The Three Pekes

The Three Pekes

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rusty's Shadow

Wow, I just realized that I haven't written in almost two weeks! It's already March 10, and I have no idea where the time has gone.

Jasper is settling in beautifully, and it is so nice to have Three Pekes again. We have gone through the "new-to-the-home" issues, like excessive barking at every little unfamiliar noise, "happy peeing," and so on. He has had two classes at Petsmart U., and is doing very well. He catches on quickly, and is such a little chowhound that he is happy to work for any kind of food!

Rusty is getting over his "standoffishness" with Jasper, and they are finally starting to play together. Even though none of the dogs has asserted himself (or herself) as the alpha, Jasper realizes that he is definitely a follower, and has been very deferential with Rusty. Rusty doesn't know what to make of that, since Shasta never deferred to him in any way. So Jasper has finally figured out that if he wants Rusty to play with him, he just has to attack him...just the way Shasta used to.

And the two of them passed a milestone the other evening in that regard. I was on my way home from work, and I called Justin to let him know where I was. He was already home, since it was one of his days to conduct hearings in the field. He was totally excited when he answered my call; he explained that Rusty had initiated play with Jasper! That was indeed a first.

Jasper adores Rusty, and just wants him to play with him. They run around in the backyard together, and it is so cute...first, Rusty will run past, and then Jasper will follow right behind him, just like a shadow.

We definitely need to teach Jasper some manners, however. He is VERY impolite when goodies are being passed out; he tries to get everyone else's treats, and amazingly enough, they let him! Must be a hold-over from Shasta, because they (usually) deferred to her also. Well, Lady sometimes got into it with her, but she really doesn't with Jasper. Only when he steps on her or sniffs her rear end...that's good for a snap or a bark. All in good time, though; we'll get him in shape. He's got such a sweet disposition, and displays such funny antics, it's hard to be mad at him.

Jasper has crate-trained really quickly, which is good. We crate the two boys while we're at work, mostly for their own safety, and for house training. We have electrical cords running around the family room with our laptops, and while Jasper hasn't exhibited much of a tendency to chew on things he's not supposed to, wires can be very tempting. He's also still learning about holding his bladder until he gets outside, and the crate helps reinforce that. Rusty has always loved his crate, and we have the two of them set up so that they face each other and are separated by about five feet.

The other problem we had at first with Jasper was his tendency to bark at strange noises (everything was strange at first) at night, after we went to bed. That has seemed to work itself out, although Justin taught him the command "Enough!" which also seems to work. He has been sleeping through the night, but when Justin's alarm goes off at 5:30, he is standing up against the side of his play pen and whining to go out. And boy, does he snore! Jasper's face isn't quite as flat as Shasta's was, but it's close. He's bigger though, and so he's even noisier than she was. One night, he was so loud, I had to put earplugs in my ears to sleep, and I could STILL hear him through the earplugs!

Jasper is a real cutie, though, and we love him. We still miss Shasta terribly...there will never be another dog like her...but this little bundle of hairy energy is helping to mend our broken hearts.

Until next time...

Saturday, February 26, 2011



Jasper, on his first day in his new home

Jasper, showing off his "lion cut"

Here he is...Rusty's anniversary gift! Our new baby, Jasper.

As I wrote previously, I found him on He was at a shelter called Glimmer of Life, located in Pembroke Pines, about 40 miles north of us in Broward County. I got in contact with the folks there by phone last Saturday morning (Feb. 19) about seeing him, and later that afternoon, we loaded Rusty and Lady in the car and took the drive up north.

Everyone at the shelter, which is connected with a groomer and pet supply boutique, was quite excited that we had come to visit "Miracle," as they were calling him. We already knew we would be changing that name, as neither of us liked it! He had been at the shelter for about two months, which I find totally amazing. But then, as my vet reminded me, most people want puppies. Jasper just turned two years old in January, old enough to be left alone all day while we are at work, but young enough to be playful and definitely still puppy-ish. Also, Pekes have a reputation for being ill-tempered, which I think is a lot of bunk. None of our Pekes has ever displayed anything like an ill temper. Rusty is the only one who comes close to that description, and that is because he was abused as a puppy. He is still stand-offish around strangers, but definitely not bad tempered. In my opinion, if a Peke is ill-tempered, it's the result of poor (or no) training and socialization. And that can certainly be the case with any dog.

