These are the dogs currently living at our sanctuary. All of our dogs live in our home as family members. They have full run of our house (we have about a zillion dog beds) and the acre of land we have fenced off for them to roam. We have a wood burning stove that is the most popular spot during our long winters.
Bette is a 16-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.
She loves smaller animals and will stare for hours at our reptiles. Her super power is catching flies in her mouth.
Bunchie is a small, 14-year-old chihuahua. He looks like a little puppy. He came from a shelter where he was picked up as a stray. He was then adopted and returned twice before coming here. He LOVES Erik. Erik carries him around all day in a kangaroo pouch. Bunchie loves oreo filling and sleeping (as you can see, Bunchie and Erik have a lot in common). He looks tiny and sweet, but try to give him an eye drop and game over…he turns into a snapping Chupacabra.
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.
Edith & Nigel
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. She is blind and has anger management issues.
Nigel is a 14-year-old Maltese that I found behind a dumpster at the Taco Bell during a blizzard.
Nigel is 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 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.
Fig is our youngest dog. He’s about two. 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.
Hamlet (or Hami as we like to call him) is a five 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,. He is very strong and can pull himself up on the couch. He can't do stairs. At all. He falls over almost constantly but is very happy and determined. The only time he is still is when he is completely asleep.
Don’t let this sweet photo fool you. It is very misleading. Icarus is a fighter. He lives for it. It is the air he breathes. His favorite dogs to fight are Story and Topper. The good news is that Icarus has no teeth. Story has no teeth. Topper has no lower jaw and no teeth, so the fights are just a bunch of scary noises and wrestling.
Icarus is about 16 years old. When he isn’t fighting, he is stumbling around looking innocent and sweet. He has a bad back and an old neck injury, so he sort of walks like he is drunk. He has big watery eyes which he uses to his full advantage. He' has one ear that stands up and one ear that flops over (he had surgery on his ear from fighting) so he looks like an old, scarred boxer.
He’s got a bad heart, and I’m guessing he may die one day in the middle of a brawl. What a way to go. If we could all be so lucky to die while doing our favorite activity. Happily ever after.
Ilsa is a old pug. Not sure how old. But she’s huge. Like not even close to the size of a normal pug, but looks exactly like a pug. Like one of those old sci-fi movies from the 1950’s where a normal sized animal gets hit with some massive radiation and becomes a giant size. That’s Ilsa. She’s demanding, entitled, loves to talk and snores loudly. She hangs our with our resident indoor chicken, Edna. Ilsa’s main talent is looking bored. And disappointed. She’s the master.
Peanut is a long-time resident here at the Sanctuary. Mostly because we were duped by the shelter who told us he was old. He wasn't. He is now though, so there you go.
Peanut is a 14-year-old Lhasa Apso. He is adorable. And MEAN. Like take your hand off MEAN. Like we have to take him to the vet every three months and have him completely knocked out to have him shaved, nails clipped and exam done. Because if you tried to do these things while he was awake you would lose fingers. Or possibly your life.
Peanut was found alone in the house with his dead owner. We are told she died of natural causes, but knowing Peanut like we do, we aren't convinced.
Peanut has two bad back legs, doesn't see too well and is a bully. He tries to take everyone's food and then once he has, he doesn't even eat it. He can be really sweet though, as long as it is on his terms. He loves to play and sit in your lap (as long as it is his idea) and has a talent for finding blood. Yep. We always know if someone has a wound because if Peanut is licking someone it means blood.
Romeo is a 17-year-old dachshund. He found himself dumped at the shelter because he was “too old.” I wouldn’t advise doing this. Karma will have your 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 and the occasional seizure. His tongue hangs out of his mouth making him the perfect Tongue Out Tuesday model for Instagram.
What can I say about this guy? ADORABLE. He always has that smile on his face. It kills me. His eyes are also HUGE, so sometimes I call him Sméagol. My precious.
Smidgey is a tiny, five pound Chihuahua, about 14-years-old. His owner died and he found himself at the shelter.
He reminds me a lot of Lolita. A nicer, watered-down version of Lolita. He sleeps in her bed and guards it in a way that would make her proud. He doesn't care for other dogs and really only likes me. He loves barking at Erik and Oliver (again, channeling Lolita) and eats out of a special china dish.
He's got a lot of medical issues (bad heart, bad knees) and has no teeth. But he smiles. So all is right with the world.
Story is a 14-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 loves Bette.
If we were different people in a different Universe, we would probably let Story and Bette have babies. C’mon, can you blame us?
This little guy is Topper. I don’t think he’s too old…yes, duped by the shelter again. He’s extremely high energy and does this incredible dance while standing on his back legs and madly waving his arms anytime he wants anything. Which is basically all the time.
Topper was picked up as a stray so we know not what horrors he’s faced in his life. We do know he is missing most of his lower jaw, and the sides of his jaws are not connected. Accident? Birth defect? Horrible puppy mill incident? He also suffers from seizures, which is probably somehow related.
Topper loves to fight, but since he can’t close his mouth, he doesn’t do much damage. He’s an attention-whore and loves to chase the cat. He tries to eat everything, but he can’t. He pretty much drinks his meals, which I’m sure we can all relate to on some level.