Puppy Tough Love Replay

Yesterday, I let the Fluffy One take over my blog with a guest post, and now the Furry One is jealous. He thinks I’m playing favorites, and he’s threatening retaliation.

The last thing I want is for him to start peeing on the new rugs, so I gently reminded him that he was the star of the blog a few years ago when I interviewed him about his reaction to Fluffy joining our family. He is denying any knowledge of the interview. (He’s almost 98 in dog years, so he is allowed a little senility.)

So to make sure the trash cans don’t get dumped while I sleep tonight, I’m pulling the interview out of the archives for everyone’s enjoyment.

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Puppy Tough Love

It is a sunny October afternoon, and sun filters through the picture windows that make up the north facing wall of the great room.

Furry One

I find the Furry One in his usual spot on the plush sofa. He lounges on his side, his head and a paw dangling off the edge. His eyes are closed, but when he senses my approach, they pop open, and he is alert.

We both turn our heads toward the foyer when we hear the approaching sounds of scampering feet and joyful yips, followed by a fruitless chorus of no-no’s.

Furry pushes his slightly overweight body to a sitting position, leans back into the couch and heaves a weary sigh, “Puppies,” he declares with a droop of his shiny black fur covered head.

I have come today to interview Furry about the turmoil that entered his life last month when his family returned home with a tiny white Maltese that he has come to know as The Fluffy One. He shakes his head again, and we begin.

Stiletto Momma: Tell me how it’s been.

Furry One: I haven’t had a decent nap in a month. I used to wake up, go outside, mark my territory, come back in, do a little treat-begging performance, nap for a few hours, then do it all over again. I was up to about eight solid naps a day.

Momma: Wow! That’s some professional-caliber napping. What happened?

Furry: Fluffy is what happened. *sigh*

Just then a fluffy ball with four legs zips into the room, and stops at the floor below Furry’s seat. Between frantic flips of a long flowing tail, I can just make out Fluffy’s big brown eyes and pink tongue.

Fluffy One

Fluffy: Furry! Furry! I’m back from my walk. I’m back from my walk. Did you miss me? Did ya? Did ya? Furry?

Furry: See what I mean?

Momma: Yes. She certainly is…um…energetic.

Furry: She’s crazy!

Fluffy: What’s “crazy” mean, Furry? Furry? Furry?

Fluffy high jumps from the floor to the couch directly to Furry’s left.

Furry: Seriously, how am I supposed to take a nap with this noise going on all day. It doesn’t stop!

He stands and gingerly lowers himself to the floor.

Furry: I’m ten years old. These are my golden years. My job was to protect my boy when he was younger, but now that he’s grown up and moved to that obedience school at West Point, I’m retired. I should be able to sleep when I want to without being interrupted.

Momma: I can understand that. It’s a big change. Let’s talk about how Fluffy came to be here. She’s a shelter dog, isn’t she?

Furry: Yeah, that’s about the only good thing that’s come from this. She was a stray. Someone just dropped her off on the side of the road one day, as if that five pounds of fluff could really fend for herself. Now, THAT makes me mad. Can you imagine how scared she must have been, and all because someone didn’t realize a puppy is a lot of work or some breeder thought she was too small. I’d like to take her previous owners out to the middle of nowhere with no food and no water, and tell them, “You were cute once, but I don’t want you anymore. Good luck getting out of here alive. Bye.”

Momma: You were a shelter dog too, right?

Furry: That’s right.  I was just a pup like Fluffy. That was a scary time–not knowing when I’d get another meal or a warm bed. I survived, but you have to have some street smarts to keep it together in a shelter. It’s no place for a dog like Fluffy. I mean, just look at her….

He points with his nose to the spot beside him where Fluffy is spinning in quick frantic circles.

Fluffy: Furry, look! A big hairy monster is chasing me! But don’t worry. I’m gonna get it! I’m gonna get it! I’m gonna get it this time!

Furry: That’s your tail, Fluffy. Stop it! You’re embarrassing yourself!

Momma: Have you been showing her the ropes since she got here?

Furry: *sigh* I do what I can.  Oh! There she goes again! It’s the Fluffy 500. You might want to move out of the way.

I jump to a vacant recliner as Furry bounds back to the couch, then we watch as the Fluffy One sprints around the room, weaving between the furniture as fast as her little legs will carry her.

Furry: Puppies…

Momma: There has to be something good about Fluffy coming to your family.

Furry: Well, maybe.

He’s quiet while he thinks and watches Fluffy throw a knotted and holey sock in the air.

Furry: I do kinda like that I don’t have to be alone anymore. I don’t like it when my people leave me by myself. It’s a big house, and sometimes when it’s just me here, I think about being left alone before I had this family. At least now I have someone to lay down with when they’re away. I had a brother once, and that’s how it was back then. He was the dog who was with my family when they adopted me. I miss him since he went to the Rainbow Bridge. He used to yell at me too…a lot!

