Our Growing Family

by Maggie Griffin


Less than a year ago, it was a happy threesome--me, B, and Eleanor. We are now a family of 6.

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It's all happening so fast...I'm just waiting on TLC to call us. We deserve a show.

Today, we introduce our two newest members and brag about our beloved pups!

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Byron, due to his work at the Waco Wetlands, and his befriending of his coworker who studies turtles and has a vast knowledge of water animals, has been into aquatic species lately. Last weekend, while we were at Petsmart picking up food for the pups, Byron took a turn towards the fish and aquariums...and we left 2 hours later, after I denied his request for an aquarium. 

But. Marriage is compromise. And now we have a 20 gallon aquatic environment for our newest, yet-to-be-named turtle children. Last Wednesday, Byron sent me a picture of 2 turtles at work. "Do you want these?" (Oh, dear.) He asked the Wetlands supervisor about the turtles, and she was more than willing to let us take them under our care. They had been with her since this past summer after a local girl felt she could no longer care for them (read: could no longer take the smell.) My sweet St. Francis of a husband, always the champion for the cause of unloved animals, has taken it upon himself to rescue these little babes. Let's get one thing straight, I don't hate the turtles...but Byron will be their primary caretaker and lover. 

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Our turtles, being the aquatic beings they are, spend most of their time swimming around or walking on the bottom or climbing/hiding on the log/tree trunk we have for them. When we are not looking, they like to climb on their platform and bask in the light/warmth of the heat lamp. They enjoy eating floating sticks and freeze-dried bugs! Due to their size, B thinks they were malnourished so we are spoiling them with the protein filled bugs! We don't take them out too often (it's been three days...), but they are wiggly and fast when we do. They should grow to be about 8-9", but I wish they would stay this tiny forever. My favorite thing to do is sneak up on them when they are (fake)sun bathing...they scurry so fast and sometimes dive into the water with a funny "plop!" The turtles are fun to watch and they have added yet another source of entertainment to our lives and home. 

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The turtles are male and female, we think. And if they have babies I will lovingly put my hands around B's neck and shake him for one second. We'll deal with that later. Maybe. Hoping we've got same sex turtles. Can you fix turtles? 

As far as names, I have suggested: Dick and Jane (cute!), Tiny and Teeny (adorable!), Lucy and Ricky (classic!), and Michelle and Barack (duh.). All names have been rejected by Byron. So...we are currently taking name suggestions...anybody? 

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Bixby is still so dumb and so goofy. When he yawns, his limbs often get in the way and he ends up munching on them a little bit. He is still shocked by his tail and loves to chase it. He is hilarious. His kisses are long and intimate. He loves caressing Eleanor's ear with his tongue...and she loves it, too. Weirdos. He is a jumper...so if you come over, you've been warned. He is impatient with us when he needs to go to the bathroom. He has a current obsession with the bathtub...if we forget to put the curtain over it, he will jump in and lick up any water in there. One recent morning, I found some muddy paw prints in the bathtub between when I took my shower and when I was doing some finishing touches before leaving. He is crazy. 

Bixby is the craziest, silliest, goofiest puppy. He is so big. And his tail is so powerful. And he is so sweet....I can't imagine what our little family would be without him. Byron has been taking Bixby out on bike rides around our block. Bix trots along and looks like a miniature horse from behind. He often accompanies us to the Farmer's Market and makes friends with dogs and people and children a like. He is obsessed with babies. If he hears one on TV, he begins to watch. I've never seen a pup so enamored with young babes. Bixby is the best dog. And he looks like an OG (original gangster. I just learned that a few weeks ago, so I am slowly working it into my vocabulary. Thoughts?) when he puts on a cap. This fashion is much more suited to his former name, Reggie. I think Bixby should start wearing bow ties daily, but I haven't told Byron.

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FYI: Bixby is part pointer, and you should all follow the Insta account--ifitwags--for adorable pointer pictures.

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Onto sweet Eleanor. As most of you know, she is and always will be Byron's leading lady. He has had her for 4 years now! She is probably 6 or 7ish. She has gray hairs popping up and she loves a good nap. She is groaning more and she can be a grumpy lady. Bixby is keeping her young! I wake up every morning to find that Eleanor has nestled herself between Byron and I. She is a cover hog. (Obviously, I am so jealous of Eleanor because Byron loves her more.) Eleanor is the sweetest animal in the world. She understands human emotion and responds accordingly. The only thing she doesn't do is stop whining on command. When I am in the house with her and Byron leaves for a bike ride, she does not stop whining until his return. The love he gives is reciprocated. Eleanor is a terrific spooner, and she is always little spoon.   

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All of our animals are rescue/shelter animals...we love rescue stories! (This week on Sevenly, you can buy AMAZING t-shirts that support 4 Paws for Ability.)

Do you have a rescue that you absolutely adore? Tell us about it!