Meet my babes!

So I previously posted a blog about my world of rescue and told you I’d introduce you to my babies. Well, stick with me because I am going to tell you about all my babies past and present.

Like I mentioned before, I was raised in a home full of animals thanks to my amazing parents who instilled my deep love and respect for the animal community from day one. I was born into a cute home with 2 rescue dogs Joshua, a german Shepard mix saved from the shelter and Spanky, a white and black pitbull who my dad brought home to my mother while she was pregnant with me. My parents picked Joshua out at the shelter because he was cowering in the corner and shaking and my mother instantly knew he needed her. Spanky, was given to my dad by a coworker as the runt from a litter. He “surprised” my mom with this tiny sickly, bumpy, barfing pitbull puppy as she was about 6 months pregnant with me. babyashleydadandash

These 2 boys were my introduction into dog ownership. My mom has many stories of me as a baby interacting with Joshua and Spanky. My mom used to lay me down to nap with Spanky and he would clean me as I napped on him. They were both incredibly protective and didn’t appreciate any strangers picking me up. They would keep a close eye on me in any strangers arms. ashandspanky

We also had a small aviary of rescue birds, all cockatiels. My dad finds animals, and somehow found all the birds and brought them home. My most memorable was my boy Cheeks. Cheeks was a yellow cockatiel with red cheeks (hence his name) that was so sweet and would hang out amongst the dogs and cats.

And lest we forget, Peewee and Nemo! Our wonderful dog-like cats who were so sweet and loving and loved to bring my family “presents” of lizards, birds and rats at our doorstep. (I never understood this presentation of love so my dad had to constantly remind me they were doing it to make us happy despite my tears every time).

And we had my tortoises. I had 3, 2 named Sonic, after my obsession with Sega Genesis and one named Tubby who was re-gifted to me by my best friend who received him as a present but couldn’t care for him.

Unfortunately, as pets do, all my babies eventually passed. My sweet Joshua we lost to lymphoma and I know Spanky missed his brother. Eventually, I requested to please get a Jack Russell Terrier. I absolutely loved the show Wishbone and played the movie The Mask on repeat. It didn’t require much to any convincing of my dad and we started on our search for a JRT! We found one named Max who was 4 months old and needed a new home, on the day we were to pick him up he was very sick and unfortunately passed away at the hospital hours later. Devastated, I couldn’t even think of looking for another. Ironically my father had spoken to a breeder in Solvang, CA  prior to committing to Max but decided against it since it was so far and Max had been in the next town over.

The night we returned home after hearing Max had not made it, we received a message on our answering machine that the male jack Russell was still available through the breeder and she was selling him for cheaper because he was 4 months old and had not been taken by anyone. After a few days of crying, I decided I did in fact still very much want my little boy JRT I had saved all my allowance for. And with that, we planned a trip with my whole family, aunt and uncle and baby cousin to Solvang to get my baby.

We arrived at a cute little farm-house with multiple puppies including one little female who my mother really wanted me to get. But I was locked on the boy puppy. I didn’t care that the breeder warned us he was kind of a grump. He was mine and I knew it. My heart was full. We made our trek back home arguing over names and I decided on PoinDexter Maximillion Endemano. He was smart so I knew PoinDexter, which was shortened to Dexter, was fitting. Maximillion was after the jack puppy I originally lost and Endemano cause duh that’s my last name. blog23

Dexter was quite the character. He came home with worms. In hindsight I wish I had known more about breeding and rescue at 10 years old, but I will never regret getting Dexter. He was a grump and an a-hole. He growled at everyone and only slept in my bed at my feet. But you didn’t dare move your feet, or you’d get chomped. Dexter had a myriad of behavioral issues like constantly peeing on any corner surface he passed in the house, biting me in the face TWICE, trying to attack the vacuum and being obsessed with people who spit. But never once, ever, did we not love him for exactly who he was. In his older age, he sweetened up and became the ultimate lovebug. I was blessed with 18 years with him. Dexter was the longest living happy childhood memory I had and the day he passed, apart of me left this world with him. He was MY first dog that I cared for personally. I held in my arms as he passed and whispered the words “I’ll meet you in Heaven” as he drifted away in the comfort of his home. I strongly recommend at home euthanasia when the time comes.

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Most my pets were not consecutive but simultaneous. A few years after getting Dexter, our sweet Spanky passed after 11 wonderful years with our family. Peewee and Nemo followed shortly after. All devastating and I admire my father for always being the strong one who had to be the one to let them go.

