I love dogs, all dogs, of every shape and size. As a child we had two Golden Retriever bitches, mother and daughter called Tahli and Sasha. They gave great cuddles and I have many happy memories growing up with them.
Throughout my married life we have had a “no dog rule” because our life was so busy we felt we just didn’t have the time to train and care for one. However, after my mum passed in the December of 2009 Dave reconsidered. I missed having mum to talk to everyday and needed a focus to distract me from my grief. The girls had the distraction of school and their friends, Dave his work and I was left home alone without any drive or inclination to do anything.
After much discussion, googling and advice from vets we concluded our best breed would be a Border Terrier, they are good with children, travelling, have the perfect coat for allergy sufferers as they don’t moult much and tend to be pretty robust and healthy.
We found a family outside of Nottingham who had a litter of 4 pups which were born on 14th April 2010, they were keeping one of the dogs themselves but the remaining bitch and two dogs needed a home. Dave took me over to see the pups with their mum and chat to the breeder.
As soon as we entered the room one of the pups came over and sat on my foot. I got down onto the floor and he climbed onto my legs and cuddled up against me ~ Taylor chose me and that was that. Taylor had been raised among a family of three boys who played with him as did their friends. He was also toilet trained pretty much too. Whilst we waited for him to be old enough to come away from his mother and come home with us we were sent regular photos and updates of how he was getting on.
The day Taylor (we named him in mums memory with my maiden name) came home with us was magical, he was a big pup and mischievous. He had a fondness for chewing up door mats, skirting boards and plaster! He went through puppy training and failed ~ he knew how to do everything but the issue was his selective hearing and fondness for leading the other pups into mischief. The trainer was fond of Taylor but told me not to bother with training classes for him as he was just too stubborn. He made me get up every morning and filled my day caring for him ~ I talked to him as I previously had to mum. I loved walking him and the love he gives me is indescribable. He knows when I am sad or sick and stays with me, cuddling into me, licking me intermittently, just letting me know he’s there for me. When my back hurts he cuddles into my back, my stomach he curls into my front and if everywhere he comes up to my chest and snuggles into my neck.
Here are a few pictures of my Taylor..
Then Tara, who was now suffering from ME, saw how much Taylor was helping me decided she wanted her own dog. She had saved enough money and after some discussion and searching we found a breeder in Northampton that had a large litter of Border Terrier pups which were born on 18 June 2011. Tara, money in hand, came with us to view the pups. The breeder owned both mum and dad so we saw the pups with both parents. Again the pup chose us ~ Tara was in puppy heaven and tried to spend time with each of them but one pup in particular kept shoving her way through to the front and followed Tara around everywhere. She was the smallest pup, the runt of the litter. Tara picked her up and they bonded instantly and Tara named her Skyla Minx.
When we brought her home we were very careful introducing her to Taylor ~ always under supervision and when we were busy we had them in different rooms with a temporary see through mesh stair gate between them. At night they were together in the utility room but Skyla was safely in her crate. Within only a few short weeks the stair gate and crate were no longer necessary. They had become inseparable ~ often found asleep curled up together in the one bed. As for Tara, Skyla adores her, she has given and continues to give Tara so much love and cuddles.
Here are a few examples of the Taylor/Skyla romance..
They pair are inseparable, so we have to visit groomers and vets as a pack otherwise they will pine. Here are a “few” pictures of Skyla..
A couple of years went by as a two dog family. Then Tasha got sick first with Meningitis, then Scarlet Fever and finally ME too. She lost her friends, education and ability to care for herself fully. Having already benefited from the love and affection of two dogs it seemed reasonable to consider a third, a pup for Tasha to love. Tasha loves pugs but we felt that we should keep a Terrier theme as they play so roughly and we were concerned about potential eye injury to a pug. So we plumped for a cross breed and as it happened we found a Lincolnshire farmer with a Jack Russell Pug cross pup. So off we went! What we expected was a single pup in a small farm ~ what we found was a massive “legal” puppy farm and pet shop! Once there we asked to see the pup ~ it took them half an hour to find him ~ he was eventually found in with a Shih Tzu and her pups, we were told his mother was a pug and rejected him but they were unable to show us the pug. They then changed their minds and told us his mother was a Red Jack Russell and they took us to see her but it was obvious from looking at her that she had not recently had a litter. So to be perfectly honest we have no real idea what breed he really is. He could be a Jack Russell Pug cross but the vets all feel he is more likely to be a Border Terrier Pug cross. We were told he was born on 12th June 2013 and so have to take that as being the case, but were concerned that no~one could agree on who his parents were. We were all very uncomfortable at this point but when Tasha saw Loki she couldn’t let him go. He was a tiny shivering little bundle. He had not been handled or socialised as allegedly the breeders “didn’t like to get attached to the puppies”. He wasn’t toilet trained either ~ the poor mite had just been left to fend for himself amongst the litter of the Shih Tzu pups. We took him and Tasha named him Loki. He has issues ~ he was vicious so nicknamed Piranha Dog!
Upon arrival although he was healthy he passed on a bug to Taylor and Skyla, requiring antibiotics and two courses of probiotics. Once everyones insides had settled Loki was fully integrated into the pack. Taylor took on a fatherly role and Skyla a motherly one ~ she grooms the two boys several times a day. Taylor and Skyla together helped him to learn that nipping was not acceptable. With the help of our vet we slowly managed to help Loki become less fearful and aggressive. He is a fabulously affectionate dog but is very easily frightened and cannot be parted from us or the other two dogs because he gets separation anxiety when alone.
When two became three..
We tried crate training him but he is a Houdini and could undo the fastenings and escape, he could only sleep if nuzzled up against someone ~ either person or dog. He now sleeps on our bed, between us and when Tasha is well enough in with her. If we go out then he will be found nestled between Taylor and Skyla.
Here are some pictures of the little imp…
Words can’t fully express the joy these pups bring to our family. The power of pet therapy can never be underestimated. I am “Top Dog” or “Pack Leader” so to speak as I’m the one home with them 24/7. If I am away from them I can’t wait to get home, the welcome is always incredible!
So that’s that ~ my Hairy Trio, my fur babies ~ they have helped us all so much in so many ways.
I hope you enjoyed the photos and getting to meet them too.