Well, we fell in love with Miracle/Jasper immediately. The folks at the shelter sat us down on a red-velveteen-covered sofa, set up a portable play-pen around us, and then brought the little guy out to us. He had just been groomed, and as you can see in the photo above, they cut him like a lion, leaving him with a long, flowing mane and a pull tail, but cutting him short on his body and legs. Pekes have also been called "lion dogs" precisely because of that flowing mane.

He and Rusty and Lady checked each other out, and after a minute or two, the tails all wagged, so we took that as a good sign. Jasper was a little overwhelmed...the shelter/groomer/shop was very busy, and there was a lot going on, so he didn't pay too much attention to us, but we were more concerned with how he seemed to get on with the other two dogs, and that seemed to be going well.

Jasper and Rusty on the sofa at the Glimmer of Life shelter

So, we did the paperwork and crossed the shelter's "palm" with a substantial amount of silver, and a couple of hours later, went home with our third Peke.

Learned right away that Jasper doesn't like riding in the car, and doesn't even want to get anywhere near the car. Unlike Rusty, however, he doesn't get car sick. He just fidgets a lot. Rusty at least likes getting in the car. Lady doesn't care, as long as she can sleep.

After we got home, the process of settling in began, and is continuing, of course. Our first order of business was to come up with a new name for Miracle. So we got out the The Best Pet Name Book Ever! (the same one we bought when we got Shasta), and I started reading through it, calling out names I liked for Justin to give a "thumbs-up" or "uh-uh." We finally narrowed the list down to eight names: Barkley, Bosley, Casey, Cody, Harley, Jasper, Ripley and Sunny. We were going for the "ends in ee" sound, to go with "Rusty" and "Lady." So how did Jasper end up in the mix? Well, you can see that he is very red, actually redder than Rusty. I had skipped over the name Jasper since it didn't fit the "ends in ee," but I suddenly realized that "jasper" is a reddish-yellowish mineral that is very common in the Souythwest, near my home. So I said, "What about Jasper?" Justin said, "Oh, I like that," especially after I told him about the red mineral by the same name.

Unfortunately, by then, I was leaning toward "Sunny," which I also thought was reminiscent of the new baby's color and personality, even though since we had brought him home, he pretty much kept to himself. So I suggested that we put the eight names into a hat, and draw one, and that would settle it. Justin agreed that was fair...and wouldn't you know? I held the hat, and let him draw, and the name he drew? Jasper! I immediately accused him of rigging it, but I knew that wasn't true...I just had to give him a hard time. So, apparently, Jasper's new name was meant to be.

Jasper is getting used to his new name; he never actually responded to "Miracle," so it isn't causing him any confusion. I told Justin that name has a special place in my heart, which may be another reason I thought of it.

In the summer of 1974, when I was a few months away from my 14th birthday and starting high school, my folks and I took a cross-country trip in our motorhome. My mother insisted on taking our cat, Boots, with us on the trip. She didn't believe in confining animals in carriers or crates, and as luck would have it, he slipped out the door of our motorhome and got away one night, when we were camped near Grand Island, Nebraska. My last memory of that cat was as he shot away from us at full speed into a Nebraska corn field.

My mother was devastated, as you can imagine, but of course, we had to continue on our trip. When we got home a couple of weeks later, Mom started scanning the "free to a good home" ads for a new kitty to fill the void. I don't remember how she found him, but before too long, she dragged Dad and me to some lady's house to see a beautiful yellow long-haired kitty named Jasper. My mother loved yellow cats, and she really wanted this one, but he was part of a package deal. The woman said that she couldn't let him go without his litter mate, a coal-black female named Jetta. We went home with two cats.

Jasper and Jetta were inseparable, but as different as their colors. Jasper was the sweetest, most loving cat I can remember being around. Jetta, on the other hand, was a real "spitfire." She was the kind of cat who would reach out and take a swipe at you, just because she felt like it and you happened to be there. Sadly, after only a year or two, Jasper became very ill, and it turned out that he had feline leukemia. That was back in the days before veterinarians knew much about the disease, so that diagnosis was pretty much a death warrant. My mother was devastated again, but mended her broken heart with a long, unbroken line of yellow cats. Jetta just got meaner, although she did mellow out in old age, until she finally died at the age of 18.

