We East Dallasites love our pets, and just animals in general, too.
The Advocate has an issue dedicated to pets. Not to mention, we often write about animals on our website.
Here are a few of the pets from our neighborhood included in our coverage this year.
Bentley, the dog who can’t be coaxed by treats, was featured in our annual pet issue. Read more here.
Mini Cooper is the one-eyed chihuahua who just wants love. Read more here.
Maggie is the smallest of the Truppa family’s three dogs, but she has the biggest personality. Read more here.
Miss Fussy Britches the turkey and Ollie the goat
Junius Heights neighbor Liesl McQuillan is the proud owner of a turkey, goat, six chickens, three cats, a bunny and a cockatiel. Read more here.
Moonshine, Ginny, Tootsie and Poppy
Abraham French and his family have four goats: Moonshine, Ginny, Tootsie and Poppy. They like to eat pumpkins and weeds. Read more here.
Polly was lost for a while, and neighbors reported sightings on Facebook. In the end, she was reunited with her owner. Read more here.
Kitty Clark’s 101-year-old mother used to live with her and Clark’s 14-year-old dog. After that dog died, Clark waited for a while before adopting Lucy to replace her. “It gave [her mom] a lot of joy, and now she gives me a lot of joy, too,” Clark says. Clark, who lives near East University Boulevard and Skillman Street, adopted the Morkie from Petland when she was only a few months old. She named Lucy after Lucille Ball, and she sometimes calls her Lucille. Lucy is a great lap dog and hates to go on walks, but plays constantly. One of her favorite games is putting a squeaky ball underneath her bed and then jumping on the bed to hear the sound. “She expects a toy every time I bring a bag home, and she usually gets one,” Clark says. Lucy isn’t shy; she loves other dogs and people alike. She loves to bark at leaves, lizards and squirrels, and also screams. One time, a neighbor called the mobile grooming company, thinking someone was hurting a dog. But it was just Lucy expressing her frustration about getting a bath. “She’s a crazy little thing, I’m telling you,” Clark says.
Taxy, aka Pookie
To most people, her name is Taxy. But to her owner, Steve Levin, her name is Pookie. Months after his wife died in April 2015, Levin decided to make some changes in his life. He did some renovations at his home, and he was anxious to get a pet. That’s where Taxy, so named because she was born on Tax Day, came into the picture. “She keeps me responsible in a big way, but it keeps me grounded, too, with that responsibility,” Levin says. It didn’t take long for Taxy to make the home her own. She’s found lots of hiding places inside and in the yard, which Levin has had to “cat-proof,” patching up any holes whenever Taxy escapes. Taxy spends most of her time outside but still comes inside to use her litter box. Don’t mistake her tendency to be outside as a sign of antisocial behavior; she’s a good travel companion and sits on Levin’s lap almost the whole time in the car on their trips to Florida to visit Levin’s family. Another unusual thing about Taxy is that her teeth are very clean. Levin suspects it’s because she has an affinity for chewing on plastic straws, which he keeps in cups throughout the house.
When their neighbors couldn’t give Peaches the attention and time she needed, Little Forest Hills neighbors Debbie and John Brown offered to help. They took in the then 8-year-old maltipoo two years ago. It took about two weeks for Peaches to transition to her new home and family, but she’s all settled in now. She even knows how to get back to the house from any place in the neighborhood. When the library held “feel-good Fridays” during the pandemic, Peaches gave new meaning to downward dog and laid on the yoga mat while Debbie followed along with the class. Peaches is a bit of a creature of habit. She prefers grilled chicken for dinner and usually gets ready for bed underneath the desk around 8:30 p.m. And she’s smart, too. When the Browns’ granddaughter texts to tell them she’s there, Peaches recognizes the sound. “She’s always happy to see family and friends,” Debbie says.
When a pet foster family messaged Priscilla Garcia about adopting a Siberian Husky in 2014, she wasn’t sure she was ready for a new dog yet. Her previous one, Brue, had died in May. But in October, Garcia agreed to take the 18-month-old dog, Red, home for a day and find out how he acted. She never returned him to the foster home. Garcia couldn’t decide on a new name, so she kept calling her new pet “Buddy.” It stuck. “He likes to do what he wants when he wants,” Garcia says. Sometimes when she comes home from work, Buddy gives her a side-eye to let her know she disturbed his nap. But Buddy is friendly and gets along with people and other dogs. Garcia’s young nephews ride him like a horse, and Buddy doesn’t have any problems at his daycare. “He loves attention, of course, but he also likes independence,” she says.
