READER REPORT:

Outnumbered in their kennel

MARGIE DELANEY
Last updated 11:30 16/10/2012
Puppies
PUPPY MADNESS: From empty nest to this.

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Back in the day, we had a rule, more like a mantra: "Never let em out number ya".

This rule included our two kids, two cats and two dogs.

This worked quite well. Then the kids grew up and moved out. The cats went too and we had one dog.

Strange things started to happen. The place was always clean, no more rap music making parents crazy, we had more money for frivolous enjoyment, we came and went at will,  got to work on time, had holidays etc...

We even got rid of the "raising the kids furniture" and bought in some adult-type stuff that matched. Life was good.

There is a truth that feelings don't always match reality (we should have been over the moon), but we were soon struck down with "Empty Nest Syndrome".

So, we mated our dog Kea with a staunch lad and she presented us with six puppies. We were outnumbered, big time. We gave some away and end up with three dogs in total.

Tui then left us to chase rabbits in heaven and Kea had another litter of four cheeky boys. We kept one we call Weka Woo. Then Kea had another litter, presenting us with six more pups. We kept one, named Huia. So, that was four. We are now back to 3; still outnumbered.

We started showing them and they are now New Zealand champions.

Our house is not a house, it is a kennel. Fur is everywhere, the adult furniture has bite marks from puppy teething, Huia and Weka eat cushions and blame each other.

Who ate the pillow Huia? She runs over to Weka and nudges him, who ate the pillow Weka? And the behaviour is reversed.

Weka Woo has a nice tail set, so he obviously needed pearls. We hung a nice big pearl over his bed, he ate it. Turns out it was paste.

Weka is doing well in dog shows: he made more money than me last month and won a bunch of towels. On Mother's Day he won me a big pot of flowers.

He has a wall of shame; the stuff that you love but shouldn't display.
Breakfast is at 8am, dinner 5pm. Make sure you are home, no excuses. End of story. Breakfast and dinner cost the earth.

All of them need grooming. I need grooming too. I got a hair brush from New World for $8.99. I got them a hairbrush from the speciality shop for $85.00.

We got our shampoo on sale this week, $2.99. Their shampoo, conditioner and dry shampoo, ( a must you know), $130.00.

I could go on, because we haven't figured vet bills into the equation. VET BILLS more like. It would cheaper to get cosmetic surgery in Hollywood.

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We no longer have empty nest syndrome, empty wallet certainly, chewed stuff, sibling rivalry, pigs ears around the place, theft of pig ears belonging to others, and the amazing ability to dob each other in without a word being said.

We should not be over the moon, but we are over the moon, and we love our laughing chow chows. They can have the house for their kennel because, kennel or otherwise, they help to make it home.

Being outnumbered has its merits.


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