Puppies and kittens make strange BFFs

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A couple of weeks ago we welcomed another new baby to the family here at the Lendennie homestead. Jingle, a 6-week-old German shepherd puppy, came home with us right in the middle of the coldest, iciest week of this historically cold and icy winter. And right away, we realized that was a problem.

Hubby Steve, grandson Scott and I went to pick her out on another cold and icy day about three weeks earlier. Actually, Scott made the final choice, but it was pretty clear from the start that the puppy who crawled right up into his arms and stayed there was the one we were going to be taking home.

Then we had to select a name. The litter was born on Christmas Day, so we had several names to pick from, including Noelle, Star, Bells and Angel. In the end, though, Jingle was the hands-down favorite.

Right after the selection, Scott and I went searching for collars. We knew without really discussing it that we were looking for one with a bell on it. Jingle. Anyway, it took some looking but we finally found a pink cat collar with a little pink bell on it that was just right.

All of that went pretty smoothly. It was not until we got home with a puppy that was born and raised in an indoor heated kennel that we realized the problem. Jingle refused, and I mean REFUSED, to walk onto the concrete carport in the cold, much less walk out into the snow and ice to do her business.

It took a couple of weeks of constant watching and running out the door with Jingle piddling all the way before a solution presented itself, in the person of Spooky, the Assassin Kitten.

Assassin is still a little guy himself, being just about 7 months old, and was desperate to find a playmate among our elderly pets: cranky old one-eyed Bubba, and our old shepherd Cheyenne, who tolerated the kitten but refused to play with her. So the first time we accidentally managed to take Jingle out at the same time Assassin was going out, suddenly a fight to keep the puppy out long enough became an instant all-over-the-lawn game of tag.

Now, the problem is not getting Jingle to go out, it is getting her to come back in. She and Assassin stalk and spring at each other from in or around trees and shrubs, race around the yard at break-neck speed after each other, and even wrestle around on the ground. That activity is about to end, however, because Jingle has been growing like a weed and she is starting to be a little too strong and a little too rough for Assassin.

But that has not affected their friendship. The minute Jingle sees Assassin, she runs to her and gives her a bear (or rather a puppy) hug. Assassin does not seem to mind, she just stands there and looks at Jingle.

The thing that still has both of them running back into the house, however, is this wind. Neither Jingle nor Assassin wants anything to do with being blown around the yard. The rain does not slow them down, however, and neither does the snow. And I am happy to report the house-training is going very well, even though I would not have expected that with a puppy who is, at the time you are reading this, just about to turn 8 weeks old.

On another note, for those of you who remember the excitement we had a few weeks ago when the fleeing criminal crashed his car into our carport, he must not have had any insurance on that BMW, because we got nothing to cover the damage. So hubby and I are repairing the bikes piece by piece, he is working on trying to rebuild the firewood cart, and we are just having to replace the tools as we can. And I want to say a great big thank-you to Mike Phillips, who repaired my Radio Flyer. This crusty old lady will be able to garden again this year because of his help.