He smiles at the memory.

Momma: Why did he yell at you?

Furry: Oh, lots of reasons. Mostly it was because I was a puppy and wanted to play. I used to take that sock…

He points to Fluffy’s current plaything.

Furry: …and throw it in his face. Ha! Ha! He’d get so mad at me. First, he’d growl. Then he’d throw it right back at me, and we’d each take an end and pull and shake! That was the best time!

Momma: How long has he been gone?

Furry: Five years. That’s a long time in dog years. I remember when…What the…!

Furry has been interrupted by a flying sock flung from Fluffy’s playful antics. It lands a paw’s length away from Furry’s nose. Fluffy stops and stares tentatively at Furry.

Fluffy: Uh-oh…

Furry: Fluffy!

Furry stands.

Furry: That’s not how you do it. You don’t throw it by the end. You have to get in the middle. Then you throw it. Like this.

He lets the old blue sock fly. It meets its mark on Fluffy’s back. She turns several circles before pulling it back to the floor, then tosses it back to Furry just as he taught her. She plops her bottom to the floor and wags her tail, waiting for his reaction.

Furry: You know, you might not be so bad after all, Fluffy…That was pretty good, but I bet I can beat you in tug of war….

Yips and playful growls echo down the hall as today’s lesson in puppy tough love continues.

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Puppy Tough Love

It is a sunny October afternoon, and sun filters through the picture windows that make up the north facing wall of the great room.

Furry One

The Furry One takes a nap.

I find the Furry One in his usual spot on the plush sofa. He lounges on his side, his head and a paw dangling off the edge. His eyes are closed, but when he senses my approach, they pop open, and he is alert.

We both turn our heads toward the foyer when we hear the approaching sounds of scampering feet and joyful yips, followed by a fruitless chorus of no-no’s.

Furry pushes his slightly overweight body to a sitting position, leans back into the couch and heaves a weary sigh, “Puppies,” he declares with a droop of his shiny black fur covered head.

I have come today to interview Furry about the turmoil that entered his life last month when his family returned home with a tiny white Maltese that he has come to know as The Fluffy One. He shakes his head again, and we begin.

Stiletto Momma: Tell me how it’s been.

Furry One: I haven’t had a decent nap in a month. I used to wake up, go outside, mark my territory, come back in, do a little treat-begging performance, nap for a few hours, then do it all over again. I was up to about eight solid naps a day.

Momma: Wow! That’s some professional-caliber napping. What happened?

Furry: Fluffy is what happened. *sigh*

Just then a fluffy ball with four legs zips into the room, and stops at the floor below Furry’s seat. Between frantic flips of a long flowing tail, I can just make out Fluffy’s big brown eyes and pink tongue.

Fluffy One

The Fluffy One in a calm moment.

Fluffy: Furry! Furry! I’m back from my walk. I’m back from my walk. Did you miss me? Did ya? Did ya? Furry?

Furry: See what I mean?

Momma: Yes. She certainly is…um…energetic.

Furry: She’s crazy!

Fluffy: What’s “crazy” mean, Furry? Furry? Furry?

Fluffy high jumps from the floor to the couch directly to Furry’s left.

Furry: Seriously, how am I supposed to take a nap with this noise going on all day. It doesn’t stop!

He stands and gingerly lowers himself to the floor.

Furry: I’m ten years old. These are my golden years. My job was to protect my boy when he was younger, but now that he’s grown up and moved to that obedience school at West Point, I’m retired. I should be able to sleep when I want to without being interrupted.

Momma: I can understand that. It’s a big change. Let’s talk about how Fluffy came to be here. She’s a shelter dog, isn’t she?

Furry: Yeah, that’s about the only good thing that’s come from this. She was a stray. Someone just dropped her off on the side of the road one day, as if that five pounds of fluff could really fend for herself. Now, THAT makes me mad. Can you imagine how scared she must have been, and all because someone didn’t realize a puppy is a lot of work or some breeder thought she was too small. I’d like to take her previous owners out to the middle of nowhere with no food and no water, and tell them, “You were cute once, but I don’t want you anymore. Good luck getting out of here alive. Bye.”

Momma: You were a shelter dog too, right?

Furry: That’s right.  I was just a pup like Fluffy. That was a scary time–not knowing when I’d get another meal or a warm bed. I survived, but you have to have some street smarts to keep it together in a shelter. It’s no place for a dog like Fluffy. I mean, just look at her….

He points with his nose to the spot beside him where Fluffy is spinning in quick frantic circles.

Fluffy: Furry, look! A big hairy monster is chasing me! But don’t worry. I’m gonna get it! I’m gonna get it! I’m gonna get it this time!

