We got a puppy. A very small puppy.
We are normally a family that adopts a dog from the Humane Society, a more mature dog that just needs someone to take care of them and love them, but then I saw this little brown jellybean on my cousin’s Facebook page and I fell in love.
They say the camera adds 10 pounds, and that is no joke. I saw pictures of the mother and father and although I knew they were small dogs, I didn’t think they were that small. Then I met them. They were so small I couldn’t even imagine how small the puppy was. She was lost in a sea of legs as my three children, my cousin and his partner and I all were hugging and saying hello after our trip up to Grand Cache to get her. Once we all moved out of the foyer, I saw her. She was the size of a small guinea pig with perky ears and big, soft brown eyes. My kids were squealing, and I struggled to maintain a sense of maturity about this little sweetie.
We brought her home to meet Monty, our other dog. Monty was a rescue, found living on the streets when he was just a puppy. He was a very calm puppy, so much so that I thought maybe there was something wrong with him. Nope, just a calm, old soul of a dog. In fact, we have a whole back-story for Monty. His real name is Montague P. Beauregard. He is a southern gentleman who never did marry because they only girl he ever loved done broke his gentle heart by running off with a banjo player named Steve. He is independently wealthy and spends his days in charitable pursuits, or just sipping on a cool glass of lemonade on the porch listening to classical jazz. If you ever met Monty, you would see this in him instantly.
Monty is a medium-size dog, a little heavy for his frame. I was not prepared for how big he would look side by side with our new puppy.
It has been a difficult love affair as Monty was the first to show affection. She spurned him, probably terrified because she literally weighed only one pound and he is approaching a healthy 50 pounds. Over the next few days, she decided he would be fun to play with, but he was disgusted that she was still in the house, stealing his food and, even worse – getting everyone’s attention! Slowly, he has decided that she can stay. He plays with her very gently and I have seen him knock her down by a light tap of his paw. Watching her run around room at top speed amuses him. They even play tug-of-war together with a little stuffed horse and he doesn’t shoot her across the room. He is, after all, a gentleman.
It is very interesting to watch the dynamics between these two animals. They lay in the sunbeam that streaks through our front window and slowly they are laying closer and closer. He doesn’t get upset when she steals his dog food, but in his passive aggressive way, he eats her puppy food. He doesn’t mind her drinking out of his bowl either. It’s currently a relationship of tolerance moving toward something better.
I can’t fool myself though, animals are unpredictable and sitting down to talk with them about their feelings and how best to behave is not an option. The puppy still goes in her crate while no one is home and put in a room with the door closed just in case Monty decides he really doesn’t want her around anymore.
It’s kept our whole family aware of these two souls that are sharing our home and that we need to care for them, love them and protect them (and not just the wee, cute little puppy but also our big, gentle old man).