I told Justin giving our new little dog the same name as that sweet cat from my youth seemed like a nice tribute, and he agreed. After having him with us for a week, Jasper the Peke's temperament is a fitting tribute to Jasper the Cat. He started to come out of his shell on Sunday, although Rusty was still being stand-offish, but by Monday, they were starting to play together. Jasper is clearly still a baby; he's got so much bounce and energy, and he tries to get Rusty to play with him, but they play on Rusty's schedule. When Rusty gets into one of his "dog racing" moods, where he runs around the house at top speed, though, Jasper loves it, chasing around after Rusty. He's also learning to go up and down the stairs. He has actually learned that the quickest of all our Pekes, although he still stumbles going up.

Interestingly, no clear pack leader has emerged yet. Lady has certainly let Jasper know what her boundaries are; he has gotten snapped at several times for sniffing her in places she didn't want to be sniffed. At first, Rusty was a little snarly with Jasper, but that seems to have subsided. They play kind of rough, but no rougher than Shasta played with Rusty. At this point, Jasper definitely follows Rusty's lead, especially when they go outside and run around in the yard together, but Rusty has not asserted himself as the alpha. It has only been a week, though. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

We signed Jasper up for PetsMart University, and he had his first class today at noon. He's a two-year-old in a class of five other puppies, but due to his small size, the manager thought it would be better for him than the adult/beginner class, since the class content is the same. Jasper is clearly older, as he is better behaved and more focused than his classmates. He did really well, so we think he's pretty smart. Not as smart as Shasta was, of course. Justin used to say she was so smart it was scary sometimes, and he was right.

So the saga of the Three Pekes will continue...Rusty, Lady and Jasper...and I'll tell their story as it unfolds, right here!
The "updated" Three Pekes on the sofa together at Glimmer of Life

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pete's Story, Part II

My friend, Kathie the dog trainer, sent me this additional piece about Pete, her beloved friend.

" …he was a comical strange and great dog to say the least. He watched everything we did…and watched the house well…he watched the kids too. He never would allow hitting with anyone. It truly bothered him. He was soooo healthy, he was drinking water in excess and I made the mistake of giving him his yearly shots, after that we noticed him drinking even more and not eating as much…now that’s not Pete. I took him in and did a senior profile…the next day they wanted to keep him for a few days…I never like leaving a dog at the vets…he walked in and came out super weak. …the insulin never stabilized his sugar. I got him out on Friday and now look, I worked on him, force fed, etc.…if I had a choice I would have gone holistic..but everything happened soooo fast..

I keep crying but let me tell you…my best move was driving right over to the PET HEAVEN….i was wailing, and drove in and a woman sat me down and said…now tell me about Pete…she really took me off guard, but a strange thing happened….i calmed down and told her his story..and it inspired me to write it…Thank you."

Thanks for sharing the story of your wonderful dog with us, Kathie!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pete's Story

I received this wonderful story from our dear friend, Kathie the dog trainer...I have mentioned her in previous posts. Her beloved dog, Pete, passed away today. She gave me permission to share his story on my blog.

Rest in peace, Pete, and please say hello to Shasta when you cross the Rainbow Bridge. And thanks, Kathie, for letting me share, and for all the wonderful things you do for all dogs and for the people you love!!

Pete's Story  February 21, 2011June dogs 055.JPG

 In 2001, I was headed into Walgreens and there he was, a black skinny dog with a black & tan muzzle and a little black leather Spiked collar, trying desperately to get into Payless Shoe Store. Every time the door would close on him, his head would bob back and his one ear that was down would swing, the other was up giving him that smart look. Well I said "No Kathie, I can't", to myself and proceeded to walk into Walgreens deciding that the boy was street smart and would go right back home. I walked through cosmetics and was headed to the Pharmacy, and there he was right next to my leg. He got in the door.

Needless to say, there he was in my van and we were heading home, all the while I was wondering what I was going to do with this little guy and how I was going to explain him to George. When George saw him he said” this one’s cute, what’s his name?” I stammered, “Pete” remembering the name from a customer that I was pet sitting for at that time, named Petey Flood. Since I was pet sitting, I got away with it for a time. I put flyers up on the side of Bird Road that we didn’t live on so George wouldn’t see them. About 3 weeks later, George said “When is he going home?” as he was already sleeping in our bed, I said; “soon”…about a week later, I told George how Pete found me. He said “Tell me how these things keep happening to you”. I explained that no one replied to my flyers. He lived here for 10 of his 11 years. He grew up with the kids since they were young. He was our Alpha dog in this house and an excellent watch dog. I can’t imagine life without Pete. I am soooo sad and will miss him sooo much!! He acquired Diabetes in the last few weeks and had a real hard time with high sugar. He was hospitalized for 3 days. Today was a horrible! He passed away in my car, heading back to the vets office.

