Peter Popalo – Animal Advocate & Local Musician

When I was a child my parents adopted a mutt for my brothers and sisters and I and when we woke up Christmas morning there was our little lady eating tinsel off the Christmas tree, I fell in love right then and there
My heart aches when I see dogs needing homes so I always share every single dog and cat that I see on the internet then I called a couple local rescue to offer to transport or help in anyway free concert, Drive, whatever they need
I have no favorite breed however my last two dogs have been dachshunds or dachshund mix I currently have one mini dachshund 6 Stray Cats that live on my back porch and backyard and a couple of regular raccoons LOL

 

Most of my transports have been from Hillsborough but I tell them I will go up to 3 hours away for free
We’ve done three benefits one war I think it was called 50 legs for children that have lost limbs to get artificial limbs that they cannot afford I played that show with Ellie Lee and the blues Fury we did a benefit in Homosassa Lyme disease and we did a benefit at Skinny’s for children with cancer but so far no benefits for the homeless animals
But would certainly make ourselves available when the time arises
Yes all of the cats are brought in to be fixed so far the two dachshunds have not had any spine issues the one I have now is 12 years old name freckles but I think what has read driven me to be an advocate 4 animals that need home when I was a touring musician living in Boone North Carolina I had a dachshund named lady I got her from Hillsborough after a separation with my late wife when I got to Carolina I I got a job with a touring reggae band which I was turning down because of my dog they said don’t worry she’s wonderful bring her with us on tour so lady and I would go out with the band for 10 – 21 days and come home she was wonderful on the road handle the road better than some musicians I know LOL as she got older I had a house sitter when I would go on tour so that I could leave lady at home I was touring in 2009 for 3 weeks opening up for the original Wailers Bob Marley’s Wailers we were scheduled to come back home July 5th after finishing the tour on July 4th in Wilmington North Carolina about 5 hours away from Boone we decided to stay one more night and leave in the morning I woke up that night about 4 a.m. with a terrible feeling that something happened to my dog when we got back to Boone the band was dropping me off at my house and we found lady on the side of the road she had been hit by a car my house sitter went out for the 4th of July even though I asked her not to and Lady jumped out of a window because of the fireworks it broke my heart more than losing my parents hardest biggest loss I ever had I carry her ashes and a little hand blown glass jug at every show I have ever performed at since then to remind myself of what I gave up to play music I played over 1,000 shows since then there was two times that I can remember where I forgot to bring the little earned with her ashes and put it in my pocket and those two nights I had major technical problems I s*** you not so freckles is a rescue also but will not have another dog in her home she just won’t have it otherwise I’d have more I live with my brother who’s handicapped so I can help and he adopted freckles but shares her with me
I have an ern not earned, with ladys ashes
Sendn u pic

Small Pets: Meet Blue

Author’s Note: Apparently this posted early as it was supposed to be for 8/13. >.< Many thanks to Miss Stacie for sharing Blue’s story and telling me about him. Pictures used with permission. 

 

Blue was roughly a year old when I got him and I loved him for 5 years, so he was roughly 6 years old when he crossed the rainbow bridge.

The night before I went to search for a guinea pig to add to my little family, I had a dream about an old TV show that I used to watch when I was a little kid. My favourite character in the show was a woman with awesome hair who was named Blue. I had completely forgotten about the show until that dream so I decided to name him Blue.

At the time that I adopted Blue, I also had three dogs and three cats. Two of my cats passed during Blue’s life and three more were adopted; as well as a hedgehog. At the time of his passing, Blue had 8 siblings. Four cats, three dogs and a hedgehog. Harri (hedgie) was Blue’s best buddy and I often found them chatting to each other through their cages (the cages were placed next to each other) when everyone else was already in bed. They had a weekly playdate during cage cleaning time and really enjoyed spending time together.

