"Neither of the dogs liked us to leave them. One day we came home to find that Pepper had climbed up on the kitchen table and left us a present. A special representation of her sadness. I do not know how that little dog got all the way up on the table! But we weren't upset, we laughed and laughed." BJ
Pepper ornament ©Shelly Burden

"Nikki was 15 when he passed, blind in one eye and by the end could barely see out of the other.
  One day someone came to our door. Nikki immediately when crazy barking at the intruder. He was a good guard dog. The person came in and Nikki continued to bark, non-stop. Nikki had found a white wall in the back of the house and he was fiercely holding it at bay. I told the man that Nikki was going to get him just as soon as he found him." 
Nikki ornament ©Shelly Burden
"Cubby, an 8 yr old 50/50 Yorkie & Pekinese. Named to honor our beloved Chicago Cubs, he sports the nickname of Cub-Man. He's a sweet, little boy who plays well with his two "sisters", a Schipperke and a Maltese. He reminds us of Yoda from Star Wars, not only in appearance, but in how he walks - mostly in that shuffling Pekinese / Yoda wobble. We believe that Shelly's ornament accurately captured both Cubby's image and that hard to define spark that distinguishes him as the Cub-Man." 

"Sissy came to us after a tough, puppy mill start in her life. After a short time in a great foster home, we had the good fortune for a then 2 yr old Maltese to rescue us from mundane living. Her name was Sissy back in the day, and we decided it was a good fit for her personality. Her nickname became SissyVicious because she bonded so closely to Ruthann that she created a perimeter around my wife. Despite her diva behavior, she can often be seen cuddling up with one of the other dogs when Ruthann is not available...she brings more joy than we could imagine" Les
 Cubby and Sissy Ornaments ©Shelly Burden
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"Charity's mastiffs, America & Freedom, named because Charity was in the Army and is very proud of her country. When puppies she always called them her babies, and they never got to the point they didn't think they were lap dogs.
They were her protectors, companions, confidants and source of much joy. They saw her through many changes and many, many happy times.

 America, weighing about 160 pounds, was always the active girl who loved snuggling, chasing water, playing chase with other dogs, playing in the rain and was fiercely loyal.
Freedom, at 190 + pounds, was the gentle giant. He wasn't active but very lovable and friendly. When Jack, the beagle, would bark at him, he would lay there wondering what all the fuss was about." Rita
 Freedom, Charity and America 11x14 Graphite ©Shelly Burden
"I was in our Nation's Capital on business, enjoying our patriotic holiday. I have no idea what possessed me to "go hold" the kitties up for adoption at plaza I passed by, but I did. I held the one who would be my Angel, my buddy, my in house comedian! When I put the little one back in the cage I saw an "expiration date"...then her furry paw reached out "punking me"on my arm. I looked up at God and said "REALLY? Are you serious?!" I adopted her, bought a carrier and a plane ticket and flew home. I named her "Liberty", aka Libby Kitty.
As I fell more in love with Libby it was the little things that became uniquely her. For example, she would paw me on the face in the mornings as if to say, "Okay Mama, feed me!"  I swore I was gonna teach her the days of the week because that was a 6am occurrence DAILY, even weekends!
Six months later to the date I found/adopted Libby I had a stroke at 44 years old. I'm a healthy woman and was out of town when it happened. Ironically in Washington DC, where the hospital misdiagnosed me, saying I had vertigo and a severe migraine and allowed me to fly home. I made it home but was terribly sick. Tried to nap but Libby was acting strange. She kept pawing my face like she does in the morning to feed her...and kept doing it! Just then a different ER Dr from DC phoned. He said "I'm going over the reports from your test and I don't know how to tell you this but they weren't accurate in your diagnosis. It shows you have a blood clot in your brain, I need you to get back here now." I said, "Doc I'm already home". He freaked and said " Oh my goodness YOU FLEW?" He immediately asked, "How are you feeling?" I said, "I am so sick, I've been trying to take a nap and..." He cut me off and said " Oh GOD NO you can't sleep! You need to get to a hospital now" . My Mom took me to the hospital. Symptoms began and worsened: my speech became impaired, my balance off and my left side wasn't functioning properly. I spent over a week in the hospital and worried every day about "The Libster". On my 3rd day my Mom in a very matter of fact manner said , " You know....I guess you two girls are even. You saved Libby's life and she saved YOURS!"
  Mary Terese

"Liberty Cat" Ornament. ©Shelly Burden
Alex – Murphy’s brother. We picked him up at Petsmart about 2 yrs after getting Murphy. He got along great with Murphy and Mr Kitty but Bestet and he vied for 2nd in command when Murphy became Alpha after MrKitty left us.
MrKitty – family matriarch, my wife rescued him when he was hit by a school bus in the street very young. She didn't give him a “normal” name as she didn't think he'd survive, but he lived over 20 yrs though lost a lot of teeth due to lack of mothers milk at such a young age.
– Champion Himalayan, wonderful cat. Very playful, he and MrKitty were the best of buds.
– He was my wife’s 1st cat. A few years after owning Nibbles a vet said Nibbles was blind, had been since birth. My wife had no idea.
Murphy – MrKitty brought him up and taught him like a son. My wife spent 6 hrs at Petsmart before getting him as he was very shy and scared. He is very demanding and verbal now.
– Cat rescued at our back door. He had mange and very little hair and starving when we found him. My wife was a little hesitate to get him but she loves him now and he sleeps on her all the time.
Baby – another rescue cat. The only female, all the others are males. Very moody." Ed
 Alex, MrKitty, Tia, Nibbles, Murphy, Bestet and Baby 16x20" Commissioned Watercolor ©Shelly Burden