He is always there, watching us & the house. It seems hard to believe that just a couple of weeks ago I was scolding him for killing a coot. He was guarding it, so we would be proud of his catch….NOT!!! Now our boy is gone and I know he is in heaven waiting. He was always waiting for us and still is…  We love you Pete, Peter, Sneaky Pete, Peter Peter, Pumpkin Eater and as daddy used to call him. PEEP!!!

Well done our Good & Faithful servant!!
We love You!!

Kathie the Dog Trainerfebruary 2010 028
New Puppy Consultation
Dog Obedience Training
Problem Solving                   
Transport To Vet/ Doggie Park
Pet Sitting/Boarding

Saturday, February 19, 2011

An "Anniversary Gift" for Rusty

So Rusty missed writing on his "anniversary," which was yesterday; Mommy had a long day at work and got home late. Three years ago, we brought him home from the shelter in Citrus County...that's right, we drove all the way up northwest of Orlando to adopt him! Or as Justin said, "Three years ago today, Rusty was barfing all the way home in my car." One of the many sad things we learned about him in those early weeks and months was that he is prone to carsickness. Much of that has disappeared as he has rehabilitated, but for long rides, we give him a dose of non-drowsy dramamine, and he does just fine.

The main reason I wasn't able to write on Rusty's behalf last night was that I was working on a possible "anniversary gift" for him. I spotted a rescued young male Pekingese on who is in a shelter up in Hollywood. According to his bio, he was rescued from a breeder who was going out of business. He's a year old, already neutered, and is friendly and affectionate, according to the information. His name is Miracle, which we will be changing if he ends up coming to live with us permanently. I spent a good part of last evening filling out the adoption application and gathering my reference info. The shelter opens at 11AM, so we'll be heading up that way, with both dogs in tow, around then to visit Miracle. This would be a good weekend for us to bring him home, since I have a three-day weekend with President's Day on Monday.


I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this adoption will work out. Rusty went to the vet last Saturday for his annual checkup, and he now weighs 19 pounds! He's gained about a half-pound since his last checkup in August, which is too much. He has a chipped bone and some arthritis in one of his front legs (I never can remember which one it is) that are a result of injuries he received before we adopted him, presumably as a result of the abuse to which he was subjected. We keep it in check with Dasuquin, but controlling his weight also helps reduce the stress on those joints. It occurred to me immediately that, since Shasta has been gone, we know he is not getting as much exercise as he used to when he had her to play with. So, as you can see, adopting another baby is really a medical necessity for our beloved Rusty!

The reason we are considering another male is because of the remarkable change in Lady's behavior I have mentioned previously. She and Shasta never really got along very well. Shasta, of course, was always our "alpha;" she was the boss, and let everyone know it. But Lady came to us from an "only-dog" household, where she had been for over eight years. The two girls eventually learned to co-exist, but there was regularly friction between the two of them. We found ourselves frequently breaking up arguments, especially at bedtime, over sleeping arrangements. They both liked to sleep under our bed, and each thought the other was an intruder.

Now that it is just the two Pekes, they share more of an egalitarian existence. Neither dog really exhibits "alpha" behavior, and Lady actually kind of likes Rusty. She has become more outgoing; before, she spent most of her time sleeping behind the sofa or upstairs under our bed at times other than bedtime. She is eating much better, and has gained weight up to almost 9 pounds. That is a real accomplishment, since at the worst of her behavioral issues, she was down to about 6 1/2 pounds!

Lady has also become more playful and frisky, bounding around the house like a puppy, dropping down into the trademark "Peke stance" (front legs down on the ground, butt stuck up in the air) that says, "I'm ready to play!" She STILL won't play with Rusty, and he certainly tries to engage her, but they do run around together when they are outside.

The most interesting development we have seen in Lady is she has become much more vocal. If they are outside, and she is ready to come in, she lets us know if we don't get to the door quickly enough to open it. We call it "ringing the back door bell." She also has just begun to bark to let us know when she is finished with her meal and is ready for her reward/goodie. We learned from Kathie*, on one of our trips away, that Lady likes to eat in a crate. Whodathunkit? She hates being crated; we tried that when we first got her and learned the hard way that she is what Kathie calls a "dirty dog." That is to say, she has no problem soiling her crate and lying in it (most dogs will not do that, which is why crate training is a valuable tool in housetraining).

