The growing bond between our two-year-old, TOBY, and our 10-week-old pup LEXI is something to marvel at. I can sit for hours watching their sweet interactions.
They are well on their way to becoming life-time companions. It really is beautiful!
I have been enthralled by the obvious gentleness displayed by our "Sweet Hooligan" as he's set about getting to know the little one and showing her the ways of our household.
They spend hours lying together, playing quietly with Lexi's minefield of toys, interspersed with some energetic rough and tumbling. 7.2kgs of puppy weight is no match for our 39 Kg Toby. Yet, Lexi pounces on Toby like he's one of her siblings, using him as a jungle gym, pulling his tail, grabbing his jowls, licking his lips and bringing him an endless variety of sticks and leaves to investigate with her. My heart lifts as I watch their growing bond. This added dynamic is EXACTLY what I'd hoped for during the planning stage for getting this pup.
As many of you know, our dear Aunt Tam is ageing. Although she is a generally healthy 12-year-old, arthritis has caught up with her.
She struggles up stairs and has become noticeable slower. Her wisdom, however, has allowed her to embrace her age and encouraged her to slow down and take things easy. Lexi's arrival is a welcome reprieve.
However, she still controls the pack in her gentle, hands-off way. One notices it in the way she observes Toby and Lexi and the subtle nod she gives to their interactions. Both Toby and Lexi are always aware of her. Occasionally she'll saunter up to them and lie down next to them to be part of their game. Although she doesn't actively initiate play with the young pup, I have watched Lexi and her stroll around the garden together (without Toby), investigating all the news. Their own bond is respectful and educational but also sweet to watch.
As for me, I just LOVE this young pup. Lexi is an absolute treasure to me. She is intelligent, adventurous and confident, but there is a prevailing softness in her nature, and a need to 'give'. She loves cuddling up with me, on her back, to have her tummy rubbed, paw-pads massaged and ears fondled. Trimming her nails is a breeze (usually dogs balk at this). And her little bark is music to all of our ears.
Yesterday, I took her out on her own for 45 minutes to our local shopping centre, to the entrance of 'Woolworths food store', where hordes of customers buzz around with their noisy shopping trolleys. (Sorry, no photos - I had to concentrate!) My goal is to socialise her into as many different scenarios as possible in her early puppy stages. Armed with treats, a clicker and a doggie-water-bottle, we settled down next to one of the outside potplants to wait for people. Pretty puppies are always people-magnets and in no time we had 'visitors'. Lexi needed no encouragement - she loves people! Her gentleness was a hit. Her happy personality is contagious and, as expected, we had a number of folks stay a while to ask questions and to share their own tales of their canine companions.
Back home, Toby and Lexi settled back into their companionable routine - playing happily on the soft, cool lawn outside our house, then venturing inside to join their humans.
That old tune from the "Sound of Music" is singing in my ears:
"...I must have done something good..."