Smarter than the Average Pup

Our Mum died on Friday 24th May 2019 and on Tuesday 21st May, our 2019 cocker spaniel , Ruby, gave birth to a litter of three beautiful cocker-jack pups. Mum knew about the puppies and told me that we must be totally mad. But neither she , nor we, realised that they would save me during the traumatic weeks that followed. They were ‘fur angels’, who were divinely sent at that particular time to help us through, something beautiful in a cruel world. This litter was a perfect canine distraction and they have just celebrated their third birthday, Betty at home with us and Arthur and Hugo with our nieces. All three have grown to be beautiful and very loved dogs and we are blessed to have them in our family.

Move on three years and almost to the day, we have another canine distraction in the shape of a brown border collie called Yogi. Some of you might recall the battle between head and heart that I wrote about last month, well I am delighted to announce that our hearts won and he joined our family yesterday. We knew all of the practical, sensible reasons for not having a new puppy, who has 4 dogs after all? But once we had seen him, his brothers and his beautiful mother, we were lost and in love. We agreed that we would take him after our holiday, once he was ten weeks old.

So this stunning brown ball of fluff arrived, timid, yesterday afternoon, clinging to his human ‘mother’ and we all sat on the grass in the garden allowing him the space to explore and settle down. Gradually with dog biscuits, we were able to win his cautious attention and to reach out to stroke him. He had so much to explore but the sunshine turned to drizzle and finally, it began to rain heavily, so we retreated indoors. We went into the lounge where Joshua was lying on the settee watching Shrek, but he gave a big grin when I showed him the bundle of fluff that was our new addition.

Yogi had never been on carpet before so he enjoyed that new experience, but soon got too hot under all that fur and lay on the cooler stone hearth, panting. We were all transfixed by this vision of beauty, another canine distraction, who found his courage and began to explore. We introduced him to our existing dog family, one by one, once his human mother had gone home. Hopefully she was reassured that Yogi Junior – as he is named after his Dad – would have a good, loving home with us. Yogi sat next to Joshua while he met Betty first, who loved him and I think they will be good playmates. Then Ruby, who was just pleased to be let out of her cage, and pretty much ignored the new addition. But Kevin, the only other male, was furious and we had to hold on to him during the introduction as he was growling at the new pup.

But during all of those introductions, Joshua’s knee was ‘den’ and his safe place. He tucked in next to Joshua and they bonded immediately : Yogi found a friend and protector and Joshua loved stroking his soft fur and twiddling his ears. How do dogs know that Joshua is special? Even at 10 weeks old, on their first meeting, Yogi sensed something in Joshua that he liked. Yet he was wary of my tall husband at first and we learnt that he did not have a lot of experience of men with their lower, and in my husband’s case, louder voices. After half an hour of playing and getting acquainted, we put Yogi in his cage to rest as he had had such a lot of new experiences in a short space of time, so he would need time to adjust to, and process, it all. He happily slept in there, too hot next to Joshua really, but not wanting to move.

I am confident that Yogi will make a great addition to our already crazy, chaotic family life and based upon his first evening with us, he is going to fit in just fine.

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