In this bonus episode, Kendall and Corey share the story of how they became “crazy” pet people. Happy Father’s Day!
Father’s Day with Kendall and Corey
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Welcome back to season three of Family Twist. And this is a bonus episode that doesn't involve human story at all, except our connection to our pets. So- Well, we're humans. Exactly, exactly. That's what I mean. It's not like there are other people on the episode with us, but- Correct, but yes. People have definitely called us crazy pet people for sure. Yep. And you know, I mean, we didn't start off as crazy pet people. When you and I met, I had one cat named Tootie and you had three dogs. I did. So maybe I was already the crazy pet person. I had two Italian Greyhounds, which if listeners have not... been exposed to those dogs. They're unique, I think. They're known for being a bit neurotic and probably both of them were to some degree. But I rescued both of them before I met Cory. I had a male named Tony who was seven years old when I got him but then he was 11 at the time that Cory came into my life. And then I got her, the female, Italian Greyhound, I got her when she was about a year old. And so, she was about almost 5. Oh no, she was 5 when Cory and I met. And then I had a cute little baby, little tiny thing, little miniature dachshund. And she was a mini mini. She was 7 pounds soaking wet and very short. And that was Phoebe and she was about a year and a half old when Cory and I met Yeah, she kind of started our trend of the F sounds with pets, right? Even though you know her name doesn't have an F in it. It's just got that sound that pH sound, right? So yeah, that was that was where we were at the beginning and then Shortly after we started dating a good friend of ours Was moving and could not take her cat and that cat was Mr. Bernie who we just lost a little bit earlier this year. He was made it to 19 and he was a year old when we got him and Kendall is very allergic to cats. I am. I am. When Cory and I first started talking about moving in with each other I was already worried about the fact that he his little Tootie and I really hadn't been around her much so I didn't know whether I was going to be allergic to her, you know, severely allergic and I was when I finally got to meet her. Ironically, I really never was as allergic to Mr. Bernie as I was to Tootie, but we should back up a little bit and explain that. Right after Cory and I started dating... Tony, the male Italian Greyhound, got sick and he ended up passing away in July, so we started dating in March. So you know, just a few months Cory got to know him, but sweet, sweet boy and I was devastated when he died. But it was around that same time that Bernie came to live with me before Cory had actually even moved in. We had already made plans for Cory to move in with me in September, so Mr. Bernie was there for a couple of months before Cory was. And how did he do with the two dots? Actually, you know, he did really well. In fact, you know that Zuni could be loud. That's a nice way to say it. And she would walk up right to Mr. Bernie's face and bark right in his face. And he just looked at her like, I don't know why you would do that to me. And just kind of almost as if you're shrugging his shoulders and walking away. But pretty early on, they were all on the couch. You know, there was no animosity. I just feel like Bernie probably wanted to play with the dogs more than they understood that he would. So it was kind of comical because he really tried to. run around and I think try to get them to chase him type thing and of course Phoebe would some Zuni was not having any of that. Well Bernie was an indoor outdoor cat for the first year of his life when he wasn't living with us and that was a little bit of an adjustment for him to get used to so he definitely tried to escape you know several times you have to watch yourself when you're leaving the house because he might try to dart out. Right. Right. And you know, where we lived, it would have, I think it would have been dangerous. I mean, I, yeah, I never would have been a proponent in that neighborhood, you know, for having an indoor, outdoor cat. I feel like it was busy enough that cars alone would have been scary. Right. So, yeah. So then, you know, when I moved in, of course, Tootie came with me and Bernie just antagonized the heck out of her. I mean, he just loved to pester that poor cat. So, yeah, he was Bernie, you know, we in his later years just became the sweetest, sweetest boy. But we have to remember like in his early years, he was a little mischief maker. Oh, very rambunctious. I mean, it's funny because before Cory had moved in with me, I had. those door handles that are levers, not knobs. And Bernie very quick, maybe he already knew how to use them, but he very quickly opened any door he wanted in that condo. He could just hang on the door handle lever and pop the door open and just go right in, which whatever, wherever. So you never knew where you'd find him because you