General,  Motherhood,  Pets

The Empty Nest Puppy

I tend not to follow the crowd and when my son and daughter left home, I wasn’t going to suffer from empty nest, I was going to rejoice. No more having to nag, no more loud music, a house that stayed tidy, our bathroom back, more time to write, the list was endless. However, you can’t control your feelings and I was totally gutted for a while and empty nest syndrome kicked in.

As a result, I decided that our dog, Alfie, needed a playmate and we discussed getting another dog. We were concerned what would happen if he didn’t get on with it and toyed with the idea for some time, until we finally decided we would never know until we tried. Then one day my husband discovered Yorkiepoos – sweet little things about 12 inches big and I was sold and Tia came along.

Sadly she was very poorly when we got her and it took some time and expense, to clear her of her illness and I was totally housebound for about six Tiaweeks. She literally screamed and cried like a baby every night and we thought we’d made a big mistake. Alfie was scared stiff of her and kicked out of his basket many a time. He sulked and wouldn’t talk to me for two weeks. It was really hard ensuring he still felt he was our number one, when she was so ill and needed attention and my husband kept threatening to send her back if things didn’t improve soon.

Despite her nasty illness, she was full of zest most of the time and very mischievous, but she hated travelling in the car, and still does. She would shake like a leaf and be sick every time I took her out, probably because it usually led to the vets. She wasn’t able to have her vaccinations until she was clear of her illness, so she couldn’t go out, but I would carry her in a doggy pouch so she got used to the noise of the traffic. Her fur fell out in handfuls and she had bald patches on her legs and belly and her coat was really bad. We wondered if she would survive as she was only 8″ big, but she pulled through and things got better.

She is a lap dog, but with a mind of her own. This means, you can cuddle her in your arms like a baby and she will make tiny whimper noises, or she will put her paws round your neck and lick your face with her lizard tongue or curl up on your lap and go to sleep, but only when she wants to. Most of the time she rules the roost, is very playful and never stops. Except she halts anywhere near a gap. Tia won’t climb any open staircases or go near any grills in the pavement and lifts her paws to be carried.

The dogs love each other now, although Alfie has to tell her off sometimes, but she will sleep on top of him in his basket and often gives him kisses and he doesn’t mind. He always gives her his toys and checks she’s okay. She howls at you in a chatty way, when she wants you to play and definitely fills all your maternal needs. My favourite time is bathtime when she lets you wrap her in a towel and cradle her in your arms just like a baby, before letting her run in manic circles shaking herself.

While Alfie is sweet natured, soft as a cushion and so easy going, Tia is a hyper little tinker, with a cuteness that makes your heart melt and both give unconditional love and loyalty and are great company and good fun.

So, not only did I follow the crowd with empty nest syndrome, I became a cliché with a baby-substitute puppy and I really don’t mind at all!

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