Mary Jean Darrell thought her husband, Scott Calvert, would enjoy having a walking companion when he retired last year, so after a lifetime of cat ownership, the pair and their daughter, Emy Damberg, started looking for a dog. When they met Raven in January, they knew they'd found a match.
"Raven was rescued from a kill shelter by Pet Rescue of Maryland," says Darrell, who says she thinks the dog spent about two years in a foster home after that. Raven is about 5 years old now. When no one could confidently identify her breed, the family had DNA testing done and learned that Raven has about nine breeds in her bloodline, including Rottweiler and Lhasa apso.
"Some people thought she might have been part border collie, but that's the one breed she's not," says Darrell.
Raven spends her days walking with Calvert (who does, indeed, love the company) and chasing squirrels in her Mays Chapel backyard. She also has many neighborhood friends to visit, including a greyhound, a standard poodle, and a Lab.
"She has her own love seat with her blanket, pillow and toys," says Darrell. "She also has four black cats who love her, but she treats them with benign indifference."
She's not very interested in toys but loves food -- any and all types.
"Raven seems to show us a quiet appreciation for the life she has now," Darrell says. "She's finally safe in her little corner of the world, and that makes us happy." (Christopher T. Assaf, Baltimore Sun /November 22, 2013)
What's in a name? According to the records of Veterinary Pet Insurance, Inc. (VPI), quite a lot, and the top dog and cat names for 2012 reveal some interesting tidbits about pet owners.
VPI recently sorted their database of more than 485,000 pet names by popularity. The biggest trend they saw was that the top five cat and dog names were also top on Babycenter.com's list of 100 most popular baby names of the year. At the same time, traditional dog names -- think Fido or Fuffy -- trended toward the bottom of the list or slid off completely.
VPI spokesman Curtis Steinhoff says he thinks the name trends are "testament of the bigger trend of pet owners viewing their pets as members of the family."
I suspect residual fur on our couches and beds could also testify to that.
Without further ado, the top names for dogs are: