Two Puppies, One Lap

It’s a given, if I’m sitting down, I have a dog on my lap. It’s been that way for years. For the last eight months, however, I’ve had two puppies and only one lap. We got Georgie (brown and white Chihuahua) first, and she’s always been a snuggler. When Bella (black and white Papillon/terrier) came along, Georgie had to learn to share. It was easy at first, because they were both very little.

As they got bigger, things got a little tighter, but we talking less than ten pounds total, so not really an issue.

They even share my lap in the car.

Sometimes, they’re content to snuggle beside me, as long as we’re all together.

And although mine is their go-to lap, they’re happy to cuddle with Hubby, too.

Or my boys, if they’re around.

When they were younger, Georgie and Bella would snuggle together in their bed if no lap was available.

As they got bigger, I thought they’d be more comfortable in their own beds. At first Bella didn’t agree. She’d move her bed next to Georgie’s, then sort of worm her way over.

Usually if I’m on the computer, Georgie is on my lap, and Bella uses the nearby bed.

It gets tricky when, for some reason, Bella thinks she should also be up on my lap.

This only works if I’m scrolling Twitter or newsfeeds, and don’t need to type. When I’m using the keyboard, even Georgie usually gets down. Somehow she always manages to scoop the bed away from Bella, and Bella quietly moves to the mat by my feet. Which is strange because Bella is the bigger and more aggressive of the two.

On the rare occasion, Bella won’t move right away, so Georgie just sits there until she wins.

Every morning, they can be found on my lap right after Hubby leaves for work. I’m drinking coffee in my housecoat and catching up on the news headlines, and my two little girls are snuggled in tight. Makes it hard to get up and start my day. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love my puppies!

 

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A Month of Trials and Tribulations With Georgie and Bella

Having a puppy is great fun. It’s also work. Having two puppies is even more work. I love my little girls, and I’m grateful for the joy they bring, but I’m ready to put the busy puppy phase behind us.

I made a mistake naming our second puppy Bella. She’s certainly not the dainty little angel the name implies. Despite only weighing four pounds, there’s nothing delicate about her, and with her excess exuberance, ‘Rascal’ might’ve suited her better. Or perhaps ‘Diabla’. I’m jesting, of course. She can be a stubborn brat, but she’s also very affectionate and loves everyone. She just needs more growing up.

And she needs to stop having accidents in the house. She’s five months old now and should be housebroken. She asks to go out during the day, and accidents only happen once it gets dark. We take her outside regularly in the evening, but she’d rather play than pee. Indoor piddles aren’t a daily occurrence, but she still can’t be trusted, and it’s frustrating.

At around four months old, Bella’s facial hair started getting shaggy.

I didn’t trust myself to trim it without poking her eyes, so I contacted several local groomers. All I wanted was her face trimmed fairly short, but apparently the full trim package is the only option available. I wasn’t overly pleased with the job on her face. It looked uneven and choppy, and was still too long. Her moppy little feet turned out nicely, though. And she was a good girl for the groomer.

A month later, she looks cute again. The hair isn’t as jagged looking, but it’s already getting long. I’m not thrilled at the prospect of paying another $40 for services I don’t want.

Georgie and Bella usually play wonderfully together. Georgie mothers Bella, cleaning her face and ears daily, and Bella likes to be wherever Georgie is.

They both love to chew, so we always buy two of everything, to avoid squabbling and jealousy.

This works until one of them decides she wants what the other one has. Bella simply takes what she wants from Georgie, which often makes Georgie snarl. Bella might back off, or she might not. If Georgie wants Bella’s toy, she’s more subtle. She’ll get another toy and enthusiastically play with it right in front of Bella. As soon as Bella drops what she has to take Georgie’s toy, Georgie swoops in and grabs Bella’s. If Bella doesn’t fall for this ploy, Georgie whines and cries and tries to convince us to take it from Bella and give it to her. It’s quite entertaining.

The girls were thrilled when we put a rug in the living room. They have comfy beds, but apparently the rug is superior to nap on.

