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Our Pack

by Tales from a Madman 18 days ago in humanity · updated 17 days ago

An introduction to our six pets

Clockwise starting top left. Oswald, Edward, Baxter, Bruce, Beetlejuice, Dallas, and Us

My girlfriend and I came together ten years ago not knowing where our lives would take us. Never did either of us imagine the amount of fur we'd later surround ourselves with. Both of us had pets growing up and have a love for animals that runs deep. They are not just our pets, but our babies. The deal we make with them is very important to us. If you join our pack and share with us your unconditional love then we will provide for you all that we can and put your needs above our own. Our four dogs and two cats deliver on their promise with each passing moment and so do we. Let me tell you about them.

Beetlejuice 13 years old

First, there was Beetlejuice. He's my step-cat, but we both know he's my cat now. He's a formal fellow, with the noblest blood in the whole household, just ask him. If you're in his good favor you may call him Juice or Beetle. Though I've known him for ten years now, the cat has not aged a single day. He's a playful kitten in a grown body. Yet with the distinguished grace of a gentleman, he's the true leader of our pack (despite my best efforts).

When my better half first moved in with me, I had a roommate with a big dog. He was a ninety-pound boxer/pit-bull mix and he was much larger than any dog Juice had previously known. This made my girlfriend understandably nervous about letting them around each other. This caused Beetlejuice and I to have a lot of time just us in the bedroom playing fetch with rubber bands. Eventually, confidence grew in both my girlfriend and Beetlejuice, allowing for the two pets in the house to bond. Juice learned to dart places the dog couldn't get him. They played this game of one-sided tag and the cat always won.

While we were moving from our apartment with roommates and into our apartment without roommates something awesome and a little flattering happened, but I missed it. Juice was at the new place with my girlfriend as I was still loading furniture at the old address. The two of them had to wait for the cable to be installed. When the installer arrived, Beetlejuice did something very uncharacteristic. He growled at the man and was appalled that I was being replaced. That's how I knew I had won over my new cat.

Of course, he had won me over long before that. After we'd moved into the new place, Juice started to get bored with the same old people games and didn't want to play fetch with me anymore. I didn't know why at first, but one day we figured it out. Beetlejuice wanted a dog. So, did I. I wanted a boxer. My girl wanted a pug, the breed Juice had lived with previously.

Bruce 8 years old

We met in the middle and got Bruce, a Boston Terrier. My friends, knowing me so well, quickly coined the term Gotham Terrier. Bruce is my first-born son. Everyone thinks he was named after Batman, but the truth is; the first time I held him the name just popped in my head. I'd never even considered naming a dog Bruce. If anything I'd sort of planned on a Great Dane named after the bat-hound, Ace. We had an instant connection and we both knew it. Since he was raised by Beetlejuice (with a little help from me and my girl, obviously) he is trilingual, able to speak dog, cat, and English. He's always been a genius.

Bruce's training started at the bright young age of six weeks and he took right to it. I've never met a dog so quick to learn and so eager to please. Tricks and commands came quickly to him like a second nature. He'd get bored of lay-down rollover so he began to jump and spin. He taught me a trick. We put a name to it, Twister, and the repertoire grew from there. Loyal, obedient, and just plain awesome. Bruce is my right hand man, my little soldier, and my best friend.

Bruce is the type of dog that only has two speeds, cuddle and off-the-wall. When it's time to cuddle, few could ever match up to him. Bruce will fit anywhere he needs to in order to be against you and he'll soothe you right to sleep with the dulcet tones of his log-sawing snores. Playtime is the polar opposite. He has the energy of the sun and the will of the warrior. He has no match in our pack in the game of tug, nor fetch. He is the fastest, smartest, strongest, and coolest. Trust me, he knows it, even if it's not always true.

Dallas 11ish years old

Our next addition was Dallas. Dallas is the only pet neither of us knew from the baby days. He came to us from friends who were in an unfortunate situation. We weren't looking for a new pet, but that's just how it works sometimes. If you knew Dallas, you would've taken him in too.

Dallas is the ultimate friendly cat. Never has an animal ever known how to make you feel welcome like Dallas can. Whether it's his adorable little chirps to greet you or the belly rub he gives when in your lap, this sweet angel can warm your heart.

