When we first moved in, we had a "used" cat, named Misty, lined up to come live with us. She's five years old and her owners were moving to England for a few years. We did have some success with her... she liked playing attack the crumpled newspaper attached to a string. She also liked being petted between the hours of 6 pm and 9 pm, and preferred to sit near us but undisturbed while we ate dinner.

Unfortunately she decided that she wanted to get out of our house one day, and did. We've tried several times to get her back but she's being stubborn. And she seems to be surviving well outdoors, much as we would prefer her inside. We're still keeping an eye out for her and we hope that eventually we can lure her back to us.

Eliza Doolittle

After we realized that Misty just was not going to let us bring her back into the house... we got another used cat from the Loudoun County Animal shelter. She's a 2 year old Tortie, that we named Eliza Doolittle. She prefers lots of attention and while she was obviously an indoor only cat we have trained her for indoor outdoor living. Frankly we didn't want to lose her to the out doors without knowing her way home and who her "people" were. Eliza likes to chase strings (finds it irresistible), and feather things. She loves to be petted and brushed too! Her latest tricks involve tormenting our first puppy - Toby.

Toby Tyler

Our Havanese puppy came to us from multiple broken homes. Yes - another "used" pet, seems to be a theme. Toby (who was named Bruce and then Tobi), came to us by way of the breeder who took him back twice, and then sold him to us. He's had a few rough starts and housebreaking has been a trial... mostly due to his insecurity. All told he's doing much better than he was the first month that we got him. He suffers from separation anxiety. Apparently not uncommon for dogs. This means that he really, really wants and needs to be around people as much as possible.

We got Toby when he was 10 months old, our initial attemps at house training didn't help matters much - and we were following "good" advice. However we persevered and found that it took about a year to a year and a half to get him up to par. We were about to increase his household privledges but ... then we got Bailey. So advanced roaming of the house will be somewhat delayed.

Barnum Bailey

Our newest puppy, Bailey, came to us from the Loudoun County Animal Shelter. Bailey is a Bichon Frise mix breed, who had been at the shelter approximately six months before we got him. Carrie had gone up to visit him and determined that he most likely had a few problems. He was very scared and leary of strangers. Since he already had an adoption posted she didn't persue the matter. However when she saw him there AGAIN, we just had to help him out. Since we already new roughly what to expect - Toby taught us a lot about broken home/traumatized dogs, we decided to see if we could get him this time.

He and Toby look very much alike. The people at the animal shelter think he's around 1 1/2 yrs old. Havanese (Toby) are in the same canine family as Bichons, Bailey basic doubles Toby's weight and is a little taller and longer. Otherwise you'ld think they were twins. After only two weeks we think he's doing remarkably well and we expect that it will only take 6 months to completely turn him around. Keep in mind he was GRAY when we went up to the shelter to see him, and severely matted. He lacks most of the basic training most dogs need: sit, down, stay...etc. And he has house training issues. He's already getting the hang of sit, stay will take a lot of time, and come is only a suggestion.