BFF

Arya and Pari.

I have noticed that Arya is getting very clingy with Pari. Its almost like she wants Pari’s approval for everything. Sandy my Dalmatian, was like that when she first came in to our house. She was my previous boxer’s shadow, Lizzy’s.

Arya follows Pari around, does what she does, and prefers keeping Pari in her field of vision! If Pari is out, Arya wants to go out to the balcony, even if Arya was midway through her meal! She prefers the company of Pari for playing, although Pari is quite possessive about her toys, Arya does manage to coax Pari into playing tug-of-war with her every now and then.

If Arya is in a playful mood, the only person she will needle is Pari. The next fall back option is Pluto. Pari and Arya can play for quite some time, till Arya gets tired and flops on the ground!

When Pari is out on her walk, Arya is very restless. She waits near the front door, agog with anticipation about Pari’s return. Any sound and her ears stand tall to find out if its Pari arriving. The moment Pari enters the front door, Arya is all over her, licking and hugging her, and I dont mean that figuratively! Arya fawns over Pari like she is a long lost warrior, with spoils of the war! She will stand on her hind legs and wrap her forelimbs around Pari’s neck. But Pari has a stead fast devotion to food! Which she dashes across to, after her walk. After licking her bowl clean, Pari gives attention to Arya’s fondling!

If Pari is not around, Arya pays even less attention to the folks around her. She is most devoted to me in the family, but even I am somewhere in the labyrinth of her mental processes until Pari is home!

Its been 5 months to the day since Arya became part of our family. There were a lot of rough edges that agitated Pari no end and then and they would get into these vicious fights! And breaking them up was up to me, since nobody else was brave enough to get in their faces. Arya is a light weight and all I had to do was bodily lift her up from the fight and the whole think would diffuse like a balloon pricked by a needle! Moments later they would be licking and cuddling like nothing bad ever happened! Since the last 2 months, they’ve hardly had any face-offs, more because Arya is in a good place now, secure in our love for her, and quite very wary now, around chow time and with Pari’s toys. She knows now what triggers Pari and keeps away from it. Pari too, for her part, is getting over the new-dog syndrome with Arya and accepted her. Boxers, I tell you!

But the girl pals are one lovey-dovey couple! There is endless licking and following!

Sandy, my Dalmatian, has not formed a bond with anyone after the demise of my boxer, Lizzy. If anything, she is clingy to me. She doesn’t hanker for any other doggie company. She lies in wait for me when I go out and will park herself at the balcony entrance, not entering the house till I return. Arya does the same when Pari has left the house!

The best part is snooze time! If we are all in the living room, and Pari is up on the sofa, Arya wants to get up on the same one, and then they sleep close to each other, touching each other! Same with the bay window. One of Arya’s favorite places! If we are all in the bedroom, and Pari has called first dibs on the bed, Arya will squeeze herself into whatever tiny place is available near Pari and sleep. Over time, they each stretch out comfortably, accommodating each other.

The only time Arya doesn’t care about Pari or her whereabouts, is when there is a car journey involved! Then Arya could not be bothered who is in the car, as long as she is in and the car is moving!

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It takes very little to please a dog!

Pari is 4 yrs. but she still acts like a 4 month old. Pluto is 2 yrs old but even his bark is puppy like, and his antics, Oh God! He’s such a baby! And these are such contrasting babies!

Pari will never grow out of her mischief and ‘deviant’ behaviour – that’s a boxer for you. Whereas, Pluto is quite responsive to every command.

I have to keep yelling ‘Pari’ ‘Pari’ at least 10 times for her majesty to turn around and even give an enquiring glance! Leave alone get up and come to me! Then she will turn back, contemplate the situation, whether it really warrants a response or not! If I get up from my seat threateningly, she will then deign to get up and lumber towards me, like a huge St. Bernard or something! If I am otherwise occupied and not inclined to getting up from my seat towards her, she will continue her crowd watching or sleeping, or whatever activity she was doing prior to my beckoning her, without a care! Its not audacity! Its just the boxer way of never taking anything seriously! Life is one big playground and too short to be serious about!

Arya, my other boxer, is more or less the same! But I give her a longer rope, since she also has a fractured leg and she may not want to get up often. But boy, the looks these two give me, when they are called, makes me want to send them to a boot camp!

