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A Beloved Puppy And His New Companion
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A Beloved Puppy And His New Companion

I brought Jack home when he was five weeks old. A miniature black poodle, Jack was the cutest puppy ever and adapted so well to being suddenly without his Mom and siblings. At his Big Mom's suggestion, about two weeks before bringing him home, I purchased a soft fabric cuddle toy that Big Mom placed into the crate where Jack, his birth Mom and siblings lived. That toy took on all the lovely doggie scents and proved to be the greatest comfort to both Jack and me during those first weeks at his new home. During the following months, each night I set my clock to a three hour schedule to take Jack out to do his business. (Not something I would advise as it did not one bit of good!)

Jack had a lovely nursery set up on the floor of my bathroom closet that was large enough for water and food at one end with his bed, blankets and toys at the other end. That little nursery soon turned out to be his prison after he got his right front leg slammed in the back door! Thankfully, because his bones were still "green", the bone did not break, but it did bend somewhat (like the branch of a small green shrubbery might bend) and the Vet said he must be confined for several weeks except to go outside to potty.

After surviving the injured leg and confinement, Jack grew and thrived. He never suffered from lack of attention; he was brushed, gums rubbed, feet massaged and his chest and belly were scratched every day until he would become limp as a cooked noodle. He grew up trusting, laid back, spoiled, and a loving little boy who was never told that he was a mere dog. His one bad habit was chewing. Shoes were not the primary object of his affection, although he would indulge in a shoe now and then if nothing else was available. He adored wood (tables, chairs, dressers, wardrobes, door facings), and fabric (comforters, quilts, sofa pillows). Trainers told me that he was bored, and that is no doubt true, but no amount of playing ball or one-on-one attention seemed to deter him past the time it took to catch his breath. His one goal in life was to chew - with purpose, powerfully and well.

Up until last year, Jack had only two dog friends - Gus and Finn. Gus belongs to my daughter and her husband, and Finn belongs to my Granddaughter. Then about seven months ago, I adopted a little rescue that had been found living on the streets of Pascagoula, Mississippi. Becca was brought into Alabama by Furrever Homes, a wonderful Baldwin County rescue group and Vets estimated her age at one, to one and a half years old. They also felt that she had been living on the streets for some time. This poor baby could have easily been mistaken for an extinct (& miniature) Woolly Mammoth as she arrived into Alabama, and of course her breed was not yet known! However, after having a proper grooming, a little dingy brown/grey poodle emerged - a sadly very under-weight and under-nourished little girl.

In my home, that situation improved quickly and she is now a healthy, well-nourished shiny grey/silver Diva Dog - and fully in charge at her new residence!

Of course, there was apprehension over how Jack would take to having another dog in the house, after all, Jack had been the sole recipient of all affection and held the greatest position of importance in his kingdom.And for weeks after Becca came to live with us, Jack simply ignored her. He was not mean to her, but he would not look at her, and he walked a wide circle around her avoiding eye contact with her at all costs. He was plain rude and inhospitable, and he had yet to learn the determination of a little independent female dog. After three or four weeks Jack began to warm up and he began checking her out, sharing his toys, and would even allow her to sit next to him.

There are occasional fights and they sound much more vicious than they actually are - otherwise, there would surely be blood on the floor. Becca is smaller but she always shuts Jack down! She likes to control the food bowls so I have to separate; she "herds" Jack, grabbing a mouthful of his thick black fur and dragging him into the house when he is showing his stubborn side by refusing to come inside when I call. But no matter how many fights, how many disagreements over food bowls and toys, cookies and apples, or who gets to sit where - they do love each other, and my first laugh of the day is when they greet each other upon waking every morning.

I continually recognize new ways in which they communicate with me and to each other. Jack and Becca know things, they hear things, they smell things, they know schedules, they know when the refrigerator door opens that food comes next, and they know when I come from the grocery store that there better be a doggie treat in one of the bags!

They are little sentinels - their jobs are to guard all property within their view; they monitor all traffic that goes by on the street, they know every dog, cat, bird and squirrel that sets foot in their yard (and the neighbor's yard) and they take great offense to all - man or beast - who trespass. They have built their careers on the principles of law and order, as only a dog knows them.

So Jack is now four years old, and Becca is a year and a half, perhaps two years - give or take a month or two. These little soldiers teach me something new every day. One just has to observe and pay attention to what they are saying! (Oh, and let me not forget to say that I have learned to spell certain words in front of them - words I do not want to bring up in their presence) I forget where I read the article, but just recently I ran across a very apt description of the poodle breed that goes something like this....."Poodles have an Einstein mind and the Three Stooges humor". I love these babies - they make me laugh and they keep me company!


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