It's hard to ever think of a puppy as unwelcome, but in July of 1987 that was our initial feeling when this four week old black ball of fur showed up at our home in the arms of Nikki's boyfriend at the time. "I got Nikki a puppy for her birthday". This was not planned and we were not too happy...and not at all certain we were prepared to keep him. At the time Hector was our only canine family member and he was a senior. There were many questions...how would the presence of a puppy effect Hector?.....could we be responsible for another dog?....
Our vet assured us that it would
actually be beneficial for Hector to have a younger dog around. There was some concern
that the puppy was so young....clearly he had been taken from his mother
prematurely. Would he be OK? After our vet's words of reassurance and a clean
bill of health we set some "ground rules" for the puppy staying. He would live
with us exclusively....not in both our home and the boyfriend's home as we had
been told was the plan. This puppy needed extra attention...he was so
young...and consistency in his training and surroundings. Everyone agreed. Nikki
had decided to name him "Scout" after the character in her favorite novel "To
Kill a Mockingbird". We were now a two dog family. It was a unpleasant
start to what would become a great life and beloved member of our family.
Somewhere a great philosopher once said....
From his earliest days with our family Scout attached himself to Hector. He really learned how to be a dog by being with Hector. Although 10 years old, Hector did a great job of keeping up with this fast growing puppy.
Two years later Dickens joined the family. Scout loved the challenge of Dickens' overly playful nature. Scout easily accepted another dog into his house...never feeling threatened or out of place. The dynamic between Hector, Scout and Dickens was wonderful. Scout & Dickens respected Hector and allowed him to live at his own pace, yet each one had a unique role in the pack and our family.
One of Scout's great "achievements" was breaking the "no dogs allowed upstairs" rule. Dogs had never been permitted upstairs in the bedroom area of our home and Hector had generally obeyed this mandate. At first Scout obeyed too...but as his desire for human companionship grew it became harder to enforce. By the time Dickens joined the family it was clear the dogs were becoming an important part of all our lives so we willingly allowed them access to our entire home.
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