Poppie is eleven years old this year. In human years that’s around 67. But no one has told her that, and she still acts like a youngster most of the time.
But every so often you catch her feeling her age, taking the stairs a little slower than usual, sleeping a little longer in the mornings or preferring to snooze on the end of the couch rather than watching the street for anyone brave enough to pass our front gate.
Happily these times are short-lived and before long she’s back to bouncing around the house and terrorising innocent pedestrians.
Two weeks ago my iMac’s hard drive “spat the dummy” and required replacing. Apple were fantastic and covered the cost of the replacement drive and I was left to restore my files from backup.
Yes, as I’ve said before – always back stuff up because every hard drive will fail at some point and it would be tragic to lose photos and movies and all the other stuff that we accumulate on computers these days.
As I was looking through my restored movie files I came across one of Bella as a very young puppy making her first journey down the stairs at home – just to get to Poppie and jump all over her.
I’ve posted this movie before but I think it deserves another airing.
Let me start with an apology. Sorry, it’s yet another cute dog shot. Yesterday Bella the puppy discovered a green Cicada in the back yard. Every time she went to sniff it, the Cicada flew a few inches away, which for Bella was captivating.
A footnote for the animal lovers among you – both Bella and the Cicada survived the encounter unscathed.
Bella is 9 months old and although she is close to full grown she is still very much a puppy. As you can see from this shot of her after she dived into the toy basket. Extra points for spotting the head, the tail and the stray leg.
Today was a landmark day for Bella. For the first time she summed up the courage to go down our stairs.
Up until today we always knew that if Bella was upstairs, that’s where she would stay – largely out of trouble. And Poppie knew that to escape the constant ambushes all she had to do was head downstairs.
This morning Bella turned up downstairs unannounced. Clearly nowhere in the house is safe anymore.
At 12 weeks, Bella is learning a huge amount. She now understands and responds to her name, knows where and when to line up for a meal and understands what the word “no” means. She is starting to pay attention to Jean and I but clearly her role model is Poppie. Whatever Poppie does, Bella copies and wherever Poppie goes the wee girl isn’t far behind.
I managed to capture Bella’s second stair descent on video.
After a week we are starting to get a routine going. The routine is Bella chewing everything while we spend huge amounts of time outside trying to get her to “go toilet”.
Already the mats are looking a little ragged around the edges and feet – any feet – are fair game for chewing and chasing.
Our slightly chewed Poppie – ears and tail mainly – has worked out that height is the answer. Bella can’t jump up on to couches or beds yet so Poppie spends a lot of time on the bed or the couch – much to Bella’s disgust.