Our dog Bailee Boo is golden retriever, black lab and German shepherd mix. She loves lollipops. One day, she came with us in the SUV and we had to run into the store for something and left her in the car with it running. One of the kids had bought a bunch of these natural-flavored strawberry suckers. We get back in the car and we hear this sucking noise, and I turned around and said, “Bailee” and she popped her head up from the back seat with a sucker hanging out of her mouth. She was sucking on it. It was so funny to see her with it hanging out of her mouth! She loves them. She loves Halloween because of the lollipops.
She is a very special dog to us. She was run over by a big SUV when she was 5 months old, and the vet said he had never seen a dog with such will to live and be so loyal to her family. She had a dislocated hip, bruised uterus and internal bleeding, broken ribs, etc. She was on oxygen for three days and survived it all, and she has a wonderful personality. Loves to lie upside down and smile. She shakes both paws, high fives, sits pretty and will sneeze.
— Joanne Cottam of Nestor Falls, Ontario, Canada
I got my cat, Ulicka, while I was living in Prague. I didn’t have the heart to leave her behind, so when I came back to the United States, Uli came with me (the trip ended up being 24 hours long). Anyway, she is a character.
I was living in Portland, and Uli would often wake me up an hour before I had to be up, so I would put her in the bathroom with her food, water and litter box. This routine didn’t last long. One morning, when Uli wanted to play fetch and I had an hour to sleep, into the bathroom she went. Seven o’ clock a.m. came, and I first started my coffee and then tried to open the bathroom door. Uli had locked me out! Somehow she had pulled the drawer closest to the door open so I was unable to open the door. I was frantic and had to get in there to get ready for work. I went into the kitchen and got a knife and had to “shimmy” the drawer closed with a knife. Now, looking back, it was so funny that it happened!
— Shannon Vealitzek of Boise, Idaho
I have a shih tzu who is adorable, but none too bright! He is a major mama’s boy and wants a bite of anything I have to eat. One day, I was sitting at the dining table and Tippy was sitting quietly nearby (he never begs, just drills holes in you with his eyes!), but every hair on his body was twitching! I was having a salad and knew he wouldn’t eat any greens, but I had a mandarin orange in the salad yet, so I broke off a small piece of orange and tossed to him. I thought he had caught it and was eating it, but he kept sniffing around on the floor and whining. I didn’t know if he wanted more or what. I called him, and he looked up at me and there was the bite of mandarin orange stuck to the fur right above his nose! He could smell it, but he couldn’t find it. I nearly fell out of the chair laughing, then I grabbed the camera and took a picture. The grandkids loved it!
— Cheryl Draheim of Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Titan is the dog who almost closed an airport. As the Cal-State Fullerton ROTC mascot, my little westie,Titan, wore a camouflage “uniform” I got from a teddy bear. When I said “Attention,” he did. “Present Arms,” he stood up with paws in the air; “low crawl,” he did. “About face,” he turned in a circle, and “grenade,” he rolled over.
We were in the Baltimore/Washington International Airport the first day it opened after 9/11, and the lines were hours long. Titan was fidgeting in the Sherpa travel bag and those in line around me said, ‘Oh, cute dog.’ I said, ‘Hey, he does tricks’ and let him out of the bag. Until I unthinking commanded “grenade”—causing a panic and security came running. Oops!
— Elizabeth van Dooren of Asheville, North Carolina
I have the cutest, sweetest and funniest dog. Her name is Sophie Marie. She is a Chihuahua mix and looks like a little leopard. She is spotted all over with one blue and one brown eye.
At night when my husband and I are getting ready for bed, she plays hide and seek. She hides under the couch until we come out to look for her. We say, “Where’s Sophie?” numerous times before she comes out very excited. Also, when she gets into her bed, which we keep right next to ours, she will often cover herself with her blanket.
She is an amazing and gentle soul. She loves everyone, and everyone that meets her loves her.
