Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Personality Times Three




Once, just once, I would like to have a shower without an audience! There is no such thing as an independence life when you are a dog owner. They follow we everywhere, including into the bathroom.

Each room has its own assigned territories.

In the bathroom, Buddy has lain claim to what I think has to be the primo spot on the plush mat that lies in front of the bathtub.

Scrap curls up the foot of the decorative metal shelf that holds the towels, and Rusty if he is able to overcome his phobias, crowds Scrap for a spot in the corner furthest away from the dreaded hairdryer.


There is a certain grace and intelligence inherent in most shelties. When they run, it is with the elegant strut of the finest racehorse.

Shelties are furry beasts who hate the heat of summer. Brushing the three of them easily produces a fourth dog (no joking)!

Come the fall however, they want nothing more than to be outdoors.


At fourteen Buddy is beginning to show his age in the downy grey fur slowly spreading across his black muzzle.

When it comes to playing fetch, Buddy makes only a half-hearted attempt to run any distance these days, preferring to stand and bark excitedly as the two younger dogs scramble for the ball.



The strangest manifestations of Buddy's old age seems to be an odd form of separation anxiety. 

When Buddy thinks I am going somewhere he's not invited, he trudges dejectedly into the kitchen and pulls a dishtowel from the drying rack near the stove. Then, he follows me around as I prepare to leave, clutching the dishtowel in his mouth, rather like the cartoon character of Linus and his security blanket. 

He must keep his dishtowel-come-security-blanket close the whole time I am gone, because he always greets me at the door with it in his mouth. (I have long since given up hanging dishtowels on this particular towel rack. Now there are only a couple of doggie "security blankets".)


Scrap is a Sheltie in the truest sense- he lives to run and be outdoors. His favourite toy by far is a beat-up soccer ball.

Sometimes he will even go out in the yard and play all by himself. But never quietly. Yip yap! Kick the ball. Yip Yap! Nudge the ball.




Our new neighbours seem to often work from home and I dread what they must think. I worry that one of these days their back window will slide discreetly open and a shotgun barrel will slowly poke forward. 

It not that I would entirely blame them. I love him to bits and there are times I want to kill him! (When it gets to be just too much barking and sanity needs to prevail, unfortunately I have to get mean and take the ball away for a little while.)



As many of you may remember, Rusty is our little dog that no one wanted. Based on the level of his socialization when he came to us, I am firmly convinced that he spent much of his first year neglected and confined to a cage.

Always a bit uncertain, he has staked out a favourite spot on the upstairs landing where he has a clear vantage on the world from the safety of high ground.



He's cute, but don't let this handsome face fool you. Rusty has a mischievous side. Just the other day I  set down a few bags of groceries onto the kitchen floor while I put the perishables away in the fridge.

No sooner had a turned my back when this little thief fished out a loaf of bread from one of the grocery bags. By the time I looked up from what I was doing, he had already torn open the plastic bag and was helping himself to a slice of whole wheat bread.

"Rusty!", I roared in outrage. The little coward dropped his loot ran down the hall. There he sat headed bowed, quaking like a leaf on the front door mat, all the while doing his best to look the picture of innocence.

But he's so loveable. How could I not forgive him!


Yes, there are times when I question the sanity of having three dogs. And there are moments I tire of always having three constant shadows, but they are outweighed by the times I am grateful that I have three sentinels who watch over me.

On Monday I found myself home alone curled up under a pile of blankets with a terrible stomach flu. Pure misery!

I wasn't really alone though. Three dogs lay at the foot of my bed waiting ever so patiently for me to feel better, always hopeful that I might get up, get dressed and head out into the garden.

