Real Rescue Stories from Kansas City – Part 2

This post is the continuation of yesterday’s Q&A with Nicole, an animal advocate in Kansas City.

Kingsley and Lucy

Kingsley and Lucy

How many pets total do you have of your own?

We currently have four cats and two dogs.  Two of the cats, Dirk and Frankie, we’ve had since they were kittens, and really were the first and only pets we ever ‘sought’ out.  One of the cats, Lucy, was a foster that we were only supposed to be responsible for for a short time, but her owner never reclaimed her.  Kingsley we found on Cliff Drive, and never even tried to find a home for.

As for the dogs, Butters and Max Powers, I’ve told you how Butters came into our lives.  Max Power is really the luckiest of all of our rescues.  I found him in a tennis court in Valentine Park.  I was walking Chester Sauce and we came across these two dogs.  I stopped to see if they had tags.  One of them did.  The other, Max Power, bit me when I stretched my hand out for him to sniff.  After that, I began to walk away, and he snapped at me again.  Even though he didn’t want me to touch him, they both followed Chester and I.  He’s been by my side since then.  He has also stopped biting people, but remains suspicious of most new comers.  He’s completely food and disc golf driven.


Tell me about Butters.

Oh, Butters.  Butters was a dog that showed up one day roaming our block.  I had seen him following a younger couple, and they kept throwing sticks at him saying, “Get away” He just followed along with his tail wagging desperate for some love.  One day I was sitting on the front porch when he passed, and I hollered out to him.  He came immediately over and melted my heart.  His tail and back hips wiggle with such an intense rhythm, that made him impossible to turn away.  He is a big dog, and the husband and I were really trying not to take in any more animals, so we advertised the shit out of him.  We asked everyone we knew, we made him his own Facebook page, and would post cute pictures of him and describe the things he likes to do…and still couldn’t find him a willing companion.  Then, eventually we stopped trying.  I couldn’t imagine him living anywhere else now.  He’s so incredibly in love with my husband.

Butters did have to spend some time at a training camp though.  He was horrible on a leash, and loved to jump up on everyone.  He’s better at both, but will never be trusted to hang out off of his leash.  He’s also so protective of us, that when we come across other dogs on a walk, he freaks out.  He’ll lunge and bark and, act a fool, embarrassing us.  We hope this will continue to get better with age, but it seems unlikely.  He loves to play with other dogs, and is very social, but once you leash him, he thinks it’s his job to make sure no one gets near.

Max Power

Max Power

Do you think your pets are ready for the baby?

It’s hard to say.  They seem to be more glued to me than ever.  Here at 40 weeks pregnant, I never have any personal space, there is always at least one animal guarding me.  Often times my husband will come home from work and find all six animals on the couch with me.  The dogs I don’t really worry about at all.  Only the juggling act that walking them and the baby will create.  However, there are two of the cats that are a little less friendly.  And one cat who no matter what we rig up, is capable of climbing over the baby gate and getting into the baby’s crib.  This is a pattern we are trying hard to break.  I think everyone will be fine once the initial dust settles.  After all, with all the different animals that have come and gone through our pack, and all the times we’ve moved, our animals are actually quite flexible and willing to give strangers a chance.

Frankie and Dirk

Frankie and Dirk

What is the most important thing about animals you want your child to know?

For me, it’s to respect them and to have empathy.  I don’t think of any of the animals that live with us to be our ‘pets’.  They’re our companions and they are here because of a mutual respect and trust.  We don’t own them.  I think he’ll pick this up just from what he sees around our house, and those of our friends and families.

However, I know it’ll be hard to explain why the five cats that live on or under the porch live outside, while the inside cats live inside.  One day, I know we’ll have our hands full when he starts bringing home animals too.

Readers: What do you want children – yours or anyone else’s – about animals?


About crystalwayward

I live with two formerly wayward dogs. I care deeply about the environment, and I think gardening is a revolutionary act.

Posted on December 15, 2012, in Dogs, Dogtography, Fostering, Neighbors and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. What beautiful, amazing stories. And those names – I love them!

  2. Sounds like walking the dogs with the baby will be the most trouble – hope that sorts itself quickly! The cats will be jealous but they’ll get over it 😉

  3. Thanks for another great post – I love the names too…Butters, Max Power – just great !

  4. This has been a great interview. It warms my heart to hear about all these people who are helping animals in need and passing it along to their children. One of the greatest things we can teach children is compassion for living things.

  5. Great stories. As someone who has always rescued and with kids that grew up in a home full of pets and working at the cat shelter, I taught them to be aware that they are not alone on this planet and that those that can not speak for themselves, need us to speak for them. You teach your children by example, not by just placing money in a donation envelope. They all love and care for animals, and that to me is my greatest gift.

  6. I enjoyed reading the stories. Thank you for sharing! I hope all goes well when the baby arrives. I am sure everyone will settle down quickly. We were a little concerned when we brought a new kitten (Barnaby) to live with us but Bassa was wonderful and they are constant companions. There is a huge size difference but Bassa is very careful never to step on him and is extremely tolerant and patient with Barnaby who can be quite boisterous 🙂

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