Juno ( with the question mark tail ) is one of my regular little clients. He lives with his much loved human family and his furry brother and sisters ( Tilly and Roxy, who are dogs, and Joey who is a cat. )
From the first time I met Juno I knew he was “special”. Some pets are just that bit different and Juno is one such cat. He always “appears” as soon as I arrive and follows me around happily. He loves a chat and a pat, but doesn’t like to be picked up. Juno would rather sit on the table or bench and watch me preparing food for the dogs or writing notes to his owner. He just loves company. When I mentioned this to Juno’s owner, she told me an amazing story about him. This is her story.............
“Juno’s one of a kind in many ways. Apart from the fact that he’s a bit funny looking, with a ‘question-mark’ tail that was broken when he was just a kitten, he also has a temperament that is quite different to the other cats I’ve ever adopted.
He’s a gregarious creature who loves being near people and receiving their devoted attention- as long as they pat and scratch his ears and whisper to him and kiss his forehead but don’t pick him up! Because of his excessive need for company, and his very relaxed nature, he comes to school with me every Tuesday to meet up with one of my 15 year-old students in the Enhanced Learning department. Jimmy has Apserger’s Syndrome and so struggles making friends. But he does love his cats and so, when Jimmy was really hating school at the beginning of the year, I decided to bring Juno to in see him every Tuesday, which would give him something to look forward to each week. This has made an enormous difference in Jimmy’s school experience.
The amazing thing is that Juno really seems to feel at home at the school now. He wanders in and out of my office at will and onto the basketball courts (which are very noisy and un-cat-friendly, as you might imagine) and even into the art room next door. He also graciously accepts pats from anyone walking past. Now he has even developed a bit of a following and receives regular visitors; but Jimmy remains his very closest companion, and best friend, every Tuesday.”
Max is a normal, happy, healthy Labrador who lives at Wishart. Labs are known for their friendly, playful natures and make great family dogs. But Max is different to most other Labradors. He has been totally deaf since birth. His world is silent.
Max’s family write...........
“Max was a country dog and was raised for the first few months of his life in Bathurst NSW. When we first met Max he had a look on his face like he had never “left the farm”. He was a curious Lab and boy did he live up to the Labrador name in terms of chewing!! He ate our driveway lights, 2 walls in our house and dug many a plant out of our gardens !! However, he is and always has been, a calm mannered, easy going dog and great with our boys. It wasn’t until Max turned 2 or 3 that we began to think something was wrong with his hearing and soon found out that he was deaf. We trained him with hand signals and now our boys signal to him too. He watches them eagerly to see his “time to eat” signal !! He is an awesome dog and we think his deafness adds to his charm and “Zen” way of being. We love him dearly.”
Max was a delight to care for while his family were away. There is a calmness about him that is infectious even when he is being playful. On warm days I would open the gate to the pool and Max would plunge in and swim around. He loves a swim ! He obeys hand signals promptly and once given the signal to “sit”, he will not move until signalled to do so. He is obedient and loving.
I can imagine the happiness and special blessings Max brings to his loving family.
We all love our pets. They are a part of our lives, our family. The most difficult and saddest time in a pet owner's life is when they have to say goodbye to their best friend. It is someting that as pet owners and lovers we all empathise with, understand and share.
Until he moved with his family to New Zealand earlier in the year Luke was one of my regular and favourite little clients. I often cared for him and like everyone else, fell in love with his delightful nature and special qualities.
Luke loved life with a passion as well as his family which consisted of his owner "Mum" and his fellow doggie mate Jodie and two cats Thomas and Gizmo (Gizmo----------who thinks he is a dog !) He shared a special bond with his owner "Mum" and was loyal and faithful to her always.
But when she had to travel and I came to visit and care for him he was full of beans, greeted me excitedly and loved going for his walks and getting his treat when he came home.
I will always remember the very first time I came to visit at Luke's house............ There they were the whole four of them...................... staring defiantly out through the glass front doors at me with Luke and Jodie barking madly and warning me not to come any further ! However, when I continued on and actually turned the key in the lock, the whole four of them belted up the hall and hid in the main bedroom!! One by one they slowly began coming out and soon we were all the very best of mates. I was truely sad when they left to live in New Zealand.
Sadly Luke passed away recently at 9 years of age. Luke taught us all what unconditional love is all about. He had a natural joy and love of life that was infectious. We who knew and loved him are all enriched by having Luke in our lives.
"Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole" - Roger Caras
Cutie is a regular and very much loved. She is now close to the grand old age of 23, very frail and slower than she used to be. Her meow has become a croak and it is obvious she neither hears or sees well. But she is happy and spends her days curled up in her bed under the patio or taking the sun and breeze on the lawn.
Cutie was chosen as a Christmas present back in 1986 after someone placed an ad in the local paper for free kittens. She soon became an integral part of the family,would let the little girls dress her up and loved to sleep on their beds if they were sick. The arrival of her new sister Bella four years ago was not accepted initially.....there was alot of hissing and howling !!!
Of course now Cutie is nearly 23 life is more sedate, eating, sleeping and lying in the sun - as long as Bella doesn't decide to pounce !
She loves a cuddle and a brush and she still has a very healthy appetite !
I think she just might get her letter from the Queen !