However, a crate, or the "dining car," as we have come to call it, is where Lady likes to have her meals. We think it probably stems from the fact that she was an "only" for so many years, and is not comfortable eating when there are other dogs around to possibly molest her. And Rusty certainly will do that, the chow-hound!

So Lady enjoys her meals in peace in her "dining car," but again, if we are not quick enough to let her out of the dining car and reward her for eating all of her meal, she lets us know about the infraction with a short, loud, sharp bark! It's really quite humorous.

Since we have observed these dramatic changes in Lady's behavior and character, and we know that females will, that is why we are considering a male playmate for Rusty. He is so easygoing that he will probably get along with anyone; the girls certainly have him whipped into shape. And with another, younger male in the household, Lady may continue her more dominant behavior. Who knows, she may assert herself as the new "alpha!" At 12 years old, and with one eye blind, she is really amazing.

Please stay tuned, as I will be writing more about how it works out with the potential "new addition."

And happy "belated" anniversary to our Rusty!!

* To learn more about Kathie the Dog-trainer, please visit her website at

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rusty's "Anniversary"

I took Rusty for an impromptu walk this morning. I say "impromptu" because I wasn't planning to; I usually take him out in the evenings. But I picked up his collar to put his new rabies tag on, so that he's legal. When he heard the tags jingling, he thought that meant he was going for a walk. He was so excited, I couldn't very well refuse!

As I was walking with Rusty down the street, I observed him closely: tail up, ears forward, head held up proudly, as a true Peke should comport himself. Not quite dragging me, but definitely excited to be outside, taking in the world. And I marveled to myself at what a different dog he is from the sad, frightened puppy we brought home from the shelter. Then, I realized that, on February 18, it will be exactly three years since we adopted him.

When we brought Rusty home, we could not even put a collar on him. The folks at the shelter gave us a harness, as they had discovered in the two weeks he was with them that he would not accept a collar. We learned later, from the behavior he exhibited and from Kathie, our dog trainer/sitter, that someone had probably used a shock collar to teach him not to run through open doors. When we would put him on lead, with the harness at first, and try to take him through the door, he would rare back and cower and we would literally have to drag him through the door. A shock collar is truly an abomination if there ever was one!

Patience, obedience training both with Petsmart (our dogs are all proud graduates of Petsmart training classes) and with Kathie, and lots of praise helped Rusty overcome his fear both of the collar and of open doors. But, for a long time to come, when we would take him on walks, he walked with his tail down and his ears back, and we could tell he was still very fearful.

Shasta was a big part of his rehabilitation with walking on lead. We always walked the two of them together, and she, of course, would show Rusty the way. She was tiny but fearless, and I think she showed Rusty that he had nothing to fear from his new people. As I have said to him many times in the last three years, "You will never be hit, you will never be hurt, you will never be hungry. If you are sick, you'll be taken care of. There is nothing but love in this house." I think he finally believes me.

I can't remember exactly when the change in Rusty's attitude toward his collar and lead, and toward going for walks, came about. It was probably so gradual that I didn't even realize it. But as I was looking at him this morning, I thought again about the role Shasta played in teaching him how to enjoy being one of the Three Pekes. Justin was right; she did indeed accomplish her mission.

Shasta and Rusty, fresh from the groomer, July 2008..I love this photo because he actually looks like he is smiling!

Friday, February 11, 2011

My first time...

Thought I would give this blog business a try. I can hear my dad asking, "What the h*!@ is a 'blog?' "  He loved gadgets of all kinds, but the Internet totally mystified him. But that's not why I'm here, although I could certainly fill volumes with stories about my beloved and much-missed dad.

Don't know how well I'll be able to keep up with this. I don't have much spare time these days, as my job as a paralegal keeps me very busy. I'll just have to see how it goes.

From the title and photos, you can probably guess that my plan is to write about our dogs. I've always said their lives are much more interesting than mine. They would probably write it themselves, but they have a hard time fitting their paws on the keys. And writing from a Blackberry is totally out of the opposable thumbs to type with!

I'm actually hoping to get some cathartic value from doing this. The title of my blog is really a misnomer...we don't have three Pekingese dogs anymore. We only have two. On December 27, 2010, we tragically lost our beloved Shasta. She was our first Peke, and my very first dog ever. I waited 45 years to get my dog, and she was definitely worth waiting for.

