Everyone loves puppies, right? I know that you all want to feel like a part of this big ol’ sloppy ass family. The best way to get to know me, as a person, is through who and what I surround myself with! I’m introverted, so after working with people who pretend to hate me to get what they want all day, I’m tired of things that can speak, by time I get home.
Seriously, there is nothing in the world better than some good ol’ puppy cuddles. Pop on a good stand up comedy, trashy TV show, or YouTube video, and I. AM. THERE.
As some of you may know, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2017, after several years of horrific health problems going unsolved. Shortly thereafter, I forfeited my ability to have children, in an attempt to rid myself of cancerous cells, hopefully forever. I can’t make excuses for the many dogs I’ve fostered, adopted, or had before that, but as far as the few I have now…. Okay, two of them, were pre surgery as well. I admit. I have a problem with anything cute, homeless, and fluffy.
I realized about a week ago, that I’m constantly talking about these sweet little babies in podcasts, during let’s plays, and rants, but have never introduced them, formally, to my HA family! So, here we go!
Aliases: Mia, Mia bia, Shark, Shark bait, Big Sis.
Birthday: December 15th 2013
Breed: American Bully
Personality: Squeaker Seeker, Toy Destroyer, Boot Scooter, Olympic High Jumper/Pole Vaulter sans pole.
Likes: Sleeping in, long walks, showing off tricks for treats, watermelon, apples, and all of her “babies”.
We got Athena when she was still a baby, but a little older than most puppies. She was rescued from a bad situation by a former breeder. Her owner was keeping her in a kennel too small for her fat booty, in a basement, 20+ hours a day. The only time she saw the light, was to go out for a potty and eat/drink. She was 12 weeks old or so when we picked her up from the rescue team. Her very first friend, was a Boxer, named Jewel. She was an escape artist if I’ve ever seen one! Until she was about 1, she never even tried to jump a fence. Shortly thereafter, most likely while watching another neighborhood dog escape themselves, she figured out not only how to escape our regular, chain link fenced backyard, but her over 10 foot tall enclosed area! After several failed attempts to resolve this, we ended up popping a box spring from a bed, over it, to ensure she couldn’t get out of the top. Her strong resolve became apparent, when she then figured out how to tunnel her way under in only minutes! The only time the brat was even in the enclosure, was when we were doing yardwork and wanted to give her a little time to sunbathe on a nice day.
After a few rather traumatic encounters with off leash dogs in our neighborhood, and some longtime friends, we noticed a change in her demeanor. She seemed more scared, after the first attack. She was becoming a target for dogs that she’d trusted her whole life, and at about 2 years old, it became apparent that her personality had changed. In an attempt to help her get back on track, we decided to slowly introduce another member of HER pack. Not a visiting dog, and not a stranger, but a dog she could call her pack member. Things went GREAT for her and her new best friend, but unfortunately, when I left my husband, we could only accommodate her. While I was sad to see him go on to a new family, it wasn’t long before Athena was practically begging for a new best friend. With no actual intentions on getting one, our next baby somewhat just… fell in our lap!
Severus Sunshine Snape
Aliases: Sev, Sevypoo, Big bro, Fatneck, Grandpa Sev, Grumpypants
Birthday: November 27th, 2016??
Breed: Manchester Terrier
Personality: Gumpy, vocal, lazy, tiny head on a fat neck and body, but smiles always.
Likes: Fetch, Green colored balls only, apples, his kennel, blankets, and getting up early.
Boy oh boy, was this one unexpected! In Fall of 2016, Alex and I had only been in our 2 bedroom, rather small apartment, for about a year. We’d fought tooth and nail to make sure Athena got to stay with us during the move. We were very sad for her lack of friends but were not looking for a companion until we were moved out into a bigger place. No, we were not. We were both working, and it was already scary enough leaving our easily anxious big baby girl at home alone while we were gone. So much trouble she could get into and she was still learning at almost 3 years old. Other than her easily anxiety filled self, she was also 50lbs of DESTROY ANYTHING energy. In a home that’s rented, with things that aren’t yours… Introducing a puppy! Forget about it!
