Boyfriend and I live with two pets, ThunderFoots & SquirBo. They were purchased separately, before Boyfriend and I got together, and though they were mutually terrified of each other when they met, they’ve developed a sort of truce in the years they’ve lived together.
SquirBo (aka “DogWithNoEars”)
SquirBo was my contribution to the fur-family. I purchased her when I was 14 years old after saving up my tips and paycheques from my hostessing job at Kelsey’s Restaurant. She’s an Australian Cattle Dog and her real name is Zoë, but she has two commonly used nicknames in our house: SquirBo, and DogWithNoEars.”SquirBo”, by which she is known on this blog, is a reference to her bushy, squirrel-like tail.
“DogWithNoEars” was the name that Boyfriend gave her after noticing the way she tucks her ears back against her head whenever she’s excited/guilty/sad/looking upwards/pretty much all the time. She’s a bit of a camera whore and tends to perk her ears up when there’s a camera around, but I’ve attached what pictures I could find for reference:
There are other nicknames she’ll respond to, including ZerBert, DingBat, Spaz, and any sort of deep, intimidating growl that Boyfriend emits in her direction, but SquirBo and DogWithNoEars are the most commonly used. She sleeps on her back with her paws in the air, and she’s nervous around felines after being raised with my father’s irritable old alley cat, Bob. She’s terrifyingly smart, and can learn a new trick in about 30 minutes. In addition to competitive obedience and agility commands, she rings a bell to go outside, retrieves beer from the fridge, and knows each of her toys by name. We’re working on “Twerk” as her next move.
In January 2013, SquirBo was diagnosed with inoperable transitional cell carcinoma and given an estimated life expectancy of 6 months. It was inexplicably traumatic for me, as this dog hasn’t left my side since I was 14, including moving with me when I left home for University. She’s been my companion through puberty, teen angst, home sickness, heartbreak, and everything in-between. Thankfully, the amazing vets at Paws and Claws Animal Hospital worked quickly to find the right concoction of pain killers to keep her comfortable, and as I write this, we’re nearing the one year anniversary of her diagnosis. Judging by her current behaviour, appetite, and energy level, you’d never know that this time last year, it seemed that she was on her deathbed. Hopefully her health holds out for at least a few more years!
ThunderFoots came into my life at the same time that Boyfriend did. She was a remainder from a previous relationship he’d had, and another piece of evidence supporting my theory that purchasing cats kills couples. Think about it, how many couples do you know who purchased a cat and then split shortly thereafter? It’s a thing, I swear! Anyways…
Thunderfoots’ actual name is Chloe. Her nickname stems from the disproportionately thunderous sound that her tiny paws make when she inexplicably bolts from one room to the next. When she moved in with me (as Boyfriend actually moved her a few months before his Alberta to BC transfer was complete), she had never seen a dog before. Understandably, this made her a tad uncomfortable about the presence of SquirBo, but luckily, SquirBo was equally afraid of her. They spent the first few days peering at each other from around the corners of the couch, until ThunderFoots realized that SquirBo was no threat. Now, we sometimes catch the two of them doing strange things such as approach each other from opposite ends of the house, bump heads, and then casually saunter off in opposite directions. When it happens, I feel as though I’ve witness some sort of inter-species drug deal and it’s weird.