37 comments:

  1. Omg.... Third picture down of buddy made my heart skip a beat, what a lovely, lovely face. Luck be a lady three special buddies all to yourself and at the bottom of your bed. Heaven on a bed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm not a dog person, but if I were, I'd have a Sheltie just like Scrap. My brother-in-law has a Sheltie and she's so pretty and very well-behaved. We've got cats here. We had a dog for 14 years and Simba was a sweetie, but she was my husband's and my daughter's dog. Cats just work out better for our lifestyle. Your Shelties are gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You have brought back such happy memories of when we had a sheltie that looked exactly like Rusty. They are such a wonderful breed of dog, you are so lucky to have three of them to entertain you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. We just got a Jack Russell terrier pup - he's 13 weeks old now and just discovering the outside - in fact today he discovered that he can slide under the fence and run into the neighbour's yard - we're facing the challenges of housetraining but loving this new member of our family. So much love on four little legs.
    Your dogs are beautiful - fur and all!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jennifer, they are absolutely gorgeous!!
    Those faces just melt my heart.
    We just lost our 4th and final little one on Monday. All in just a little over a year. The oldest was 18 and the youngest was 12. There is such an empty space now, but once a little time has passed, we will no longer be dogless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel for you. We had to make the heartbreaking decision to end the suffering of our wee Otter three months ago. The emptiness has now been filled by little Darcy. She is not a replacement for Otter - she is her own little character - but her puppy energy definitely fills a need in me.

      Delete
    2. Sorry to hear that, I lost three old dogs in a year and it was more than I could bear. If only they lived longer eh...x

      Delete
    3. Lisa, I feel for you. It is always so heartbreaking to lose a beloved dog and to have lost so many in the space of a single year has to be very hard indeed. I have always had Shelties in my life since I was a girl growing up. Every one of them has a special place in my heart as I am sure the dogs in your life have had in yours.

      Delete
  6. The most intelligent dog I ever owned was a Sheltie. I would never get one again though, because in our New Zealand summer heat she was absolutely miserable. We would practically shear her to provide some relief, but their undercoat is so dense (bred for much colder climates!) that it barely made a difference. I even resorted to laying damp towels over her as she lay panting, or constantly misting her with water. None of it really helped. We would have done anything for that girl, we loved her so much. Her intelligence was scary-smart for a dog. I always wondered whether the entire breed was like that, or whether she was even intelligent as that breed goes.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sighs.....what an ABSOLUTE treat this post was, thank you SO much for sharing a little of your dog world with us. I think your boys are truly adorable, and Buddy has crept into my heart, old grey muzzles have that effect on me. I loved your bath time blues and I haven't stopped smiling throughout this read. Please post again soon on your wonderful friends. xxx

    ReplyDelete
  8. Son preciosos los tres !!!! Son una muy buena compañía!
    Un fuerte abrazo.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What cuties! I so enjoyed your dog stories! We have two golden retrievers and they are my shadows. They use to follow me into our walk-in shower when they were little.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What beautiful pups!! Your photos are fabulous (as always!). Isn't it hard when they start to show their age? Your love for your fur family shows in every word of this post. xoxox

    ReplyDelete
  11. Such beauty here! They are adorable Jennifer! There is nothing better than a dog. And to be honest with you when we still had Cash I liked him better than most people! Ha! But seriously how blessed you are and I just found that story about Buddy and his dishtowel to be so touching! So glad you have these guys to keep watch over you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your dogs are so lovely and adorable! Beautiful photos and your story is so easy to relate to for anyone having dogs or even cats as I have always had. I am never able to use the bathroom in peace, if I try to close the door it seems like an invitation to come and scratch the door down to come inside. And shopping bags on the floor? Yep, whenever I bring my ‘kill’ into the kitchen my cat sits there waiting for his share, expecting me to ‘eat’ first (put the groceries away) and get whatever is left. He usually gets a bit of tinned cat food and is happy with that but his interest for the food shopping bags is remarkable. And whenever I am in bed not feeling up to doing anything he will be there right next to me giving me cuddles and encouragements. Oh, yes, we have a lot to be grateful over when having pets.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I know exactly what you mean. I have two dogs, Waldo a Border Collie and Lili a lab/Dalmatian. Both are rescued dogs and are the love of my life. They follow me where ever I go and wait by the gate when I leave until I come home.
    Your dogs are fabulous and so pretty. I can't stay mad at mine when they do something, but it's only Wado, never Lili .
    I always feel so safe when they are around. I am a victim of a crime so they are wonderful protection - never feel afraid with them. They sleep at the foot of the bed and Waldo is more aggressive than Lili.
    Your pictures are very good and the dogs are beautiful.
    Have a great weekend.
    Mary

