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Here’s a wonderful story sent to me by Wayne and Robin Carter, who were living on 3 acres of land in Gulfport, MS, with lots of animals.
I had a regular exchange of emails with both Wayne and Robin for a year or two, but especially Robin. I was very sad to hear that Robin passed away in November 2005 after a short but very aggressive bout, and battle, with leukemia.
So it pleases me to be able to pass on her story, which will live on even now that she’s gone:
When Wayne met Robin, she had a male Shih Tzu named Beau and a German Shepherd named Lady.
After they got married, Wayne and Robin added to their family with a Chow/Shepherd mix – Spats, and later a Shepherd/Husky mix – Boots. Here’s their story, retold to me by Wayne while Robin was still with us:
“Before Lady passed away, we got Spats. To see how Beau and Lady treated this new addition to the family was so funny. Poor Spats would try to join in their lives, and they would snub him … Yes! … they’d just get up and leave the room when he attempted to join them.
Eventually, though, all three developed a family type bond.
When we got Spats, the Chow/Shepherd, I was an over the road truckdriver, coming home every 2 weeks … and each time I came home the “puppy” had grown, and grown, and grown … to the point that Robin was taking photos of him every few days to prove she had not gotten another dog!
Spats always knew who I was, and was happy to see me, but had become one of Robin’s dogs (since Robin took care of them and was with them more than I was). So when I would come home, I would have to adjust the pack order. The dogs are very close to Robin, and protect her, so when I would come home, and try to get into the “home life” I was having to let the dogs know that I was the top dog when I was home – NOT them. I even had to TAKE my spot in the bed back each time I came home.
Then we got the new puppy Boots (the Shepherd/Husky), and the same thing happened to her where the dogs ignored her, like she did not belong. Now I am happy to say that Spats and Boots get along great. Beau who is older, and not as likely to want to play and be pulled on by the ears, or tail, has learned to avoid his new house mate, who is now much larger than he is … but they all know that Beau is the elder. Spats and Boots both push the limit at times, and that little dog puts them in their place right now – he is not affraid of either of them!
We have a joke in our house. Beau, the Shih Tzu, was raised wth Lady the German Shepherd, so Beau thinks he’s also a German Shepherd!
Spats is huge, and was mainly raised with Beau, Shih Tzu, so Spats seems to think he is a small dog!
All in all our life with our animals is great … Oh, but I forgot to mention the funniest of all our pets … the African Grey we have, who calls the dogs, and gives them orders … just out of the blue. He uses either my voice or Robin’s, and sometimes gets those dogs going, too!”
For any of you who don’t know, an African Grey is a talking parrot!
Hope you enjoyed that amusing story as much as I did. It always makes me laugh.