Losing A Friend
When my father moved in with us over a year ago, he brought his 2 dogs with him. We already had two dogs, a Golden Retriever (10), and a Great Pyrenees (8). His dogs are a Great Pyrenees (5) and a Border Collie mix (approx. 4 – she was a stray). My boys handled the new additions far better than I had hoped, especially considering that the girls were less than enthusiastic about the new older men in their lives. I had figured it would take at least a year for everyone to settle down, but within a month they were all getting along wonderfully.
We all came to love the ‘girls’ (what we call Dad’s dogs when referring to both) and they have become an integral part of our family. We love them just as much as we love our own.
I Never Wanted 4 Dogs
Honestly, when he moved in with us I was dreading the whole dog thing. I love animals, and spent the majority of my adult life before I became ill working as a Veterinary Assistant, and an Obedience Trainer/Rehabilitator. I can’t remember a single time in my entire life when there was not a dog in my life. Even when H and I didn’t have a dog living with us, (the first 3 years we were together) we still had a dog – she just lived with my grandmother because we couldn’t have dogs where we were and my grandmother was very lonely and asked to keep her for us. We visited my grandmother and our dog almost every day on our way home until it was time to let my dog go (she was 14).
But even with all of that, putting 4 adult dogs together when they’ve spent their lives as pairs is not something I was really looking forward to. Combine that with the fact that my father’s previous living situation was extremely secluded (not healthy, and one of the reasons he’s here now) and so his dogs were not socialized at all. Not with other animals and not with people. I was confident I could handle it, but I wasn’t looking forward to it.
My boys weigh 140lbs (Golden – nickname ‘Wags’) and 190lbs (Great Pyrenees – nickname ‘Bean’) respectively and my Dad’s Pyrenees weighs 160lbs. I was grateful that I have a large home. The smaller girl weighs only 50lbs and her nickname is ‘Little Dog’. That’s a LOT of dog! I didn’t want 4 dogs, but I wouldn’t change having them for anything.
She’s His Very Best Friend
For the years that my father was living a hermit’s life in an extremely rural area (almost 2 hours to a grocery store) and due to his health problems, Puffalump (the Pyr girl’s nickname) was his very best friend. She was the only company he had and the one constant companion in his life in recent years. The littler girl was loved as well, but she refused to come in the house as she had clearly been horribly abused before showing up on his doorstep (she’s finally over that), and so he loves her, but in a different way. Puff is very much his best friend.
Now that he lives here with us he certainly has more interaction and company, but she’ll always be like a baby to him.
Puff Gets Hurt
In late October Puff developed a slight limp. It’s not uncommon for our dogs to twist a leg or something while chasing chipmunks through the yard or playing, so we kept her calmer until she wasn’t limping anymore. For about a week she had regained her gait and then all of a sudden she came out of Dad’s room in the morning (she sleeps faithfully next to his bed) almost completely unable to use it. I made an appointment with the Vet, the earliest they had being 2 days away. My first thought was cancer, though I couldn’t say it to him. I had seen this before, this progression, and I was terrified. [Read more…]