At this time of year, when people are turning their minds toward Thanksgiving, we thought it would be fun to share something that we’re thankful for: our pets! Whether they’re just starting out in life or have crossed over the rainbow bridge, we’re thankful for the love and joy they bring into our lives (even when they drive us a little crazy).
If you’re considering getting a pet, we’ve included links to the organizations and rescues we adopted some of our pets from in their bios below. Please consider adopting through an animal rescue organization!
Anna and Violet
Anna is a yellow lab who was dropped off at a high kill shelter, age 11 after having many litters. She was saved by Peak Lab Rescue and we adopted her after she was spayed. Anna will be 12 in April she loves her walks and is pretty spry for such an old gal. Cuteness factor - very high; her tongue sticks out a lot as she had to have her bad teeth removed.
Anna's friend Violet is 9 months old. She was adopted from the Wake County SPCA in August. Vi is positive for feline leukemia and had to have an ulcerated eye removed so she looks like she has a permanent wink. Vi's life expectancy is probably not great, FLV is hard on kittens but for now she is very healthy and absolutely adorable. She carries her duck around the house and we never know where it will show up. Cuteness factor - off the scale.
Dinko and Archie
Dinko is a 3-year-old mutt with a heart of gold who loves sniffing leaves, doing zoomies, and attempting to play with his brother Archie. Archie is a spicy 7-year-old buff tabby who loves climbing screen doors and windows, being adored, and starting trouble. It took a while to get there, but Dinko and Archie are now close comrades who enjoy going on walks together and keeping a close eye on the neighborhood. Dinko was adopted from Carolina Animal Rescue and Adoption.
Daphne and Lucy
Daphne is a lab/beagle mix from the Pittsboro Farm Friends Rescue. She is about 9 weeks old and enjoys her stuffed squirrel toys, playing with her 6 year old human brother, and sleeping on people's heads.
Lucy the parakeet is about 1 1/2 years old. She is extremely social and loves making kissy noises. She demands attention and will scream in your ear from her perch on your shoulder if she is not given proper consideration. She also loves playing with dogs.
This is Tink (short for Tinker), age 15. Tinker's mom was abandoned by her human companions when they moved away from their home on Lake Tillery in Mt Gilead, NC, and left her behind, pregnant and alone. Since Tinker's mom was an indoor / outdoor cat, the loving humans next door provided Tinker's mom a new home base after her former humans left. Tinker's mom gave birth to Tinker and his four siblings on the shore of Lake Tillery. Since Tinker was born in late October, it was already cold, so his mom kept the kittens nested on the heated porch of the loving family that assumed care of her. I had the pleasure of knowing this family and they wanted to find perfect homes for all of the kittens because they could not keep them all. The other kittens got selected and Tinker was the last one left and that is how I got Tinker. He takes treats very seriously, and he likes to use his paw to tap your eyelids, while you are asleep, for treats...anywhere between 11pm - 7 am.
Dundee is an Australian Shepherd and he’s 12 weeks old. We saw him on a Craigslist post and got him from a nice couple whose dogs had puppies. He loves his alligator toy, thanks Aunt Lauren!, and he loved his owl toy so much that he destroyed it in two days. Dundee is still figuring the world out, which mostly involves trying to chew everything, but he's really smart and very friendly to dogs and people. He's still not sure about cats, but we're trying to teach him that cats are friends too. A couple times a day he'll lose his mind and get the zoomies, but otherwise he's a real cuddle bug.
Possum is a 12 year old calico persian male. I adopted him two years ago from a local breeding cattery, where he was being used as a breeder and show cat. He was also being loaned out to research labs for genetic testing. A fun fact about Possum is that he is a chimera, meaning he has an extra X chromosome. Chimerism gives Possum his coloring, since typically only female cats are calico. Possum mostly enjoys sleeping, snuggling, and bird-watching from his cat tree. One of my favorite things about him is how loud he purrs. I can often hear him purring from another room! Since I've adopted him, I've trained him how to play dead, like his namesake.
Meet Zachary the Greyhound: the laziest dog ever to inspire a dissertation AND a book. How did he do it?
Greyhound racing had long been a neglected topic in human-animal studies. In order to rectify this gap in the literature, I wanted to learn more about the intersection between animal protection and greyhound racing in the United States. Alas! In 2013 the University Press of Kansas published my book “Going to the Dogs: Greyhound Racing, Animal Activism, and American Popular Culture.” In 2014 the book received the award for the best sports monograph by the North American Society for Sport History.
Zachary the Greyhound was bred for greyhound racing and was placed at the West Memphis track, but never actually raced. He was adopted through Greyhound Pets of America, a “racing-neutral” adoption group. Zachary lived a full life of laziness in Nashville, Tennessee, as he supervised the research and writing process from the sofa.
This little guy is Stickeen, my one-year-old Whippet-Jack Russell mix I adopted in January from the amazing Saving Grace Animals for Adoption. He and his littermates were dropped at a shelter before they were properly weaned, and as the runt he had to be hand-fed by his foster mom. Now he's a healthy and peppy boy, with loving eyes, long legs that send him zooming around the yard, and the happiest tale I've ever seen. Stickeen's named after a dog naturalist John Muir had adventures with while exploring Alaska. My Stickeen wants to be friends with every dog and person he meets, which reminds me of Dug from Up, "I have just met you, and I love you."
Gilligan and Winifred
Gilligan is a seven-year-old black and white tabby who loves nothing more than to sit on his dad’s lap and receive pets all day. He’s named after Gilligan from Gilligan’s Island. I adopted Gilligan from a woman on Craigslist who had three female cats that all had kittens at the same time. When I picked him out, I discovered that he was one of fifteen kittens from those three litters. Fifteen!! You might think it was hard to decide when there were so many, but for me it was love at first teeny kitten scream. He was only seven weeks old when I adopted him, and he was so tiny. But he made up for that--now he’s 18 pounds of muscle and mischief. He loves his dad, naps, treats, bird-watching, and me, in that particular order.
Winifred is a new addition to the family. My husand and I adopted her last week from the Wake County SPCA. We kept the name she came with, but I like to say she was named after Winifred Sanderson from Hocus Pocus. She’s three years old (we think), and she’s had at least one litter of kittens, which is hard to believe because she’s so small! We’re still getting to know her and figuring out what she loves best, but we knew from the moment that we met her that she was a total cuddlebug. We’re looking forward to introducing her to her big brother and giving her a life in the lap of luxury, just like she deserves. I have a feeling she’s going to rule the roost!
Maxwell and Floyd
We adopted Max (5, right) from the Granville Animal Shelter and Floyd (1, left) from Independent Animal Rescue. We met them and their foster families at adoption events at local pet stores. Floyd likes to snuggle and wrestle with Max. A new morning routine includes some petting after I grind coffee. Max likes to sleep in the linen closet, groom Floyd, and eat. In the morning, he likes to sit in the kitchen sink while I get breakfasts and lunches prepped (which isn't at all annoying).
Happy Thanksgiving from the SCRC! We hope you've enjoyed this post as much as we enjoyed writing it.