Friday, January 25, 2013

Doubting Daisy

Minnie, the thin Fat Dog, died not long ago. She’d been a great pup, but her time was up; our short-lived pets tend to teach us how to grieve – unless they’re parrots or giant tortoises or elephants, of course.
Minnie left Ruby behind, together with Dink the last of the Kaartman pets [see previous blog]. Rubes is a sawn-off rescue mutt who at times [when her hair is long] resembles a brillo pad. I acquired Ruby while Mrs Kaartman was overseas. On her return she studied Ruby, then famously asked, “Is that the best you could do?”
Is that the best you could do?
Minnie died and eight year old Ruby was left alone. She seized the day as street doglets will, and within a week had established herself as a sedate lapdog, moving swiftly from 5 to 7kg and hardly deigning to greet the postman any more. But we have always had two dogs, one older to teach the young ’un, one younger to jack up the older. To cut a long story short, it was not long before Daisy arrived.
Daisy is a rescue dog loosely described by the Authorities as a ‘boomer’, ie resembling something out of Dr Seuss. Hair, ears, feet, tongue, tail all over the place. She was lovely. Within a week she was thoroughly bonded, loved a cuddle, sat when ordered, completely house-trained, came when we called, chased a ball and always brought it straight back, got on with Ruby, barked correctly at the postman, sat up and begged for bones on demand.
But suddenly – in the last day or two – I am in doubt. Daisy has steadily dominated Ruby; now she chases her off the food bowl with violent snarls. She has attacked her over a bone, little harmless eight year old Rubes attacked by an eleven-month upstart. Daisy digs holes in the lawn. She swims in the vlei and comes home smelly ... but that’s not all.
She’s coprophagic .
Look it up. I can’t bear it, and I dunno how to stop it.
Suddenly Daisy has lost her sunny sheen. For me, anyway.
I am a dog owner in doubt. Daisy has been returned once before to the doghouse by a less-than-gruntled human. A second return means ... well, that she would probably be headed for the boneyard.
Do I owe her a life after just five weeks of pethood? Aren’t I more fond of deeply-cowed Ruby? Can I learn to live with coprophagia? What’s to be done?
I’ll have to think about it. Meanwhile, Daisy, be careful. Very, very careful.
As careful as a wild, feckless boomer can be.
Be careful, Daisy
Kaartman, Jan 2013

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