Furry: That’s your tail, Fluffy. Stop it! You’re embarrassing yourself!

Momma: Have you been showing her the ropes since she got here?

Furry: *sigh* I do what I can.  Oh! There she goes again! It’s the Fluffy 500. You might want to move out of the way.

I jump to a vacant recliner as Furry bounds back to the couch, then we watch as the Fluffy One sprints around the room, weaving between the furniture as fast as her little legs will carry her.

Furry: Puppies…

Momma: There has to be something good about Fluffy coming to your family.

Furry: Well, maybe.

He’s quiet while he thinks and watches Fluffy throw a knotted and holey sock in the air.

Furry: I do kinda like that I don’t have to be alone anymore. I don’t like it when my people leave me by myself. It’s a big house, and sometimes when it’s just me here, I think about being left alone before I had this family. At least now I have someone to lay down with when they’re away. I had a brother once, and that’s how it was back then. He was the dog who was with my family when they adopted me. I miss him since he went to the Rainbow Bridge. He used to yell at me too…a lot!

He smiles at the memory.

Momma: Why did he yell at you?

Furry: Oh, lots of reasons. Mostly it was because I was a puppy and wanted to play. I used to take that sock…

He points to Fluffy’s current plaything.

Furry: …and throw it in his face. Ha! Ha! He’d get so mad at me. First, he’d growl. Then he’d throw it right back at me, and we’d each take an end and pull and shake! That was the best time!

Momma: How long has he been gone?

Furry: Five years. That’s a long time in dog years. I remember when…What the…!

Furry has been interrupted by a flying sock flung from Fluffy’s playful antics. It lands a paw’s length away from Furry’s nose. Fluffy stops and stares tentatively at Furry.

Fluffy: Uh-oh…

Furry: Fluffy!

Furry stands.

Furry: That’s not how you do it. You don’t throw it by the end. You have to get in the middle. Then you throw it. Like this.

He lets the old blue sock fly. It meets its mark on Fluffy’s back. She turns several circles before pulling it back to the floor, then tosses it back to Furry just as he taught her. She plops her bottom to the floor and wags her tail, waiting for his reaction.

Furry: You know, you might not be so bad after all, Fluffy…That was pretty good, but I bet I can beat you in tug of war….

Yips and playful growls echo down the hall as today’s lesson in puppy tough love continues.

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Love your puppies, and please adopt from your local shelter!

Stiletto Momma

**This post was written for the WordPress Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge: Something Different, where bloggers were challenged to write in a different style. As you can see, I traded in my usual story-teller style for that of a magazine interviewer. I’ve been pondering how best to introduce my readers to the newest addition to the family–the Fluffy One. This challenge gave me the perfect outlet, and let me flex my creativity with the story from the Furry One’s perspective. Check out the DPChallenge for more out-of-the-box posts.

Five Minute Friday: A Welcomed Welcoming Committee

Each morning is something to be celebrated. No matter what time the sun rises or the alarm blares, mornings are a welcomed and happy occurrence…especially when you are greeted like I am with a welcoming committee of hugs, smiles and furry devotion.

This morning’s welcoming committee was a lineup of the usual team…

First up–the Hubs. Because my hair is longer and significantly higher maintenance than the Hubs’ close cut fade, I am the first to rise, but his is the first welcome I receive in the morning. He is always ready with the hug and peck on the cheek that starts my day on the right note.

Who wouldn’t want to welcome the day with these two?

As I make my way to the coffee maker, the Furry One (the 10-year-old terrier) drags himself from his spot on the floor to follow me to the kitchen. As the first cup brews, we both head to the treat cabinet, and he proves to me that even in his old age, he can still catch a Canine Carryout on the fly. His happy tail wag is a welcomed site because we almost lost him to autoimmune disease two years ago, and I so happy and grateful that he is still with us.

The Furry One

Happy you’re still here, Furry One!

Next comes the Young One, all sparkly in her glitter shoes and matching headband. A twirling inspection proves to us both that we were spot-on in our pre-K outfit selection the night before–a very welcomed relief because nothing starts the day off poorly than your leggings not going quite right with your bedazzled denim skirt!

There’s nothing quite like glitter on your shirt to get you going in the morning!

The Fluffy One (our newly adopted Maltese puppy) races between our feet for a welcome of her own. “Welcome back from night-night,” she declares as only a puppy can with barks, frantic tail wagging and high-flying jumps. Her enthusiasm for a reunion, no matter how long the separation, brings bright smiles and giggles all around.

The Fluffy One

Five pounds of fluffy fun!

Finally, I make my way to windows, eager to open the blinds and welcome the new day, hoping to catch a glimpse of deer or bunnies starting their day too.

What I find this morning, however, is definitely and unwelcome member of the welcoming committee.

Creepy Crawly One

Eeeeek!!!!!

