Adopt! Don’t Shop!
We encourage all animal lovers to adopt when getting new pets. Purchasing pets leaves a pet in a shelter that otherwise could have a new home. And make sure and spay / neuter your pets, all ours are.
All of our current bunch of pets in the Derrick household are rescues in one way or another (except the tropical fish). We always like to help find animals a ‘furever home’. This is a list of the current residents and their story listed by seniority.
Fred came from a family member in 2002 who had rescued him but then found he didn’t get along with their current cats. Fred easily fit in with our pets at the time and has slowly worked up to the alpha cat that the others all respect. You could say he is alpha pet as the dogs give him leeway as well. He is the one cat that will always find me when I’m sitting on the porch and jump in my lap for a nap. He’s quite bold except when there are storms then he cowers in the basement. But then most our pets do the same.
Merlin is a beautiful longhair that adopted us in 2008 by just showing up on the back porch. He was hanging around one afternoon and just walked up to me while grilling dinner that evening. I picked him up and he purred up a storm and never left. He has a personality based on the fact he knows he is cute and won’t let us forget it. He’s a happy kitty and gets along with everyone. He has become The Derrick Team mascot because he is so photogenic and everyone thinks he’s cute, which of course he is.
Skittles is another longhair that just showed up one day in 2010. Once he figured out this is a great place to live he never left. While he is still considered semi-feral he will let Connie pick him up and take him into the ‘cat room’ for the night. His name of course is based on the fact he normally skittles when people get too close to him. But he too gets along with all the other pets and has settled in as a permanent member of our pet clan.
Bailey came about after we had just lost our last dog Jazz around Xmas of 2011 due to sudden illness. Connie was working with Ark Foster Care at the time and found her on their web site. We had both hated not having a dog in the house and we adopted her in Jan 2012. She is an awesome dog and everyone loves her. She is a very happy dog now as she was found in an outdoor shed with 10 puppies. So after a hard life in the beginning she now enjoys guarding our couch every day.
Juno came from a family member who was no longer in a position to care for her. She is an older dog but is very healthy and loving. She immediately attached to Connie and will follow her everywhere in the house. Even though she is smaller than Bailey by half, she still tends to act as the alpha dog, but that’s probably more because Bailey just doesn’t care. Juno’s goal in life is to always warn us when the mailman is around. Apparently she doesn’t want us to get the bills in the mail.
Sassy is our most recent rescue in late 2015. She came from Luv A Dog and is a young full blooded GSD. She was mistreated by her former owner so local animal control removed her from the home and a kind policeman took her in for police dog training. Unfortunately (but good for us) she flunked out of police dog school so we were lucky enough to adopt her. She’s one very large puppy and full of love. We’ve owned GSD’s before and love the breed. Despite failing school she still makes a great guard dog. Her favorite toys are rocks, empty carboard boxes, and sticks.
If you love a breed, there are rescues out there so Adopt! Don’t Shop!
Myrtle is painted turtle that came from a former co-worker in 2009. At some point she was a cute pet store turtle that then grew up and became a burden (turtles are very easy to care for). We setup a tank in the fish room and she has been happy to eat and sun under her lamp and continues to grow. Turtles can live for a long time.
Rose is another type of painted turtle that came from a friend of a friend in 2011. They were moving and once again the turtle was too much work. So she has her own tank next to Myrtle and is enjoying a nice life in comfort.
The Tropical Fish Room
After many years of having fish tanks in the house I finally built a dedicated room in our large pole barn / garage in 2009. Originally setup to breed angel fish it’s now setup to just enjoy watching the fish in 3 tanks totaling about 240 gallons. We enjoy sitting out there in the evenings and relaxing. It’s especially nice on cold winter nights to as we heat the room to tropical temperatures.
In 2005 I dug out a 35’x40’x5’ hole in back of the barn and created our own little pond retreat. Setup with plants, waterfall, gold fish, and a small wood deck, it’s become a nice place to relax on warm summer evenings. The pond also has self-populated with bullfrogs, crawdads, and an occasional turtle. Every winter the pond freezes and each spring it thaws and comes back to life. It’s a natural wildlife habitat and both our cats and the neighbor cats like to hang out there.
Rocky is another kitty that just showed up in 2009. He’s talkative and friendly but won’t trust just anyone. In the end only our neighbor could pick him up so we agreed to share him. We split the cost to have him neutered and while he visits with us sometimes he mostly spends time in their horse barn in back.