My cats also loved Blue and always seemed to consider him to be one of their own. When he went to his outdoor cage for fresh air and playtime, they used to lie around his cage and rub noses with him through the bars. I think they thought he was a strange little kitten.

Blue loved playing games with me. We had a little thing we used to do when I cleaned his cage. When it was time to put a clean blanket in, I would show it to him through the cage door and he would sniff at it before running circles around the cage. Each time that he passed the doorway, he would stop for a kiss on the nose and then scamper off again. The blanket could only be put in when he had gotten three nose kisses. He also learned to run circles for his bedtime carrot. He had a little bell in his cage that he would ring with his nose. After three laps and three rings, he would be given his carrot. He also loved building little “sculptures” around his cage. He would take toys and hay and balled up paper and pile them in little structures all around his cage. I would then hide treats in them and he would go on a scavenger hunt for the treats.

Blue loved so many snacks that it would be difficult to name a single favourite! But if I had to narrow it down, I would say his particular choices were tomatoes, cucumbers, banana leaves, corn husks and baby spinach. He thought the sole purpose of the fridge was to contain his snacks and within about a week of being with me, he had learned what the fridge door sounded like. Every time that I opened it, he would wheek for a nibble of something tasty. He also developed his own little way of saying Thank you! for his snacks. Each time that I gave him something delicious to nibble on, he would make a little sound that was sort of a cross between a wheek and a purr (almost a prrrppp sound). He only ever made this sound when receiving snacks – never for getting his regular dinner foods or anything else. It was incredibly sweet and it always made me happy to hear it because it meant that he was happy.

Blue was my first guinea pig and he taught me so much. I was terrified in the beginning that I might hurt his fragile little being or give him the wrong foods or miss something that was important to his care. But he just stuck it out with me and we found our own little path together. He made it very clear which snacks he liked and which he didn’t (although he finally gave peas and green beans another try and decided that he did actually like them after all!). He would clang his bowl against the side of his cage when it was dinner time and would wheek at me if I forgot his dinner time snack and sat down to my own meal before attending to his needs! He loved his bedtime carrot and would always remind me when I started going through the closing up routine in the evening. So, my advice to piggie parents would simply be to get to know the little one and let them lead you. They will teach you most of what you need to know. And be prepared to have a huge part of your heart and life taken over by such a little critter! Blue had such a huge personality and he has left a gaping hole in our little family. He will never be forgotten and I am so grateful that I had the wonderful years with him that I was lucky enough to have. He was an incredibly special little boy and I will love him forever.

 

Dedication:

This article is dedicated to the loving memory of Blue.

You will always be loved.

Extra Love Needed: Meet Princess Charlie

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Charlie’s parents for letting me ask questions. 

I have to ask, how are Charlie & Queso getting along? 

She still isn’t a big fan, but she likes to torment him now. Hahahaha. She’ll chase him through the house.

Is she currently on any medications or doing therapy?

She doesn’t need any medication or therapy as of right now, she might in the future…but we can’t be sure.

Have you had to make any changes since she joined the family?

We haven’t really had to change a whole lot in the house for her. We bought bowls that she can eat from, some were too high for her to get into. The litter box was moved from the basement to the main floor for her (for obvious reasons, haha). We also block off the basement stairs just to make sure she won’t get to them.

What is her favorite thing to do?

This is a tough one. I would have to say her favorite thing to do is sleep on the couch. Since she can’t get up on the furniture on her own, we put her up with us for couch time…she loves it. A close second would be terrorizing her cat brother Duncan. Haha.

What would you like to say about CH cats?

CH kitties are amazing little creatures. They’re determined. They’re fierce. And they’re lovable. They deserve a chance at life too, so many get out to sleep just because of their condition. It’s sad. Depending on when the CH kitten is adopted, it might be rough at first. We got Charlie when she was a week old. We had to feed her every few hours and bathe her daily, multiple times some days. The litter training was rough. They need a lot of time and patience, but it all pays off.
I hope this helps get the attention on to CH babies, they have so much love to give, they just need to be given the chance.

