Well, Mom and Dad are here. With their English Setter, Sadie. Keep in mind that we already have FIVE pets - the two dogs, Bernie & Madeline and the three cats, Eleanor, Buster and Fanny. AND I'm dog-sitting for my boss' dog, Georgia. So let's review: four people + seven animals. People, that's not a household...it's an episode of Fear Factor.
This is Georgia, the dog who is on loan for a week. She is a teacup poodle and I certainly don't have any trouble figuring out why. That is a nickel sitting next to her so you can get a sense of scale. TINY. She is an unbelievably low-maintenance dog and I LOVE HER but maybe I love her because I know she is going away on Sunday, back to her parents' house. I'll be sad.
This is Buster the cat (AKA Fat Ass or Big Boy) and Madeline the dog. Madeline has several aliases: Madge, Modge Podge, Miss Louise and Miss Bunny. Madeline is sixteen, so this is usually how you see her. She is half standard poodle, half chow but we never ever see the evil chow personality, just the poodle one. Sister Meg thinks Madeline is maybe, um, retarded because she's almost preternaturally calm at all times. Like I'm talking Sunny von Bulow calm. For example, she is scared to death of Buster, so she clearly has no idea that he's napping right next to her. If she woke up right now, she'd die of a heart attack on the spot. But she is also kind of our perfect dog, the one who makes almost no mistakes and when she does, she comes and gets us and apologizes before we even know what it is she did. Sixteen is old so we are preparing for the inevitable but that will be a rough week, I can tell you right now.
This is Burns. AKA Bernie, Mr Burns, Bernice or Bernina, depending on the wine consumption. Mine, not his. He is also sixteen and he shows no signs of giving up the ghost anytime soon. He is a mystery dog; even the vet said "I don't know what that thing is" and then he also said he could live ten more years. I almost punched the vet in the face when he said that. Burns is a handful. I say that but mean something much less nice, like when people say "bless your heart" what it really means is you are one big fat hot mess. For Christmas, I am giving Burns a bag and a map to the river.
This is Eleanor the fancy cat, AKA Miss Ellie, Miss Lavish or Senorita Bigface, and Sadie, Mom and Dad's English Setter. You can get a good idea of just how smart Sadie is from this picture where you can easily see that she is pointing a sleeping cat. Good job, Copernicus! The cats have her befuddled. She stares at them for hours and then when they slightly move, she runs away like there's a dogcatcher headed her way.
I do not have a recent photo of Fanny, but she is the oldest member of the family, at seventeen years old. A grey tabby cat. Alternate names: Fan, Phalange, Fanette and Miss Petunia. She is pretty much the alpha animal in the house; even crazy Burns refuses to engage her. She sleeps 23.9 hours a day. I'll add a pic as soon as I can.