Georgie turns eight months old today, and we finally got her spayed last week. The vet wanted all her adult teeth in first, but ended up pulling a baby canine. Bella was so vexed about Georgie being gone, she spent much of the morning sulking in her bed.

Georgie sometimes looks stoned in photos, but she wasn’t faking it that afternoon. Poor baby.

She rallied that evening and even ate a few bites of food. When I gave her pain meds the next morning, she got groggy again.

The following morning, she seemed even more drugged after her dose of meds. She acted scared of us and just wanted to be by herself.

So pathetic.

Thankfully once the drugs left her system, she became her busy, happy self again.

 

Double The Trouble, Double The Fun…Two Puppies Are Better Than One!

Our Chihuahua puppy, Georgie, is six months old already and totally precious! (I blogged about getting Miss Georgie Girl here)

She behaves beautifully on her leash and is enthusiastic about walks.

Outside continues to be a favourite hangout. And she finally comes when she’s called!

She and Rocko, the neighbour dog, are madly in love, sharing doggie kisses through the fence.

With Georgie maturing nicely, what would possess us to get another puppy? Three words: Energy To Spare. Georgie begs to play nonstop.

We give her plenty of attention, just not as much as she’d like. So, five weeks ago, we got her a playmate, “Baby Bella B”. (The B stands for butterfly ears and bunny-rabbit legs)

Bella’s an undetermined mix of breeds – her dad’s a purebred Papillon and her mom’s a poodle cross. The tiny runt of the litter, Bella weighed two pounds at eight weeks, only slightly more than Georgie did. We’ve no idea how big she’ll get.

Regardless, she’s 100% adorable.

Her fuzzy wire-hair coat has nice markings with several cute splashes of brown.

Wherever Georgie goes, Bella isn’t far behind.

Probably from being much smaller than her siblings, Bella’s assertive when playing with Georgie. They both usually want what the other one has, and Bella often wins.

Unlike Georgie, who’s not food motivated, Bella loves to eat and is eager for treats.

Bella adores Georgie, and Georgie really likes her, too (just maybe not quite as much). At first, she refused to snuggle together.

One day I happened across this adorable scene.

As long as Georgie initiates it, she’s now okay with cuddling.

I take way too many pictures of them sleeping. They’re just too sweet and comical to resist.

Georgie still sleeps in funny positions.

Bella’s body is too short and chubby to contort.

Right now, they’re still small enough to both fit on my lap.

Bella had the sweetest puppy ears, and I hoped they’d stay that way forever.

But her Papillon genes soon won out. Still so cute, though.

Maybe it’s because my old pup, Roxy, had tiny, hairless ears, but Georgie & Bella’s beautiful fuzzy ears rather fascinate me.

Like Georgie, Bella loves it outside.

They chase and wrestle constantly. Bella often dominates the wrestling matches, but Georgie leaves the clumsy-footed baby behind when they run. Lean and sleek, Georgie’s the undisputed speed demon.

Time out for a drink.

Our yard offers lots of shady grass, yet Georgie, the sun-lover, seeks out the hottest spots. Sometimes Bella joins her, although with her thick, fuzzy coat, she prefers shade.

In contrast to Georgie’s cautious nature (she won’t even jump off the couch), Bella knows no fear. Hubby had to add a bottom railing to the deck after she leaped three and a half feet to the ground below.

When our son’s family visited with their three dogs, Georgie was initially terrified. Doggie socializing is important though, and she soon warmed up to Piper and Shasa.

Bella loved them all, especially Sukie, the big lab.

Little devil even stole Sukie’s bone.

They were all amazingly relaxed together.

We often take the puppies on outings. They enjoy meeting people, which is beneficial to their socialization. They’re great in the car, and although Bella’s not as keen about walking as Georgie is, she’s learning.

They get plenty of water breaks.

And on the car ride home, they sleep like angels.

