Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Yay! Puppies!

Jake is six and a half years old, but he acts like an old man some days. That's because he's got arthritis and hip dysplasia; he's a puppy mill dog, so I don't really think he's going to match the average 16 year lifespan for schipperkes.

He's been a constant companion since 1998. He visited clients with me when I freelanced; we went for long walks every day (apartment living made that a necessity -- schips suffer from only a little less ADD than Jack Russells); Geoff would sometimes take him to work with him when his office was still small enough for that. He was the baby we never thought we'd have.

Dante really is still a puppy -- he'll turn two in December. He runs and jumps and bounces, and he has a TAIL. He came to us from a breeder who didn't expect his litter to happen; one of her male dogs got into a run with a female in heat, and because she couldn't be sure who the father was, she didn't want to register the litter. That meant there was no point in docking tails, so he proudly waves his banner everywhere he goes.

Since Jacqui's arrival, the two boys have suffered a reduction in status. They're not the babies anymore -- they're the dogs. Since we have a fenced yard now, leashed walks aren't really necessary; since Jacqui requires so much attention, they're just not doted upon anymore. And since we don't have a vehicle big enough for a baby seat AND two dog crates, they stay home every time we go out. It's very sad for them.

Jacqui's getting big enough now to notice them, though. She watches them, fascinated, when they run around the living room. We've taught them to avoid her, so while she waves and dances and reaches from the exersaucer or her play-yard or my lap, they'll stop and look and then go about their business. She's touched them, in controlled circumstances, and even when she pulls they don't react.

I think once she's old enough for them to run away from her, that's what will happen. And then later, they'll all be buddies. And that's worth waiting for.