might not notice that a closet was slightly ajar and, you know, Bernie had sneaked in, you know. So it's kind of comical didn't really know where he'd pop out because of his easy access to things. Right. Well, and that was our pack, you know, for a couple of years, and then we decided to up and move to California, and we were... we drove. And Kendall said, this is gonna be the worst experience of our lives. I don't think it was. It wasn't as bad as you thought it was going to be, but... So imagine a little Scion XD with... two crates in there and two litter boxes. And ultimately, Tootie was by herself because we knew Bernie would just drive for completely nuts during the drive. So then it was Zoonie and Phoebe and Bernie all in one crate. Now we got like tranquilizers or something from the vet to kind of calm them down, which I think we only used on Zoonie and... Maybe Bernie? Yeah, I don't remember. I mean, I remember Zuni, but I don't remember needing it for anybody else. I just remember Bernie like, you know, after a while was like, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr He was definitely affected a little bit. Yeah. And you know, when he got bored, he would just smack Zuni on the face. Yeah. Get her going. He was half of the reason that Zuni needed the tranquilizer, I think. But Zuni, you know, that was gonna be upsetting for her. But in general, actually, I think they all did well. And I don't even think we used more than like a dose, you know? Yeah. So it was two nights. And you know, we thought we were being smart with the litter boxes, you know, when we stopped to get gas, we would take the dogs out, let them do their business, and then let the cats out of their crates so they could use the litter box. Well, they didn't once use the litter boxes in the car or in the motel rooms, but Tootie did manage to get underneath one of the seats, and it took us about 45 minutes to coax her out. It was horrible. I was like, I thought we were just going to live in that parking lot for the rest of our lives. It was, You know, we didn't want to... we could see her and we probably could have grabbed her, but I think that would have freaked her out more, you know. So we were just trying to give her time and coax her out with treats. But she was way too smart for that because she would just take the treat from your hand and go back and hide under the seat. We did find pet friendly motels on the way so that you know because it was gonna be hard to not hide the dogs So that was fine, but then like in the dead of night were sneaking litter boxes into the room under towels and blankets Even though they didn't get used at all And I don't know I don't remember where the cat slept, you know, I think we locked them in the bathroom because You know, we never Still, to this day, our dogs don't have access to the cats. like litter boxes, you know, or food or any of that. And so we definitely locked, I remember now, we locked the cats, shut the cats in the bathroom with the litter boxes in hopes that they would use them. But like you said, I think, I don't know how they did it. I don't even know how that's possible that they held it for so long, but they did. And they seemed, when we arrived in California, they seemed fine. They immediately started eating correctly, drinking water correctly, using the litter boxes. It was. almost amazing how well and how quickly they adjusted. For sure, yeah. Here we are in California. We've got the critters we brought from St. Louis. And it wasn't too long after we got to California that Zuni started with her multiple illnesses. Kendall started calling her Humpty Dumpty because we had to put her back together so many times, but she had like cancer on her face that got removed and then so that her tongue was like permanently getting these weird issues with her eyes and to the point where she was going blind and the vet recommended that we actually remove her eyes which is I'd never even heard of before and people thought we were nuts for doing it but you know after that I mean I think she lived for another three or four years yeah and learned to get around being completely blind and you know found the Yeah, do her business. And yeah, I think she, you know, I think she was fine. I guess, you know, dogs are very resilient. So yeah, you know, I, I don't feel guilty about, you know, putting her back together because she wasn't in any pain. Um, but yeah, so then California is definitely when we, we started our craziness because I worked for a company called Pet Food Express and did marketing and community outreach there. And one of the biggest projects, um, that I worked on was, um, the reintroduction of the Bay Area Pet Fair. A huge, huge event and I'm sure that by the time... I left California, it was the biggest pet adoption event, like in person event in the country. It was huge. It happened over the course of a weekend every year. And yes, hundreds and hundreds of pets went to homes, including ours. I think it was the second year, for whatever reason we decided, you