So, yeah, we’re busy, and we’re certainly looking forward to Bella being potty-trained. But these sweet little girls have stolen our hearts, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Diva Princess and Ball Fetching Maniac In A Four-Pound Package

Roxy is my current dog, and although I feel disloyal to all my other wonderful pets, I have to admit she’s probably my favourite.  She’s not as obedient as Oliver, as loyal as Sweetie, as beautiful as Brandy, and thankfully not as mischievous as Titan or Simon.  But she is adorable, bright and a real character.  Her grasp of Human-speak continuously amazes me.  And she’s very good at telling me, with expression, body language or verbalization, exactly what she wants – which is usually “Can we please play ball?”

Back in March of 2003, while we were all still mourning the loss of Oliver, I came across an ad for Chihuahua-Yorkie pups. My mother-in-law was kind enough to offer to buy us one.  That’s how we came to own a teeny-tiny (barely one pound) little girl we named Roxy.  She was just too precious for words.

0303-1 Roxy

0303-5 Roxy

0303-10 Roxy

0303-13 Roxy

0303-18 Roxy

Sweetie graciously welcomed her,  even though for years to come, Roxy gave her payback by jumping all over her the way Sweetie used to torment Oliver.

0303-17 Sweetie & Roxy

I have literally hundreds of pictures of Roxy, and it’s hard to pick just a few, so I’m going to bombard you with lots, probably way too many.  Sorry.

We quickly discovered that Roxy LOVED to fetch.  Imagine a little scrap of a dog, weighing a couple of pounds, fetching and carrying a variety of balls, some as big as her.  She also has quite the fetch stance, alertly watching and waiting, with one front paw up.  We think she believes she’s a retriever.  And she definitely has no idea how small she is.

0306-1 Roxy

Hiding under the couch with her ball because she’s not getting enough attention

0304-8 Roxy

Searching for her ball in the leaves

0310 Roxy-9

0310 Roxy-30

Taking a forced rest

0608-11 Roxy

Just a touch maniacal

0710-10 Roxy

0710-15 Roxy

Pouting because no one will play with her

0909-2 Roxy

Roxy’s various fetch stances

0402 Roxy-3

0402 Roxy-4

0402 Roxy-5

Even in the snow

0701-2 Roxy

After all that hard work, a snooze feels good.  Especially in a puddle of sunshine, snuggling with a good friend or a cozy blanket.

0501-2 Roxy & Sweetie

0511-2 Roxy

0609-1 Sweetie & Roxy

0609-4 Roxy

0612-32 Roxy

1004-5 Roxy

“If you’re just going to sit there, how about a tummy rub?”

1011-1 Roxy

1007-2 Roxy

Reminiscent of my cat, Spooky, Roxy tends to get comfy in some unusual places.

0509 Roxy

0511-1 Roxy

0602-4 Roxy

0708-9 Roxy

And while she’s definitely a lapdog, she loves to be cradled in the crook of my arm, like a baby.  She’ll also snuggle against my chest with her head tucked in close as I carry her if she’s tired.  It’s so sweet.

0512-2 Roxy

Roxy is so entertaining and many a time she’s given us a real laugh.  This laugh came at her expense, poor wee darling.  She somehow got her hair tangled up in my spider plant and was too small to pull herself free so was stuck there until I noticed her.

0405-3 Roxy

She’s such a pretty little girl when she’s bathed and groomed.

0408-1 Roxy

0608-17 Roxy

0806-2 Roxy

And she rocks some glorious bedhead on occasion too.

1012-6 Roxy

1011-4 Roxy

0910-1 Roxy

My son and daughter-in-law have an adorable little chi named Daisy.  I love this series of photos I took when Daisy was just a puppy.  Notice how Roxy sits attentively, waiting for me to snap the picture while Daisy looks everywhere but at the camera.  This went on and on.  Finally Roxy says, “enough is enough, this dog is never going to pose nicely”, and she lies down right when Daisy looks at the camera.

0612-3 Roxy & Daisy

0612-4 Roxy & Daisy

0612-6 Roxy & Daisy

Roxy and Daisy have grown to be great friends. Roxy even lets Daisy think she’s the boss.

