Missouri, the “show me state” is home of the dogwood tree, the Ozarks, the famous Lambert’s roll-tossing café, and most importantly where our beloved Pet Family of the Month originally hails from!
Meet the Kinders! Oxford has lots transplants from all over the country. It seems once the “oasis of the south” is discovered, it becomes hard to leave! Jeff and Marti, originally from St. Louis and Cape Girardeu, fell in love with Oxford’s small town charm and culture and this year they celebrate twenty years of calling Oxford home sweet home!
Jeff and Marti have two children, Natalie (26) and Eli (20). Natalie lives in Shreveport, LA where she is a physical therapist for the Shriner’s Hospital for Children. Eli, a sophomore at Ole Miss, is pursuing a degree in Managerial Finance. Avid golfers the Kinders understand the balance of hard work and hard play. And when they are off playing, our Pet Nannies are playing too; with their furr-babies!
Like so many of us the Kinders have always been surrounded by pets. Jeff grew up with a Springer Spaniel (there’s nothing like Springer Love!) however, their first family pup was a hilarious black pug named Milo. They adopted him outside of a McDonald’s, under the golden arches. Natalie, four years old at the time, called Milo the “McDonald’s dog”. He was the best surprise they ever received with a happy meal! Milo’s favorite song was “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston, and he and Natalie would sing it together on long car rides. “…and I-I-I-I-I-I…” they’d howl! They were bless to have Milo for seventeen years and we at Homeward Bound were privileged to care for him for many years.
Their current furr-baby is their grand-dog; the sweet, beautiful, long haired blonde miniature Dachshund named Harley! Harley lived with Natalie while she attended the University of Alabama. In 2011, they rode out the Tuscaloosa tornado together. This must have been an absolutely terrifying experience. It was one of the most damaging tornadoes on record and we are so thankful Natalie and Harley made it through safely. There is no doubt this was a huge bonding experience for them and likely why Harley is so protective of his family. Jeff and Marti fell in love with Harley and Natalie couldn’t think of taking him away from them when she moved.
Harley loves to watch the neighborhood activities from the comfort of his chair and play the part of the doorbell! Some of his favorite hobbies include car rides, lap warming, and napping! He is a stealth hunter and particularly talented at catching a lizards and squirrels. This is quite a feat since he isn’t much bigger than they are! He is a great road-trip buddy and loves rides to Missouri to see his great-grandparents Howard and Bonnie. But, his favorite trip is to visit Natalie and Avery in Shreveport. Harley likes to think he’s an only child, but he has a brother. A turtle named Phil!
Phil is an interactive little guy; he loves to swim around in his aquarium beneath the black-light. When he’s not napping on his rock, Phil is usually standing on his back legs doing a turtle dancing for his pellets. Phil is no slow turtle he can actually swim and run very quickly, and loves to show off by creating a sea of waves in his private beach.
Harley was quite keen on being an only-dog but he recently met his new cousin Avery. Avery is an eight-month miniature Australian shepherd and just as wild as she can be. She runs in circles creating a storm of fireworks behind her. While Harley pretends he doesn’t like her, he is warming up to her frequent visits quickly and has even started sharing his toys. Having a cousin puppy pal really is a good thing!
This Kinders are such a fun and entertaining family! Please join us in giving a big hip-hip-hooray for July’s Pet Family of the Month.