As some weird change of fate would have it, Alex lost his job that October. Our family was still recuperating from the flood of 2015, so despite the lack of a job, he still found work to do. He was facing long, muddy, often freezing cold days, helping my family gut and rebuild their home. I’d reconnected with a childhood friend, and during one of our many conversations about our furry family members, she mentioned that one of her dogs was pregnant. A few months later, all of the litter had found new homes, except for one, sweet little guy. She was desperately seeking a family to take him, as she had 5 dogs of her own. Weeks went by, and finally she popped the question.
Will you please adopt this sweet baby boy?
Goodness gracious, it took a lot of thought. Given Athena’s past behaviors, and how little time we had on our hands, at first, we said no. She talked us into meeting them at a local state park, Athena in tow, just to meet him and see how things went. We’d gone to the trouble of getting approval for another dog, just in case, but if I’m being honest, we never intended on getting one that soon.
It was love at first sight. He fit in the palm of my hand but didn’t take any shit from his 50lb soon to be bigger sister. She was just as excited to meet him! So excited she bloodied her own nose on the window of my truck! She’s quite the high-strung girl, let me tell ya! We all knew we weren’t leaving that park without him. I’d even brought a leash and collar. Toys and treats waited for him at home. You know, just in case. As soon as we got home, we hesitated to really introduce them. We were on her territory now. You just never know how that’s going to go, but she blew us away! She’d never been so calm. This was her baby brother, and she was going to play with and protect her. No one was going to hurt him. The rest is pretty much history. He is such a quirky little man. He starts verbal fights with Taylor. He asks to go outside by placing 1 paw on your chest and grunting at you. He talks. I swear he talks! He has had and kept 2 toys in his nearly 3 years with us. Both toys, were translucent, neon green, balls! He’s mastered catching them, not only with his mouth, but also his paws! He’s my biggest baby and if I am being honest, my best friend! When we took him to get fixed, the vet told us he might have some bladder issues, and that if things didn’t improve or got even worse, that we needed to bring him back to have more tests run, but things didn’t get worse, they got better! He can’t hold it, or refuses to, so he sometimes still has accidents, but we love his crabby ass anyway.
Aliases: Pumpkin, Pumpkin Poo, Punky, Lil’ Sis
Birthday: June 23rd, 2018
Personality: Quiet, tiny, fast, and the ultimate lapdog.
Likes: Taunting her pack until they give chase, seeing how hard she can shake her plushies, and snuggling butts.
Oh, Peach. One of only 2 planned “pupnancies”. She’s my stubborn but sweet littlest girl. Bringing her home was terrifying. We’d only had BIG dogs before. By this point, Severus was about 25lbs, but standing as tall as Athena who was now closing in on 60lbs. Chihuahua’s are known for their soft spots. We got lucky, and she didn’t have one. Peach was still so tiny, one unruly paw from one of her siblings, could be devastating.
At first, we were looking for a boy, that we could name after my brother. Someone small enough for me to travel with, since I was given a “emotional support dog” prescription. Athena was registered for my assistance at first, but the nature of her breed and her sheer size, restricted where she could go. We’d found a little boy we were interested in but were too late to adopt him. That’s when we got the phone call about Peach. They knew we were looking for a boy, but they had a girl, and before they posted her on their site, they wanted to call us to see if maybe she’d be a good fit for our family.
Wouldn’t you know it, homerun number 2! Athena was even MORE gentle with Peach. She understood that she was a baby, and because she’s still small, continues to treat her like one. They were fast best friends. Peach would watch Athena and Severus run through the house for hours on end. She sat quietly by, observing them bark at passing cars or squirrels, playing with toys, and doing tricks. It wasn’t long before she caught on to tricks. She was doing things that we’d never taught her. She was the easiest of all to potty break, too. She was so eager to be just like Big Sis!
One day she found her passion in life. RUNNING! She wanted to play with the big dogs so bad, but the only way she could do that, was to outrun them. It’s probably my favorite thing, when she encourages the grumpy old man Severus to chase her. He’s not a fan of playing. He really doesn’t like being touched, or sharing toys, so that was just the game for him! She can now juke Athena and outrun ALL of her siblings!
Aliases: Nari, Floof, Little Foot, Inari.