So after them, we got Lexi! A broken haired Jack Russell Terrier from my aunt who had bred her dog Babbs with a champion male JRT (again hindsight is 20/20 and I would’ve never condoned breeding if I had been educated). Babbs had a litter of 4, 3 boys and 1 girl. My aunt kept one of the boys and we took the only female and named her Lexus Maxine Endemano (obviously it was to match Dexter’s name). Lexi was and still is a monster! Your typical Jack, she has always been full of spit and vinegar and loved playing ball until she got into her older age. Lexi is 15 now and still going strong, spoiled and well-loved on special prescription food and spends her days napping and taking strolls with my mom or me and my girls. blog22blog19

And then there was Mulan. Mulan my heart. A rescue English cocker spaniel my husband’s family had adopted after losing their other cocker to a rattlesnake bite. She was estimated at about 5 years old when they rescued her and had been in 2 abusive homes. When my husband’s family moved out of their large family home, he decided she would be best living with him and took her with him to his new townhome. I tried EVERYTHING not to get attached to her given that she was older and I was not ready to deal with it if she passed. Unfortunately, that little bear cub tricked me into loving her and she became my baby. I loved her so much. She was the boss of Madison and after my husband’s constant love, had come to know affection and being spoiled. I personally, had 6 beautiful years with her. Mulan received the best medical treatment thanks to my sister where we found out she had an enlarged liver (due to some dumb doctor over prescribing Rovera for years to treat her hip dysplasia) and congenital heart failure which caused a cough. My heart broke when I received the news but despite this she was put on the proper medication and was living comfortably. The day she passed, brings me to tears just thinking about. It was sudden, unexpected and traumatizing. My only solace is that she passed away after living a happy, spoiled life and that I was apart of it. And though she left us suddenly, that I was there when she went and hopefully could hear me saying “I love you”. blog9blog20blog21

Madison, is my heart and soul. I’ll never say I love her more than any of the other animals I’ve had because that would be unfair. But she was the first dog I had at an adult age that I actually was required to completely care for. After a harder time in my life, we found her in the penny saver from a family who’d “accidentally” let their male and female mate and have a litter. She was a surprise! My dad woke me up at 6 am and told me to get in the car cause we were headed to Hemet (Ew I lived there from 3-6 years old and hated it. How ironic that’s where my baby would be from?). We arrived at the house and were introduced to a litter of 10 puppies. I was handed multiple puppies but requested the one in the photo with the speckled chest. Again, my mom asked if I wanted the lighter blue male but I was locked on Madison. The woman handed her to me and said they had named her Destiny. (Aw hell no) Again, I wish I had known of rescuing and shelters back then. But I’ll never regret her for a moment. That little girl and her giant guts really taught this self-absorbed, narcissistic brat how to be selfless. I learned how to love something entirely more than myself. My utmost gratitude will always be due to her. Madison is considerate, empathetic, sensitive and intuitive. If she sees you cry, she will grab one of her babies and circle you like a shark, wagging her tail to make you laugh. I despised being away from her so much I started my dog walking business, Beau Madison Pet Care. BABYMOOSHbabymooshyblog16

Then there’s Luca. We call her Lucafer because she can be quite the satan’s spawn. A friend of a friend found Luca running the streets of Santa Ana, CA as a small puppy and swooped her up. I agreed to foster her overnight while my rescue found a more permanent placement for her. A night turned into a week, and a week turned into a foster fail. Luca is very opposite of Madison. She is fiesty, and could care less if you cry but boy does she love to spoon. I’ll often wake up to her head on my pillow next to me, sharing my air. blog18blog14blog6

Ultimately I was able to have Mulan, Madison and Luca together for 2 years before we lost Mulan. I loved my 3 girls so much and still do. blog10

Aaaand finally, we have Herman ! Who we just found is not actually a male, but a female! Our newest rescue family member. Herman was in a home with people who no longer wanted HER and wanted the space in their home for their new puppy. I had long been throwing the idea around of getting another tortoise since I loved them as a child. So, I swooped her up. Now named Hermie is a 3-year-old Russian Tortoise who loves to eat all day despite her previous owner saying “he maybe ate once a day”. She only likes romaine lettuce and sometimes dandelion greens but despises kale or collard greens. Her treats include watermelon, strawberries and raspberries. The occasional carrot but don’t even try with the apples. Herms loves to take warm baths and poop on my floor after when she goes for her daily cruise. She likes to sun bathe in the grass and oddly enough, is most attached to Luca.

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So that is my history with all my babies. I don’t use the word “pet” very often as I’ve never considered myself in the owner/pet position. These are my kids, my daughters, my sons and my whole heart. They’ve inspired me, grounded me and given me a purpose.

Thank you for reading and taking a peek into a large part of who I am. And why I connect more with those of the animal nature. I’d love to hear about your babies!

All my love,

Ashley

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