I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I’m put out, Lady Human.
Me: And that is news how?
Stella: Wiggles has too many beds.
Me: And how many is too many?
Stella: And number more than I have.
Me: Let’s see. Well, you have a palace in my room and your bed and breakfast spot in the den.
Stella: See! Two! Only two. Wiggles sleeps in her special blanketed box, in her crate, behind your big chair, beside my den bed, and, when she can make it, on your big chair. That’s one…two…three…four…five. Oh, and guess where she was this morning? IN MY BED AND BREAKFAST SPOT IN THE DEN!
Me: True, but she walked away when you walked in.
Stella: There should be an equality of beds.
Me: For Doodlebug and Miss Sweetie, too?
Stella: Well, no, they are just children. They can make do. I need to rest my weary bones. Preferably in at least five or six different places.
I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Back off, Wiggles!
Wiggles: How come? This is my corner, too.
Me: What is going on now?
Stella: This is my palace and Wiggles keeps going in it like it’s hers. She has her own place.
Me: Does this have something to do with the beds being moved around the other day?
Stella: Yes. No. Maybe.
Wiggles: Tiger slept in this corner. It smells like her. It reminds me of her.
Me: You and Tiger didn’t get along that well.
Wiggles: But now I miss her. And now Stella has her day bed in Tiger’s corner.
Me: Compromise settlement proposal.
Stella: Is that something good to eat?
Wiggles: Does it taste like chicken?
Me: Stella keeps her bed where it is. Wiggles, you can nap next to her. Then, at night, you can use her day bed.
Me: May I point out to all parties involved that you, Wiggles, have your own bed, the spot behind my chair, and your special blanketed box under the table? I understand that none of you likes change and this has been a hard one that no one wanted. Get along with each other, okay? Agreed?
Stella: Agreed, so long as you throw in something that tastes like chicken.
I don’t know where to begin. Tiger passed away this morning. She came to us over five years ago, almost dead from a serious fight with a kennel mate at her previous home. We didn’t know her whole story, but we pieced together enough to know that her beginning was a little rough.
The vets did not expect her to live after that fight. They said that, if she did, she would always walk with a limp. She lived. She did not limp. In fact, one of her favorite games was catching the water spray out of the garden hose by jumping straight up in the air for it.
Because of her past, Tiger was always a handful and a half around other dogs. Vet visits proved to be an adventure in and of themselves. She hated vet offices. HATED. Not disliked, not “I would prefer not to’. HATED. When we would leave the vet’s office, she would try to get in the first vehicle she saw, no matter that it wasn’t ours.
She was good with people except that fear dominated her reactions to strangers. As for dogs, I had to watch her like a hawk. Any eye-to-eye contact sparked a fight.
Would I have chosen a dog like Tiger? No, I was too hard-hearted. I like the easy button on everything. Extra work? A challenge? Not me. And the LORD knew that and over the years, He used Tiger to soften and expand my heart. And He used the difficulties to make me ‘bulldoggy’.
Tiger was perpetually wound up like an eight-day clock. She never seemed to be able to relax, always jumping up, always on the look out for trouble.
Now she is resting, and she will never be afraid again.