McLean Family Rescues Old Stray Cat
A scrawny alley cat tiptoed onto a porch in hopes of stealing food. After around 12 years as a stray, Buttons was rescued by McLean family, the Hosmers. Or, rather, Buttons began the process of being rescued.
Buttons took six months to transition into the Hosmers’s home. The Hosmers nevertheless cared for Buttons.
“I made a wood house for him and put a heat pad in it,” rising freshman at Langley High School Dylan Hosmer said about Buttons, who was unwilling to move into the Hosmers’ house. “I made that house for him so he would survive outside.”
Eventually, Buttons permanently relocated to the house.
“If we had tried to put him outside, he would have called his lawyers,” retired patent attorney Jim Hosmer said.
As a docile cat, Buttons continued his street habit of eating all food he found—including entire bags of cat food. The more weight he gained, the happier he felt.
“He’s one of the most wonderful feline kitties you could ever have,” Jim said. “He’s just so warm and affectionate and unfortunately cost us a lot of money to keep him healthy. Enough to buy a new car.”
The Hosmers felt they were doing good.
“I’m convinced if you take care of an animal like this that you get points when you get up to the pearly gates. They’ll say ‘Well, what have you done with your life?’ and you’ll say, ‘Well, I took care of this cat,’ and they’ll say, ‘All right, come on in,’” Jim said.
A Trained Troublemaker
Teddy is a collie who has transcended ordinary dog training. Already able to sit, stay, and come, Teddy has mastered the art of imitating a piranha.
The dog’s master, life-long collie owner McLean resident and consultant for brokerage firms and banks Ann Griffith, dangles a treat in her hand and says “piranha.” Teddy snaps her jaw open and closed until Griffith rewards her with the treat.
Although Teddy mostly behaves, she once kidnapped Baby Jesus at a nativity scene. Teddy ran with the doll in her mouth. Fortunately, the doll survived Teddy’s attack.
Teddy has also stolen food. Once, she jumped onto a grill and absconded with chicken.
“She only does it when people are watching. She tries to embarrass me, don’t you Teddy?” Ann said while rubbing Teddy’s neck.
As a puppy, Teddy approached human food, but not to steal it. Teddy crawled into Ann’s refrigerator and fell asleep.
“I didn’t close the door on her,” Griffith said.
Griffith feeds Teddy and Conn, Griffith’s other collie, holistic raw food, which is organic with beef, carrots, apples, flax oil and sunflower seeds. Ann also feeds her dogs cod liver oil and probiotics daily.
“I try to eat organic and very clean, so my dogs do the same. That’s why Conn’s 12-years-old but in good shape,” Ann said.
Griffith loves her dogs because they are excellent companions.
“They get me out of the house, so I can meet fun people. It’s nice to be out in nature with them and see the world through their eyes,” Ann said.
Cat and Dog Are Best Friends
Is it true? Can a cat and dog be best friends? For the Wall family of McLean, yes.
The dog Finnigan plays gingerly with the cat Fiona.
“The dog will put the entire cat in his mouth without hurting her, and then she’ll get out of his mouth and bop his nose without using claws. It’s like a cartoon,” 11-year-old student at Saint Luke School John Wall said.
Finnigan often chases Fiona into a room, and when they emerge, Fiona is chasing Finnigan.
“It’s like Scooby Doo,” 14-year-old student at Oakrest School Mary Wall said.
In addition to being a friend to Fiona, Finnigan lives up to the title as man’s best friend. Finnigan is empathetic and approaches those who are sad in the Wall family to comfort them. Also a skilled cuddler, Finnigan causes the Walls to argue over what he resembles.
“He’s a cross between a teddy bear and a muppet,” 9-year-old student at Saint Luke School Joseph Wall said.
Cuteness and Responsibility
After four long years of pleading for a dog, 9-year-old Churchill Road Elementary School student Megan Masri’s wish finally came true.
But caring for a dog takes more than just any regular present.
“It’s just like a baby,” Megan said about her 8-week-old Cavachon puppy, Summer, who she acquired two days earlier. “If you love it, you’ll take care of it for sure.”
Not only does Megan look after Summer, but Megan also does extra chores around the house. Megan cleans her room, washes the dishes, goes to bed on time, and with a bit of luck persuaded her parents to give her a dog.
“A goal is to have Megan be more responsible and learn how to take care of others other than just her parents taking care of her,” Megan’s mother, McLean resident Li Masri said.
Summer is the perfect lap dog for the Masris. Summer does not require much exercise because she is young, which works well for the Masris because they are a dual-income household with young children.
Dog Replaces High School Grad
Recent graduate of McLean High School Jessica Bulford will matriculate at Elon University-- but she wishes she could bring someone special with her.
“I would take her with me in a heartbeat,” Jessica said about her new puppy, Lizzy, a 4-6 month old Australian shepherd. “I guess we needed another person or animal to fill my shoes.”
Strolling through PetSmart, the Bulford family was not planning to take a dog home. Jessica’s 6-year-old brother met Lizzy. Recognizing the connection between the well-behaved dog and the child, the Bulford family took Lizzy home.
“She’s a rescue pup, so she was older. It was sad because no one really wanted the older puppies, and she’s just really sweet and calm,” Jessica said.
Now adopted, Lizzy has a talent: she eats everything. By her second day with the Bulfords, Lizzy had chewed through her supposedly dog-proof leash; Lizzy surprised the Bulfords by greeting them in the kitchen instead of in the basement.
Lizzy also enjoys swimming. Her Dumbo-sized ears flop around while she prances around in water.
“She looks like a horse when she swims,” Jessica said.
McLean Couple Rescues Dog
Gracie, a mixed breed labrador and pit bull dog, loved her toy frog to death. Each day a leg disappeared. When the tail finally vanished, Gracie was left with a little frog torso.
Despite her vicious encounter with the toy frog, Gracie is an easygoing dog.
“She gets along beautifully with people,” Gracie’s owner, McLean resident Anne Stewart said.
Gracie has an unknown past. She was hit by a car, found outside a church and then taken to a lab rescue center. Nobody knows where she came from, what her name was, exactly how old she was or her typical behavior.
Anne and her husband, Dave Stewart, have owned several dogs since they were puppies.
“We thought it would be just a little bit more of a community service to take a dog that needed a home rather than looking for a puppy from a breeder,” Anne said.
Anne has had such a fantastic experience with Gracie that she advises others to adopt rescue pets.
“If people are thinking about rescuing a dog rather than going to a breeder, then I would highly recommend it. This is our first time rescuing a dog. It’s been a really great experience, and we feel really good that we can give her a nice home,” Anne said.