Whenever I see puppies I feel happy. Their sweet puppy breath, little pink toes and fat round tummies make me want to sweep them all into my arms. I watch them play, they’re silly and often uncoordinated as they wrestle with toys, blankets and each other. When they sleep in a puppy pile my heart melts.
“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.”
Meet Puppy. Puppy is a mixed breed, a friendly boy who found himself homeless and at our local shelter. His paperwork said Boxer x Bullmastiff however when I saw him on Sunday I found myself baffled, I just couldn’t see it. Puppy has a boofy head, short fluffy ears and his multicoloured coat is quite soft and almost silky feeling, size-wise he is about the same height as a Dalmatian. Thankfully Puppy got adopted and was going home on Monday, however I’m still left wondering with no chance of a resolution. What breeds do you think Puppy resembles?
Our dogs have always been part of the fun at Christmas, presents from Santa and a special meal on Christmas Day. Everything from a chunky bone to roast chicken or beef, not to mention a few treats such as pigs ears or kangaroo chews. There are however, many ‘people foods’ that dogs shouldn’t be given at Christmas time and if you’ve got a puppy then there are also inedible objects that should be kept out of reach like Christmas tree decorations and pine cones. Below is a handy checklist from PuppySpot and it provides basic advice on how to keep your safe pet although I would add ham or ham bones to the list of things you shouldn’t feed your dog.
15 years ago a little black doggy was born, we had no idea she even existed until we saw her big floppy ears and spotty chest in a local pet store. She was the last one left and although I know better than to support pet stores now, at that time in my life I just had to have her.
We named that little puppy with the big ears Maxi, she spent her first few weeks hanging out with her gal pal Murray at my sister in-law’s house while we found a more suitable place to live. Maxi didn’t go to puppy school or obedience classes but we did call in a trainer to help us learn how to walk her properly because she had a tendency to pull and we knew nothing about training a dog. Many mistakes were made however Maxi’s nature was so sweet that she won the heart of everyone we knew, my Mum is particularly fond of her and would have been happy to make Maxi hers.
Maxi was a high energy puppy and loved to play, this didn’t change as she grew into a large dog however her favourite thing to do was race around in huge puddles of water. When our local park was flooded, she would do zoomies through the water, mouth open and tail tucked under. Occasionally she would throw herself on the ground and do what we called her commando roll on the slippery, soggy ground. When she was bored or feeling the heat, Maxi would dig. She dug holes in the lawn, in the garden and in the sand at the beach. Maxi still digs, evidence sticks to her nose and her nails and in one corner of our yard there is a huge hole and it is getting bigger. Maxi is the ‘diggingest dog‘.
Our dear Maxi girl is now 15 years old, her face is almost all grey and her hearing isn’t great however she still loves her walks and tries to coax Bundy into playing with a stiff but meaningful play bow. Arthritis means the walks are short and even though she starts out strong, after 15 minutes the pace has slowed dramatically and Maxi is ready to take her place on her bed. As a geriatric dog, doggy dementia has become a reality. Maxi has a tendency to wander off halfway through her dinner and needs reminding to return to her bowl, leftovers are not something that our barrel shaped boy needs to indulge in. During the night, I hear her nails click-clacking on our tile floor as she paces through the house and when I get up to let her out she looks at me as if to say “What are you doing Mum? I don’t want to go outside”. She has a knack of knowing exactly when I get settled in bed, because that is when she actually wants to go outside and sometimes then she will walk out the door, turnaround and immediately want to come back inside.
None of this is a major problem, Maxi’s vital signs are still good and since having a couple of bouts of pancreatitis she is on a strict diet which helps keep her weight down and in turn, make it easier for her arthritic legs. We are so happy that Maxi is still in our lives, she was our first fur kid and has been with me through many ups and downs. Maxi is the reason I became an obsessed crazy dog lady and proud dog Mum. At the moment she is sleeping soundly on her bed in her favourite spot near the front door, she likes the view from there and the slight breeze helps her stay cool.
Happy Birthday my beautiful girl! Thank you for the unconditional love and the joy you have given me.
Most Sundays you will find me at our local animal shelter, I volunteered originally as a dog walker but with so much to do, cleaning pens and feeding the dogs has also become part of my role. I love it! When I get home I am covered from head to toe in dog slobber, dirt, hair and poo and I stink, my own dogs don’t know where to start sniffing first. This morning I worked with one of the other volunteers to clean the row of pens containing lots of puppies and small dogs, trying to clean a pen filled with 8 week old puppies can be a challenge, they are like a swarm and follow my every move. At the moment there are six Shar Pei puppies waiting for their forever homes, they are the cutest, wrinklest, funniest little things and I couldn’t resist taking lots of photos as well as a rather shaky video – it is hard to film puppies when they insist on jumping all over you. Shar Peis aren’t for everyone, they’re high maintenance dogs thanks to a myriad of problems cause by their wrinkles, however, if you’re willing to put in the effort (and this really goes for all dogs) you will have a loyal friend for life.