If you had asked me five years ago if I was a “little” or “big” dog person, I would definitely have said that I preferred big dogs. I love their more laid back personalities, the security of having a big dog at your side, and frankly, their lack of a yippy bark.
All that changed permanently one day in August almost five years ago. (Click here if you missed Meet the Pack, Part 1: The Big Dogs.)
Because all the little dogs arrived after I started blogging, they all have their own “about me” page, which I’ve linked to in each section.
We first met Olivia on a hot morning in August 2009. Alan and I were out for a bike ride, pretty early to beat the heat. Even though we were riding our regular 50 mile route, we decided to take a different road home because I wanted to show Alan some calves that I’d seen a few days before (you know us, we love all animals).
As we were riding past the cows, I noticed Alan start to slow down. I first thought he had a flat tire, so I turned around. I realized that he had stopped because he’d seen a little black dog on the side of the road. We were miles from anywhere, she had no collar and no water and it was already getting close to 100 degrees.
Amazingly, she didn’t run away from him. Instead, she creeped toward him, then allowed me to pick her up. She was filthy, yet adorable. We decided that Alan would ride home to get the car since he was the fastest cyclist. I waited with her, and by the time Alan returned I’d named her Olivia. I’d also given her some of my Clifbar and sips of my Cytomax, which was all I had to offer out there.
When we took her with us to pick up a collar and leash, the folks at Pet Co said that she was a Brussels Griffon and about a year old.
Even after all this time Olivia is:
- Still afraid of a lot of things and will cower and piddle a little if you walk to her to pick her up.
- She’s also afraid of old man Sydney, my 13 year old blind cattle dog, who is a little grumpy.
- She hates cars and would chase them if she weren’t on a leash.
- Instead, she will go after Lily when a car passes us while we’re on a walk.
- She sleeps on my lap, and under my covers, and hangs with me when I don’t feel good.
Almost exactly a week later, Alan and I were driving home when a little black and white doge tore across the street in front of us. We followed her in our car, trying to lure her to us, but she kept running away until finally she turned a corner, ran up onto someone’s lawn, and lay down right there.
We thought that we’d found her home, but it turned out that this was the home of a neighbor who felt that the dog was not treated properly by the children of the owner, who lived across the street. This woman fed the little dog, but since she already had two of her own, that was her only commitment.
While I was talking to the woman and getting this information, Alan had knocked on the door of the owner’s house. Everything just felt wrong, as this man showed no concern for the dog, and the dog didn’t even bother to look at the man. After hearing of the mistreatment by his children, the man basically shrugged and didn’t seem to care. He even said, it’s not really my dog.
That was our chance! Alan replied, then if it’s not your dog you won’t mind if we take her, right? The man agreed. So, Lily was ours.
She was so scared that first night! The rest of the pack, us, the new situation. I put her down by the water bowl and we left her alone. She was still there when we went to bed.
We got a big surprise when we woke up. Lily had moved to the couch, where she was sleeping snuggled into a little ball. From that point on, she was happy, confident, bossy with the other dogs, but very loving with us. We believe she’s at least part Toy Fox Terrier and she weighs about eight pounds. She and Olivia have a special bond, probably because they came to us so close together, and still snuggle together sometimes.
It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been a year and a half since Buddy became a part of our family. Alan always wanted a dog to name Buddy, and boy has he lived up to his name. From the moment that Alan found him on the street in front of our house, he has been the most loving, cuddliest, sweetest dog ever.
While his entry into our pack wasn’t as dramatic as Lily’s or Olivia’s, he has made a huge impact on our hearts. Buddy is the dog that snuggles with you when you don’t feel good, gives you kisses that revive you when you’re tired, and loves to run (up to about five miles in spite of the short legs). He get’s along with all of the dogs, though he was a little put out for the brief period we brought another male into the house.
Finally, the most recent member of our pack, Coco. Since we rescued her only six months ago, you may remember her story. I was out for a run in the morning last July (have you noticed that all these rescues happened in the middle of the summer? Interesting). It was just Penny and me and were around the corner from our house when I spotted this little dog in the middle of the road, right by the center divider. Fortunately, it was early, so there wasn’t much traffic.
I called Alan and he came and picked us up. No run that morning! Even though she had no collar, I was sure that someone would claim Coco. She was so cute and she was groomed! I was even surprised that she wasn’t chipped.
We hung up the posters and really assumed that it was just a matter of time. Days passed, though, and no response. It was a good thing though, because we were really starting to get attached to this little dog, in spite of her penchant for chasing after all the other dogs and biting their butts (which she still does, by the way).
Another reason that I thought she came from another family is that it took her a little while to completely warm up to Alan and me. She was a little standoffish at first, though sweet, but after a month we noticed quite a turnaround. She became much more cuddly and loving, and now just loves to sit on our laps, snuggle at night, and greet us in the morning like long lost loves.
She still hasn’t completely bonded with the rest of the pack, though Penny loves her and likes to groom her. That butt biting thing could be, well, biting her in the butt. She get’s really mad with Olivia when we’re on our walks. When Olivia barks at the cars, Coco barks at Olivia. Funny but annoying. And challenging when I take the three girls on a run, which they love. We usually go about a mile, sometime a mile and a half, which is perfect for their little legs. We make quite a parade!
So that’s my pack. Tell me about yours. Are you “big” or “little” dog person. Or maybe a cat person?