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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Conspiracy, that’s what it is, a conspiracy that’s threatening to take over the internet. And I’m going to join in. Above you see my dog, Blizzard, perched on a cat tree. I adopted him from the Story County Animal Shelter in Nevada, IA.

You see the conspiracy is to take over the internet with stories and pictures of adopted pets as a tribute to on its 15th anniversary. Blizzard’s story with me goes like this:

I’d been visiting the shelter for some time and every time I stopped this same little puppy remained. I couldn’t understand it because puppies and small dogs usually go fast and he was less than 6 months old and about 15 lbs. Yet there he stayed. I could only guess that he suffered from the bad reputation dogs of his breed get. Yes some American Eskimos can be yippy, snippy dogs but not if they are raised right and taught some basic obedience. As far as I could tell this puppy was well mannered, housebroken and already begun on obedience. I had an Eskie many years ago and just loved her.

The problem was, I wanted a female dog. I wanted a dog that was different from my previous dog so that I wouldn’t compare the two putting the new dog at a disadvantage. Finally, I wasn’t completely convinced that I was ready for a dog at all. But when the puppy was still at the shelter after three visits I decided that it was destiny. I had to adopt him.

The day I picked him up the weather report warned of a possible blizzard that afternoon but my veterinarian was in Des Moines, nearly an hour away from the shelter. So I took him to Des Moines anyway. The roads were clear for most of the day. His vet visit went well and I decided to take my new puppy to my family’s house for a quick visit.

My sister had recently adopted a cat, Isis, from a local shelter as well. Amazingly Isis was at home the minute they released her into the house. Nothing, it seemed, fazed that cat. I was a little concerned about her reaction to a rambunctious puppy, however, so I watched their introduction very closely. But I needn’t have worried. The two animals were fast friends from the beginning. Or maybe I should say they tolerated each other very well. The puppy would run about between all the new people in his life and Isis would follow behind him from atop every perch she could find. Every time the puppy was in reach she would slap at him playfully, never using her claws and the puppy would smile and crouch toward her as if ready to pounce, but he never did.

Then the snow began to fall so I headed for home. By the time we were halfway home the blizzard was in full force but we made it just fine with only a few close calls along the way. The puppy’s name came to me that afternoon. He just had to be Blizzard.

One more event was waiting for that puppy yet that day. He had to meet my feline brood, cats that had mostly never even seen a dog. He was tentative at first, sniffing about the house wandering here and there and the cats were following him everywhere with their fur on end. Then Hobby saw the puppy. Within seconds Hobby had the puppy cornered and whimpering in the bathroom. That set the tone for Blizzard’s relationship with all of my cats.

He now respects them and has learned how to turn his nose away from swiping paws. Mostly the cats either avoid him or act like he’s just another cat. All that is, except Gooseberry who seems to think that he can control the dog. Goose started as a tiny kitten slapping at the dog that was a hundred times bigger than he. Now he only slaps at Blizzard if the dog seems to be getting out of line, that is anytime Blizzard walks in front of Goose, or tries to pass him, or well, you get the picture. They really are friends most of the time.

So you see, good dogs do come from shelters. Good cats too. Adopt a pet today from a shelter of your choice or check out

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