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Woman's Best Friend, My Dog

Updated on January 25, 2013
BlossomSB profile image

As formerly a mother of five children, Bronwen has experienced and enjoyed a number of pets.

Playing with her mate, Jack
Playing with her mate, Jack | Source

My Maltese Terror

They say that a dog is a man's best friend, well, it can be a woman's best friend, too. When our children were young we always had pets, including a dog or two. It was supposed to be good training for the kids to learn to care for something live and although the pet was officially owned by the child, it often seemed to fall on Mum to do a lot of the feeding and caring.

When the children were off our hands, I decided it was time to have my own dog. My husband was not so sure as we did go away sometimes. One day we walked past the pet shop and there in the window was the dearest little ball of white fluff with dark eyes and a shiny black nose. I fell in love with her at first sight. When we entered and enquired, my husband did not fall in love with the price. I must admit we'd certainly never paid so much for a pet before. However, quite soon she was my dog. The first thing was a name. I chose Miffy, short for Mifanwy, and it suited her perfectly. As she was a Maltese Terrier, Miffy soon became known as the family's Maltese Terror.

Miffy in the winter coat I knitted (back view)
Miffy in the winter coat I knitted (back view) | Source

Obedience School

Miffy was not really a terror at all. She was a baby, though and needed care. She had left her mother early and had no idea of how to groom herself. We'd always had smooth-haired dogs before, and while Maltese don't shed and are great for people with allergies, woolly ones certainly need lots of brushing. She thought it a great game. There are still tiny toothmarks in the wooden brush-back to prove it. We tried to train her to doggy 'nappies' and newspapers on the floor, but that wasn't her idea of fun. The instalment of a doggy door was more expense, but it worked. At first she was so tiny, she loved to curl up and sleep in my lambswool slipper where she fitted beautifully. Friends thought she would chew all the shoes in the house. Instead, she teethed on my Gran's antique wooden workbasket. Teethmarks remain there, too.

As she grew, I took her to Dog Obedience School. I'm quite certain that title should be Owner Obedience School. Like a small, wilful child, she had a mind of her own, but over time passed her grades and even came second, gaining a Blue Ribbon at the end of Grade Two.

Now she was full size and had lost her baby teeth. She loved to play and learned not to bark continually, a lesson a brother also in the School, never learned. We were proud of her. She had her own bed in the laundry and was not allowed into our bedroom, although she would like across the doorway and those little paws would gradually creep over the imaginary line. Some of the other owners bought all sorts of fancy equipment, but we thought there was a limit, after all there are children in the world dying of starvation. She was a pet, not a substitution child.

Oh, so soulful with a sore paw
Oh, so soulful with a sore paw | Source

Doggy Problems

Yes, there are problems. Because she is fluffy, she has to be bathed and clipped regularly. When I tried clipping, she looked terrible, so that is a regular cost. I bought nail clippers and thought I could save with that, but then was horrified in case I made her tiny nails bleed, so that also lies in the groomer's domain.

There are annual visits to the Vet for health checks, heartworm and other injections.

A couple of years ago she developed a growth on a front paw and that resulted in an expensive visit to the Vet and an overnight stay in Doggie Hospital.

I must watch her diet. Whoever heard of dogs having food allergies? Apart from things that can upset dogs, like chocolate, sweets and onion, she is allergic to dairy produce - and has to be watched because any tiny pieces of cheese can cause her to itch. So can some grasses, so tiny tablets have to be halved and hidden in her food. Have you ever tried to keep a dog off grass?

Recently, the fur on her back has thinned. There are large freckles that often break out in itchy pimples. A new Vet thinks it is heat-rash and that she is allergic to the sun, so now we have to keep her indoors and cool on hot days.

Still Playful

Miffy is almost eleven now. She understands lots of words, and responds well to polite requests. Over the years she has had a number of adventures. She is not allowed to jump onto my lap unless invited, but once, when we went away, some Grandchildren cared for her. They allowed her onto the sofa and she spread out too much. One kid plonked down almost on top of her, yelling, "Shove up, Miffy!" And was promptly growled at and bitten, something she had never done before nor since. Later I pointed out that if she had been spoken softly, "Move, please, Miffy," she would have done so. Dogs do not need to be yelled at, their hearing is much better than ours.

