Double Trouble Pupdate – Guest Post by Lucy Coats
The Hellgoddess and all of you on her lovely forum were very kind when I lost my dear Sophy Teckel pup a couple of months ago. As Rudyard Kipling so wisely said,*
‘Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.’
And so we should, but we do it anyway, knowing that the pain of losing is far outweighed by the joys of companionship. Even while I mourned, I knew that there was a teckel-sized hole in my heart, just waiting to be filled, and so it was that last month I went again on the long journey to Wales and picked up THIS.
Her name is ‘Hero’, and she is Sophy’s little half-sister. Why ‘Hero’ you ask? I know that I only have to mention the name ‘Georgette Heyer’ and ‘Friday’s Child’ in one sentence for many of you here to get it immediately. For the rest, she’s named after one of my very favourite GH heroines**. A writer’s dog must have a name with appropriate literary connections, naturally!
Yes, yes, I know! Two puppies in a week, and one of them a cocker (shades of Mike). I am obviously entirely mad, certifiable, loony and all the other names for insane you can come up with.
The only similarity is in the ‘aaaaaawwww’ factor and the big eyes, but it’s his dog, and he liked the name, so Sika she is.
So now I have double trouble in the house, looking mightily innocent, and behaving anything but.
Double chewing. Double housetraining duties. Double four-times-a-day feeding schedule. Double crate-cleaning etc etc. It has to be said that Son is very good about doing his bit—greater doglove hath no 18 year-old than to get up EVERY morning just before 7am for the desperate rush to get them outside before the Worst Happens. And to clean up if it does (actually they are really good, and we’ve only had a few accidents of the liquid kind and only a couple of the Other). The secret is a wee-hurtle more often than you can imagine as well as after every meal. It plays havoc with the writing schedule, but I’m a great believer in firm and early inculcation of Good Habits.+ It’s going quite well so far.++
Elderly Dinmont is quite grumpy and not-at-all-resigned about the whole thing. He finds the Terrible Two a dreadfully undignified trial—especially when they bounce on him, and he emits long and rolling thundergrowls like a Cthulhu demonic horror in his distress at their disrespectful ways. THIS is him in long-suffering mode before It All Gets Too Much.
Wimpy labrador, on the other hand, has found her métier in life as Chief Ear Washerwoman and Nannydog, and is clearly fascinated by the puppies she has adopted#.
Little Sika is pinned down by a heavy paw and forcibly washed at least 10 times a day, which she bears with rather damp grace. Hero is more of a wriggler, and escapes Nannydog’s attentions quite frequently, which earns her disapproving growls. She doesn’t care, preferring to be decorated with an assortment of goosegrass buttons and stickyseeds which she picks up while exploring various bits of bush and undergrowth. Her preferred grooming method is to lie upside down on my lap and have them picked off one by one. I do draw the line at licking her though, and leave that bit to my doggie deputy.
Now it’s feeding time again. No peace for the wicked—and less for the mad but righteous puppy owner. Sigh.
*In ‘The Power of the Dog’
** Hero Wantage. And also named after the priestess of Aphrodite in the story of Hero and Leander.
+ including the absolutely essential learning of ‘Bed’ and ‘NO!’ and ‘Stop Chewing THAT’ and ‘Come HERE NOW’! together with lots of praise and patting when they get it right.
++ Fingers crossed (and toes). The kitchen has only been nibbled at the corners a bit so far, and all shoes are intact.
#Interestingly she hasn’t developed her usual post-heat ‘phantom pregnancy’, so obviously adoption is the answer in her case.
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