But it takes just about anything for them to start playing! These two, Arya and Pari. They are not interested in a formal play toy. Anything and everything is a ‘toy’! Most times, Pluto joins them.

So I don’t throw cardboard boxes or bubble wrap. The two most favorite items of play for the pooches! If one starts, the other two have to have at it!

Playtime is anytime I’m home! Pari is always ready with any item on the ground that can be pulled and tugged! Arya is a little wary of taking anything which has Pari’s smell on it for fear of a rampaging Pari! But this time, Pari took the game to Arya and finally Arya managed to grab the small cardboard cover out of Pari’s jaws and claim it as her own! Which brought Pluto onto the scene!

The concentration powers of these pooches is minuscule! They get diverted easily especially Pluto! As Pari goes onto grab a slighter larger cardboard box, everybody’s attention is immediately fixated onto this new ‘toy’! And if I go out of the area, the attention span decreases even further!

While Pari and Arya mock fight over this new ‘toy’, Pluto decides there’s too much activity going on this early in the morning, on an empty stomach, after a long walk! So he takes a breather along with Sandy. Rufus of course, feels summer is not the time to play and romp around!

After a pre-breakfast tidbit, they are off again, including Pluto, who gives them all a run for their money! Pluto needs constant encouragement. Its either that or that he doesnt want to play vigorously when surrounded by dogs only and prefers his human around. If I don’t roar my approval or egg him on, he drops everything and slowly pitter-patters into the kitchen where I am usually pottering around!

Pari has somehow figured this out and although she does not play rough with Pluto and allows him to growl and snarl his way into grabbing her ‘toy’, she waits patiently by his side, knowing he is going to drop it eventually and then she can claim it!

 

A SOUND OF MUSIC themed saga

Mad dogs Pari and Arya have formed this incredible mischief group that plays havoc at home!

I really feel like I should be singing –

my house is alive with the sound of mad Pari and Arya!

With antics they have churned

For a thousand years!

But they do fill my heart,

with all the love they share (completely the lyrics from SOUND OF MUSIC!).

My heart skips a beat, every time they gambol and jump across chairs. And so on………But the last para fits them to a T! Which is………..

I go to them,

When my heart is lonely,

I know I will see what I have seen before,

My heart will be blessed with the sound of boxers, and I will get some more!

That being said, I now officially declare that Pari and Arya have the energy and the power to do mischief equivalent to 10 monkeys!

I was cleaning my son’s cupboard the other day. Stacked all his clothes on his bed so that I find out how much space I have in his cupboard and how best to arrange his clothes. Every time I turned around, the pile of clothes appeared to be getting smaller. I figured I was just miscalculating and carried on with my work. I arranged his cupboard very neatly and patted my back in satisfaction, promising myself the pleasure of screaming at my son when he returned home from his course, seeing that there was so much space in his cupboard and he had stuffed it up randomly with god knows what!

I then walked into the living room thinking of the well deserved rest I was going to take.

As I walked in, the dogs started slinking away from me, one by one. Except of course Rufus, lazy bum! I saw Pari slowly making her way into the bedroom, a very suspicious looking piece of clothing clenched in her mouth, trailing behind her. I didn’t think much of it since Pari picks up odds and ends.

First Sandy, crouched away, tail between her legs, then Pari slowly made her way out of the bedroom, her eyes looking cock-eyed at me and a sly grin on her mouth. Arya was no where on the scene and neither was Pluto. I really didn’t think much of it, except that Sandy slinking away was unusual. She usually does that when she knows I am going to scream at one of the other dogs, and she’s afraid of the backlash!

So instead of sitting down, I decided to search for Pluto. I went into the bedroom and what do I see!

 

There on the doggie beds, was a mountain of odd clothes, jeans and T-shirts and shorts, with Pluto contently chewing the ends of a jean, a meditative look on his face, eyes closed! Arya was squatting next to him, sniffing all the clothes, since she has been with my son only for some 10 days, and all the smells were new to her! As I stood there in shocked silence, Pari came in jauntily and sat on the clothes, looking up at me to say “hey there. All well? We were just trying to help you sort out the clothes, doggie style!”

