Pets are people, too. At least they sure seem that way. Any dog or cat owner worth the fur on the couch pillows will tell you that his or her beloved pet has the cutest quirks ever and likes things done in a certain way. To celebrate this bond, we invited three pet owners to share a few thoughts about the kitty cats and the puppy dogs they love.
Bobbie Noreen, vice president of broker services/managing broker at Village Real Estate Services
Thanks to her kind heart, Bobbie is the leader of an entire pride of kitties: Rocky, Sophie and Sylvester. The story began back in 2003 when Bobbie, a real estate broker, rescued five kittens from the attic of an open house. Less than two weeks old, they could not walk. So Bobbie took them home in a box.
The kittens were in such bad shape that even shelters would not take them in, saying the kittens were too far gone to save. Bobbie disagreed. Along with John, her husband, the couple spent the next six weeks feeding them every three hours with a doll’s bottle and goat’s milk.
Bobbie and John succeeded, nursing the kittens into healthy cats and finding homes for two. The remaining three, however, were theirs to have and to hold.
“We were going through some rough lifetimes when we found them,” Bobbie says, “and, believe it or not, these babies and the process of nurturing them got us through.”
The cats currently reside inside John’s music studio where they enjoy the couple’s daily visits.
Bobbie and John also have a dog, Fannie, a 9-year-old rescue chow-shepherd mix with, Bobbie avers, “the sweetest face in the world.” Fannie is devoted to them, especially John. When he leaves the house, he always tells Fannie that he will be back.
“He swears that makes her feel better,” Bobbie says, adding that if Fannie could talk, she would say things like, “I am the most important person here, so pay attention to me,” and “I always go through the doorway first, so please step aside.”
That feeling of worth and well-being is thanks to Bobbie and John. Both animal lovers, they have always had many with them, even a pet steer.
“We believe in rescuing the animals as there are so many out there that need love,” Bobbie says. “Just ask me about my dachshund, Barney, who we lost a few years back. I still cry thinking about him.”
Logan Frye, team assistant at Dwell Music City
At home, Logan hangs with Zoey, aka “Zo” or “Zo Bear.” Now 11, Zoey has been a family member since puppyhood. That’s plenty of time to learn English, which, according to Logan, Zoey has. Her favorite things to say are “Rub my tummy,” “Scoot over. This is my side of the bed,” and, of course, “Give me what’s on that plate.”
Logan does his own share of the talking, asking Zoey such questions as “Who’s a good pupper?” and “Does Zo Bear got some itches?” (Her answer is always “yes.”)
Zoey’s favorite activities include car rides and going to the dog park. That’s where Logan’s loyal pooch uses even more of her English: “Hey, I’m too old to be running this hard!”
Olivia Gardner, vet assistant for VCA Murphy Road Animal Hospital
Sebastian, his birth name, isn’t too particular about what he’s called. “Bubba” and “Sebs” are both fine. According to Olivia, one of Sebastian’s people, speak to him in his direction, preferably with a Cajun accent (really), and he’ll respond. Now 1 1/2 years old, Sebastian has been with the Gardner family for a year.
“I can’t imagine life without him,” Olivia shares, thinking of activities they enjoy together: going on hikes, sharing banana chips and watching The Bachelorette. “He’s as invested as the rest of us,” Olivia assures. “Trust me.”
When it comes to conversational English, Sebastian knows the phrases relevant to his lifestyle: “Go for a ride in the car” and “Let’s go to the dog park.” However, what really gets him going is gibberish.
“Nothing gets him more excited than saying absolutely nothing that makes sense,” Olivia says. “He’s real special. I love to see him lose his mind over it!”
As for his own phrases, Sebastian’s favorite things to say are “Um, Mom, where do you think you’re going, and why aren’t you taking me with you?” and “You gonna share that, or what?”
Sebastian is also deeply philosophical, at least by dog standards. “Stop asking me why I want to chase that car,” he expresses in his doggy way, “because neither one of us have the answer.”