Happy Tails (Feathers): Meet Charlie

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Miss Latonia for letting me ask about Charlie. Pictures used with permission. Sorry about the delay in editing I had some computer problems. Stupid Windows updates.. grrrrs

 

Buzzsaw is her nickname

She’s between 7 and 9 years old.

We got her from a pet shop, she had been surrendered by her previous owners.

She’s not trained. Her old owners didn’t take very good care of her.

She can say a bunch of stuff, with hello being her most prominent word. Pretty bird and what’s up are also favorites. Occasionally she’s say shut up but we discourage it.

She requires a large cage or her feathers come in bent. I usually change her cage twice a week.

Water is changed daily because she likes to put her food in it to soften it.

She usually is out of her cage all day and goes bed when I do. She is currently using an old rabbit hutch as a perch till we can buy or make her a new one.

She not our first. We previously had a blue and gold, but had to give her away when my mom lost her job when nasa did cut backs.

Blue and golds (unless raised from a baby) are very territorial of one person. She only allows me to hold her and is very aggressive with anyone else.

If considering getting a macaw, keep in mind they need a lot of stimulus and attention, and can outlive you if given the proper diet. However they’re very lovey to their selected person, just today we had love time on the bed where she sat on my chest and “groomed” me while I attempted to free her new incoming feathers from their stalks. (Not an activity she enjoys as they are sore from pushing through). Her idea of grooming is checking out anything she wants on me with her beak. She’s usually very gentle, but on occasion does hurt me, however never on purpose unless she’s warned me several times to stop doing whatever it is making her angry.

Happy Tails: Poof, Biscuit, Gunny & Abby

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Miss Savanah for letting me ask questions about her pets (and finance! 😉

How old is everyone & what are their names?

Poof, my domino boy is almost two years old;

Biscuit, my Siamese is a year and a half,

and Absinthe our black kitty is almost a year old.

The dog, Gunny will be four in November and my fiancé is 21 in December.

How did they come to live with you?

Poof was found by a neighbor in California who asked me if I’d take him once he was 8 weeks. Biscuit was saved at 3 weeks old from freezing weather, and Abby was a kill shelter save as a kitten. Gunny was actually taken directly from a neglectful home.

As for my fiancé, I found him gaming. Haha.

How does everyone get along?
Gunny is very much a cat in spirit, so they all get along famously. Tony, the hooman gets testy sometimes but the actual animals all love each other dearly.

Who rules the roost the cat or the dogs?
The kitties definitely rule the roost, although Gunny likes to tattle when they’re misbehaving. He’ll bark at them and chase them away from being bad kitties.

What is everyone’s favorite things to do?
I think they all love eating the most. Eating and napping.

Are there any tips/tricks you would like to share about having a multi pet household?
We keep everything very clean and the dog sleeps separate from the kitties at night; it really keeps the peace between the brood so everyone gets alone time. I’d suggest slow introductions and persistence to any new multi-pet household.

Also, lots of positive behavior rewards.

Happy Tails: Meet Charlie

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Miss Taylor for letting me ask questions about her Charlie. Pictures used with permission. 

 

Where did the name come from?

I named Charlie after Charlie Kelly, a character from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia who is ridiculous and slightly insane. Even for a kitten, he was very energetic and crazy, so the name Charlie just fit.

 

How did you end up with Charlie?

Charlie came to me as a kitten. I showed up to work one day and saw him sitting outside the door. Some coworkers had found him by the college dorms and had brought him back and given him a bowl of cat food. I had just graduated from college that summer and desperately wanted a cat of my own, having lived with cats in my family for my entire life. When I saw the little kitten on the steps, I knew it was fate–that was my kitten. I estimate that he was about 6 to 8 weeks old by then, his eyes had already to turned colors. My coworkers said there was no sign of any siblings or his mom.

