How We Ended up with 4 New Pets in One WeekCall us crazy, or call us suckers, but in one week in February 2018, our family ended up with 4 new pets. That is, to go with the 2 we already had.
Meet GracieWe got Gracie about 13 years ago, before we had kids, from an animal rescue group in the Valley. She's a mix of just about everything and suffers terribly from abandonment issues. Now at 14, she's still really healthy, but showing signs of her age. She's been our constant companion, fiercely loyal, and will NEVER run away.
Meet Nutmeg the DeguOver three years ago, I wrote a blog post detailing the story of how we ended up with 2 degus. Read my blog post about degus here. The punchline is... never take your kids to the pet store for a fun adventure! You will end up with pets you didn't want!
How the Whole Thing StartedMuch to Daniel's chagrin, we will never have cats, as his father is deathly allergic to them. As a compromise, I often take him to the Kings County SPCA to visit the cats so he can cuddle and play. I am always up front with the staff, saying we are not there to adopt, but to play. They are always kind to let us come in, as it helps to socialize the cats. Everyone is happy. This one day in particular we went to the SPCA to visit the cats. However, Thomas ended up falling in love with Murray the bunny. His father was away, and he texted him, begging for the bunny. We've never had rabbits before, and didn't know what we were in for, so we started to do some hefty research, talking to lots of people for their rabbit advice. We were on the verge of breaking down. A few days later, we returned to the SPCA to show their father the bunny. We were on our way to dinner, and thought we would pop in for a few minutes, just for one final look at the bunny. We visited, we cuddled, we oohed and aahed. On our way out of the SPCA, we paused for a moment, as the bulletin board caught our eye. Posted on there, was a dog! We are NOT in the market for a second dog. Sure, we talked about getting a second dog for Gracie to train, and make the transition for when she's gone. But then, we thought she was too old to introduce another dog to. We weren't sure if we were ready for another dog. Then, we saw this face. How can you resist that face?? It was the first time in a very long time that they posted a family-friendly dog, that was a big dog, and wasn't what I considered a "scary looking dog." They had JUST posted it hours ago. We casually asked how to make an appointment to see this dog, knowing how quickly family-friendly dogs go, thinking there was no harm. The staff member went and brought him out. When he walked in the room, he laid his head on Daniel's lap. We knew we were in love. This boy is a 4 year old male husky/shepherd mix and is one of the calmest dogs I have ever met! He grew up in a family that just couldn't take him any more. The next thing we knew, we were filling out the application! We were the first family in, and the first to see him!
We were at the right place at the right time!After calling our references, the next step was to introduce him to Gracie to make sure she approved. It was love at first... actually, they totally ignored each other! No aggression, no jealousy... it was a match made in heaven! We are going to rename him Digby, after my dad's hometown, and a place that means a lot to us all.
Meet Digby. The newest member of the Duke Family!But, that's not all. No!
Enter 3 More DegusA week ago, we received a phone call:
You don't know me, but I know you have degus! We are an animal rescue group and we have just rescued a dog and along with it, we found degus that we removed from the home, too! We saw your blog about degus and wondered if you....Well, the initial thought was whether we knew of a degu group in the Annapolis Valley. These little rodents, most closely related to a chinchilla, are quite high maintenance. Well, they are easy to take care of but, you have to know exactly what you are doing. They are diabetic. They can't have fruit. They can only have certain types of wood. We were already experts in degus. Since Jellybean, one of our degus died before Christmas, we had contemplated getting another one. These 3 male degus needed a home. We were so worried about them going to a home that didn't know how to care for them, that we decided to take them on ourselves! One of our friends who used to have degus, gave us their old cage. David revamped it with a few more shelves to hold 4 degus. To introduce the new ones, it will take awhile. They need to be in the same cage for a week, but separated by a mesh divider. Then, the following week, you switch them around to be in the opposite sides. Then, you remove the divider and hope for the best! By this time, they will be used to the smells and sounds of each other!