04 July 2007

New puppy

On Sunday, we brought home our new puppy, and were all very keen to see how our existing dog coped with this new bundle of fluff. From the beginning, our dog has just adored her. The new one is quite bossy, and whinges a bit, and sometimes makes this dreadful noise -- we're all wondering if it's the famous Toller cry, and whether our neighbours hate us yet! The two dogs spend a lot of the day playing rough and tumble on the floor, till the puppy gets tired and starts whingeing. Then she needs rescuing. But she's the one doing all the damage -- she ripped a piece of skin off our dog's leg, but the dog didn't seem to mind. I think she thinks she's mum.

The cat, of course, was less overjoyed. She thinks one dog is bad enough -- especially because the dog thinks that cat is that strange little black dog that miaows. The cat whacks the dog across the head and growls and spits, and the dog thinks that this is the way you play, and now practises this tactic on every dog she meets, including the puppy. The cat was at first intrigued when we bought the pup home -- after all she looks more like a teddy bear than a puppy. Because Goldens begin life with short hair and resemble Labs at that age, they look much more like dogs than baby Tollers do. And with the striped face, white chest and paws, maybe she resembles a cat enough to fool ours. Not sure, but when the Toller finally saw the cat, she let out the most awful din. She yapped and barked and cried. The Gadget Man thought the dog was killing her, but the dog -- who has never once barked at the cat -- was standing aside with her ears pricked, watching the action as the cat ran.

It's interesting watching them, watching the dynamics change. But I think I feel sorry for the dog. It's funny because until I got the dog a year ago, I hadn't given my characters dogs. I won't now because it's not intrinsically part of their characters -- and my main character has a fear of a dog-related animal that attacked him when he was small. But I can't help wondering whether my characters would have had dogs if I'd started the novel since I'd got my first. Well, my first as an adult -- I grew up with dogs, and now I can't believe I lived so long without one. Funny how your views on things change, really.


Sherryl said...

Sounds like doggy fun at your house - but I'll stick to my cats, thanks. No chewing of precious items, no big dog food bill, no having to take them for walks in the freezing cold, no poo to clean up, no slobber (although one cat does dribble if you scratch its head in the right place). And my chooks lay eggs!

Sherryl said...

By the way, have you asked Georgia how she feels about being relegated to "the existing dog" rather than gorgeous, wonderful, one-and-only dog?

Tracey said...

Well, yes, there is all that. And that was why I resisted a dog for so long. But the counterpoint -- and a very strong one it is -- is the unconditional love. You just don't get that from cats. When I come home, my dog says, "Oh, at last. I can't tell you how much I missed you. I'm so pleased you are home at last. Please don't go out again. Not without me. Please." Whereas my cat says, "Oh, were you out? Any chance of getting dinner?" And that's it.

Tracey said...

Georgia *loves* the new dog. If the new dog is outside, crying, and Georgia's in, she gets very distressed.

Anonymous said...

Just love the picture of the dogs, Tracey. I'm not entering the dog-vs-cat arena. I've had both and love 'em all. It will be interesting to see who becomes boss-dog. I had two dogs once, not by choice - my Mum and Dad had lost their dog six months earlier, and I thought it was time they had another one. When I went to see some puppies to replace it, I didn't have the heart to tell their owner that I thought they were the ugliest pups I'd ever seen, so I took one home. Mum looked at it and, without any hesitation, said, "I'll pay you to keep it!" She, the dog, was a boxer-pointer cross and our little Altona Special, not much bigger than a chihuahua and of indeterminate breed, ruled the roost over our giant black-spotted, white boxer.
I wish you all, including Georgio, much happiness with the little pooch.

Tracey said...

Hi, Lorraine, thanks for your comment. I suspect the boss dog is going to be red with little white paws! Georgia sneaks in to eat Luna's food, but as soon as Luna makes her way to the food bowl, Georgia, the biggest guts ever, steps back. She's busy playing mum at the moment.