Just what we wanted

It’s just over four months since the LSH returned from Ireland with our new dog, Rosie, asleep in the back of the Fiat 500. It’s taken that long for her personality to blossom.  Initially, she was very polite, friendly, a little needy and she slept a lot.

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Sunbathing in the early days

She wasn’t really playful and had no interest in toys – she was quite confused the first time she saw Cookie hurtling after a ball.  She was reluctant to play with Cookie, although Cookie tried hard to encourage her.  The trouble was, Cookie has a short fuse.  If she got too rough with Rosie, Rosie would growl and tell her to ease off.  That’s like a red flag to a bull as far as Cookie is concerned and we had one or two incidents which escalated to a serious snarl-fest.

Things settled down and it seemed like Cookie stopped asking Rosie to play.  All three dogs were contentedly living their own lives.  They walked together, slept together and ate together but they had different interests.

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Cookie’s life revolves around making sure our garden is safe from intruders, be they humans, dogs, cats, birds, snakes or lizards.  This involves a lot of perimeter patrols.  As in, she literally patrols the garden all day long, checking known hidey holes and suspicious smells; making sure our fence was secure and demonstrating its weak spots when she finds them by squeezing through and running down the road, barking at the neighbours dogs. (Sigh.  It’s fixed now.)  She also likes to make sure she knows where her toys are, and she takes them out for a play every so often.

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“I found my ducky and my ball-y! Can we play now?”

Her day is, quite literally, non-stop.  The Durcell Bunny wouldn’t have a hope of keeping up with her.  If she was human, I have no doubt that she’d have been in Ritalin since the age of five and her parents would be in a home for the bewildered by now.  But she’s a lot of fun…

Cinnamon’s life revolves around sleeping and obsessing over her favourite playthings.  She’s so OCD that we have to take her toys away for a break every so often, otherwise she could work herself up to a full-scale heart attack while trying to disassemble something.  Once a toy has been removed, she continues to obsess by sitting in front of the cupboard where we’ve hidden it and whining.

She recently discovered cones.  This is how I wanted our fireplace to look for the summer months :

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This is how it usually looks :

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This is the culprit, complete with the Cones of Shame :

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Oh yes, we have Speshul Dogz.

Rosie’s life?  Let’s just say that Rosie’s life revolves around sleeping.  Whenever she wakes up, well, she might just have a quick nap before sleeping again.  SomeOne Who Shall Remain Nameless was even heard to remark “She’s a lovely dog, but it would have been a lot cheaper just to buy a rug!”

Sure, she enjoyed her walks, happily accepting Flurry as part of our pack :

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She learned how to be a good Photographer’s Dog (ie. stand quietly at the end of the leash without pulling)

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and she settled happily in the back of the Fiat 500 with her new sisters :

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Despite all the stimulation, sleeping was still her primary focus.

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But something changed recently.  She’s now picking up toys (sometimes cones, sometimes a choice piece of cardboard or plastic from the recycling bin, sometimes an Approved Dog Toy) and playing.  She’s even had a few scatty playful moments with us, resulting in her demonstrating the Sighthound Snap when she became really excited…

WAAH! My favourite t-shirt!

WAAH! My favourite t-shirt!

We think that the catalyst was the fact that we were away for two weekends and John the Dogsitter looked after the pack.  Gari also came to visit while John was here, and he and Cookie spent hours and hours playing.

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Gari, attempting to eat my wool while I was knitting

Did Rosie realise that it’s safe to play with Cookie?  Or was it that fact that she suddenly realised that she’s here to stay because we went away and came back again twice in quick succession?  Whatever the reason, ever since we came back from Ireland, there’s been a whole lot of this going on :

It couldn’t be better.  Rosie and Cookie, running LoopyLoops around the garden while Cinny attempts to disembowel the Zebra Kong.  Cookie taking a break and Rosie standing beside Cinny but not taking the toy from her.

Five months ago, I wrote this in a message to Cork Dog Action Welfare Group :

We need a dog which will play with Cookie but which will take the ‘back off’ messages from Cinny.

Look at that video again and just you try to tell me that’s not what we got!

 

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9 thoughts on “Just what we wanted

  1. Our Quinta’s behaviour is very similar to Rosie’s. She obsesses over her toys and they have to be removed to give her a rest, she’s with us nearly a year and is only just attempting the first clumsy efforts at playing, albeit with the hackles standing firmly up, the others have a great respect for her though ! Except Belle of course but she always has to be different.

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