Birthday: March 11th, 2019
Personality: Mute, relaxed, sweet, independent, and affectionate.
Likes: Sleeping weird places, eating weird things, and being held like a baby.
This little boy was the final piece to our puzzle. Knowing that Peach really needed someone her size to play with, we started our search for our 4th and final baby. We already knew we wanted a boy but were not sure about the breed. Peach was starting to really come into her own, and we were a little concerned what adding more attitude to the pack might do to the dynamic. We looked for French Bulldogs and browsed through Corgis, but no one really stood out. While searching for our perfect pooch, I received an email from a woman with a litter looking for new families in just a few weeks. With plenty of time to plan, we started chatting with her about each of the puppy’s personalities, but nothing was catching my heart. I thought all hope was lost when she sent me a photo of him. She described him as mellow. He was getting along fine with his littermates but was considerably less interactive or vocal. His beautiful eyes and long chocolate coat were enough to have me swooning, but when I heard that he was QUIET AND MELLOW, I was sold! With a house full of terriers, we needed someone laid back to level the playing field!
After 3 long weeks of updates and photos, I was ready to go pick up our little man. The drive there felt like a lifetime, but once we were able to finally hold him, it was all worth it! Unfortunately, we were not as lucky with him, as we were Peach. He did have a considerably sized soft spot, which he still has now. They can take years to close, if they ever do. We took special precautions with him, even got him a ramp so that he could climb up and down on the bed with ease, but he still had to learn how to use it. The first night he was home, in a sleep drunk stupor, he managed to fall right off the edge of the bed. I’ve never been so scared in my life! Begrudgingly, we got him a bed of his own, where he spent the first couple weeks. We found quickly, that he was independent, and preferred to sleep in his own bed. Even now, he sleeps a good distance from anyone else.
He fit in easily, but we found out fast that he wasn’t as mellow as he let us believe. Sure, he has his off button, which is just being picked up, but he’s still just as playful and crazy as the others. In fact, as far as bad habits go, he tops each one of them! We are still learning with him, and things are going quite well, but there is more to do every day. He’s learning to play with the big dogs, and he might even beat Peach when he’s bigger. Having a dog with long hair can be a challenge, but he’s such a goon even wiping his butt is funny. He loves to hold your face and give you a kiss and being held like a baby is his favorite thing. I swear, no one taught him that, he just rolls over or goes limp, so you have no other choice!
One of most frequently asked questions is why or how I picked each of their names.
Athena Monroe: Was originally named Athena by her previous owner. I am a fan of Mythology, and have had several animals with themed names such as Odin, Nyx, and Fraya. I am also a huge fan of Marilyn Monroe. I have SEVERAL paintings and photos of her. I was set on naming her Monroe, but she just wouldn’t come to anything but her first name, so it stuck. We more commonly call her Mia, as she grew up with a little girl who couldn’t say Athena, and just said Mia or Means instead, so it stuck!
Severus Sunshine Snape: If you don’t know the name… Well… We can’t be friends. It worked out in my favor. If we’re being honest, he loves only 1 person, and that’s me. He’s kind of a dick to everyone else, so the name fits.
Princess Peach: We went back and forth on this one, but at the end of the day, she’s named after 2 things. Youtuber Jenna Marbles dog, and the color of my cancer ribbon. If I couldn’t have my boy to tribute to my brother, then I was going to have a girl, to remind me to love my cancer, even in times when I feel like I shouldn’t. Plus, Mario’s Princess Peach isn’t half bad either, although that was NOT the original intention.
Yuske Inari: LOOK IT UP. When we got him, we called him Little Foot for a few days, weeks even, before the name Inari really stuck. At the time, we kept calling him Fox, or saying he looked like the Japanese Kami of foxes, Inari Okami. They sort of look like furbees, which people have called him as well. Alex was deep into a good video game called Persona 5, where one of the characters wore the mask of a fox. His name was Yuske Inari. At first, we said Yuske a lot, but eventually, Inari just felt right.
So, there you go! Somethings you wanted to know about my dogs, but mostly things you did not!
If you have any other questions, or want tips, tricks, or advice on how to integrate or train a dog, feel free to leave the questions in the comments section below!
Thanks for reading!