Titus Welliver: Actor, Father and Animal Rescuer

Not Horsing Around

When they first met, Titus quickly learned that Jose was a horse lover, with four horses of her own. “And as our courtship progressed and she met my daughter, Cora, she introduced Cora to riding,” Titus says. “At first Cora was put off by the dirt and the smells of the ranch. But now she is the dirtiest one of all when we leave.”

All of their horses are rescue horses that Jose has rehabilitated, including their oldest horse, a 36-year-old mare who has survived a couple bouts of colic under the care of their veterinarian.

“My wife rescued a pony for my daughter, a Haflinger. And now my daughter is completely immersed in all things horses,” Titus says.

In a reflection of Titus’ early life growing up, his animal family continues to grow. After the Wellivers said goodbye to Sam, Jose found a little West Highland Terrier-Schnauzer mix they named Scout. And soon after they added another Brussels Griffon, Piper, to their pet-loving family.

With Mowgli, Maggie, Scout, and Piper firmly entrenched in the Welliver family, Cora posed a question of her own: What about a cat?

“‘Here’s the thing about cats,’ I told her. ‘They have litter boxes and things like that. And the onus of responsibility for that animal’s care will be placed directly on you,’” Titus says.

His daughter readily agreed, and the family brought home two cats — a brother-and-sister pair named Happy and Loki, who quickly made themselves part of the family. They follow their owners around the house, eagerly climb into their laps, and have even made friends with the dogs in the house.

“The dogs love them,” Titus says. “They will literally groom each other. I’ve never seen that before.”

And caring for those beloved pets defines the family and demonstrates their love, both for their pets and for each other. “My daughter wakes up before my wife and I do. And she feeds all of the dogs, feeds the cats, empties the litter box, takes all of the animals outside, makes sure they run around and do their business, and cleans it up before we even wake up,” Titus says.

“And then she comes into our room. I mean this is the quintessential photograph of what our lives are. My wife, my daughter, and I are all three lying in bed, and both cats are on my wife. All of the dogs are on the bed, except for the Golden Retriever, and he just sits next to it, because he’s so bloody big. He sits there and likes to keep one paw on the bed. That’s his way of being engaged and being within the pack. It’s an incredible way to start your day.”

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of HealthyPet magazine.

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