0706-9 Roxy & Daisy

0712-1 Daisy & Roxy

0706-11 Roxy & Daisy

0803-2 Roxy & Daisy

0908-11 Roxy & Daisy

Roxy didn’t think my sister’s dogs should be allowed on “her” couch.

0905-15 Roxy, Sweetie, Abby, Ava

An unhappy Roxy sporting a bandage from an IV after getting her teeth cleaned.

0802 Roxy

Roxy and Sweetie banished to the basement while there are workers in the house.  So sad.

0908-7 Roxy & Sweetie

For entertainment at Christmas we embarrass our pets by dressing them up and making them pose for the camera.

0712-10 Roxy

0712-11 Roxy

0812-4 Roxy

Roxy is not a fan of little people.  I don’t think she trusts them not to hurt her.  She gets surprisingly excited to see our grandsons when they come over, then quickly grows jealous of the attention we pay them.  But when a grandson was sick, Roxy stuck close by his side.

1010-81 Roxy

1002-89 Roxy

Roxy is so obsessed with her ball, we have to hide it in order to get some peace.  We’re quite certain if we threw her ball off a cliff, she’d follow it over.  Fetching might be her biggest obsession, but she has several other peculiar traits I find amusing.

She likes to sit on or hang off feet.  Freaks people out.

0905-3 Roxy

She hates sports on TV.  And she totally knows how to throw daggers if I cheer too loudly.  She was less than impressed the one time we took her to my son’s football game.

0609-1 Roxy in Chilliwack

She doesn’t think anyone except she and I should be able to sit on the couch.  She gives my hubby the death eye if he dares to join me on the couch to watch TV.  Then she’ll look at me, throw a dirty look at him, back at me again.  She’ll eventually go over to the loveseat and pout if he doesn’t move.  She might condescend to napping with someone on the couch, but more often I’ll get the “make him move” look.

1010-171 Roxy

0908-76  Roxy

In the spring Roxy can’t resist a good roll in the grass.  She comes in smelling to high heaven and covered in yuck.  Sometimes I have to bathe her daily.  She really hates a bath so this is an ordeal for both of us.

0903-3 Roxy

1207-2 Roxy

She hates cats.  And I mean detests them.  It’s quite comical to see the way she puts the run on anything feline that dares to enter our yard.  And amazing the way they all run from her.  Only once did a cat refuse to leave.  Poor Roxy didn’t know what to make of it, but she wisely stood at a distance while barking ferociously until I came to her rescue.  The cat in this picture weighs eighteen pounds.  Did I mention Roxy is weighs less than four?

0906-8 Roxy

She’s terrified of going up the stairs.  Some stairs are okay, or at least she manages to find the courage to scramble up them, but with others, she’ll just sit there forever, squeaking and complaining until we give in and carry her up.

1009-1 Roxy

She won’t cross the street when we go for a walk.  At every single corner I have to pick her up and carry her across.  Then again, she’s not too partial to walking on a leash period, often planting four teeny paws and giving me the “I’m not moving and you can’t make me” look.  And she’s right, I can’t make her.  So I have to carry her for a bit, then she’s willing to try again.  Thank goodness she doesn’t weigh twenty pounds.

1109-2 Roxy

1109-13 Roxy

Taking a wee break to smell the flowers

Roxy-3

A couple of years back, the poor little peanut had to have all her teeth pulled except for two lower canines.  Only seven years old and toothless.  She and I were both a little traumatized by the ordeal.

Some very sad pictures taken right afterwards.

1002-1 Roxy after getting teeth pulled

1002-2 Roxy feeling better

After I got over the shock (and the $900 vet bill), I thought maybe she’d put on some needed weight by eating canned food.  But Roxy had other ideas.  She didn’t like canned dog food.  I mean really, what dog doesn’t like canned dog food???  Our other dog, Sweetie, certainly did, and mealtime took on its own particular hell as I tried to convince Roxy to eat, while standing guard so Sweetie wouldn’t gobble her food down.  As her gums hardened, I was able to find very small dry dog food that Roxy enjoys and is able to eat without fear of choking.