Thanks for the effort, Creepy Crawly One. I’m sure you worked hard all night on the intricate web you strung for me. I appreciate the industriousness. Really. But I prefer to limit my welcoming committee to those who have no more than four legs. Nothing personal, but please take your hairy body and your extra appendages, and remove yourself from my view.

I refuse to let this shocking member of the morning welcoming committee wipe out the stellar job done by the previous four, so…

Welcome, Friday! I’ve missed you, let’s make this a great day!

Stiletto Momma

*Today’s Five Minute Friday is all about “Welcome”. Check it out, and take five minutes of your own to flex your writing muscles!

Talks with Jack

Once upon a time a young family went in search of the perfect companion.  It was a mom, a dad and a little boy of only three. They found that friend in the puppy room of the second animal shelter they visited that cold Saturday before Thanksgiving. A handsome Jack Russel Terrier with a chip on his shoulder because he was exiled to the Puppy Room when he was really a BIG dog!

My Jack

That was the day I first met my Jack.  He was part of our lives for 10 wonderful years.  I like to say that we all grew up with Jack.  He entered our lives at a time when we were trying to find stability.  The Hubs had just left active duty in the Army, we had bought our first house, and my Crohn’s Disease was running havoc. We NEEDED Jack.

Every year around this time, for the last four years or so, I start feeling out of sorts. Lonely, sad, just not right.  Tonight I was feeling that way again, and, as I do every year, I realized why.  It’s been five years since we lost our Jack.  December 30, 2006, we thanked him for taking care of us and sent him off peacefully.

I think about Jack a lot and tonight, I found an old journal I used to keep.  Before the time of WordPress…when Blogger was in its infancy…when blogging was for “kids”, I wrote an entry in a frilly notebook about my “talks” with Jack, and I thought I’d share it.  I believe in my heart that Jack left us for a reason.  At that time, we were trying to grow our family.  Jack was turning mean in his old age.  We called him the “grumpy old man”, and he was possessive, especially of me.  I knew if we had a baby in the house, there would be trouble.

Jack left us…, and the Young One came. Our adoption referral came almost one year to the day.

My tribute to Jack, written 1/1/07…

The day we brought Jack home, he claimed the Hubs' Army socks as his own!

It’s not a happy new year. I’ve lost my best friend. We put Jack to sleep two days ago, and I miss him so much. I was never alone when he was here. We understood each other. He was my baby. We had long talks.

The day we got him, he bit Nick twice. The next morning, I took him for a walk, and told him that I’d give him one more chance. He never bit Nick again. He went back to the house and started begging for the Reese’s Pieces Nick was eating!

As he got sicker, he was on medicine that made him drink a lot, which made him pee a lot–in the house, in the bed. The Hubs made him sleep in the kitchen and every morning we’d wake to a huge mess. I knew part of that was because he was mad, so I had a talk with him. I told him to show us he could go a whole night without going on the floor…try really hard. He did…no mess the next day!

Then I tried bringing him back into the bed at night. We sat on the bed and talked about not going in the bed. “Wake me up if you have to go.” He did, and he slept with us until the end.

The afternoon after the doctor told us that the immune system disease he thought Jack had was actually him immune system fighting a tumor on his pancreas, we took him home one last time, and we had a talk.

I told him I loved him more than anything, and I wanted him to be happy. He didn’t deserved to be so  sick. He deserved to go to Heaven.

I told him what he would have there–sunny days, warm days, bones to chew and treats. He could run all he wanted and chase squirrels and rabbits and mice. He could bark all he wanted, and no one would yell at him. He would be happy there, and Pop-Pop (the Hubs’ dad) would be waiting for him.

Jack opened his own presents on Christmas and couldn't wait to play!

I held him the rest of the day.  I took him out and let him walk as much as he wanted. We sat in front of the window in the den and watched the kids play in the yard. We went in the living room and watched the Christmas tree–he loved Christmas so much!

I took him upstairs to the bedroom, and he curled up by my pillow. We talked some more about Heaven, and I asked him if we were doing the right thing. He picked up his head and looked me straight in the eye. I think he was telling me , “Yes”.

He pulled this blanket off the back of the couch so many times, we finally just gave it to him!

I told him I loved him so many times that day, and at the vet’s that night night, I told him again and again. I also told him to come greet me next time I see him, and it gives me comfort to know that he will be there for me like he always has been. He died in my arms–12/30/06 8:20 pm.

Right now, I’m lost without my Jackie, my dear sweet baby. He gave me everything, and I grew up with him. He gave me comfort when I needed it, joy and laughter too. He gave me unconditional  love. I have been blessed to have Jack in my life for more than 10 years.

He was my friend, my doctor, my child. I’ll love him forever.

Love your doggies and your kitties and any other critters your call Family,

Stiletto Momma