Charlie is my queen. I often call her 'Khaleesi', 'Brat', 'Queen', etc. She doesn't understand that she is a dog. In her brain she is human and she is to be catered to. I have had Charlie since she was a puppy and I lived at my parents' house. I didn't want Charlie. My parents got her 3 days after my childhood dog died and I was very salty about that decision while I was grieving. As of this writing she is 10.5 years old. She is a Boston Terrier x Pug mix; a Bugg.
Mika is my fourth Leopard Gecko. After my childhood dog died in '06 I started researching reptiles. Little did I know I was attracted to things that had spots (like Lottie, the childhood dog!). I started with Cezzie. She was a 'Tremper Albino' morph that I got from a pet store. For a year or so I had two, Cezzie, and Schnee. I got Schnee a year or so after I got Cezzie. They were my babies. They got sick, and though the vet did what he could, and I did whatever the vet said, they passed away. Cezzie came from a breeder but may have had a congenital defect. I was absolutely devastated and traumatized by their passing (6 months apart). I couldn't bare to get another one and face the loss. Then we were in the pet store one day and I saw a baby that looked sick. I wanted to try to save it. I didn't even name it because I figured it would die. I nursed it as best I could. He/She lasted a week or two. After that I got Mika from a breeder. We drove 3 hours to pick her up. She's 7.5 years old.
Tyrion is a French Mastiff and was adopted from the Washington Rescue League in Washington, D.C. in July 2016. He's actually my brother's dog. My brother adopted him. One of my dogs died a month before we got Tyrion, and I really wasn't ready for it. The problem is, Tyrion is TERRIFIED of my brother. I don't know what happened in his past for him to react the way he does... but he runs away from Corey (the brother). He's not scared of the strangers we bring all the time or other men. It's just Corey. Though we both came up with the same name for him, the similarities end there. Tyrion sees Eric and I as his humans and Corey desperately tries to talk to him. It makes life complicated, but we do what we can for him. My parents adopted his brother, they've named him Edd. It's amazing to watch them see each other on play dates.
When everyone moved here we had an improptu guest that ended up becoming ours. A family friend couldn't keep him where he was living, so he asked if he paid us if we would house him until he could take him again. 3 months turned to 6 months, and then I got the call of... "I don't have the time for him. We could take him but it would be wrong and he is so happy with you. You don't have to say yes, but if you're willing to keep him I'd be so grateful." So basically if we didn't keep him, he'd go to a shelter. When we got Zack he was 9 years old but didn't act it at all. He would still play, was still 'talkative', etc. He had so much personality and didn't show any signs of aging or pain. Zack started living with us in January of 2013. In July of 2015 I was very concerned about a cough he had. I read up on it and decided it was Chronic Heart Failure. I know, I know. Self-Diagnosis is awful. The diagnosis put me into a tailspin of anxiety. I decided to become medicated after this event because I got so anxious I threw up, multiple times out of worry for my baby. We took him to a cardiologist and $1300 later we had the diagnosis, prognosis, and meds. We were told they usually live a year after diagnosis. I decided the cost was worth the reward. He was an amazing dog and was my baby. His meds made him better basically immediately. He was coughing less and was responding well to treatment. Though it was always on my mind -- the fear of finding him dead or having to take him to the hospital -- I didn't expect it when it game. He died in my arms. It was absolutely traumatizing. I can paint a picture of that day though words, but that's for another time and post. I never wanted labs before him. Now I only want Charlies and Zacks.
Lottie was my childhood dog. She helped me through everything that sucks about being a kid and adolsecent. When you hate your parents and hate the world and are going through angst that 'no one understands' she was there to lick my tears away. We got her when I was in 3rd or 4th grade. I think I was 9. My sister bought Lottie's sister and named her Sidney. Putting her to sleep was one of the first jolts of reality from adulthood. The week before her death and her death haunts me. She died in August '06
Cezzie & Schnee
You can read about Cezzie & Schnee above. They enhanced my passion for reptiles and having them as pets. I educated myself along the way and am a huge advocate against huge chain pet stores and their treatment of reptiles.