know, hey, we've got room for another dog. So Kendall brought Phoebe. to the pet fair and just trotting down the middle of a row I see this little cute dachshund and you know and I and somebody was you know walking him from one of the rescue groups so I you know immediately went up and said hey you know is he available and he was and so we brought him and Phoebe together. There was like a little like fenced in area where, you know, dogs could get to know each other a little bit. She seemed fine. He seemed fine. And like, I think literally within 15 minutes, like we had him adopted and Kendall was going back home with our dog who we named Falco. And because they didn't he didn't have a name, you know, when we got him, they found him and his brother on the streets of Daly City roaming around. His brother was already adopted. So here's Falco. And he just immediately became part of the pack. Kendall said when they got home, he just jumped up on the couch and curled up. And he did. It was amazing. It was it was cute and funny. And it's like he just already knew what to do. And. walked over and got himself a drink and you know of water and you know just it was kind of fun and when I remembered taking him out into our backyard for the first time to use to go potty. He just, you know, no hesitation, just sniffed everything. He did have to sniff every inch of the backyard. But you know, once he, he just, it's almost like he knew, well, this is where I live now. And he seemed really at ease. For sure, yeah. So. So, you know, I was pretty content with that number of pets. And fast forward a year, back at the Bay Area Pet Fair, and Kendall was visiting, and I just had horse blinders on because I'm like, one, it was super, super busy. And two, it's like, I didn't think we needed any more critters. But then Kendall introduced me to this little Chihuahua mix, and they had gotten a whole batch of dogs in at that time, and they were all named after wine. So that was Grenache and I said, oh yes, Grenache is lovely and somebody's gonna give him a wonderful home. And I immediately said, you're right, we are. So we didn't get Grenache that day, but Kendall said, if that dog doesn't get adopted at the pet fair, then I'm going to get him on Monday. And sure enough, he did. I did. Well, I called. So I think I visited the pet fair on Saturday. On Sunday, at the end of the day, I sent an email to the Berkeley Humane Society, which is who was fostering him, and asked about him. Immediately got an email back saying, yep, he's still available. And I said, hold him. him and we did take that one car with us to California but I almost never drove when we lived there, Cory did, because it would have been a weird commute on public transportation for him, but I actually took like a train and two buses which is It's a strange number of transfers really for me to have done to go meet Grenache again. And didn't take him home that day, but did everything. You know, paid for him, you know, the adoption fee and everything. And went back a second time in the same week. I think I went on Thursday and got it and brought him home. and his name did not remain, Grenache. We stuck with our F theme, hence Mr. Furley, who is actually in the room with us right now. He loves podcast time because he's the only one that gets to... come into the room and chill because he's the only one that won't bark. But it's also because he's Kendall's favorite. Absolutely. Yeah. Which I just think is wrong to say, like, to have a favorite pet or a favorite kid. Everybody does, I'm sure. But most of the time they keep it to themselves. Yeah. Right, mom? I know I'm, I know I'm a mom's favorite. See? Although my sister thinks she is, but she's wrong. Well, we know I'm not my mom's favorite. Back to our regular story, but anyway. Yeah, I've always had this special place for Furley. I love all of our pets, of course. But Furley is, I mean, Cory hates when I say this, but he's the best behaved. He obeys the best. And he just, he is a... a people dog. I do think that he might have been an only dog. before he came to live with us. Because he never, he didn't dislike the other dogs, or the cats, he never was, he's never been mean to any creature that I've seen. But he just doesn't seem to care that they're there. Now he'll snuggle with, you know, Falco and that sort of thing. Yeah, I think he's definitely, over the years has gotten. more used to being part of a pack, but yeah, he definitely would be completely content being an older dog, but he does love Falco. Right. Yeah. And then, you know, in the meantime, and I know I'm getting this out of order, but so Tootie died. She was 13, just stopped eating, and we took her in, and she was just riddled with cancer, so we didn't, you know, we didn't wanna let her suffer, so. So we put Tootie to sleep and then, it wasn't too crazy long after that. It was not. That. So the thing about Pet Food Express is that it's well known for, you know, working with rescues and shelters. And so like, literally people would like find or have, you