Since losing her teeth, Roxy occasionally becomes that dog.  You know the one, with the tongue hanging out the side of its mouth.  Totally adorable or rather homely, depending on your perspective.

1112-2 Roxy

Bedhead AND the tongue, yikes!!

1011-12 Roxy

Having no teeth hasn’t hampered Roxy’s ball fetching abilities in the least.  We’ve found some balls she can carry and to this day, we play fetch daily, both indoors and out.

1107-3 Roxy

1107-8 Roxy1107-10 Roxy

1008-2 Roxy

Roxy might be the fussiest eater ever, but I firmly believe if she belonged to one of those little old ladies who shared everything they ate with their dog, she’d be a little porker.  She loves people food, especially sweet treats, and she begs with the most endearing little face.  I confess I’m guilty of breaking my “no people food for dogs” rule with her.  But not often enough to make her fat or ill.

A toothless Roxy joins the other dogs begging for a treat.  (All the dogs love my daughter-in-law)

1012-9 Daisy, Roxy, Shasa

This photo of Sweetie and Roxy was chosen to appear in a made-for-TV movie my son worked on.  If you have the opportunity to watch “A Mother’s Nightmare” (coming soon), be sure to keep an eye out for my girls’ photo hanging in the vet’s office.  (And my son’s name in the credits – three times)  The little movie stars!!

1205-2 Sweetie & Roxy

Roxy is now nine years old.  She has had a huge adjustment to make in the past few months, losing her best friend, Sweetie, and with me going back to work full-time.  She’s lonely and craves attention, which we do our best to give her.  I don’t think we’ll get another dog though.  She’s so small, an eager puppy could easily hurt her and she gets jealous of the attention we give other small creatures, canine or otherwise.  She’s always on my lap (even as I type this she’s lying across my lap) and I don’t want her to have to share me.  So we’ll continue to spoil her rotten and take enjoyment from her quirky little personality for, hopefully, many years to come.  I can’t possibly fathom not having her in my life.  If Hubby has his way, she’ll be our last pet, but I’m not engaging in that conversation right now.  We’ll see.

1205-1 Roxy 

Read the introduction with links to all my pets HERE. Meet other furry family friends HERE.

She Really Was Such A Sweetie!!

The main reason we decided to get another dog was to have a companion for Oliver. It broke our hearts to see how much he missed his little buddy, Simon. For weeks on end he sat patiently by the patio doors, the last place he’d seen Simon, watching and waiting for his friend to come home. I’ll never forget how he jumped up, beyond excited, when we arrived home with this new puppy, so similar in size and colour to Simon. One quick sniff brought Ollie the bad news that this was an interloper, not his precious Simon, and he turned his back on Sweetie intent on ignoring her forever. Luckily for us all, that didn’t turn out to be the case.

9702-1 Sweetie & Oliver

When we bought Sweetie in the spring of 1997, there were two puppies left in the litter. The male was called Bratsie and the female Sweetie. It readily became apparent that Bratsie lived up to his name and we had no intention of ever getting another mischievous male. Sweetie was just that—sweet, if a little timid and quiet. She snuggled up close to me on the car ride home and by time we arrived, she’d bonded, becoming my girl. It touches me deeply, to this day, how much that little dog loved me. Totally loyal and devoted, she was my constant shadow for over fifteen years.

9702-2 Sweetie

One of Sweetie’s most endearing mannerisms was the way she tilted her head to the side when we spoke to her, as though she was trying to understand what we were saying. It was just about the cutest thing ever. The huge amount of white dog hair she left on everything was far less endearing. It was downright annoying, but not her fault and we did the best to clear away what we could and learned to ignore the rest.

9706-2 Sweetie

It didn’t take Sweetie long to win Oliver over and he tolerantly put up with her jumping all over him. They especially enjoyed vigorous games of tug-of-war with an old sock, Oliver’s favourite game ever. They didn’t quite achieve that close bond Oliver and Simon had, but they were good and loyal friends for the rest of Oliver’s days.

