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12.05.2010

Rolling Rover Over

Me 'n Bunnie 'n Zoe
A few days ago I wrote about the hectic life of living with four dogs. It came off sounding like all they are is trouble. While bounding high energy and noise is one side of it, here’s the up side.

Bunnie is my sweetie and a great cuddler (can you tell from the picture?). She was born here. At about a year old we became inseparable. She’s smart and thinks she’s better than the other dogs. She is way too protective of me. Her dad, Gulliver, has been with us since he was 8 weeks old. Unlike Bunnie, Gully is all dog. He loves to romp and play and has no subtlety. Both he and Bunnie are a joy to watch running. He uses his noodle to get food and get along. That’s it. He's great to everyone. Same thing with Maddie. At 2 she’s just getting over puppyhood. She goes to work with Tish, works for her at the training center, and stands on our kitchen table for a better look out the window. She’s all over everyone with affection.

Last and most amazing is Zoe, the one Tish calls “Miss P” the perfect girl. She’s a natural dominant dog which meant she always kept the other dogs in line like a kind but firm den mother. An amazing instinct and brain all wrapped up in one dog. For years Tish took her into schools and nursing homes as visiting companion and for dog bite safety classes. She learned agility and tricks and was so bright eyed that you could see her brains working while she figured out some really complex puzzles. I drew the line on teaching her to open the fridge. She’s 14 now. All her littermates are gone but she's still healthy, clear eyed and keeps up with the other dogs running around the yard. She’s developed some serious anxieties in old age (who hasn’t) which makes her pace and pant and fret.

Kit especially loves the dogs and they love him back. He plays with them and buries them with affection. Tio has always been wary of their noise and high energy but he’s warming up, too. Even Doc is learning how to tell them to sit, go away, and settle down.

Having this many dogs living in one house is always a challenge because of proximity but we’ve got a good group. As three-fifths of our household along with the humans that make up our madhouse, we jostle and fit and get along and bug each other to death all at the same time. You know, a family.

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