Tell me a bit about him

Charlie was the first cat I raised on my own. I had no worries that I could handle it, since I had been raising cats with my family forever. I soon came to realize that I was sort of wrong. Charlie proved to be different cat than I had ever encountered. First, his energy levels were through the roof. Even past kittenhood, he was ferocious. He wasn’t exactly mean, but there was a sort of wildness to him that led to believe he either was separated from his mom too soon or had a mental disorder. After I got him nuetered, his energy levels dropped a bit, but what he lost in energy he gained in attitude. If he didn’t get his way, he would complain loudly and sometimes even lash out at me. I tried many things to try and discipline him, but he was resilient to everything. I just didn’t know what to do. It became apparent that I had raised a bad cat. But I couldn’t think of what I had done wrong. But I still loved this cat like he was my child, so I actually read up on cat behavior. I learned about how cats can lash out when they’re over stimulated, and will often redirect their anger and fright to whatever is nearest to them. I began to accept that Charlie might just be a cat that is easily over stimulated. So i started treating him with more respect for his personal space (like I said he doesn’t cuddle) and not raising my voice. I always had love and compassion for him, but I learned to be much more gentle when handling him. Now, we are like peas in a pod. There’s no question that he knows I’m his mommy, and I can tell he enjoys being with me. I know most other people wouldn’t have kept a cat that was so temperamental, so I promised I would never give up on him. He still has his hissy fits, but they’re much less frequent and I can usually calm him down. He returns the love with much leg rubbing and slow blinks.

Do you have any advice for others?

For anyone with a “mean” cat, I recommend that they try to understand that the cat most likely isn’t trying to be mean, but is either frustrated or scared. The best thing you can do is leave them alone and always be gentle. Just remember: love and respect.
In that first paragraph, I meant to say *Charlie proved to be the most difficult cat I had ever encountered*
I would like to add that Charlie’s favorite place to be scratched is his head and face. He loves to sit at the living room window and watch the neighborhood. He is also an accomplished cicada catcher–he brings in 3 of them every day.

Are there any other cats in the house? 

I have another cat; technically he’s my friend’s cat but I’m fostering him until my friend can find a place to live that allows animals. His name is Zuzu and he IS your typical snuggly sweet cat

 

How do they get along? 

They get along like typical siblings–they tolerate each other’s present and fight sometimes, but for the most part they like each other. They play fight quite often. I actually think it was good for Charlie to live with another cat. Zuzu keeps him company when I’m at work. Having another cat around gives Charlie an outlet for his primal cat instincts, I think. Like, since Charlie was separated from his own siblings and mom so soon, I don’t think he learned everything he needed to, hence some of his behavioral issues. Being around Zuzu has seemed to soften some of Charlies edges. Either that or he’s just extra hungry for my attention since some of it goes to Zuzu now 🙂

Happy Tails: Meet Boogie

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Miss Natalie for letting me interview her about Boogie. Pictures used with permission. The professional photos were taken by Erin Leigh Studio.

How old is Boogie?

4

Where did Boogie’s name come from?

My cat’s name is Boogie. It originally started out as Elmer, but that only lasted a few days. Within days of having him, he started hiding in corners and jumping out at us and scaring us. I started calling him Orange Booger as a nickname, and then my husband started calling him Boogie Man, which changed to Boogie. There isn’t a better name out there for him because it just fits so perfectly. Boogie has stuck ever since and he responds well to his name!

How did he come to live with you? 

I got Boogie from a rescue group called Kitty City Kansas Rescue. Originally we adopted the most beautiful little fluffy brown and black tabby named Timber. Timber was so sweet and always was by my side, but unfortunately 6 weeks after we got him he developed FIP and had to cross the rainbow bridge. I was devastated by this loss because Timber was so special – it was like he was made JUST for me. Immediately I let Kitty City know about what happened, and they felt so sad for me that they told me I could adopt another cat for free if I wanted. The lady I was working with emailed me a couple of pictures of Boogie (back then they called him Sundance) and asked me if I liked red/orange cats. I had told them I was really looking for a long haired and Boogie was the cat who happened to come across my screen. At that time, after seeing his face, I knew no matter what that I couldn’t say no to him. I went to his foster mom’s house and there were other kittens there that were up for adoption that were really cute. For some reason, even though Boogie didn’t seem to take to me right away, I knew he had to come home with me. I took him home and he has been with us ever since.

