My daughter's family has had a dog, Buddy, a male rat terrier, for several years. Buddy is a pretty nice dog. He gets along great with the cats, my daughter and son-in-law, the teen-aged children and almost everyone else (Buddy loves me; I call him my grand-dog.) He's a good watch dog and alerts the family to the impending arrival of friend and stranger. In the eyes of his people-family, Buddy has only one major failing; he turns a bared-teeth growl toward the one person in the family who wants to cuddle him most, my 4 year old granddaughter, Juliana. He has never bitten her (that would send him to doggy heaven right quickly, I fear), but is so unfriendly toward her that she has finally learned to leave him alone.
Starting at about age three, Juliana has repeatedly asked for her own puppy, a dog she could love and which would love her, too. The response from her parents has always been that as long as Buddy is alive, there won't be another dog in the household. About two months ago, she figured out exactly what they were saying and changed her approach. Her puppy-requests are now prefaced by "When is Buddy going to die? I want a puppy."
Once over the initial shock of this question, our response has been that we don't know, Buddy will probably live a long time. She turns away in disgust, muttering "I want a puppy."
So-- where does Snuggles come in? I'm getting there! [for photo of Snuggles, see yesterday's post]
My daughter loves to be outside in her yard. She's always got some project going. Since the older children are in school, Juliana goes along to "help." The back part of the lot shares a fence with two houses on the next street. In one of the fenced yards, there lived a sweet little Sheltie. The dog and Juliana fell in love with each other. My daughter would see Juliana pressed up against the fence, talking sweetly to the dog with her fingers stuck through the chain link and the little dog licking on them with great joy.
Now, it so happened that this past Friday the owners of the dog were in their back yard and struck up a conversation with my daughter. They were moving, and were not taking the dog with them; little Sheltie was slated to go the the animal shelter! No! No! NO! Tender-hearted daughter could not see that happen. Juliana was going to be heart broken if "her puppy" disappeared. You already know what happened, don't you?
As of this past Saturday, the Sheltie now resides at my daughter's home. Juliana is overjoyed, to say the least, and told her mother that the dog's name was Snuggles, because she could snuggle it!
Buddy has accepted having another dog in the house pretty well -- he just ignores and avoids her. The cats are cool, except Arthur (see Camera Critters post from last Saturday) who tends to stalk Snuggles then hiss when they get about 2 feet apart. It's early days yet; I expect a truce in the near future.
Unfortunately, Snuggles' future is a bit uncertain (I've saved the bad news for last). When daughter took Snuggles to the veterinarian on Monday, it was discovered that Snuggles has heart worms (the result of being left outside in mosquito country and without preventive medicine.) Treatment is available, but is not always successful in this breed (read: can cause death.) Daughter and her husband will decide what to do when they return from a family funeral.
I'm hoping for the best. Snuggles is a sweet little dog, and Juliana will be inconsolable if she loses her.