9703-2 Oliver & Sweetie

9707-3 Sweetie & Oliver

We soon discovered that Sweetie had several unnatural fears, one of flashing lights and another of small black objects, such as TV remotes. We’re talking an absolute terror of flashing lights and an only slightly less fear of all that’s black. It made us wonder if a flashlight had fallen on her or something like that, and the fear had imprinted on her.

Sweetie never got over this irrational fear so we did our best not to subject her to anything that might frighten her. For some strange reason, she seemed to think she should be in the shot when pictures were taken, especially ones of the boys, but the camera was a problem. It was black and it flashed. That’s why so often in pictures she has an uncomfortable or fearful expression on her face.

0501-4 Sweetie

0808-2 Sweety

One of Sweetie’s favourite positions:

0911-1 Sweetie

Sweetie was not only the matriarch to all dogs who entered our house, she also felt the need to boss the children, letting them know with a sharp bark and a pretend nip at their heels that there was to be no running in her house. On the flipside, she took it upon herself to carefully guard the little ones from any perceived harm. She also quickly discovered that kids were a good source of snacks and you could always find her close by whenever food was involved.

9712-2 Sassy & Sweetie

0712-3 Sweetie & Daisy

1112-9 Shasa & Sweetie

1112-21 Lucy & Sweetie

0904-95 Sweetie

0908-71 Sweetie

Over the years we had to cope with numerous of Sweetie’s eccentricities, but the worst by far was the way she chewed on her feet when she felt nervous or insecure. So often I’d find one of her poor little paws or lower legs licked/chewed raw and bleeding. A week or two of wearing a cone while the wound healed seemed to sort her out and months or, if we were lucky, years would go by before she’d do it again. In her final year, it became an almost constant problem, and I wondered if it was her way of dealing with her pain.

0705-2 Sweetie

1006-1 Sweetie

1012-2 Sweetie

Health problems plagued Sweetie for a number of years. After having her teeth cleaned when she was about ten, she developed a cough that wouldn’t clear up. X-rays revealed a lung inflammation. A daily dose of prednisone kept it under control, for the most part, but the condition was chronic and she had to take that horrible steroid for the rest of her life. This resulted in numerous bad side effects including excessive appetite, weight gain, and perhaps the worst of all, a heightening of her already nervous temperament. Often she’d pace and pace, panting as she went, unable to settle and relax. It upset me so much to see her this way, especially once her aging body became crippled with arthritis making it difficult and painful to get around.

1011-2 Sweetie

1107-1 Sweetie

No matter the pain in her later years, Sweetie never complained. She stoically went through her days, sleeping more and more, scrounging for snacks while awake, and following me around on stiff and tottering legs. In the end, she was nearly deaf and going blind, having to wear a cone so often only added to her problems and I reluctantly accepted it was time to say goodbye to my very special little girl.

1003-1 Sweetie

I chronicled my feelings when we had to put Sweetie down this past May and you can read that blog post HERE.

One of my favourite shots of Sweetie:

9708-2 Sweetie

Her last photo:

1205-69 Sweetie

Read the introduction with links to all my pets HERE. Meet Roxy HERE.

Our Puppy by Default

Back in the day, if I had to sum Simon up in one sentence it would have to be:  Good thing he’s so cute.

9109-1 Simon

But let me start at the beginning.  A neighbour came over one day back in the fall of 1991 to ask if we wanted a Chihuahua puppy.  Her sister had one and couldn’t keep it.  She brought the puppy over, an adorable little tan coloured chi, and naturally the boys fell in love with him.  After an afternoon of, “Can we keep him please, Mommy, please, please, please?” I relented and decided we would.  That evening my neighbour came back and asked for the puppy back, telling me she’d decided to keep it herself.  You can only imagine how heartbroken the boys were.

