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I was supposed to move into the new house in April. So mid January, I had just left work for good a couple of weeks before, the Security Director came to visit with his wife, with a present in a large plastic bag! He immediately handed over the bag to me and on opening it I saw two little black round heads with two pairs of the most beautiful brown eyes. I just became the proud Mom of two gorgeous little puppies, a male and a female. These were supposed to be my guard dogs at the new house. I decided to call them Caesar and Cleopatra.
They were an absolute joy. Now we had three dogs, Poochy, and the two new puppies. I was in seventh heaven, they were cuddly and after getting used to us and the house, were very happy little troopers indeed. Of course I went overboard buying stuff for them, the right kind of food, took them to the vet for a check-up and a timetable of the vaccines. It was amazing how quickly they grew. They started smaller than Poochy, and when fully grown, Poochy was as high as their knees!
It is funny how dogs behave. Because Caesar and Cleo were babies and grew up to find a grown Poochy already there, to them he was a role model. Poochy used to love curling up on the back of my Mom’s lazy-boy. His size allowed it. But when Caesar tried it of course he fell off. But we had a sofa from American Furniture which had a rather deep back, set next to a wall, and Caesar took up his place there.
I was having trouble with the owner of the compound where my house was being built. He was not on schedule and the delays were making me nervous. I had two dogs growing by the minute. Keeping them in the apartment was going to be difficult. But they were still babies and a lot of fun. I started looking for a trainer. I was told that dogs cannot get trained before 5 months. In the meantime I was showering them with attention and love. I totally lost my heart to Caesar when, at the age of three weeks, Cleo, who was a bit of a monster, dragged him by the ear all over the parquet of the living room and only let him go when I intervened. He wouldn’t even retaliate.
I started taking them out to the garden and walking them round the block for exercise. It wasn’t long before they grew into two rather large black dogs with huge white teeth. Through looks alone they were intimidating, but when I started feeling their strength when I took them walking, I saw the wariness in my neighbors’ eyes and their preference to avoid using the lift with us. When people started crossing the street to the other pavement when I approached, I knew that they were getting scared, not of the dogs per se, but of my ability to control them. I am considered tall for an Egyptian woman and was athletic all my life, but when I took them walking, it was more like they were dragging me behind them, than of my actually walking them.
When they reached five months I brought in a trainer from the police academy to properly train them. Our sessions were in the garden. This garden is like a small yard surrounded by three sides of the building, so it is semi enclosed and fairly safe, they could not run out to the street. The drawback was that we were watched by all the neighbors. So we provided them with a great deal of entertainment as the dogs were pretty frisky and enjoyed giving the trainer a hard time.
This went on for a couple of weeks to the entertainment of the neighbors, but one day I caught the trainer giving Cleo a swipe with the leather hand of the leash. That was it for me. NOBODY abuses my dogs. I gave him his walking papers. I then took over training them myself, and things went much better because they felt my love for them, and it turned out that they did things for love much easier than they did out of fear. If I showed displeasure they were scrambling to please me. Love worked wonders.
Life continued in this trend for another three months, then suddenly I realized that both dogs were now mature. Dilemma! How can I keep them apart and ensure that they don’t procreate? The answer was very simple. I couldn’t.
One month later Cleo was pregnant and I started giving the owner of the compound a hard time to finish the infrastructure so that I can move in as soon as possible. The top floor in the house was being finished so there was hope that we could move in after a few months. This meant that the babies will be born in the apartment. I had never been through a birth before so was quite nervous, but my vet kept calming me down saying that she would know what to do. Of course I did not believe him, and worried incessantly till the big day was on us.
Continued … Living with Pets – 7