The story of the animals behind the Pets and Us

Welcome! My name is Alyson and I am the creator of The Pets and Us. I am married to a very hardworking man. He works long hours and loves what he does. I am a stay at home mom…..kind of. I teach group fitness classes a few hours a week and dog sit in our home. We have 2 children. Our oldest is our daughter. She is my right hand for everything with the pets. She loves all of them as much as me. Our son is the youngest. He is sweet, friendly and such a gentleman. He loves to cuddle with the rabbits, but you won’t see him cleaning out cages or picking up poop.

The expression, “You, me and the kids” took on a new meaning in our family. While we have 2 great human children, we have 5 animal children. My Husband and I adopted our first dog Millie (Maltese/shih-tzu mix), when we were engaged. She is 14 years old now and as feisty as ever. She barks more now than she has in all of her years of life combined. She tells us what she wants and when she wants it. Since she is 98 years old in dog years, we do what she says! Millie has been with us through it all. She was there on our wedding day; she moved with us to every new town and greeted our newborns when we brought them home. Millie’s favorite way to greet people is with a shoe in her mouth; which she presented to each of our children when we brought them home from the hospital.

Our 2nd dog is Pirelli (Bichon/shih-tzu mix), she is 3 years old. We decided to get a 2nd dog because Millie has been the perfect dog throughout her whole life. Everyone who meets Millie loves her. But Pirelli is nothing like Millie! She keeps us on our toes! My daughter and Pirelli are best friends. Pirelli may be a family dog, but she is my daughter’s dog through and through.

And where do the bunnies fit in? Well, when I was a child, my parents bought me and my 2 sisters dwarf baby bunnies. And that is where my obsession for rabbits began. As an adult, I never thought I could get a rabbit, because my husband is allergic to some animals (not dogs). But one Sunday in December, 2 years ago, we had a fun family day planned. We went to mass and then we were going out for lunch. My daughter said, can we please go to the big pet store that was further away. Since we were having such a fun day, we said Sure! The big pet store lets you pick up and/or pet the small animals; Ferrets, hamsters, gerbils, rabbits and guinea pigs. Me and the kids were having a ball picking them all up and cuddling them for a minute. And then the rabbit pen caught my eye! There was our Charlie, half price. I picked him up and he cuddled into me. Then he started licking me. I asked the employee at the pet store, if Charlie was a girl rabbit. He said yes. See, I have only had girl rabbits. I don’t know much about boy rabbit’s behavior. Once I heard he was a girl, I snuggled Charlie into my neck and hair and said to my husband, “For the love of God, buy me this bunny!” He thought about it for a while and then started looking at cages for our new bunny. I carried Charlie all over the store, I wasn’t letting him go. So, I am walking around the store, with the friendliest rabbit I have ever met. I am in love, the kids are in love and my husband was tolerating the whole thing. When the pet store manager says, “the half off rabbit is a boy.” While I was nervous to have a boy rabbit, I was already in love! And we brought him home with us.

Our 2nd rabbit we adopted is Max. He is our “scardy cat”. A lady posted on our town Facebook page that a domestic rabbit is running around her backyard. She put his picture on Facebook and asked if the rabbit was anyone’s pet. He looked almost identical to Charlie! I thought, if this rabbit is a girl, they would make beautiful babies. So, I messaged her and said if the bunny doesn’t find a home I will adopt him or her. A few days go by and no one claims Max. The lady messages me at 8:30pm one night and says I have a golden retriever in my home, my husband caught the bunny. Can you come now to get him/her? I was running out the door with a carrier for our new bunny. My husband stopped me and said, I will take you, we don’t know these people.” And my sister stayed with the kids. The family that rescued Max was so nice. I was all excited, partially because I was hoping for a girl. I lifted our little nervous rabbit for the first time and saw he was a boy! Well, No turning back now. He is a part of our family. Charlie is so friendly; it took many months for Max to be loving toward us. But thanks to my daughter’s relentless patience with him, he has become friendly, loving and he gained a brother, Charlie.

When we rescued Max, we didn’t have an extra rabbit cage. So I took to Facebook Marketplace. I found a lady who could meet us the very next day with a cage. She too was a rabbit fanatic and we still keep in touch. The lady, who gave us the cage for Max, told me all about her Lionhead rabbits. I have never heard of a Lionhead before. She told me how small and cuddly they are, and how they are like lap dogs. I wanted my little girl rabbit and so I adopted Maisy from a breeder in the next town over. Maisy is the most relaxed rabbit! She stretches out, kicks her feet back and relaxes on our couch. When we drive the 5 hours back to where our family lives, she sits in my daughters lap the whole time. The vacuum, blender or any other traditional loud noise does not scare her. But if my Husband burps out loud, she starts running! She is our little Princess and she completed our family.

So, that is a little bit about me and our whole family! Every day is a little different…chaotic, hilarious and uplifting. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

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