Hubby thought we’d dodged a bullet, but I felt sorry for the boys.  Yes, we already had a cat and the best little dog ever, but there was an aspect of unfairness to the situation, and besides, I was partial to Chihuahuas, having grown up with one.

So I tracked down the pet store where the puppy had come from and that Saturday we made the trip to Salmon Arm to see if there were any puppies left.  We weren’t keen on buying a pet store dog, but under the circumstances, we had little choice.  There was only one puppy left, a cream-coloured male.  He was very friendly and seemed grateful to us for rescuing him.  I soon found out the poor little guy was loaded with worms.  And I do mean loaded.  Trips to the vet and numerous doses of meds sorted that out.  But in hindsight, it might have been an omen of things to come.

9111-1

Oliver and Simon took to one another instantly.  They became inseparable and it was so cute to watch them play together.

9109-4 Simon & Oliver

9111-2 Simon & Oliver

9111-5 Simon & Oliver

9212 Oliver & Simon

I blame Simon’s days in the pet store for his greediness.  He had a huge sweet tooth, but it went beyond that.  Once time he got up on the kitchen table (no idea how, he was a teeny dog) and ate a dish of butter.  Another time a neighbour sent over lovely Christmas gifts for the boys, decorated with foil-covered chocolates.  Simon left the gifts, but ate all the chocolates.  Yet another time, he got on my son’s bed, and somehow climbed onto the ponywall shelf and manoeuvred his way through the clutter to the Easter basket where he proceeded to eat every last chocolate/candy in that basket.

9109-3 Simon

9407-2 Oliver & Simon

These are only a few examples.  And yes, the poor little guy paid the price with terrible stomach aches.  You could hear the tummy rumble from across the room and he had this funny little stance with his head down (and miserable expression) and butt up in the air.  Whenever we saw him like this we knew he’d been into something he shouldn’t.

9604 Simon

9300 Simon

Simon had an even worse habit.  He was a runner.  After our experience with our first dog, this terrified us.  Our yard wasn’t properly fenced to contain such a small dog, so we devised a line with long chains attached that we would hook onto the dogs’ collars and they could run and play safely.  But Simon was a little Houdini.  He could slip out of or chew off any collar we put on him and off he’d go.  We could practically hear him sing, “I’m freeeee!!!” as he flew down the street.  And unlike Titan, he refused to come when we called him.  We finally had to put a choke-chain collar on him.  I’m quite certain he was likely the only 6 lb Chihuahua wearing a choke-chain.

9111-4 Simon

One time, after we’d moved to the Okanagan, we left the dogs with my mom, who lived a few blocks from our place.  Somehow Simon got loose and poor Mom searched and searched for him.  Finally in desperation, she checked our house, and sure enough, there was the little brat, sitting on the front steps, happy as could be.

Despite our diligence, Simon occasionally made his escape and one day the inevitable happened.  In the summer of 1996, he got out of the backyard, and with my oldest son in pursuit, he headed down to the busy cross-street.  He made it safely across but as he ran up the shoulder he somehow got clipped by a passing car.  My poor son helplessly witnessed it all.  And that heartless driver only paused briefly before leaving my son with his dying dog on the side of the road.  Thankfully another car stopped and the kind woman helped my son bring Simon home.  By this time he had passed away.  To this day, I’m so very grateful to that considerate lady who unselfishly took the time to help out a young boy in need.

Simon’s death was a crushing blow to all of us and especially traumatic for my son.  We decided then and there to never own another male dog.

He may have come to us serendipitously, a little devil who gave us as much grief as a small dog possibly could, but Simon was also such a sweetheart, affectionate and adorable. We’re glad we had him, if only for five short years.

9411 Simon

Read the introduction with links to all my pets HERE. Meet Sweetie HERE.

The Happiest Little Fellow – Oliver Oreo

All my pets hold a special place in my heart, but I have to admit that most of my dogs were/are rather eccentric, to put it charitably.  My hubby might say neurotic or even psychotic, but he’s not as nice as me.  Oliver (and Brandy too) was an absolute exception.  You’d be hard pressed to find a dog with a sweeter, happier disposition than our little Oliver Oreo.