    ReplyDelete
  14. Lovely lovely pictures - such happy looking dogs full of fun and mischief - the may get on your nerves shadowing you about but it is only because they love you.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a way to start my day--thank you, Jennifer, for such a delightful post! Your boys are so handsome, and the photos are perfect! There is nothing like the unconditional of a dog to lift up your spirits when you need a boost. We have three dogs, too--the latest was supposed to go back home with my daughter, but that's another story:) They definitely all have their distinct personalities and favorite spots. Sophie loves to be outside when I'm gardening and always grabs a garden glove to take out. That's why I have so many mismatched pairs of gloves:) Whatever orneriness they get up to, though, you can't stay mad at them very long!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Dogs will also make you feel loved. Great photos Jennifer.

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a heart warming piece of writing. You have three guardian angels you know!

    Great photos...so well groomed. Clearly you love them to bits, in return.

    ReplyDelete
  18. What an amazing job of capturing, in words and photos, each dogs' individual personality. While I would probably most enjoy watching Scrap kick around and play with his soccer ball, I probably feel the most kinship with Buddy. There's just something so special about a dog getting grey in the muzzle and still wanting to play, but being constrained by his aging body and instead of joining the action, choosing to cheer from the sidelines. Here's a hug from far away Buddy.

    ReplyDelete
  19. You love your doggies, Jennifer, and they certainly love you. Shelties have such beautiful little faces - they always look happy. And I can just imagine how happy they are without the summer's heat. And I'm so happy that they are your helpers in the garden too! What?? They're not? But why did you name your blog Threedogsinagarden??? :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Jennifer, your dogs are gorgeous! I just heard from a friend tonight who lost her 16 year old standard poodle. I have lost two previous dogs and have two now. They are a lot of work and care but are the joy of our life.

    Eileen

    ReplyDelete
  21. Your shelties are so adorable ~ I can see from your photos why they bring you so much joy and companionship. I had a sheltie I adored when I was in grade school ~ his name was Louie and he was the sweetest little dog who followed me everywhere I rode my bike. He was a mostly white sheltie with sable markings, which I have always heard is a big no no for shelties but he really was the best dog in the world. Merry Christmas, Jennifer.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Jennifer, glad you are better now, take care: this stomach flu isn't the easy thing!
    Your dogs are pretty but you need a lot of efforts to feed, play, care them.
    I see you have snow in your garden now, so winter came in your part of the world. Have a nice weekend!

    ReplyDelete

































  23. I just loved this post. Of course I did - I just love dogs. Yours are indeed personality times three. And the pictures are great. My dog is only 7, but he is already showing the same increased separation anxiety that Buddy is showing at 14. I call my dog "the hairy ball-and-chain," since that's what he is. You can't go anywhere without feeling guilty.



    ReplyDelete
  24. Shelties are so adorable and elegant at the same time. Our JRT used to jump up and stick her head in the shower curtain as a greeting, and then she'd lie down on the bath mat.

    Hope you've recovered from the stomach flu. That is some nasty stuff. :(

    ReplyDelete
  25. Lovely dogs ! Lovely photos !
    I have a Border collie and I bet they share many of the same character traits of your shelties.
    I love the fact that you are never alone if you have dogs. There are always other beating hearts under the same roof. I talk to ours too! I swear they understand !

    ReplyDelete
  26. I hope you feel better. I know I feel better just hearing about the antics of your three handsome dogs!

    ReplyDelete
  27. What a pleasure to meet the 3 dogs in your garden....hope you are feeling better.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Your dogs look ferocious, but i guess that's all for the show. Their niceness and loving nature radiate with them. Thanks for visiting my post at Andrea in this Lifetime.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I looove your dogs, so beautiful!

    http://tinajoathome.com/

    ReplyDelete
  30. Your dogs are beautiful. I couldn't imagine my life without dogs in it, and I am sure you feel the same way. I inadvertently cured mine of following me into the bathroom, buy giving them a bath in the tub. They have never forgotten and don't come near now.

    ReplyDelete
  31. What a nice heartwarming post. We had a sheltie as kids. He was a great little dog.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Your dogs are adorable. When my husband and I got married, I had a sheltie. My husband is allergic to dogs, but the dog had to stay. We had him for many years, and my husband still says that was the best dog he's ever known.

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear from you. Thanks for leaving a comment.