know, kittens, find them in their yard or something, and then would take them to one of the Pet Food Express stores knowing that, you know, either, you know, somebody there would foster them or. you know, get them in touch with a rescue organization and they would foster. So there were three kittens, baby kittens being fostered at our office. Somebody had, um, I think they got dropped off at the Fremont store and just adorable. And, you know, I said, Hey Kendall, do you want to come see some kittens? And, you know, that's all it took. He came by one day. Uh, we should, we'll post the photo of these two little cute, well, one of the kittens, one of the three, one of Cory's colleagues had already sort of claimed, right? She was going to adopt the third one. And so the two that were left were, well, it was two sisters and a brother. The sister was adopted. One of the sisters was adopted by Cory's colleague. And so it was a little boy and a little girl that were still left. And they, all kittens are cute, but they were so cute and sweet. We went back and forth on names because we wanted to stick with the F thing, but ultimately that just didn't... What are you gonna call them? Frickin' Frack? We ended up... because then we thought, okay, what are good sibling names? So we ended up with Hansel and Gretel. And they're still here with us. We still call them the kittens even though they're... how old now? They were born in 2012, so they're 10. Yeah, so yeah, they're not kittens anymore. But they came in October. And again, just immediately like fit right in, you know, like, um, you know, they liked to pester Bernie cause he was the big cat, but they weren't bothered at all by the dogs, you know, we would all hang out, um, until we got right. So then, um, Well, when I was, I did like a little mini book tour for my second book and I was in Los Angeles for an event and came back and Kendall told me that Zuni had fallen and gotten, you know, was really ill while I was gone and, you know, he didn't want her to suffer. So she was put to sleep as well. So very, very sad, even though she was a lunatic. Yeah, we miss her. We joke about her to this day because it's just like, we, you know. If anything goes wrong, it's her fault. She just was a monster in so many ways. But a lovable one. She was very opinionated about everything. So yeah, so Zuni was gone and I guess our reputation had started to grow at that point that we were crazy pet people because Kendall was at work and somebody came up and said, hey, my mom just gave me a miniature dachshund for my birthday and I've got two bull mastiffs and they're just not getting along. Like why would your mother do that to a puppy when you've got two giant dogs? But anywho, you know, Kendall told me the story and I was like, and showed me pictures and I said, oh, you know, if you think it'll work. And sure enough, I think it was like the next day, Kendall brought Frank home on the ferry. From San Francisco, yeah. Which was my normal mode of transportation between work and home. And that was the name that he came with and I think it fits him perfectly. Frank or Frankie, you know, we have a million nicknames for all the pets. So, um, so yeah, so that was the California gang and. Ultimately, you know, we visited New England when we found Kendall's birth family and immediately decided to move. And this time around, we're like, well, we're not we're not going to drive, you know, with all these animals. So we decided to put them on a plane. And it's very difficult these days to book passage flying for pets. So I think it was like United was the only airline that was doing it at the time, or at least that was, you know, available to us. per flight and you know we had six at the time so we decided okay we'll do the dogs one day we'll do the cats the next so Kendall was you know already there, you know, he was already in Boston. And so I, you know, got up at four in the morning and took the dogs and, you know, made sure they were good to go. Kendall picked them up. His sister helped. And everything was fine, hunky dory. So I had one night where it was just me and the cats. And again, up at four o'clock in the morning, and I'd already had Gretel corralled into a room. but she was not happy about me trying to pick her up and put her into a crate. So it took about 10 minutes, not fun. Finally got her in her crate, come out the door and there's Hansel looking at me like, what is going on? What did you do to my sister? I tried to, and I had a crate right there ready for him. So all I had to do was like, you know, pick him up by the scruff and put him in there. Well, I picked him up. He immediately started biting my hand. He kicked the crate down the stairs. Somehow I was able to get him in there, and then third crate, open it, Bernie just walks right in. He's like totally fine. So get them into the car. It's still dark out, and it's like, I realize I'm like wet, and it's like my arm, my hand is just bleeding. It's just like, I'm in a bit of covered in blood at this point. It's like when he- From the