Our sweet girl Pippin left us the morning of May 1, 2023.
Pippin and her brother Cannon were born September 13, 2012. Their mother was a carrier of a parasite called neospora, and though it did not affect her she passed it on to her litter, causing paralysis of a back leg in two of her puppies. Their mother’s owner knew he could not afford the care the two affected puppies would need, so he brought the sister and brother pair to the Martinsville SPCA. Originally named Peggy & Gimpy by the SPCA, we were lucky enough to stumble upon their pictures and videos when deciding to add a dog to our then 2-cat household. We agreed in February 2013 to foster the pair until it was time for their surgeries, and then adopted them both as it was clear at our first visit with them at the SPCA that they were a bonded pair. Until the morning of Pippin’s passing, she and her brother had never been apart, even for surgery, as the vet’s office even kept them together in one pen for their recovery.
Our two cats at the time, Buttons and Lynx, were very displeased about the addition of two puppies to their otherwise calm home. This was made worse by the fact that we were so wrong that only having three legs might make it harder for Pippin and Cannon to chase cats, when in fact it seemed to make them faster and better able to corner! It didn’t take long for the cats to come around once they found out the dogs were just playing and were actually good to have around as guardians. Pippin especially loved all cats and dogs (and sometimes wildlife) and thought they all wanted to be her friend, whether that was true or not. She was as excited to see her feline siblings every day as the first day she met them. This love of other animals once led her and her brother to be chased by an angry mother deer after they tried to befriend (and lick) her fawn. They were able to outrun the angry momma, who nearly decided to take it out on the nearest human (Dulcie) who had to run for the door of the house when the dogs outran her and she became the target of the charging deer. (A very funny story after the fact, but a good lesson not to make any momma angry, whether it be a bear, deer, or otherwise!)
We continued to add more cats to the family, and Pippin was thrilled about each one. Sassy, Hickory, and Chestnut joined us in August 2017, and Indy in July 2020. We lost Buttons suddenly in October 2022, and Pippin missed her presence in the menagerie she loved. Pippin was again very excited when we added a kitten, Mocha, to her cat family in December 2022. All the pets miss Pippin, especially her brother Cannon, but it has been very heartwarming to see how the cats seem to take turns in shifts keeping him company since her passing.
In addition to her brother Cannon and her many cat siblings, Pippin loved Pup-peroni, chewing holes in every blanket she ever had, playing in the snow, soaking up a sunbeam, and just being around us. Though her human siblings, Mary Grace, Michael, and Marjorie, are all grown now and she didn’t see them as frequently, Pippin loved when they came home. We will all miss you so much, Pip.
Daddy & Mommy (Matt & Dulcie Hankins)
A special thank you to Dr. Karen Bowman, the greatest vet in the world, for making sure Pippin always had the best care and her favorite treats.