Hi there! Thought I'd post a little info before I start posting on topics . I'm a born and raised animal lover, grew up with multiple dogs at all times plus horses, snakes, and rabbits over the years. I found my calling as a vet tech and love what I do, if not the hours that seem to go with it. Right now I have two cats that followed me home from work. The orange tabby, Charlie, came in as a 6 week old kitten found sick on the side of a highway. The people who found him couldn't take him and no shelters wanted him that they contacted so he came home with me. A couple of weeks of antibiotics and he was all better and has grown to be a super friendly and outgoing cat. There aren't many that I know who would let themselves be passed around by girl scouts so they could have their heartbeat listened to, my poor kitty. Our other cat is Lola, she was an abandoned kitten about 4 months old who came home to be Charlie's friend. It took a couple of months but once that was past you never find one without the other. She's actually the sweeter more affectionate one but not until she gets to know you. She's a wacky cat who collapses to the floor purring the second you start to pet her. I joke she must have ragdoll in her somewhere. I have three horses at the moment. My old semi-retired guy is MT, a gray 15.2h quarter horse. I've had him since he was three and he'll be 21 in a couple of days! He mostly hangs out now after developing heaves a couple of years back. He does get used for adult beginner lessons but can't say he much enjoys it. He's a big cranky butt and has been since I got him. He wouldn't actually ever do anything but he makes angry faces all day long. I love the big lug and spend my time with him bribing him to look happy for a sip of coffee. Decaf is my current riding horse. She's a 17.2 (and growing, eek!) bay Hanoverian X Thoroughbred/Appaloosa, 5 years old this May. She's an absolute blast to ride and train and I can't get enough of her. She passed her breeding inspections two years ago but refused to get pregnant. We are now having to finish up her breeding registration the hard way. She'll have to pass a bunch of riding tests this fall. I'm not worried about her but I'm pretty convinced that I'll mess up. Blackberry (aka Captain Carrot) is my daughters pony. He's an auction special who turned out to be worth his weight in gold. He can be a butt head to people but is a perfect angel for any child. We've yet to see him spook with a kid around or do more than walk and trot sedately. As far as we can tell he has had little training and was around 6 years old when we got him 2 years back. Even once he is outgrown I think he'll be a keeper that we'll lease out to other kids. He's too sweet to let go anywhere. Notice the lack of dogs? That's because they all stayed with my parents when we my husband, my two kiddos, and myself got our own house. My parents had three dogs and we had a pup, guinness. Unfortunately Guinness was a street dog that came to us scared of everything. She's doing great now and we are actually looking at getting her certified for a therapy dog, but she still has one drawback. She bonded so strongly with my parent's dogs that she was miserable when we tried to take her away. My parent's weren't much happier so we all decided it was for the best that she stays with them. I still get to see her all the time (only a mile away) but she's definitely morphed from being my dog to being my parents. This means through some bizarre and crazy circumstances we are bringing two pups home in a couple of months (after much researching and hunting for responsible breeders). We'll be a getting a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog from a litter born on March 22nd and a Leonberger from a litter due on April 8th. This was not the original plan but when the opportunity for the Swissy presented itself after having finalized the plans for the Leo we just couldn't turn it down. I'm certain that my entire family has gone insane but I've raised pups together before so I do have a vague idea of what I'm getting into. These will be my first giant breed dogs though so I see many questions in the future . I can't wait to get to know you all better. I've been lurking for a few days and this seems like a terrific message board!