bites and scratches. Yes, yeah. In fact, I had a scar up until like probably this last year from that. Thanks, Hansel. you know, got them there, got on the plane, and poor Hansel did not have a good time with it. Like, you know, it vomited and pooped in the crate, and it was a bad, you know. He was pitiful when I, when I, they were all, Bernie didn't seem bothered when I picked up the cats, but the other two were, I think, freaked out by the whole, by the whole thing. But Gretel hadn't had any accidents or, you know, upset tummy in the... in the plane, but poor Hansel did. And so it was pitiful. I had to spend some time cleaning him when I was at the airport. We should remind, well, I don't think we even mentioned that we moved in January, and not the best idea to leave San Francisco and move to New England in January. And we couldn't have planned this, but I landed, when I landed first. before I picked up the rental car and then went back to pick up the dogs the next day and then the cats the following day. This is all during a snowstorm. So A, I'd been in California for nine years and kind of had forgotten how to drive in snow. B, I'm in an unusual vehicle because it was a rental. see, I don't really know where I'm going. So thank goodness for GPS, but it was still harrowing. And I had the stress, you know, of, you know, knowing that our pets are landing, you know, after having, you know, possibly a bad flight, you know, so it was, it was, I don't remember being more stressed than that. But yeah, so note to listeners, don't move to New England during a snowstorm in January. No, yeah, don't do that. At that point, you know, Phoebe was the only dog that had ever seen snow, you know, because she came from St. Louis, but the California dogs had never seen snow before, so that was, you know, an adventure for them. Frank loves the snow. I do have to make a quick correction, though. We had four dogs and three cats, because we had Phoebe, Falco, Furley, and Frankie. That's right. We had six pets, we had seven at the time. Who can keep track? Exactly. And we did, you know, we had rented a cute little two bedroom house in... Rockport, Massachusetts for, you know, with a very short lease. We only had like a six month lease because we knew that we wanted to try to buy something out here or, you know, and that actually worked out quite well because ironically the couple who owned and might still own the house in Rockport, Mass. They spent part of the year, the winter in California. home that they owned and then they would spend summers and falls in New England in Rockport, Mass. So it actually worked out quite well because when we were looking for a place, we actually sat in a bar about 20 minutes from our condo in California and got to meet them and kind of had photos of the place. But of course, just kind of rented it sight unseen. We thought about sending my brother or my sister to check it out. We were like, you know, it's a short lease. Yeah, it wasn't a big deal and it did work out quite well. So, yes, so that was the gang for... quite a while. And then I don't know, you might have heard about this little pandemic we had a couple of years ago. Well, Kendall turned 50 smack dab in the middle of the pandemic and we had, you know, we had planned a big thing. We were going to rent a house up in the White Mountains and people were going to fly in. Well, you know that all got canceled. So Kendall wanted either for his birthday, a Corvette or a puppy. So we don't have a Corvette. No, and I knew that was never going to be a real thing. But, and maybe someday we will, but we don't have now. But yeah, no, I had been researching. I've always loved chihuahuas and I do feel like in many instances they get a bad reputation when they shouldn't. And I purposely sought out the breeder that we ended up getting our little guy from. She had a really good reputation for having atypical chihuahuas. And what I mean by that is that she prides herself on their temperament. got, we named him Finny to keep with that F sound. And Finny is, he's pretty, I mean, he's not low key, you wouldn't call him low key, but he isn't yappy. He doesn't bark for no reason. In fact, quite honestly, he only barks like when we're playing. It's really cute. Like he'll spin around, you know, and yell at you like, pay attention to me. But it isn't constant. It isn't. troublesome, you know, he's a really good little dog. And he's he was my 50th birthday gift. So now he's already three, even though I will turn 53 next month. But so yeah, and then poor little Phoebe, you know, she got sick. What kind of was traveling and They gave her some steroids and she was able to kind of walk still some, but she went downhill pretty quickly. Which is good, it wasn't like a long, horrible illness. So Phoebe died, but I really thought, okay well, we have plenty, we're good. Right. And then... Kendall started showing me pictures from, I don't even know where he got the idea from, because I'd never even heard of this breed. He's like, oh, look at these cute rescue