We call ’em Gus and Daisy but, of course, they do not answer. We may as well call ’em Ishmael (from Moby Dick). They ignore us about 1/3 of the time. And they do the opposite of what we say another third. But we are communicating pretty well about 1/3 of the time, too (Sal and I are much the same). But such is the attitude of a 14 week old puppy whose entire focus in life is eating, sleeping, frolicking, pooping and licking Sal’s face (kinda like me now that I think about it).
Gus is a pretty easy going dog. Chill. He is sorta thug-like, tho. A little broader and denser in all aspects, he tends to thud as he walks. Mind you, the little tyke is already 30 pounds! Daisy is much more of a lady and has a bit more Poodle in her genes. She tends to lift her feet higher and ‘step lightly’. She’s slimmer. She’s pretty. And she knows it.
The two siblings came from a litter of 11 puppies. Gus was the largest and Daisy was the runt. Today that runt is 26 pounds and gamboling over our rocky, moss-covered granite like a mountain goat. And good ol’ Gus just plods along behind her…..then they wrestle and tumble…. A month ago, they did not know how to deal with stairs. Today they bounce up and down the stairs well and have even added mountain climbing to their repertoire (fitting for BMD’s). It is steep around here. But they are handling it.
They are Bernedoodles, a cross between a Standard Poodle (top weight of males is 70 pounds) and a Bernese Mountain dog (top weight about 110 pounds). We are hoping they eventually total no more than 160 pounds of dog but it could be more. They came here a month ago at 14 and 17 pounds and have almost doubled in size. They are growing like weeds.
“What the hell, Dave? Are you mad? Two puppies! You are too old to have puppies. Hell, you are too old to even start a long novel!”
Yeah. You are right. This may be a Covid symptom. Long Covid. But, well, it felt like it was time. We lost Meg and Fid a few years back and it has taken awhile to heal from that. We may never completely get over them. But these guys also speed the healing…they seem to bring their fast metabolism to our very own grieving system. I am happier. And Sal is ecstatic. They are already well entrenched in the #2 position in the family. Sal is #1, then the two pups tied for silver, then (because there are two) the bronze medal is not awarded to third. Then we have any stray dog, friend, relative or even a nice stranger for the #4 position. I just cracked the top ten a few years back and just being on the top ten list is good enough for me. No complaints.
They came from a Bernese mother who resides in Qualicum. She had eleven puppies but only 8 nipples so she was busier than a short-staffed waitress in a popular greasy spoon at lunch time. And it was always lunchtime! Father was a rolling stone…but an obviously charming stone with great hair (think the canine version of Ted Danson). He gave them the hypo allergenic hair that doesn’t seem to shed even a little bit. Ol’ Gus has the same basic hair but it is a bit different than Daisy’s. Hers is shiny, silky, soft and could be featured in a shampoo ad. Gus is a bit thicker-haired (duh – everything about Gus is thicker) and it is not as shiny. They are both black and currently resemble Meg our past PWD. But they will be bigger than Meg and Daisy, at least, will have longer legs.
Sal has carried the load more than I have but we are both quite involved with them. Gus seems to prefer my company and Sal and Daisy already form the arf-arf sisterhood. But, overall, we all work like a non-oiled, rusty machine with broken parts – not quite yet a swiss watch. We’ll get there.
They are puppies and do not like cars. Motion sickness. Both pups puked three times coming up from Qualicum a month ago. Both pups puked three more times going into see the vet the other day (a check-up and shots) and both pups puked two times coming home. So, it is improving. The back seat in the old Pathfinder, on the other hand, is getting abused and more than a bit stinky.
They are not keen yet on the boat either. We need to lure then near the boat with treats and then strike like a rattler, grab ’em and then I hand ’em to Sal on the boat. That will work until they are heavier. Already Sal is sagging with Gus in her arms. The good news is that they are now sticking their heads up as we scoot along in the boat looking at the scenery whiz by. That bracing fresh-air ride will be the enduring lure for them we hope.
There is more, of course, much more….puppies are a source of never-ending chat amongst the locals whenever we meet up. Everyone loves puppies. But most people only get one. That may seem sensible but we find that two puppies (or even two older dogs) are happier if they have their own ‘buddy’ and do not have to rely on two old people for all their fun. Gus and Daisy love each other and get along all the time. We all love each other and we all get along all the time. It is just that Dave and Sal need a great deal more sleep and, of course, are busy sometimes with non-puppy oriented things. When that occurs, the pups just go off and play by themselves. I then nap. And Sal gets on with other things.
It all might work out……fingers crossed.