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.