Do you have any other pets?

I have an all-black German Shepherd named Wicket (female) that we had owned prior to getting a car. Boogie “adopted” Wicket as soon as he came into our house and quickly took to following her around, chewing on her tail, sleeping on her, and always being right beside her. It was really sweet to see how close those two became and how quickly it happened.

What is his favorite thing to do?

Boogie’s favorite thing to do is play with sparkly pom pom balls. He has more than 20 and they end up all over the house. I LOVE coming home and finding out where the balls end up because every day it’s a new adventure. Usually a couple end up in our bed. I think that is his way of letting us know that he is catching us some “prey” so he is offering it in our bed as a gift. He’s such a good boy!

Does Boogie have any unusual habits?

Whenever he doesn’t get fed when he thinks it should be food time, he throws a huge fit and then starts pulling on, and eating the carpet. He does a lot of normal cat things like opening cabinets while we are gone, laying on his back with all 4 paws in the air, chirping at birds, and running around the house as fast as possible chasing nothing.

How has your life changed since having Boogie?

Boogie brings so much humor and joy into my life. I could not imagine life without him, and I often tell him that although he and I did not “bond” right away, he is my favorite kitty I have ever had and I love him more than anything. He is not much of a cuddler which is a bummer, but on the rare occasion when he does cuddle, it makes me so ecstatic.

Is there anything else you would like to add about your cat?

I wasn’t kidding when I said he adopted the dog. He actually thinks that dog is his. One time my husband went to tell Wicket that she was being a bad dog because she pooped in the house and he gave her a little butt spank, and Boogie got so upset that he went right over to my husband, hissed, and scratched his arm. He is protective of his doggy big sister!

Extra Love Needed: Meet Snickers

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Miss Suzi for letting me ask questions about Snickers. Pictures used with permission. 

How old is Snickers?

Snickers is 14. She just had her birthday!

How did Snickers come to live with you?

I owned her and her brother, Milton’s mom. I went on vacation and my nephew was supposed to be watching her but let her out and she got pregnant. I got to watch them be born! So I have had her since day one!

Did she have asthma when you got her or did she develop it later?

Snickers was diagnosed with asthma later in life and she gets a shot when needed. Two years ago she started walking funny so I took her in and her blood work came back with a blood sugar number of 598!!! She will sadly never go into remission for her diabetes because of her asthma shot. The steroids in it will always affect her blood sugar.

What are some of the signs of asthma?

Some signs for asthma is coughing but not trying to cough up anything. And labored breathing.

What about signs of a diabetes flair up?

For diabetes some signs are drinking lots of water, weight gain, peeing a lot and most will develop neuropathy, which is damaged nerve function and the cat will start walking funny in the back legs.

How often do you check her sugar?

At the minimum I check her sugar twice a day before I give her an insulin shot. Usually I test her about 4-6 times a day. She gets her shot in the morning and at night.

What kind of medication is she on?

She gets a shot for her asthma when needed but she can also use an inhaler just like people do! I have asthma as well so if she is having a rough time and for some reason I can’t get her in she can take some puffs from my inhaler. She has an extension called the Aerokat so it’s not going directly in her mouth.

What are her favorite things to do?

Her favorite things are playing with earplugs, lol, snuggling with me and she loves to go out in our backyard.

Are there any other pets in the house?

I do have one of her litter mates, Milton and I have my mom’s cat, Olivia, whom I adopted and my mom passed away. Her and my cats do not get along at all! Even after a year and a half.

