Zoolander (a/k/a ZooZee) was one of 60 puppies rescued from a hoarder’s house three years ago. He was eight weeks old when I adopted him from Sean Casey Animal Rescue (SCAR) in Brooklyn, NY, but I often get the feeling that ZooZee adopted me as his human. He’s 3/4 Schipperke and 1/4 Chihuahua and 100% full of energy. I’ve had cats and dogs my entire life but my dogs have always been huge. ZooZee is my first “portable” – the first to fit in a carrier. What came to my mind when I saw my new tiny ball of cream-coloured fur was “He’s ridiculously good looking”, hence the name “Zoolander”. I didn’t know what to expect by bringing a tiny puppy into a home with three adult cats. There was so much hissing going on that it sounded like a constant stream of air being let out of tires.
I followed the advice of my long-time vet and the good people at SCAR and crate trained ZooZee his first several months. Eventually, the crate, which is no longer locked, became a shared hang-out joint for the dog and cats. One cat is his best friend while the other two go about their business until winter rolls around . . . then he becomes their best friend too. ZooZee became a major game changer for me. The first year was up and down which is expected any time you have a puppy and a bunch of cats. What I didn’t expect was my level of attachment to him and his attachment to the cats. ZooZee is very charismatic and has a happy-go-lucky personality. It wouldn’t be a new day without opening my bedroom door to find ZooZee with his tail wagging wildly while taking a flying leap towards me. Every morning he makes a tremendous effort to get the cats to play with him by giving each one a squeaky toy.
For three years I’ve been teaching him the phrase “It ain’t happening, dude.” He loves people first, cats second and always has room for dogs but people are his favourite. I’m not saying this because he’s my pup, but he draws attention wherever “we” go. Everyone in the neighbourhood adores him and they know his name not mine!