In the summer of 1990, I vaguely remember Hubby and one or two of the boys coming home from the hockey rink all excited about a litter of puppies being given away and if we hurried, we could get one.  So we hurried.  I do remember clearly seeing Oliver for the first time.  The runt of the litter, he was a teeny, tiny ball of black and white fluff, and he totally stole our hearts.  The consensus to bring him home was unanimous and we never once second-guessed that decision.

9007-2 Oliver

9007-15 Oliver

9007-4 Oliver

His mother was a purebred Lhasa Apso (the lesser-known cousin of the Shih Tzu) and his father was an unknown and unwelcome stranger.  Oliver had Lhasa Apso hair with the build of a small terrier.  He couldn’t have been more perfect, size-wise and temperament, for a family of young boys.  He was loyal and obedient to all of us, but he developed a special bond with my oldest son.  The two of them truly loved each other.

9010-2 Oliver

9101-8 Oliver

We still had our cat, Minet, at that time and Ollie readily wanted to make friends.  Once Minet had set down the ground rules – no jumping on her or eating out of her bowl – they became good buddies.  The funny thing about that was, although Oliver got along famously with Minet he had a strong and uncharacteristic hatred for all other cats.  You could almost see the smile on his face after he’d chased off a cat from our yard.

9007-1 Oliver & Minet

9102 Oliver & Minet

Being a Lhasa Apso, Ollie’s coat grew constantly and it didn’t take long before he became distinctly dishevelled.

9103 Oliver

I made the mistake – once – of thinking I could groom him myself.  Poor little guy, I think I thoroughly embarrassed him with my pathetic attempt.

9105-2 Oliver

Repairs to my first attempt weren’t an actual improvement.

9105-4 Minet & Oliver

Lesson learned, I had him professionally groomed after that.  We kept him long in the winter and had him clipped like a hound in the summer.  He looked handsome either way.

9111-1 Oliver

Oliver and TC, the little black male across the street, made fast friends.  They could often be found quietly taking in the sun together or enjoying a good romp on the lawn.  We sometimes joked that the two males had an especially “close” relationship, but what the hey, we were openminded and if it made them happy, who were we to judge?

9107 Oliver & TC

The boys enjoyed teaching Ollie tricks – sit, shake, high-five, rollover, you know, all the usual, and the bright little guy quickly realized if he did them he’d get a treat.  With amazing speed and agility he’d rush through his entire repertoire ending with the “sit pretty” pose.  Always gave us a chuckle and earned him his treat.

Ollie’s 1st birthday.

9105-2 Oliver's 1st birthday

We took Ollie with us everywhere we could.  He camped, he boated, he hiked, he visited family in faroff places.  He sometimes got a little nervous in the car, but good boy that he was, he “suffered in silence”, often needing nothing more than to sit on my lap and stick his nose in the air vent.  Although he often snuggled with the boys at home, he wasn’t a lapdog by any means, so I always found it amusing how he insisted on sitting on my lap in the car and I willingly accommodated his need when we traveled.

Minet & Ollie getting a snuggle.

9103-1Minet, Oliver

As Oliver got older, he developed a cough and we were given the dreaded news that he had congestive heart failure.  We put him on medication and it seemed to help for a while.  We did our best to keep him comfortable and content, but gradually he grew weaker and we had to make that heart-breaking decision to end his suffering.

0106-2 Oliver

In 2002, my brave, brave son, who loved his dog so very much, took him to vet and stayed with him as he eased into his forever sleep.  I can still envision the tip of Ollie’s little tail bobbing merrily as he slowly patrolled the perimeters one final time.  We almost changed our minds that morning, we really wanted to, but that would’ve been selfish of us.  We had that beautiful happy little dog in our lives for twelve fulfilling years and it was time to let him go.  But he will forever be a part of us.

9907 Oliver

Read the introduction with links to all my pets HERE. Meet Ollie’s buddy, Simon, HERE.