Friday, January 5, 2024

The fourth princess

When Charly’s personality began changing with age, she became very different in communicating with my spouse and me.  At times, she completely lost her manners.  My main concern was how she would now relate with my daughter.  Would she be aggressive or grouchy?  Would she bark, growl, or nip at her?  


Before I gave birth, I knew Charly loved kids…but what about my kid?  Charly was/is very attached to me.  I wanted to trust her with my new human treasure.  But, I didn’t.  So, at first, Charly was not allowed to touch the baby.  She could be close, she could sniff, she could be on the bed at my feet while the baby was on the bed, or on the ottoman while the baby was in my arms in the rocking chair…an easy kick away.  But here was nocontact.  Then, after about four months, a warm moment presented itself, and they touched.  Of course my daughter was over the moon.  So was Charly, but she also showed constraint.  She gently cleaned my daughter’s bare toes, feet and legs.  And, I let her.  I let her adopt that baby as her own.  


A couple years later, my toddler sat on the kitchen floor with Charly while I cooked and said, “Mumma, look!”  Soft sticky two-year-old fingers lifted her jowl and strummed her white fangs like an xylophone, and Charly did not bat an eye.  She allowed a pinkie finger to explore her nostril…resigned to the role of warm-blooded stuffed animal in that moment.  She cuddled in the play tent in which only princesses were allowed.  Charly has been mother, friend, fierce defender, and patient listener to early-reader-books.  For a couple years, my daughter called Charly her dog-sister when our friends were having second babies, but we were not.  They are reliably and unconditionally lovely to each other.  And in spite of my initial wariness about her changing personality, Charly remains loving and tender with my daughter.  Young dog or old dog, with our little girl, Charly has the manners of a princess.

1 comment:

  1. And I finally have notifications from your blog showing up in Mastodon!


Sunny days

   With an old dog, there are highs and lows.     For Charly, usually these are determined by her health rather than events, outings, or run...