Friday, September 16, 2011

Living With Fourteen Dogs and Cats

As one of my friends recently pointed out, only in the rescue world does it seem normal to live with seven dogs and seven cats.  That's how many I have right now, although the numbers change a bit from day to day.  My house is divided by baby gates, and each room has a purpose related to the animals.  One room is currently occupied by several dog crates where Ziggy, Miley, Elton and Ellie sleep and eat their meals.  They also stay there when I'm not home.  The rest of their time is spent with me in the living room or outside.  The other three dogs - Harry, Roxy and Bunny - currently have crates in the living room.  Harry just came back from a foster-to-adopt home which didn't work out for him.  His crate is in the living room so he can get used to the other dog's presence and they can get used to him.  Bunny is in the living room because that's where I spend most of my time and I want her to get used to me.  Her crate door is never closed but she feels safe in her crate so she spends most of her time in the crate by choice.  And Roxy is only in her crate at meal times, but I've found it's convenient to leave her crate in the living room in case one of the dogs needs a short time-out when they're playing.  The living room is basically one very large room consisting of a living area, dining area, and kitchen area.  This leaves a lot of floor space for the dogs to run around and play.  There are also several good spots for the cats to hide if the dogs get a bit over exuberant.  I only foster cat-friendly dogs, but occasionally one of the dogs will think chasing a cat is a terrific idea.  Hiding behind the couch or sitting up above them on the top of a cabinet is a great relief to the cats at times.  Of course they have their own spaces too.  I have one room currently used only for a new cat to settle in and get accustomed to the house prior to introducing him to the other cats.  Then there is another room blocked off by a baby gate (so the cats can jump over and have freedom but they dogs can't get in).  That room has the cat trees, food, cat toys, and all other things that are too tempting for dogs to stay away from.  Of course the cats don't spend much time in that room - they prefer my bedroom.  Right now only Roxy has been allowed to sleep on my bed at night, plus of course the cats.  And during the day no dogs are allowed in the room but again the cats take it over. All in all, everyone seems quite happy.  At least it's much better than the alternative of a shelter while they wait for their forever homes.

Speaking of forever homes, Tulsa recently went out on a foster-to-adopt situation which is so far going very well!  And Roxy has a home visit scheduled for this weekend, so she may have her forever home soon also.  Harry also has a home visit to be scheduled, and he may only be back for a short time.  Now if only Ziggy or Bunny would find their forever homes!

Here is a short video of the dogs enjoying the nice weather:


13 comments:

Pauley, the Mr. or the Mrs. said...

I have often wondered what your set-up was like. The animals are very lucky to have you.

Kari in Vegas said...

Best of luck to Tulsa!

Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com

Corbin said...

Our house gets crazy with two foster dogs... I can't imagine!
-Corbin

Tucker The Crestie said...

Keeping paws crossed that Tulsa's foster family will decide they can't live without him!

Cupcake said...

It's Heaven!! A cabin filled with dogs and cats, that's the best. You're the best and I know all the animals are happy there.

Susan Blatz said...

Nicely done!

bbes tribe said...

Very nice. All those pups & kitties are furry lucky to have you in their lives if only for awhile until they find their forever homes.
Wags & best
Ernie,Sasha,Chica,Lucas

Kolchak Puggle said...

Seriously, you amaze me! There are days when I feel like my home is chaos with TWO, I simply can't imagine 14. As far as I am concerned, you are. Superhero. We should get you a cape, for sure.

Of Pit Bulls and Patience said...

It sounds like you have a perfect set up for fostering! I hope all these dates with your foster pups become permanent, especially for Miss Roxie!

JackDaddy said...

Somehow I read that as baby goat and I was thinking what a unique idea to keep the dogs out of the room! :)

browndogcbr said...

Hi Y'all,

My Human said with all those critters you'll never need a doorbell, knocker or burgler alarm!

We both say we hope Tulsa has finally found her forever home. Hope y'all soon find forever homes! Especially Ziggy! I thought when he got his own page he'd have a home in no time...he must be really disappointed.

Paws crossed here.

Y'all come by now,
Hawk aka BrownDog

Vicki June said...

I read this and understand completely! We currently have 8 dogs in the house (4 are ours, 4 are fosters) and we actually converted our attached garage into a "dog room" where all the crates are and the food, medical supplies, bedding is kept. But it doesn't always go smoothly..Currently our "dog room" is a quarantine room because 2 of our fosters has KC, so now we have our bedroom lined with the crates of the healthy dogs and baby gates and systems to give everyone outside time at different times..

I love the look on our neighbors faces when we say we currently have 8 dogs in the house, we get this look of "OMG are you serious" They immediately think of how filthy it must be and have even asked if it's legal..lol... I think "normal" people just don't understand how wrong they are!

Stefanie said...

I only have 2 fosters and sometimes feel overwhelmed (mostly when they tag-team me when they see me kneeling down to pick up stuffed animal parts they have strewn about the living room). You are exceptional for taking on so many and somehow managing to have a pretty organized system!