At Home With Sonia, Dim Sum, Gizmo, Pookie, Milo and Chip

Apartment Therapy Readers & Their Pets

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Name: Sonia McMoran
Location:Santa Cruz, CA
Your Pet's Name: Dim Sum (Dimmer), Gizmo (Giz-Murder), Pookie (Pook Pooks, Pickle), Milo (Mig-Mog) and Chip (Chipper)

When did he/she come into your life?: I rescued Dim Sum from the streets of Brooklyn seven years ago. A year later I found Gizmo on the same block, and then two years later I rescued Pookie from a warehouse in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

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Milo came into our lives 2.5 years ago when my husband and I went to the Monterey SPCA looking for a two-year-old dog. We left with a three-month-old terrorist of a dog, but we love him.

Last year, we took in my sister-in-law's mini Australian Shepherd, Chip.

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Where would we most likely find your pet in your home?: During daylight hours the cats are outside, but they happily curl up at home at night. Pookie sleeps on a mid-century chair I recently reupholstered (naturally!) To protect the $300 upgrade, I've placed an Ikea Tejn faux sheepskin mini rug on it. Gizmo either sleeps in the Hepper Pod we have in the kitchen (next to the food dishes, just in case!) or an IKEA basket I've outfitted with a custom-made pillow that sits atop a West Elm side table. If there's dirty laundry lying around, Dim Sum will curl up on it. Otherwise she likes to stretch out on our hot pink FLOR carpet, behind our Tendo Mokko rocking chair. Milo spends most of his day moving from room to room, wherever he can find a sliver of sun to stretch out on and Chip likes to curl up in his TK.

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Pet specific features of the home: The cats like to lounge where the dogs can't get to them, so a lot of our cat beds are high up on counters and tables. We have an automatic feeder that I bring out at night, in order to avoid early morning wake-ups for food. We hope to install a microchip-enabled cat door when we renovate in the future to lengthen our snoozing time even further. We also plan on putting in bay windows with little sleeping nooks for everyone.

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What do you love most about living with your pet?: I've always had pets in my life and, even though they often drive me crazy, I can't imagine living without them. A few of things I love most about living with pets include:

1. Running with the dogs. I take care of our son from the moment he wakes up to when he goes to bed, so I don't have time to go to the gym. Running the dogs around the neighborhood in the early morning is my one chance to do something for myself and the pups. I love the look of pure joy on their faces when they run.

2. I do a lot of terrorist negotiations throughout the day with my two-year-old. And while a glass (or two) of wine at the end of the day helps me relax, nothing...and I mean nothing...gets the serotonin pumping like hearing Pookie purr while she snuggles into my lap.

3. Seeing my son play and bond with our animals makes my heart burst every day. Our pets teach my son responsibility, compassion, and how much joy one can get from doing things for others. Fynn is so stoked when he gets Pookie to purr while petting her, and takes so much pride in walking Milo.

Thanks, Sonia!

The Apartment Therapy Readers & Their Pets series shares the lives and love of our readers with their beloved pets at home...alongside some of the quirky accommodations we make to keep them happy! Submit your photos and complete our Apartment Therapy Home & Pets Survey here to share!

(Images: Sonia McMoran)

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Apartment Therapy Readers & Their Pets