Then we were ten!

Kaycee joins the fold taking us back up to ten dogs.

Many of you read and commented on the loss of Phoebe that I wrote about on the 17th February.

Phoebe used to be one of a group of three dogs that lived in our large basement room, the other two being Loopy and Ruby.  Well, it wasn’t long after Phoebe’s death that we noticed Loopy was, how can I say it, just a bit off.  She had previously suffered from Valley Fever that had affected her when we were living in Mexico, (useful website on Valley Fever is here) and Jean thought that the fever had returned.  In order to keep a closer eye on Loopy, she came up from the basement and joined the three dogs that made up the ‘kitchen’ group.  Those three dogs being Lilly, Paloma and Chester.  It made sense any way as Phoebe was a great play friend for Ruby and it was clear that Ruby was both missing Phoebe and not finding Loopy as an effective substitute play friend.

Lilly, from the 'kitchen' group, checking Loopy out!

So on Tuesday, Jean and I, together with Ruby and little Sweeny, who also came from the local Humane Society, went back to the Society to find a companion for Ruby.

Jean had had her eye on a male dog, Kaycee, that had appeared in the list of available dogs that is featured each week in the local Payson Roundup newspaper.  Indeed, here is the list of dogs for February that has Kaycee’s details, from which I reproduce below,


My name is Kaysee and I’m a 5-year-old Heeler/Pit mix. I have been with HSCAZ since 23rd March, 2011. I’m a flirty boy, who loves to have his butt scratched. I’m super smart too and I know all sorts of basic commands. Did I mention I like to play ball? My song choice is Brian Adams’ “Everything I Do,” because I will do it for you.

Anyway, Ruby and Kaycee took to each other without any issues and he came home with us later on the morning of the 28th.  Now over 24 hours later, as I write this, it’s clear that he is a bright, loving dog with no obvious personality challenges and already Ruby is relishing his company; they slept curled up together last night.  So that’s wonderful for all concerned.

What follows are some photographs of Kaycee’s arrival.  To be honest, when Jean and I walked around the dogs at the Humane Society, it was very hard to fight back the tears – I wanted to take them all!

Ruby, partially hidden, and Kaycee outside the humane shelter.
Checking out the new garden!
Kaycee seconds away from freedom in his new home, Ruby and Sweeny looking on.
Pharaoh and Hazel saying 'Hi' through the fence to Kaycee.

People will think us mad but so what!

16 thoughts on “Then we were ten!

  1. What a wonderful story. Thank you so much for adopting, there are so many wonderful shelter animals out there just waiting for their human to find them and take them home.


    1. Thanks guys and girls. It’s Jean that deserves the thanks. She ran her own rescue operation the many years she and her late husband, Ben, were living in San Carlos, Mexico. Jean has lost count of the number of feral dogs and cats she found homes for. We brought 13 dogs and 6 cats with us when we came to live here in Payson, AZ. The GSD is the one exception in that I had him as a puppy from a breeder in SW England in 2003, both his parents German GSDs, and he flew with me when I left the UK to come and be with Jean in 2008.

      And took a look at your website, It’s a great effort. Must show that to our local team.

      Good luck to you all and all the animals, Paul


  2. PJ (that’s “P” for Paul and “J” for Jean – inseparable),

    How this story pulls at my heart. There was a time when I cared for beagles… hundreds of them. Your story brought a rush of memories of those lost days. Each pup with its own personality. The trust that built between all of us. The times I would hide among them, sitting quietly until they forgot I was there. After a bit, I would begin howling softly. One by one, beagles would join in the hound chorus.

    The uninitiated might conjure dark visions of scientific atrocities, but I remember the joy in their faces each morning; the playful excitement of dogs being dogs. I remember sitting on the ground while Hank, Wrigley, Toots, Mabel, 514, and a dozen or more other happy canines vied for attention; climbing and rolling on me and each other. Barking, yapping, snapping and licking. Being dogs.

    Your comment, “People will think us mad but so what!” released the memory. The “think us mad” part brought it forward, the “but so what” part let me share it with you. My years as “Uncle Beagle” were so misunderstood by my friends that I found it easier not to talk with them about it. I’m guessing that the few still in my life who might remember that time, think I suppress the memories. Not true.

    I think I understand your commitment to improving the quality of life of the dogs who enter your world. I think I do. Mad? Not hardly.



    1. Ken, I am humbled by you choosing to share those precious memories of yours with the readers of this funny old Blog! Thank you so much, so very much. Paul


  3. This is a great story about love and acceptance of all God’s creatures.. Happy the dogs, cats and what have you, that the Handovers and others like the happen to meet along the way Sadly, there are folks in this town who treat their fellow humans with less dignity than the animals in this story. Forgive us our trespasses….mag…


  4. That is a lot of dogs! I am always impressed by people who can manage a pack. Do you walk them on leash or off leash? and why are they divided into sub-packs?

    Sorry if my questions are dumb – I have no experience with having many dogs. We only have two…

    This lady had 40 dogs last time I asked… She walks them off leash every day, and they all watch TV in her house while she is at work. It is in the Northern Territory.


    1. She doesn’t have that many dogs because she wants to, I should add. Please feel free to adopt some of them if you live in Australia! All lovely unique camp dogs.


      1. Mados, lovely to have your interest. And that link to Desert Dogs is wonderful – may well try and make contact with Gloria and Roz.

        But to answer your questions, we have three groups in the house. In the kitchen are the elderly dogs: Chester, Lilly, Paloma and Loopy.

        In the basement are Ruby and the new member of the family, Kaycee.

        Finally, the third group of Pharaoh, Hazel, Dhalia and little Sweeny that share our living room and bedroom..

        All three groups get time each day to run free in our fenced grounds plus we take Pharaoh and his pack out for an afternoon walk in a local area known as the Dells.

        Oh, and we also have 6 cats!


  5. Thank you Paul! That is impressive! What is the benefit of dividing the dogs into sub-packs? And do you use them for any jobs? (like hunting, herding e.t.c)


    1. Having the dogs grouped into these sub-packs just reduces the odds of friction and aggression. But, more importantly, it creates a more manageable life-style for us. Two dogs on the bed at night can be coped with; six or more would be a challenge! And none of them are used for any working purpose. Only Pharaoh and our latest dog, Kaycee, respond to human voice commands. Theoretically, Pharaoh could undertake ‘search and rescue’ as he was introduced to that regime while being trained as a young adult in Devon, SW England.


      1. Aha! Nice to learn something new.

        I understand the challenge of having 6 dogs on the bed. Our 2 dogs are not normally allowed to sleep on the bed, but they have done it occasionally, and that was challenging enough for me. They are not small dogs, and they do not have much sensitivity for personal space. The biggest one likes to sleep side by side with humans, as tight as possible, and with her head on the same pillow if allowed…


      2. Yes, the dog we call Hazel, part of Pharaoh’s group, loves to sleep with her head sharing the pillow. While it most certainly affects the integrity of a night’s rest, during the cold nights of Winter (we don’t leave the heating on over-night) there’s something primitively reassuring about being kept warm by one’s dog. Guess it also shows me to be the silly old fart that I am! P.


  6. I can see how it can save on the heat bill:-)

    I think some of the abos up in NT (where our camp dog comes from) do the same thing… they have dogs to keep them warm at night.


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