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 14-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.
Frida is a 15-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 was picked up as a stray and taken to the shelter. She then escaped her cage and then proceeded to escape the shelter. She was then hit by a car that shattered her pelvis, picked back up and returned to the shelter. Her pelvis has healed but she walks with a limp and has arthritis for which she takes daily meds.
Frida loves to bite visitors, hump Erik's arm and hide out in the linen closet.
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.
Hoover is a 14-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, is blind, 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 towards people but doesn't care for the other dogs too much. Especially Winston. Probably because they are both blind, so they are constantly bumping into each other and they both think the other dog is just being rude.
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.
McLovin is a 12-year-old min pin. And just for the record, I did not name him McLovin. We just call him Lovey...because he is. Super Lovey.
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 handle.
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. We think he just has epilepsy. He's now on daily medication.
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. But he's a handful. He loves to fight, is very food aggressive and can be a royal pain in the ass...but we LOVE him anyway.
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 13-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. His tongue hangs out of his mouth making him the perfect Tongue Out Tuesday model for Instagram.
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.
Rudy is the sweetest dog in the world. I mean it. He is just a living joy.
Rudy is a 16-year-old Red Heeler mix. He has a whole host of issues…but none of that matters. He is everything. Unicorns and rainbows. He is completely deaf which is considered a blessing if you live in a house of crabby, loud Chihuahuas.
He has end-stage kidney failure, so he may not be with us for long, but I would be grateful for even one day with this guy. That’s how amazing he is. Some things improve with age…dogs are one of those things.
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.
Winston (aka Wishbone) is a 14-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.
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.