We continue to go for long walks twice each day and I don't think Miffy has any intention of growing old. We still play games, throw and fetch and tug-of-war, but she doesn't like dancing on her back legs any more. Yes. I have lots of people friends, but my faithful dog Miffy remains one of my best friends, too.

Faithful friend
Faithful friend | Source

Comments

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    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thelma Alberts: As she grows older I dread when it will be time to say goodbye and I'm sure you're the same way with Angus. They just become part of the family and they're always so loyal and forgiving. Keep having fun with Angus!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      You have a lovely dog BlossomSB. Yes, a dog can also be a womans best friend. My husband and I have a cavalier king charles dog Angus. I never knew before we have a dog, how good it is to have such a loyal pet. Thanks for sharing this hub.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      They certainly are good friends and I love their little wet noses that nudge when you forget them for a while. They say dogs can't tell the time, but mine always knows when it's time to go for a walk.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Jackie Lynnley: Seventeen, wow! That's a great age for a cat. I used to bath Miffy two or three times a week, because she's white, but the Vet said it's not good for her skin, so now she's mostly a 'pale shade of white'! Thank you for your comments.

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 5 years ago from Alabama

      Love this hub. I'm happy to read about Miffy. Dogs are wonderful friends.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Wonderful story, I enjoyed every bit of it. My cat is 17 this month but I have had dogs too I loved like your "Miffy". One was a Peek a Poo and she had to have a bath every night because she slept right at the back of me under the blankets. I sure loved that dog, so understand you well.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Kale Arwen: Very special, and they understand so much! I do understand the smile.

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 5 years ago

      Ahhhhh, dogs are pretty special. Love all three of my own; they make a girl smile :-D Kaie

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Love it! Miffy is just the same. If we're walking it doesn't matter the size of other dogs we meet, she wants to attack.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Hey! God made us different, but equal, sharing is the thing and I love sharing my dog - she's not much of a watchdog, though. I think she'd lick any intruders to death, although she did growl at a man on our walk this morning.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      I think there must have been a glitch in the system, but thank you for your lovely comments. Like you, I love these hubPages, they are such fun.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      another very good Hub.. my only problem with this Hub is that Dog is man's best friend.. give us guys something.. come on Blossom.. you took our gyms, our sports, our man cave's our bars.. help me out don't take our dogs too.. LOL a great useful share :) Frank

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      I'm not what's happeneed here; I read this one and thought that I had left a comment too.Oh well never mind here's another.

      Miffy is beautiful and I know she is truly loved.

      Thanks for sharing a little of her and I award you my up up and away !!!

      Take care my friend and here's to so many more for us both to share on here.

      Eddy.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Shelties are lovely - so are lots of other breeds, too. My Maltese has such a sweet little face. I do agree that having a dog, even a small one, is a good safeguard as they soon learn to bark when they hear unusual sounds. I had to work hard to persuade Miffy that it's not a good idea to bark a lot, so she's usually pretty good.

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      I have had many dogs over the years. My favorite was a Sheltie. I live alone now, and would feel safer with a puppy, but I haven't made up my mind yet as to which breed.

      Dogs are really our friends, in so many ways.

      Nice hub...I'll be reading more. Ann Davis

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      I chose it because it was the name my parents nearly chose for my sister and I think it is so pretty. I've seen other meanings for it, too, but I like the silver birch one, as that was my husband's favourite tree. My nickname is Blossom, as that is what I was told my name, Bronwen, meant! I now know the real meaning, but would never have done at school.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      She is really a cutey. It's funny I think we were meant to meet because my sisters middle name is Myfanwy it means silver birch in welsh.

      Looking forward to reading more of your hubs.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you for your lovely comment. Yes, although they are more expensive than some breeds to care for, Maltese are a delight, and they understand so much.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      The Maltese is my almost favorite breed. I fostered a Maltese and later adopted her. I also have a Miniature Schnauzer. I have written Hubs about both of them. Check my Hubs when you have time. If something happens to one of my dogs, I would get another Maltese. I enjoyed reading about Miffy.

    • michiganman567 profile image

      michiganman567 5 years ago from Michigan

      My dog was sitting with me when I was reading this and she wanted to attack Miffy's picture. I had to rush through it a bit to save my laptop.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Wow! they must keep you busy - and healthy, and dogs certainly are great company. Thank you for your comment and vote.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

      Your little dog is a cutie! I have 2 big dogs and 2 little dogs. They are definitely good company and help keep me active! :D Voted up and awesome!