 

These minxes! They have slowly crept away with the clothes, one by one, from the bed as I was piling them on! I can imagine who started this! Pari! She is always the ring leader. Arya follows her to the T! Pluto only enjoys the benefits! Rufus is just too lazy to join in and anyway, with Pari and Arya there, he wouldn’t dare! Sandy is plain not interested in juvenile stuff!

So…………..to continue with THE SOUND OF MUSIC again…….

How do you solve problems like the boxers

How do you catch 2 monkeys and pin them down

How do you find words that means Pari and Arya

A will of the whisp

A clown………2 clowns

Well Anyway, all said and done………….I would always have a boxer in my heart in my house! As long as I live!

3 Musketeers!

The bonhomie between Arya, Pari, and Pluto is sensational!

Arya just lives life to the fullest every moment and shows no signs of being ill or handicapped. This is typical of boxers but Arya, with all her health issues, gives Pari a run for her money!

The moment we enter the house after the walk, Arya decides that life is too placid and needs livening up! She just goes ballistic, and I mean that quite literally! We have just set foot in the house and lo and behold, Arya is jumping up the sofa, onto the next one, and then onto the 3rd and even leaping across onto the bay window seat! And she repeats the whole process a second time around! Even Pari stands still watching her in amazement, Pari herself being a boxer!

That’s typhoon Arya, after demolishing my living room!

And when Pari darts outside to yell at a street dog, Arya gallops across the sofa, jumps over the backrest and hurls herself onto the balcony in a flying leap! All in one breath! And then joins Pari in admonishing the street dog for passing by! Pluto can only hear all this ruckus and circles even more furiously!

And then the merriment continues!

They all trot back inside and harass me no end. Whatever is in my hand, Pari and Arya want! So jumping all over me is not enough, Arya jumps over the bed and tries to fly onto the object in my hand! She doesn’t even take time to calculate the distance from the bed to my body! Just gets on and leaps across. Most times she lands on me, and other times, I have to catch her carefully in case she lands on the hard floor! The doggie beds are placed around my bed, so sometimes she lands hard on that and its especially traumatic when Pluto is busy circling on the doggie bed! Both give yelps of anguish and although Arya gets up right away, shakes herself and is ready for a rebound, Pluto is shocked into stillness, wondering what the hell just squashed him! Sandy and Rufus are safely away, Sandy in the living room on the doggie sofa, and Rufus is carefully positioned under the dining chairs!

If Arya does make contact with the object I am holding, she ups and runs away with it, in hot pursuit by Pari and followed by a ‘heat seeking’ Pluto! And then they dart around the living room blocking all attempts by the others to get at the ‘ball’! These days, even Arya has learnt to be indulgent to Pluto! So when Pluto grabs the ‘ball’, there is a feeble attempt to retrieve it but Pluto’s deep throated growls and probably my presence, prevents any untoward rough play with Pluto.

Pari and Arya lie in wait, especially Pari, who seems to have studied Pluto in quite some detail! Sure enough, after a few minutes, with no interaction, Pluto loses interest in the ‘ball’! Quick as lightening, Pari snatches it and makes a dash for it, before Pluto can profess renewed interest in the ‘ball’! That is the cue for Arya, who races after Pari and they are back in my room to play tug of war with it!

Pluto interacts freely with all of them. Rufus is the only one who growls and protests when Pluto decides he needs to sniff all of Rufus! Pluto gets under Arya, bites her legs, trips her and Arya gets back at him, literally sitting on top of him, till he overturns himself and bites her neck! And this can go on for a while! Pari invariably intervenes and I definitely think its because she feels Pluto needs protection from Arya!

Live life like boxers!

I wanted excitement and exhilaration in my life but no high maintenance issues!

I got a boxer – Pari!

I was feeling guilty about the lack of company for the boxer, with just lethargic Rufus and laid back Sandy, for companions!

I got another boxer – Arya!

Just goes to show the universe gives you everything and more you ask for!

Now……….my days start and end with complete whacko chaos! Between 2 mad boxers and 1 naughty cocker spaniel……….I wish to have my old placid days back!

No………..that’s not quite true…………I love my life…………living with 2 boxers and a sideshow called Pluto, is the stuff movies are made of!