She went to the vet for some minor surgery that day, to repair a torn tendon and a chronically dislocated patella on one of her hind legs. Shasta had previously undergone general anesthesia, when she was spayed at 9 months, with no complications whatsoever. This past December, she was 6 1/2 years old and in excellent health. Our vet, who is excellent and has cared for our pets for years, had gone over with me all of the precautions that would be taken with Shasta. General anesthesia is more risky for Pekes, who are "brachycephalic" (flat-faced). That causes their respiratory system to be compromised, so additional measures are taken to ensure that their breathing is monitored during surgery.

But, sadly, before the procedure even was started, Shasta had an unusual reaction to the anesthesia, and died of cardiac arrest. She had not just one competent veterinarian trying to save her life, but two, since the orthopaedic specialist was getting ready to do the corrective work on her leg. They tried everything to revive her, even opening her chest and performing intercardial massage in an effort to get her heart beating again, with no success.

We were out of town, visiting my hometown of Tucson, so we were 2,500 miles away. We'd left the Pekes in the totally capable, loving care of Kathie, our pet sitter, so she was the one who got the bad news first. Believe me, we would never have scheduled surgery for one of our babies if we didn't think it was minor; Shasta had been in a lot of pain because of the torn tendon and dislocated patella, and we didn't want to put it off just because we were going to be out of town.

To make matters worse, we were unreachable for a period of time, right when all of this was happening. The hotel we stay at is in the foothills of Tucson, and cellular service can be spotty at times. At one point, I looked at my Blackberry, and realized that I had three missed calls from Kathie, four missed calls from the vet, and even a post on Facebook from one of the staff members at our vet's office. I knew that couldn't be good news.

When I called the vet, the staff member who answered--I know all of them very well--said, "Hold on, I'm putting you through to Dr. Rose." My heart sank, and I knew what she was going to tell me even before she said it. Justin, my husband, was standing next to me, and hearing only my side of the conversation. He finally said, "Just tell me that she's okay!" I looked at him and said, "I can't. She's gone." And we both broke down, sobbing as we walked back to our hotel room.

We had five days left of our week-long vacation, and we were just devastated. Justin wanted to come home immediately, but I convinced him that we couldn't do anything, and that the folks at the vet would do what needed to be done, and we would take care of it with them after we got home. In the end, we decided it was probably better that we stayed in Tucson. We were surrounded by loving, close friends who shared the pain of our loss with us.

When we came home from our trip, we picked up our two Pekes from Kathie--and spent some time with her. She and her husband and family were just devastated as well. I was particularly concerned about how Rusty, our almost-4-year-old male, was doing. 

Rusty and Shasta were best buddies. She was his "touchstone;" he was a sad, abused, hurt shelter puppy when we adopted him, and Shasta, more than anyone else, helped bring him out of his shell. She taught him how to play, and how to trust us, and how to accept love and kindness. She taught him the joy of chasing a frisbee, and of playing tug-of-war with it. One day not long after we came home, we were watching him race around our house, and Justin looked at me and said, "Shasta accomplished her mission, and now she has moved on. She taught him how to be normal and happy." And so she did.

Rusty and Shasta playing with their beloved "soft byte" frisbee. It was her favorite toy, and she taught him to love it too.

Dogs are the epitome of stoicism. They live in the present, as Justin likes to say, and that helps them get on with it. Kathie told us that Rusty looked for Shasta for about the first day, and from then on, he just got on with it. There's a lesson to be learned there.

Rusty isn't lonely, exactly. I do worry that he's bored, though. He loves Lady, our 12-year-old, but she has no interest in playing with him. He doesn't really play with us, either. When Shasta was here, she would play with us; she always had. He would join in, but he was really playing with her, and the two of them played, and didn't really need us at all. Her version of "playing" got pretty rough sometimes; she spent a lot of time beating him up, and he loved it. He doesn't have that now, and may never have it again. She was the "alpha" in our pack, and let everyone know it.

So we have told Kathie to put the word out that we are interested in another young Peke--I like them about 9 months old--probably a male, who can be a playmate for him.

I think I'll stop now, and make that my first installment. Next time I'll write about the remarkable changes we have observed in Lady's behavior, now that we just have the Two Pekes. When we return to having Three Pekes, perhaps I'll turn this into an observation of how the dynamics of our small but strong-willed pack change with the addition of a third dog.

Please stay tuned!