He didn't quite know other pets when he moved in. So, he was very nervous for the first week, but eventually he came out of his shell. He'd even roughhouse with Bruce when he was young.

A few years ago, Dallas had an emergency room stay, during which his lung collapsed. It's still hard to talk about it, but he is amongst twelve percent of cats who survive the condition he had. Since then, Dallas has retired from the hectic life of playing. He just wants some warm sunshine and a cushion. Especially, if you'll be that cushion.

Baxter 5 years old

Not long after Dallas moved in, this happy little accident came into our lives. Baxter's father was my mother's Maltese, Doc, and his mother is my Nana's Yorkshire Terrier, Bella. They lived together just long enough to make Baxter.

Baxter is our only hypoallergenic pet, which means he is the only one who needs haircuts and requires a tad more grooming. He is what I've always called a "fu-fu" dog. This has led to Baxter wearing clothes and getting different hairstyles. I don't think you could convince this one that he's actually a dog and not a human being.

He knows his tricks and all of the rules, but doesn't follow them. Some would say he's a rebel without a cause or maybe he's just overcompensating. He's the smallest of our pack, including the cats, but don't tell him that. He thinks he's the most ferocious guard dog. He scares away all manner of beast, like the garbage truck and the mailman and every passerby ever.

Oswald 4 years old

Next to join our pack was the Boston Terrier that stole our hearts, Oswald. You'll notice Oswald gets a collage for his photo. There's a good reason for that, not just that I'm indecisive. Oswald, Oz, Waldo, Tonguewald, the widdle one, Scooter, the perma-puppy, the Penguin, and Danny Devito are just a few of his many monikers.

Oswald is also the caretaker of our pack. If one of us is under the weather, Waldo is there. Dirty face, Waldo's tongue is there. His loving and caring personality has molded a unique place in our pack. He has a different relationship with each of his furry brothers and manages to be the middle puzzle piece that links them all together.

When this little guy first moved in, he immediately attached to Bruce "Are you my dad?" he asked as he burst into the living room and right toward Bruce. Oswald has always looked up to him. So much so that we're all convinced the perma-puppy's ears don't stand up naturally and he holds them that way to emulate his big brother. He'll settle for curling up under the blanket, but he'd rather just press against his oldest brother.

To the two cats, Waldo is a spectator. While they spend most of their time on their towers, he watches from the floor imagining what it's like to soar like they do. Occasionally, they will even engage in a friendly game of tag with him for they trust his gentle soul.

To Baxter, Waldo is a partner in crime. Combined they make up the Angry Beavers. Trouble at the litter box? Need backup to bark at the mailman? Creeping through baby-gates? Who does Baxter bring? None other than sweet, innocent, Oswald. Together they cause mischief, but little Oz can charm their way out.

As the perma-puppy, we often see Oswald as the baby, but he's not and he proves it with Edward.

Edward 2 years old

Last, but the opposite of least is the big dog, Edward. Remember earlier when I said we compromised on breeds when we got Bruce? Well, years later my dream dog walked into our lives. We'd just started the process of buying a house and we'd already decided that after we'd settled into the house for two years we could consider a house-sized dog. The universe didn't see it that way. The perfect boxer to compliment our Bostons fell right into my lap and destiny kept him with us.

Edward is a typical boxer with all the energy and playfulness and no brain to control it. He is big, jolly, and dumb. Being that he's three times bigger than Bruce, the two of them don't play much. Oswald however, who's just about a quarter the weight of the big guy, is his leader and mentor. Edward is not a great pupil to Oswald, but boy do they have fun. The two dogs who use their tongues the most, most often use them on each other for long mutual face cleaning sessions that we refer to as making out.

For the most part, Edward is our gentle giant, but sometimes doesn't know his own strength. He awkwardly fits into our pack wherever he can, except the floor. Fancying himself a lap dog, Edward will "sneak" up slowly onto your lap and hope you don't notice before he crushes your organs. A little organ crushing is worth it sometimes, especially when it's cold outside.

Family

Thank you for reading about us. Hopefully, reading about our littles brought you a piece of joy or comfort as they so regularly do for us.

humanity

Tales from a Madman

@TalesFromAMadman

.. the figure in question had out-Heroded Herod, and gone beyond the bounds of even the Prince's indefinite decorum.

The Masque of the Red Death

Edgar Allan Poe

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