As if the long walk is not enough to tire them, Arya and Pari continue d frolicking the moment I open the front doors and let them in! Arya is not taken for long walks, but I am noticing that she has slowly extended the walk all by herself and I have been taking her for longer and longer walks! She is pretty enthusiastic about it too, not lifting her nose off the ground for even a minute!

So the walk is not enough apparently! They needle each other, bite each other’s rumps, feet, ears, even lips! All the while, there is no sound! Pluto gets caught in the middle of it! Then Arya switches attention and targets Pluto, who gives as good as he gets, just the way he was/is with Pari! Even when Arya stands atop Pluto, towering over him and nibbling his head from atop, Pluto does not feel threatened but growls and snarls at her in his efforts to wriggle out and turn the tables on her!

In the middle of all this ruckus, I have to sneak into the dressing room to change my walk clothes, or else the romp is extended into my dressing room! And then I have to push my way through to take their beds out of the boxing arena or else the beds get kicked into every corner! They then take the fight to my bed and within minutes the entire bedsheet is covered in dog hair! If I see them, I shoo them out! But if I miss seeing them, they have the most rollicking time there with Pluto jumping on the sidelines, yearning to get on top and get into the fight!

As I exit the room and enter the living room, Arya and Pari fly into the room from the bed directly on to the sofa! I’m so helpless, I’m not even kidding at the fact that that is exactly what they do! With Pluto chasing them at top speed! So its from one sofa to the other without touching d ground, not to forget they even jump onto the bay window cushion. They have knocked my flower vase down along with all the artificial flowers, which Arya has promptly chewed up to pieces till I gave a blood curdling yell! The vase survived because it was thick crystal.

The hall demolished they take it forth into my kitchen. Now that’s where I draw the line. My kitchen is precious and I don’t take kindly to getting it disturbed, however adorable 2 brats are!

Anyway, that’s their breakfast time, so they settle down………..for a bit!

How on earth can one make out that Arya is seriously ill or that Pluto is blind!

An outsider looking into my home, would seriously think I have 3 completely lunatic dogs!

In all this, Sandy and Rufus are safely in their corners, not willing to participate at all! Sandy sometimes butts in just to make an angry comment at Pari. I am sure she is admonishing Pari at all the immature behavior, but Pari being Pari, is oblivious to the fact that anybody in the world can actually dislike her, humans ie!

Pluto is 2!

Jan 3rd was a very eventful day.

Little Pluto turned all of 2.

And….. I took in an albino boxer, who was in the shelter for over a year, with no takers. The boxy girl had only half a face, the other half being ravaged by maggots. She also had bilateral kidney disease rendering her very delicate.

I had been planning to adopt her, since I love boxers, but I baulked at the thought of managing 5 dogs, or 4 ½! I kept putting it off till I get more helping hands, which was just not happening. But when I heard that the little girl had kidney disease and I knew there was absolutely no hope of any permanent home for her, I took the decision to take her in and give her all the love till her end.

And I am so glad I took the decision, coz she is love epitomized! Doesn’t stop wagging her short tail, and her butt!

There was a lot of trepidation from the shelter owners about giving Arya to me since I was a multi dog household and Arya was having trouble getting along with other dogs of late. In fact, she was getting very aggressive and biting the others!

Dogs are not mean, like humans. They don’t just have behavioural issues overnight for no apparent reason. I trusted my instincts with dogs and I had a feeling that just love and bonding with us and my dogs, would get Arya around.

So I took her in.

We had just celebrated Pluto’s birthday. He liked the cake and kept licking it for all he was worth, and around him 3 anxious mouths waited to devour the cake! It took my sternest voice to rope in Pari and Sandy from lunging at the cake and Pluto! Pluto meanwhile, was taking his own sweet time to lick every molecule of the cake……….the icing came off, the superficial layer peeled off, Pluto still kept licking……slowly! Finally, exasperated, I broke the cake in to small pieces and even gave a few to him, but he chewed it into further small pieces and laboriously had 2 slices!

So I broke it up into equal pieces and let the party begin. Finally Pluto had to be fed the cake of course!

After that they had the other treats. Surprisingly, Pluto had the sausages all by himself, although he managed to finish only 2.

