The Dart: Pet owner has a lot of love to give

Published 12:05 am Monday, September 5, 2011

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Animal enthusiast Lisa Loftin pets one of her many dogs in her backyard on Laurel Street Thursday afternoon.

NATCHEZ — When Lisa Loftin moved into her house on Laurel Avenue 10 years ago, it was just her, her mother, her dog Xandy and her cat Victoria.

Ten years later, six more dogs and two more cats have been added, not counting a Persian cat that died in May 2010.

When The dart landed at her house, Loftin was having fun with her seven dogs in the backyard. Her dogs include

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Animal enthusiast Lisa Loftin plays with her dogs in her backyard on Laurel Street Thursday afternoon.

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Xandy, Jiggs, Abby, Zoe, Suzie, Champ and Wally, and her three cats are Victoria, Tom and Jerry.

“It’s chaos all the time,” Loftin said. “They’re inside all the time except when they have to go to the bathroom. We have to keep up the house by mopping every other day and sweeping every day.”

Thankfully, all of her dogs are long-haired dogs, Loftin said, so they don’t shed.

“Now, the cats do shed,” Loftin added.

Loftin said she tries to have her dogs groomed once a month to every two months, and she bathes them at least once every two weeks.

“That way they won’t get knotted or matted up,” Loftin said. “If they get knots or mats, then you’re in trouble.”

All but two of her dogs — Zoe and Champ — are rescues, Loftin said, as were the cats Tom and Jerry.

“Tom and Jerry came up to us as strays, but once we showed them a litter box, they got it,” Loftin said.

“I just love animals. When they need a home, someone always calls me, because they know I’ll take care of them.”

Despite the crowded house, Loftin said there aren’t many fights between the dogs and cats.

“They get along great,” Loftin said. “If the dogs want to aggravate (the cats) and want to play, the cats will slap them, but as far as (real) fighting goes, they don’t.”

Wally, the smallest of the litter, came to the family three years ago as a disabled rescue, Loftin said.

“His little back legs don’t work too well,” she said. “They kept him in a cage all of his life until we got him. He hops like a rabbit and is blind in one eye.”

That hasn’t stopped Wally from running with the rest of the pack, however.

“Sometimes if Mama’s holding Wally in her lap and Champ jumps up, Wally will grab Champ’s nose,” Loftin said.

“It took Wally about a week to start barking, and he couldn’t walk on the grass for a while. Once he watched the others do it, it seems like he said, ‘I can do that.’

Wally has also overcome several other issues, Loftin said.

“He also couldn’t bark at first,” she said. “When he did it the first time, he scared himself. We’ve had to pull a lot of his teeth out, and we’ll have to pull the rest, just because they’ve gotten so bad.”