"I’m an animal cuddler. I love spooning with my dogs in bed, carrying them in my arms, curling up on the couch together and giving them tons of affection. I believe in structure and training, too, of course. But in my soul, it’s all about the snuggles.
Until recently, I had three dogs – my two snuggly, senior minpin boys and my sassy Chihuahua named Joni. I recently lost both my boys to old age, and missed them terribly. Joni - who I love just as she is- couldn’t offer me the solace I craved. She is independent, aloof and weird and not into cuddles; she’s uncomfortable being held, enjoys love on her own terms and prefers affection in limited doses. I adore her exactly as she is, but my arms were always empty now - I missed being able to curl up with a dog and snuggle.
Until Sweetie showed up, I had no idea how much I missed it.
I’ve been a longtime foster for Motley Zoo, but had stopped a few years ago when my boys required more senior care. When they passed, I thought about fostering again, but Joni is socially awkward and most dogs don’t appreciate her weirdo ways. I also wanted to enjoy the calm of a one-dog household, and knew Joni deserved some long overdue undivided attention. This was great for both of us, but at the same time, the air still felt heavy. Something was missing from the household, a certain energy, lightness, joie de vivre - fun.
This all changed over Memorial Day. Sweetie’s foster was going on vacation and needed someone to watch her. I offered, as I thought it would be a nice way to help for a specific time frame, and get a weekend of snuggles!
I was not expecting to fall in love. And I was definitely not expecting for Joni to feel the same way. But the moment Sweetie entered, her cheerful nature engulfed the house, and the energy oozed happiness. Her zest was infectious and accommodating; I got to snuggle and Joni got to play, play, play (something she rarely, if ever, did). Sweetie actually wanted to play back! I watched in awe. Joni seemed happy, I felt happy, the house felt alive. It was like she was meant for us.
Honestly, I found it baffling that Sweetie had been in Motley Zoo’s care for two years. She was small, silly, young, sweet … an honest tribute to her name, and usually the kind of dog to be quickly scooped up by an adopter. However, she also has some medical issues that likely made people apprehensive. She requires a special diet and medicine, she’s wobbly and likely deaf, and I’m pretty sure she’s a few bricks shy of a stack. But I was smitten all the same. Admittedly, I’m no stranger to quirky dogs and medical care and even I had to think through the decision to take on such responsibilities. But in the end, I fell for the full "Sweetie package," issues and all. As my mom would say, “what’s a cup of water when you’re taking a bath?”.
Sweetie also reminds me of my two senior boys, Charlie and Spike. I wasn't expecting that from a goofy rat terrier mix. And yet, she has Spike’s floppy ears and random head tilt, Charlie’s proud prance and elegant legs. Spike was black and tan; Charlie, a warm brown. Sweetie is a mix of each. She has Spike’s jovial nature and endearingly bullish lack of self-awareness. She also has Charlie’s gentle nature, passion for snuggles and watching TV curled up on the couch. Plus, like both Charlie and Spike, she loves to spoon.
I wasn’t looking for a second dog when I took Sweetie, just some bonus snuggles. But Sweetie filled a void I didn't know was there. She won me over with her quirky enthusiasm, her special needs and the bond she and Joni formed right away. I had a long talk with Charlie and Spike up in doggie heaven, and I promised them Sweetie wasn’t their replacement. Rather, she would carry on their legacy, while carving out her own. Then I asked Joni if she wanted Sweetie to live with us. She sniffed Sweetie's butt and play-bowed in approval." - Sarah
Ikaika came to Motley Zoo from Maui, where he'd been overlooked in the shelter one too many times.
He was hand selected by a Motley Zoo foster teen who was battling cancer. She'd been granted her "Make a Wish" which she put toward flying dogs from Hawaii to Seattle where they had a better chance of adoption!
Ikaika was with us for a while- seemingly being overlooked here too. But when his new mom saw him, she couldn't resist his charming personality and winning smile, falling head over heels for him!
Now Ikaika has a comfortable, loving home to spend the rest of his golden years!
Little Eathquakes & Cornflake Girl
Little Earthquakes and Cornflake Girl are sister, named after Tori Amos' songs (they even met her!).
Little Earthquakes had a condition called CH, which is a neurological disorder that made her wobbly on her feet. The severity of CH can vary- thankfully, LE's wasn't too bad...but it was still a barrier to adoption.
Their new mom had recently experienced great loss in her life and she was looking for a pair of babies to love and nurse back to health- both theirs and hers...
It was love at first sight- now these girls are both provided- and providing- tons of TLC.
Barry Manilow came to us from California, when his family had to give him up due to a terminal illness in the family.
He arrived pretty matted, with significant cataracts but a heart of gold...and it was only a matter of time until he crooned his way into the heart of his new family who can't smile without him!
Barry especially fell for the daughter's dog and he follows her around like a puppy!
Now he lives the life of a rock star with his loving family and runs around barking, "Looks like we made it"!