Thomas Prejean adopted Touch when she was just 8 weeks old. He didn’t find out the border collie mix was blind in both eyes until two years later. “She’s the smartest dog I’ve ever met in my life,” he says. “She never bumped into anything in the house.” Still, Prejean thought Touch needed a second pair of eyes. He brought home Prism, but the golden retriever quickly took advantage of Touch’s inability to see. “She would steal all of Touch’s toys, so I got a bell to put around her neck so Touch would always know where she is.” Friends started calling Prism “Jingles” because of the tinkling bell around her collar, and the name stuck. Prejean keeps his mischievous pups in line with treats, and he’s not afraid to use “bribery, extortion and blackmail.” “I carry a bunch of treats in my pocket,” he says, “and they know that everything revolves around that right pocket.” — Jaime Dunaway-Seale
With both sons going off to college, Rachel Rose wanted a dog that would cuddle with her when she was alone. She loved the companionship of the Cavalier King Charles and the playfulness of the beagle. She found a hybrid – called the beaglier – online and adopted 8-month-old Stella from a breeder in Alabama. “It’s a fun and relatively new breed,” Rose says. “When I’m walking her, people stop and ask what kind of dog she is. I don’t think there are very many in Texas.” Stella, named after a character in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” likes to play fetch and, despite Rose’s best efforts, dig in the yard. “We did some yard work, and we’re teaching her bad habits,” Rose says. “We were pulling weeds, and she’s like, ‘I like to pull out weeds.’ She thought they were set out for her because they’re dried like sticks.” — Jaime Dunaway-Seale
Pippa and the Parker family go together like a wink and a smile. The 8-month-old sheepadoodle winks at family members when she wants to communicate with them, and it never fails to make them smile, owner Alison Parker says. “She has human characteristics,” Parker says. “She loves to give bear hugs, and she’ll shake your hand with her paw.” The Parkers adopted Pippa in October after their beagle of 15 years died. Parker’s husband grew up with a poodle and an Old English sheepdog, and he wanted a pet that embodied the best qualities of his two favorite dogs. In a nod to her English heritage, the family named the pooch Pippa after Kate Middleton’s sister. “Last year was hard for the kids,” Parker says. “She’s been a light through all of it.” — Jaime Dunaway-Seale
Jessie Ruth, Blanche and Wilma
Caruth Terrace residents Allison and Bobby Holaday had a case of pandemic puppy FOMO when all their neighbors rescued a dog last year. But with Bobby’s allergies to dogs and cats, the couple found themselves at Rooster Home & Hardware. They brought home three chicks: Jessie Ruth, Blanche and Wilma. “One of our neighbors raised chickens, and on our walks last spring, we thought, ‘Hey, this looks pretty easy,’” Allison says. “We always said we’d get chickens at our next house, but I realized we’re not going anywhere. I garden, and chickens are a natural addition to my existing hobbies.” The 7-month-old hens happily peck at bugs in the backyard but will come running to anyone who has treats of dried mealworms, corn mix, lettuce or fruit. They love being held at night and will stretch out their necks to fall asleep on the Holadays’ shoulders. “The more you interact with them, the more they treat you like pets, not farm animals,” Allison says. — Jaime Dunaway-Seale
Brittney Lefkovits had never owned a dog, but she promised her husband they could get one for his birthday. They were driving when they saw a box of labra- doodle puppies for sale. Penelope was the last one in the litter. “I’ve been scared of dogs my whole life, and this sweet girl has opened my heart in ways I never knew I was capable of,” Lefkovits says. Affectionately called Penny Lane, she has a knack for rolling in mud and bringing in leaves, grass and other bits of nature that cling to her Velcro-like fur. The 3-year-old pet is afraid of boxes, household cleaning items, strangers and loud noises. What she lacks in bravery, she makes up for in affection. She always joins Lefkovits and her 1-year-old son for bedtime stories, and she shares her toys better than he does. “She’s got a sweet awareness of when people need a little more gentleness,” Lefkovits says. Penelope loves to crunch on carrots, lick the air when the family cooks and sit by the high chair to scoop up whatever her brother drops on the floor. She would be most content with an unending supply of peanut butter. — Jaime Dunaway-Seale
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