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Archive for August, 2013

Remember when you were young, and the thing you wanted most in life just never seemed to appear? Like when you really, really, wanted a pony and got a bike. Or a science kit. Or even worse – a doll.

Well…..prior to the celebration of Grady’s Gotcha Day, for which he was showered with toys and treats, he got another….gift. Not quite what he wanted, I’m relatively certain. Grady enjoys his live squeaky toys, also known as cats. He was not so much impressed by the new squeaky toy that growled. And barked. And barked and barked and barked.

The beginning of June I inherited my late father in law’s dog. Or what he called a dog. I called her many things not postable here. My father in law could be best termed …stubborn. And fractious. Pig-headed works well too. During the years I was breeding and showing Golden Retrievers, I offered him a puppy many times, but he always refused because he didn’t want a dog in the house. The year he turned 85 his brain cells apparently turned into compost and he decided he wanted a puppy that was advertised in the paper. And my mother in law bless her, bought it for him. “It” was actually what I called her for years, but he called her Brandy, because the poodle something cross was supposed to be a peach colour and turned out more to have random pale blotches. I determined early on that she was actually one of that rare breed: the SBT, or Small Barky Thing.

It was not in my plans to get another dog, especially when facing major surgery. But I had promised my mother in law before she passed away, that I would make sure she was looked after. So when my brother in law basically said take her or I get rid of her, I took her home to Grady. He was so thrilled. Not.

Brandy is ten years old, and has never lived with another animal. You can imagine the uproar in my house when the cats descended on her all at once, and Grady promptly tripped over her. It was kind of hard to explain to Brandy that Grady couldn’t see her. But Grady knew there was something different. This squeaky growled instead of hissing!

Needless to say, the transition was not an easy one. I set up a Great Dane crate in the living room so that she would have a safe place, and this is where she sleeps at night. In the beginning she barked and barked. For what, I was never sure. She was only ever put outside on a tether to “do her business” and then brought in when they remembered her. So in addition to new animals, there was new food, new routine, new home, new stimulus…it was exhausting. For all of us.

Her barking excited Grady. (I so needed that when I was already over loaded with work and arrangements for taking some time off.) It made noise, therefore it was fun! Brandy did not think so at all. There was some mutual barking, a little growling from Brandy, and Grady pretty much understood that this toy was not as much fun as the alligator with 16 squeakies in it.

As it was now summer weather in July, Grady wasn’t all that upset when Brandy took over his extra large orthopedic dog bed. The cats however, were not impressed. There was a sort of détente over who got how much room for several weeks. Then every once in a while, Grady would wander over and flop down. Sometimes barely missing Brandy. He still didn’t understand what the growling was about.

with brandy on bed

grady brandy together

But all things work out in the end if you have enough patience. Not that I had a lot over this summer, but Brandy eventually tolerated Grady on his own bed, and if they are not best buddies, they do now live in relative peace (the barking has stopped thank doG!). Grady however, being the sweet, brainless soul that he is, still bowls her over by charging down the stairs, and Brandy, being the SBT thing that she is, appears to be plotting revenge.

P.S.
A word of thanks to our blogging friends for keeping us entertained over the summer. I realize that we were absent a long time, but I found that pain tends to cancel out the sense of humour that our blog is built on, and after I had knee replacement surgery in early July, I found myself poor in laughs, but rich in friends.

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