Our Beloved Beasts

The Dogs

We adopted Mae in July 2010 from the Front Range German Shepherd Rescue. She was about eight months old at the time. She's half black lab and half German Shepherd. Mae is exuberant and crazy smart. She's also very, very excited by every brand new day. She suffers from fear-aggression, but she's been helped by lots of obedience training and prozac.

We adopted Conrad in March 2009 from the Front Range German Shepherd Rescue. He was about a year old at the time. He's a pure German Shepherd. He's playful, eager to please, and very excitable. Periodically, he suffers from a strange neurological ailment commonly known as "the gulps." He loves to wrestle with Mae, even though she never submits properly, as she's darn well supposed to do.

Here's a slideshow with more pictures of Conrad and Mae.

The Cats

We adopted Merlin in August 2012 as a 10-week-or-so-old kitten. He's very playful, assertive, and a cuddly ball of purr.

We adopted Elliot in March 2003 as a six-month-old kitten. He's an elegant cat, but very affectionate. Elliot has a heart defect which was supposed to shorten his life, but after many years, he's showed no signs of trouble.

I found Oliver in our barn in January 2002, likely dumped off by some miserable bastard. He was about a year old at the time. He's affectionate, polite, and grumpyoldmancrazypants.

Here's a slideshow with more pictures of the Merlin, Elliot, and Oliver.

The Horses

I bought Lila in October 2010, when she was seven. She's a draft cross -- half-thoroughbred, half-draft. She's quiet and sensible, albeit rather lazy. She's been a delight to train -- in dressage, over fences, on the trail, and in the basics of western riding.

I acquired Elsie from neighbors as a stablemate for Lila in November 2011, just a few days after Tara's death. She was 22 or so at the time. She's a 14.2 hand quarter horse. I began riding her in the spring of 2012. She has a lot to overcome, but she tries hard, and we're making good progress in the basics.

Here's a slideshow with more pictures of Lila and Elsie.

Our Departed Beasts

The Departed Dogs

We adopted Kate in January of 2000 from the El Cajon Animal Shelter in California. She must have been at least three at time time, but her actual age was a mystery. Kate became The Bionic Dog, as she has had a bicep tendon release on each front leg, two (cementless) total hip replacements in the rear, and a plate in to stabilize a broken femur. She was sweet, enthusiastic, and easygoing -- and a bit dumb. Kate died in December 2008.

We adopted Abby in July of 2000 from the Los Angeles German Shepherd Rescue at about the age of three. She was very smart and loyal, although easily made anxious and worried. Abby developed a genetic neurological disorder, degenerative myelopathy, in the last year of her life. We put her down in May 2007 after a major trauma.

Here's a slideshow with more pictures of Kate and Abby.

The Departed Horses

Tara was a 16.2 hand chestnut Thoroughbred mare. She was attractive, athletic, well-mannered, but sometimes grumpy or fussy. Tara was a former polo pony, although you'd never have guessed from her large size and quiet temperament. I got her from Mike Paul in June 2001. She was about 17 at the time. She died suddenly in November 2011, at the ripe old age of 27.

I got Jackson with Tara in 2001. He was a 15.2 hand bay gelding. He could be mouthy and annoying, but he was generally well-behaved. Jackson died in April 2009, after a serious mental and physical decline.

Here's a slideshow with more pictures of Tara and Jackson.

The Departed Cats

Our kitties Clara and Fanny disappeared within a few months of each other in the summer of 2002. Clara was a very bold kitty, probably a bit too fearless. She was always looking for the next adventure. In stark contrast, Fanny was a very cautious kitty, with a bellowing and frequent meow.

Here's a slideshow with more pictures Fanny and Clara.