I saved up a little for Arya since I knew she was coming anytime now.

Arya was growling and barking from the get-go! She snarled at Pari and Sandy and Pari, being Pari, took very strong offense at being snarled at in her own home! I had to hold Arya tightly by her collar all the time placating her and warning Pari to behave! This went on all the time that the shelter owners were there. Arya did not like even Pluto and Pluto did not like it when he was threatened aggressively by her when he came to get some love from me!

The moment the owners left, Arya calmed down totally! She was drawing strength from the presence of her humans and lost all courage once they left. After that, she allowed Pari and Rufus to give her the full sniff over. Pluto and Sandy stayed away!

I gave Arya her food which she disdainfully left untouched. But she gobbled up all the birthday treats! So I let her be. She had just then been left behind into a strange house full of crazy dogs and a weird human and was allowed her moods. I knew she would feel hungry by evening and would have the meal.

That first day, she was still getting a feel of things. Pari was still not allowed to get familiar with her and it didn’t take more than a few seconds to set off a snarling match between the two! Although it was mostly all drama! Both didn’t mean it coz every now and then, they would sit together, side by side, without bothering each other.

Pluto got a new toy for his birthday, which was actually an old one that I had kept back after cleaning, for just such occasions. While he was holding on to the toy possessively, Pari was trying to sneak attack him to snatch it away! Arya ignored the two!

That first day, we had to keep a watchful eye on Pari and Arya. These two apparently did not like each other much. I was disappointed since I wanted the 2 boxers to get along well and give me a run for my money! I did not give up hope and was still  waiting for things to turn around.

Boy! Did they turn around!

By day 2, Pari and Arya were on good footing! They were licking each other, establishing, what I am praying, is a life long bond!

And from then on, there was no looking back! They play like only boxers can! Careening around the living room, sofas thrown asunder, doggie sofas swirled around like football, and at one point of time, Rufus caught in the middle, was flung to the other end of the hall! You can well imagine his reaction!

The only point in all this is that Pluto, being blind, is still not comfortable with Arya. He growls when she comes near and that sets off an angry reaction from her, which triggers Pari into a near frenzy and she goes into attack mode against Arya.

But that too, is regressing. With all of us around Arya, she reacts less to Pluto’s warning growls and simply turns back to playing with Pari. Arya has responded so well to being loved and being free in a household.

I left them playing in the living room as I write, with no thoughts to my leaving the house!

In a family, ‘alpha’ means squat!

The hierarchy among the dogs in my family, is Sandy, the Dalmatian, then Rufus, the indie-terrier, then Pari, the boxer and finally Pluto, the cocker spaniel.

It is believed that the alpha dog in the house is one that has been there from before and calls the shots, the dominant one. I may not be an animal expert, but in a family, when not in the wild, that is not exactly how it works.

When Pari came into our house, Sandy and Rufus were already well entrenched. Sandy took over after Lizzy passed away. She was very regal with the other dogs after Lizzy’s demise. Before that, she was very kittenish and childlike. So she bossed over everybody. Pari followed her completely, very demurely. Sandy would put her in her place by a few growls and well placed snaps. And Pari acquiesced. So did Rufus. Of course he was usually in his own world and hardly interacted with or challenged Sandy.

As the years rolled by, Sandy became more quiet, more into herself and Pari took over matriarch position! Sandy hardly takes any interest and just lets Pari have her way, unless its something to do with me!

Earlier, the toys that were pooled commonly, would first be inspected and played by Sandy. But the past year, I have seen Pari take over partnership! Sandy is like an indulgent guardian angel! She lets Pari or now Pluto take first dibs at it.

In fact, I don’t see the ‘alpha’ factor at all amongst the 4 of them. Yes, Pari lords over Rufus, but that she does even to the neighbourhood german shepherd. She positively detests that german shepherd and simple finds Rufus very irritating, like a fly needed to b swatted every now and then!

I guess after a while the lines between alpha dominion, blurs. Everybody just gets along, as long as their equation with their human is fine.

Sandy is just aging and not really interested in laying down the law. As long as things are going fine at home she feels she doesn’t need to act the alpha! So I feel this alpha factor is a myth and works only in the wild.