Are they protective of her?

She’s not protective but I am the only person she loves. She tolerates my husband. She does stare at the door if someone knocks, that’s about it.

I love to educate people on feline diabetes and this little girl is my everything!

Here is some additional information on Feline Asthma and Feline Diabetes

https://www.thespruce.com/treat-feline-asthma-555454

Feline Diabetes

Happy Tails: Meet Mrs

    Author’s Note: Many thanks to Miss Georgina for sharing her story about Mrs. Also she wanted to share some information about toddlers & cats. Pictures used with permission. 

How many pets to you have?

We have one beautiful cat called Mrs, were unsure of her age because she’s a rescue, the shelter said 3 but the vet said 5! That was over a year ago when she came to live with us.

How is she with the kids? 

She is amazing with the kids, our Freddie is 3 1/2 and Tobias is 3 months.

How did she come into your life? 

When we wanted to get a cat we took Freddie with us, we decided to take whichever cat didn’t run away from him! We walked through about 4 pens with 15+ cats in each and they all ran! In the last pen the inevitable happened then this beautiful little black and white DSH strolled up to Freddie and curled round his legs! She was perfect for us! We were told that she’d had children in her previous home but they had moved out and abandoned her. ☹

What tips/tricks would like to share about having Mrs in the home with toddlers?

We firmly believe in leading by example so treat Mrs with respect and love, grooming her frequently and snuggling whenever she feels like it!

Freddie can sometimes get overexcited but he always apologizes to her if he’s a little heavy handed. (He’s never hurt her just stroked a little too hard etc) She has never growled, hissed or raised a paw at him, she will happily sit whilst he runs trains up and down her back! They have such a wonderful relationship she sleeps in front of his bedroom door and is always near him when she’s not outside basking in the sunshine!

We groom her as a family, we feed her and change her water together, he knows she’s a part of the family just like he is.

When we were expecting Tobias we put baby clothes near her so she could get used to his smell. I actually sat down and explained that she was going to have another little brother to watch over! Probably sounds ridiculous! She wasn’t phased at all when he was born! It took her a few weeks before she went near him and smelt him, nothing changed!

Our best trick to keep her happy is keeping her food away from the boys in the kitchen where there are gates protecting her from being annoyed whilst eating! She also has her catbed away from them but rarely uses it! She comes and goes as she pleases but always ends up infront of Freddie’s door at night ❤
I’d love to have another cat join the family but in all honesty she’s the perfect addition and we wouldn’t want to risk making her unhappy so she’ll probably stay our only one

Also, we didn’t want a kitten as they’re too erratic for kids and could find having children in the house stressful, adult cats with previous experience of children are more relaxed and know how to deal with kids! Plus who needs to deal with toilet training a cat as well as a toddler!!!

Extra Love Needed: Meet Sora

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Miss Julie for letting me interview her about Sora. Pictures were used with a permissions.

How old is Sora?

My cat is 22 months. He will be 2 in September.

How did he come into your life?

I bought him from a cattery. The woman was reluctant to sell him because he was such a good cat.

What breed of cat is he?

Sora is a persian cat.He breathes heavy at times.

Why does he have problems breathing? 

It’s the way his nose is. It’s hard for them to breath sometimes. It’s just the breed of cat. Oh, he has trouble eating sometimes because of his flat face.

What kind of medication does he need?

He needs colloidal silver in his eyes and nose.

What is his favorite thing to do?

He likes to sleep and take up my side of the bed. He likes to chase bugs. Loves bugs. He will stare at bugs for a long time if they are on the wall. He likes to walk in between your feet as your walking. He likes the laser pointer and toys on a string.

Does he have any unusual habits?

He does this thing where he knows where the treats are so when you are near it he will start gently clawing at the cabinet. If he hears any kind of crinkling he thinks it’s a treat and comes running. We have cathedral ceilings and he likes to sit on the wall opening between the kitchen and living room.