John Lyon's Symposium, and as you can tell by the expression on my face, I was in hog heaven.  I got picked 3 times (during his demonstration)!  I just had to share that.
I'll be 50 this year, and I believe I was almost 5 years old in this photo.
I'm on the white horse, riding in front.
I can still remember this horse, and how big he seemed to me.  This was taken in Virginia, and although you can't see it in this photo, there's nearly a straight drop off to the left of me.  I had no fear back then, and although I still love riding today, I think you'll find it ironic that I'm deathly afraid of heights!


Susan Sieracki said...

Thank you for sharing your stories with us. I laughed at some, and wanted to cry at others. You have a tremendous heart. I feel you can tell an awful lot about a person by the way they treat their animals and I think you're one of the good ones!!

Patti J said...

You are an incredible woman, and an angel to your animals! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pets with us. I can't resist a cute dog, and we love horses, too, but no longer have any. Loved reading your stories, Judy, and LOVE your little doggie digi - our grand doggy, Rosie, looks just like your digi! Hugs...

NanaConnie said...

Such terrific stories of each and every animal, Judy. What a great way to spent a bit of time, reading them. Thank you for a bright spot in my day. :-D

Tonawanda Yost said...

Judy I just finished reading and I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading about your pets. It made me want to come visit you just to see them. You know I've got allergies or I would probably have a house full of critters myself. Thanks for opening your heart and sharing.

Zella said...

Judy, you love for the furry members of your family is inspiring!! God loves the animals too and I'm certain that you are blessed by Him because you care so deeply for His creatures. From one animal lover to another - You have a huge heart and it shows! Bless you my friend! :)

Sue Hamel said...

These are great images. I love animals. Especially, the kitty kind. I have 2 and would have more if I was allowed! Thanks for sharing your pictures!! Enjoyed them. Couldn't find your images though..

Teresa Arsenault said...

I loved reading about all of your special friends, Judy. I understand how you feel about Tuscan. I once rehomed a parrot and missed him terribly for years.

I would like to invite you to take a look at my new blog - A Closer Walk where I share my faith and its expression through art.

Blessing hugs,

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