Friday, February 18, 2011

Sharing Our Home

"Guests, like fish, smell after three days." - Benjamin Franklin

Our most recent house-guest stayed with us for far longer than that, but in all fairness, she was kind of ripe when she arrived.  Piper is a year-old German Shepherd and Border Collie cross.  She is a beautiful dog, very smart, funny, friendly, active, and above all BIG.  We don't have a very big house.  On a normal day our house holds me, my wife, our Princess, the Chunky Monkey, and our mini American Eskimo, Layla.  The addition of Piper filled much of the remaining space in our home, and her personality filled what was left.

Border Collies need a job.  This one is able to hold down the rug while blocking the front door.  
We call that "dual-functionality".

Don't get me wrong.  Piper is a very good dog and she will remain a welcome guest in our home.  I think most of Piper's problems stem from the fact that, in her own mind, she is much smaller than in real life.  When she tries to squeeze between people and objects, stuff gets knocked down.  She has very little awareness of her own tail, or the path of destruction it leaves in her wake.  Bottom line: Piper is a LOT of dog.  Each of her breeds are known for their high intelligence and level of activity.  Most of the pictures we took of her show her calm or sleeping because we wanted something to remind ourselves that it does occasionally happen.

The reason that Piper will always remain welcome in our house is her personality.  Piper one of the friendliest dogs I have ever been around, and was absolutely great with the kids.  At one point during her stay, she had waled into the living room and was standing directly over where the Chunky Monkey was sitting (like I said, she is a big dog.)  So the Monkey decided to examine Piper's belly fur by grabbing two big handfuls.  At first Piper is oblivious, but then C.M. starts to lose his balance and goes down, but he doesn't let go of the fur.  Now I don't have much belly fur myself, but I can imagine that area is pretty sensitive.  Instead of growling or nipping at the area (where the baby's hands are still locked on) she just starts whimpering and looking at me as if to say, "are you going to just sit there or are you going to do something?!"  I went to her aid, and she learned a valuable lesson about curious babies. 

 All was soon forgiven.

Piper picked the Princess as her primary pestering point (I'm sorry... just... sorry).  Piper would bother her during meals, or while she was trying to read a book, or while doing her homework.  It seemed as if Piper recognized another "puppy" and didn't understand why she couldn't play all the time.  Still, it was the Princess who first voiced the question as to when Piper could stay with us again.

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