Today is Loki’s first birthday and we are all very excited by this milestone. This got me to wondering, is it just us? Are we weird or do all pet owners like to make a fuss of their furry friends on their birthdays and treat them like part of the family?
We bought Taylor, my gorgeous Border Terrier dog way back in 2010, he was born on 14th April and we visited him a couple of times before he was old enough to be brought away from  his mum.  

He was a little bugger and really tested our patience.  We took him to puppy training where he proceeded each week to show all the other pups exactly how NOT to do whatever the task set was. So failing his puppy training we were asked politely not to return.  However, we persevered at home with him and he would sit and wait and not take his food until he was told to but that was about as far as he would go.  He resolutely refuses to come when you call him and will quite happily sit down and look at you with disdain before turning his head in disgust.  He was boisterous and at times quite aggressive which was a real worry and I was reduced to tears on a few occasions, especially when walking him as he used to jump and pull at the lead and generally misbehave.

However, now he is a very calm and loving boy and I simply adore him.
The vet assured me that we were doing everything right but perhaps he would benefit from another dog to chase and play and burn off his energy with.  Dave wasn’t so sure about having another dog but Tara was desperate for a dog of her own as she was very low with her ME and wanted a dog to love and love her back.  She resolutely saved her birthday and Christmas money in a savings account until she had enough to buy her own dog.  Dave was won over by Tara’s enthusiasm and excitement and very impressed by her determination and saving skills. 
So towards the end of May we started looking for another Border Terrier and saw an advert for a litter due in mid June. We excitedly registered our interest and left our telephone number.  Skyla Minx was born on 18th June 2011 and we were called the day after and invited over whenever we liked to see the pups, Tara’s face that day will be forever etched in my memory as there were two litters of pups to view and she was just in love with them all, but one in particular kept returning to her and trying to get onto her knee ~ so Tara chose her and named her Skyla Minx.  We visited Skyla a couple of times too before we could bring her home and the owner sent us photos of her between visits so we could see how she was getting on.  

Taylor and Skyla hit it off pretty  much immediately and their love affair was born.  She utterly adores him and insists on washing his ears at least 4 times every day along with grooming his face and cleaning his teeth ~ I kid you not, she inserts her head into his open mouth!
AND Tara at long last has her puppy to love and cuddle up with.
So for a while we were a happy two dog family.  They are truly members of the family and even come away on holiday with us.  They have migrated upstairs at bedtime (they used to be downstairs in the utility room which is nice and warm) and love nothing more than curling up round your body at bedtime and to sleep with you.
When Tasha fell foul of ME she started to talk about how she would love to have a dog of her own because she saw how much joy Skylas company gave Tara.   So, again after many negotiations we managed to persuade Dave to go for one more dog.  Tasha has always loved pugs and really wanted one but we were worried that a pug wouldn’t mix well with our boisterous terriers, so we compromised and looked for Jugs (Jack Russell and Pug cross).  We searched and there were a few but too far to travel until we came across a short video of a Jug in a kennels in Lincolnshire.  His mum had abandoned him and so he had been put with another dog of a different breed who had just had pups and so he integrated well with them.  He had been born on the 12th of June and no one had enquired or shown any interest in buying him. 
We hot footed our way over to the Kennels to see him and ended bringing him home with us the very same day, the poor thing was very nervous as he hadn’t been handled at all and was already 9 weeks old.  Tasha was besotted and we just wanted to bring him away from the kennels he was in and start to give him some love and attention.

We needn’t have worried about how he would integrate with Taylor and Skyla either as they both immediately took on parental roles.  Skyla also cleans Loki very thoroughly every day and Taylor teaches him manners and tells him off when he becomes too boisterous.  However, he seems to have an awful lot of Jack Russell in him and not so much of the pug in nature and we are working very hard to reduce his snappy behaviour, he has improved no end over the past couple of months and the vet has assured me that he is making very good progress and is confident we can stop it fully over the coming months. 
Tasha, though is thoroughly enjoying having him around.  She is besotted by him and he her ~ whenever she is sick he “guards” her too.
I can honestly say that our lives have changed for the better with having the dogs, our Hairy Trio are all completely different characters that somehow gel well together.  They are mischievous, boisterous bundles of fur who love as fiercely as they play.
Happy First Birthday Loki from all of us, we are glad you enjoyed your cake and we look forward to many more years with you, Taylor and Skyla Minx. 
I have just ordered myself a dog agility set to put up in the garden and train the dogs to work their way through it ~ this will be an enormous challenge considering they are all selectively deaf, stubborn and plain bloody minded BUT my thinking is it should also be great fun!
Last Word ~ I saw this and thought many of my fellow dog owners would relate to it.

x~X~x