— Stacey Andre of Benicia, California
My husband, Phil, has dentures. One evening as he was preparing to shower, he took out his teeth and placed them on the bathroom sink. He went for a clean towel, and when he came back, his teeth were missing. We searched for an hour, and they were nowhere to be found. He was forced to go to work for days without them.
Our son Josh was in the high school marching band, and on that following Saturday we went to a Tournament of Bands, and Phil took a short nap in the car. One of the students went to get him for the show, and when he got there, Phil was asleep with his mouth gaping wide open, clearly visible that his teeth were missing. Mike came back and told the kids, and then Josh relayed the story about the teeth and that we believed our cat, Herbert Spencer, had stolen them, but we were unable to find them. When Phil arrived back to the field, all the band members began teasing him saying “What’s the matter Mr. Phil, the cat got your teeth?”
Well, several days later, our son was watching TV and covered himself with an afghan. Lo and behold, the dentures were wrapped in the afghan. My son called my husband and told him he had just been bitten! Two weeks later, Phil’s watch was missing and we found it in Herbie’s secret hiding spot—the afghan! The afghan is long gone, and now Herbie has hiding spots we know nothing about, but we are certain when things are missing, Herbie has absconded with them! Herbert Spencer is such a funny cat that family members say we should write a book about him.
— Glenda Bailey of Pasadena, Manitoba, Canada
My dog, Chula, chose my husband-to-be. Prior to being transferred to California, Chula (it means “cute girl” in Spanish even though she was uglier than a mud fence so I had to have “cute” in her name) developed a dislike for all men following an attempted break-in where she tried to jump through a double-paned window trying to get at a man trying to get into my house. Fortunately, she frightened off the burglar, but she didn’t like men after that incident. So, every man I tried to date, she would create quite a challenge at every door greeting.
But one man, whom I met on a blind date following my transfer to California, surprised me with a visit at my home the next night after meeting him. Not knowing who it was, I opened the door with her standing at my side. Upon realizing who it was, I began to hold her back. She had her back hair sticking straight up and her snarling teeth showing. Andy—a huge man, 6’8″ tall—bent down on his knees and spoke in a somewhat high voice and said, “Well, hello, Chula. How’s my little cute dog?” I don’t remember the rest of his greeting, but for the first time in years, Chula met a man without hesitation and greeted him with a sweet doggie kiss, and she loved him ever since. I felt if this man could “deface” himself for the sake of my precious Chula, he was worth marrying!
— Sherri Gust of Folsom, California
My husband raised birds and had three favorites in the house as his personal pets. Amanda is an African gray who was just too smart. She hated women and loved to flirt with any man who came into the house. She had an awesome vocabulary. One of her many talents was to invite people in when she heard the doorbell or heard someone knock on the door. “Come on in,” she would yell out.
Another one of his birds was a Mexican redhead, Captain. He was not too smart, but he picked up a word or two. His favorite word being “what.” My husband was hard of hearing, and he was always saying “what” to questions or statements. It was quite annoying because he didn’t want to use his hearing aids, but that darn ol’ bird just loved that word and it drove us nuts.
My husband passed away, and a friend of mine took the birds to her house to “birdsit” for a time. Her brother was living with her to get away from an old ex-girlfriend. She had them sitting my the front door near an open window. One day, the ex-girlfriend showed up at the house to see him. Neither my friend or her brother wanted her to know that they were home, so they hid behind a wall till she left. She began to ring the bell and knock on the door, and to my friend’s amazement the African gray (Amanda) began to yell out, “Well, come on in!” The girlfriend tried to get in the door, but thankfully the door was locked. She shook the handle and began to yell, “I can’t, the door is locked”. Right on cue, the other bird, Captain, yelled out “What, what?” She would yell, “I said the door is locked” She would knock again and would hear, “Well, come on in” and then the resounding “What?” from Captain. You would think that this woman would have given up, but not her. She kept this up till my friend and her brother were laughing so hard that she wet her pants.
— Ann Marlatt of Oceanside, California