dogs. They're Havanese, oh my gosh. And that Sab story, like, oh, a lot of them are like, so a lot of these Havanese come from puppy mills, so they're, you know, crated 24-7 and just not in great conditions. And so it's like, you know, the Sab story, and I'm like, ugh. I never did say yes. But although Kendall never did ask me either so all of a sudden we've got Havanese rescue people at our place checking us out making sure we're legit and then Brought this sweet girl over who they had, you know recently rescued and not sure exactly how old she is, maybe like six or seven? Yeah, they think she was around six and we've had her for a year or so. She's probably around seven now. Yeah, she was one of 22 female adult females that were rescued from a single puppy mill in Ohio. And, you know. The good thing is I don't think she was ever abused. I mean, I don't think she was like harmed. You know, it is abusive, I think, to leave a dog in a crate 24 seven. I'm not saying that, but I don't think she was like tortured. You know, I don't think she was physically abused because she's never been scared of us, but she didn't really understand touching, right? So like when you would pet her, look at you strangely like she didn't understand why you would want to do that. So it was kind of pitiful but now she's the opposite. This girl runs up, I'm gonna get emotional, I just love her so much she'll run up to you, put her little paws on you and almost hug your leg with her, with her for you know her front paws. It's so sweet and she's just the best natured dog. I don't think she has an angry bone in her body. She, little Finny, who is three, adores her. pesters her constantly and she is just a good big sister. She just lets him pester her. And I think she, well, I know she enjoys the attention. She wags her tail constantly while he's doing it, up to a point. And then she will, you know, she'll tell him that she's had enough, but she never tries to bite him. She just kind of yells at him quickly, like, leave me alone, buddy. And you know, it's cute. And just, I... We, you know, lucked into having a really, really good addition to this pack. So, yes, if you're doing the math, I know it's been hard to follow probably, but now we have five little dogs. Little dogs. Frank, he's the quote big one. He's 16 pounds. So they go between Finny, who's six pounds, and Frankie who's 16, so they're all quite small, and then the two cats, so constantly dreddle. And we did not stick with the F sound with her because... I just thought it was, you know, she probably knew her name. I think she did. By the time we got her, she'd been being fostered for three months, I believe. So the name that they gave her, because apparently the puppy mill didn't even tell, maybe she never had a name, but they didn't even, if she did, the people that rescued her did not know what it was. So they started calling her Nikki, and that's what we call her. and uh Nikki or Nene or oh yeah we have Nick we have all kinds of cute names for the Nickster she's so sweet she is such a good girl and I actually think that if she were on the bed right now uh with Furley behind us in the room that we're in I think she'd be very quiet too oh yeah I just think she might want attention that Furley is happy to uh just curl up and uh sleep for a while but Nikki might want to be on our laps took to sleeping in the bed with us too which we started that when Frank came I think when Frank came to the store yeah and you know so four of the five are in bed with us every night Finny is not because he's so little we're just afraid that somebody's gonna roll over on him or something could fall off or yeah right I can see him just jumping off yeah he's nuts yeah he's still you know he's still he's not a puppy but he's still acts puppyish so he would worry me you'd almost have to up around the whole, around every edge of the bed for me to feel comfortable and then I'd still probably worry. And he doesn't settle that well unless he's in his crate. So even, so I am an early riser every day of my life and I get up at five every morning with the dogs, even on the weekends. And you know, occasionally I'll think, oh, I can maybe fall asleep on the couch. with the dogs, you know, after I've gotten up. Finny makes that impossible. If you were trying to sleep on the couch in the morning, he's licking your nose, he's throwing toys in the air, he paws at you to play, he just thinks it's time to play. So I'm never successful doing that. If I ever truly need to go back to bed, which is very, very rare, I just put Finny back into his crate, you know, go back to the actual bed, but it's comical. He is just wound up most of the time. He's very active. Oh yeah. So that's how we became crazy pet people and everybody in our lives knows that we're crazy pet people that we get on Father's Day. You know, we get well wishes from my family because, you know, we're the doggy and kitty daddies. So, yeah, we just thought it would be fun to talk about our critters to celebrate Father's Day. Happy Father's Day, everybody.