Buckle up, this is a long one.
This house is run by two Australian shepherd mixes named Guinness and Mazie. They have to be everywhere we are, and Mazie in particular must always have me somehow in her line of sight. That means that all of the time spent in the office leads to a small black floof curled up in her bed in the corner, while the bigger floof is either snoozing in the hallway with his head halfway in the door or using the guest bed as his own personal oversize dog bed.
Guinness came to me first. He was ten months old and advertised on PetFinder as an Australian shepherd mix that came out of a high kill shelter in West Virginia right before he was set to be euthanized. I say "advertised" because his profile picture made him look like more a long hair dachshund, as opposed to a red merle Aussie mix. The picture didn't phase me though, I was going to get him. As soon as the rescue approved my application I drove four hours north to collect him.
He's been the light of my life ever since I brought him home.
He's so gentle, sweet and kind. On my worst flare days when my health is absolutely terrorizing me, he checks on me throughout the day. He's so intuitive and smart that he will consistently blow your mind. Then he throws you for a complete loop with a case of the zoomies and some of the most obnoxious barking you've ever heard.
His initial journey was a tough one. He had no idea how to potty while on a leash, let alone walk on a leash at all. The first night he was home, we picked up a 50 foot lightweight rope, hooked him up, and sat in the rain for two hours outside until he finally realized he could in fact, poop, while hooked up to a leash. After that hurdle, we worked on leash manners. He's a quick learner!
Throughout this journey, I lost a lot of things to the destructive chewing and separation anxiety. We struggled constantly to figure out how to keep him safe and calm while he was home alone. We went through all kinds of crates, soothing items, every step possible to reduce his anxiety until it finally dawned on me that the only source of his anxiety wasn't being alone. It was the damn crate.
Rescue dogs are hard. Not knowing what he had been through in those short ten months before he forever became my family meant that I made a lot of mistakes and spent a lot of time chasing my own tail.
Once we both made the conscious effort to nix the crate, start all over again, and stop chewing up all of my shit, we made a miraculous discovery. He was completely content hanging out in a closed room with a window. As long as he could see out of a window, with no blinds in his way, he was the happiest camper there ever was. No more chewed shoes, coat hangers, sunglasses or clothing. No more stressed out pup and no more stressed out Jess. It was glorious!
Funnily enough, some of the best photos I have of him are in front of..... you guessed it, a window!
He's now eight years old, loves my husband more than me, but loves his Grandpa most of all. He's still the most gentle dog I've ever been around, and he's still way too smart for his own good. The house we all live in now has two sliding glass doors, and he knows how to knock when he wants to come back in from the fenced in yard. He also knows if he knocks on Grandpa's window, that Grandpa will come to the other side of the house to let him in. He's trained us all very well.
Then, well, then there's Mazie.
Mazie was also supposed to be euthanized. I worked in an animal hospital that her original owners were clients of. Her human dad brought her in and explained that she needed to be euthanized because she was "peeing in the house and nipping the kids."
She was only seven and in perfect health.
The animal hospital was able to convince him that if he was willing to pay to euthanize her, that instead they could find her a new home and he could just pay for an updated exam and vaccines. I wasn't working the day that she was brought in, so I didn't actually meet Mazie until the following day.
The reception area I worked in was closed off, so when I arrived to work she was hiding under the desk. As soon as I sat on the floor she timidly approached me and then promptly flopped in my lap. It was an instant connection and I knew she needed to live with us.
I spent four days convincing my now husband that we did in fact need another dog. He was adamant that we couldn't handle another dog with him, Guinness and myself already in a one bedroom apartment. Four days later, we compromised and I brought her home.
This is the first photo I took of her, five minutes after getting into the apartment.
Needless to say, she made herself right at home. Here we are four years later, and she's convinced she's the baby (even though she's three years older than Guinness.) Her and Guinness have bonded incredibly well, and she's become my anxiety buddy.
She's a nervous pup who is attached to her human. She's a snuggler. An incredible food demon who begs relentlessly. And an absolute lush. She's by my side 90% of the time and I have come to rely on her company immensely.
Here's some of the photos we've collected over the last four years of having her in our little family.
She doesn't pee in the house and I've never seen her even approach a child even though we've had her around plenty of them.
News to you previous Mazie owners, she's perfect and happy!
Now that you've met the two rulers of the Pen and Inked house, rest assured that at least one of them, if not both, watch your orders being produced and packed with the utmost scrutiny.
These two make appearances all the time on our Instagram stories. join us on IG to see more of them!