Friday, November 26, 2010

Littered With Trouble

Fanny and Bairn
Deb: Getting a new puppy is an exciting and joyous thing. After losing our darling Frisker, we decided to go on a waiting list for a new pup knowing that we would probably have to wait till the spring. But as fate would have it, a perfect little pup presented herself to us. She was the darling, the pick of the litter. The breeder had big big plans for her and treated her as the chosen one, giving her the lovely name of Harlow.

Then one day Harlow’s fate turned a corner. Her beautiful tail ... decided to bend. Just a little in the middle. The tiniest of crooks. But there it was. And if it continued to dip, she would loose her status as the golden girl, just like Shirley Temple did in The Little Princess.

So the call came from the breeder. If her tail continued to bend, did we want her? Well, we were not quite prepared emotionally for a pup yet, but we decided to see how it played out.

And a week later we were picking up our darling Harlow from the breeder. As the breeder was saying goodbye, she said, “Please don’t tell me if her tail straightens out as I had high hopes for her and she is soooooo pretty.”

We decided on the way home that her new name would be Bairn, which in Scotland means baby or child––and it suited her. A friend thought it was mean to change her name but I explained that breeders name the litter for identification. They do not call the puppies by name. They just call “puppy, puppy, puppy” and the whole litter comes running.

Well, we took our wee Bairn home and all was well until we walked in the house.
Fanny took one look at this little fur ball in our arms and froze. Her eyes narrowed and her brow set. It was hate at first sight. Loathe at first smell. Despise at ... you get the idea.

And Bairn looked at Fanny with a love of the ages. “She is my BFF,” Bairn was clearly thinking.

And try though she might, every show of love by Bairn was met with scorn by Fanny. We expected a bit of a rough start given that Fanny had mourned Frisker for weeks by searching endlessly for him and refusing to eat. I have no doubt she thought this insipid little creature had a hand in his demise.

As the days went on, it got worse and worse. We didn’t know what to do. We were devoted to Fanny and she was our priority, but we had fallen so deeply and quickly in love with Bairn. After consulting an expert and making some progress as a result, I decided that rather than force this relationship, I had to spend some special one-on-one time with Fanny. So The Boy took the Bairn to his room and I played alone with Fanny.
In the middle of our play I was horrified to discover a large red lump in her mouth which I hadn’t noticed before. I called the vet immediately and after examining Fanny, the vet said that it was a mass and that we had a fifty-fifty chance of it being malignant. After losing Frisker, you can imagine how we were feeling. She also said it was causing Fanny no end of pain and discomfort––but the good news was that the surgery would eliminate that. So Fanny went into surgery and came through with flying colours.

Bathed in relief we brought her home, toothless and benign. She was still a tad groggy and as we walked through the door. We were careful to keep Bairn out of her face. Suddenly Fanny looked at the Bairn as if she had never seen her before, eyes wide, tail a wagging! Cautiously we placed Bairn on the floor and before we could stop her, she made a running leap for Fanny’s head. And Fanny loved it! Then Bairn jumped on Fanny’s back and just like horse and rider, Fanny trotted around proudly. She looked up at us as if to say, “Hey, when did we get the new Puppy?”.
Bairn and Fanny
It was a blissful moment and we have never looked back. For the record, Bairn’s tail never did straighten out. It’s my favourite part of her because It’s the reason we have her. Fanny is pain-free and reborn. Fanny and the Bairn. They live puppily ever after.

Barbara: Deb has said it all, but let me just add that watching these two puplets play and frolic is too adorable for words. How amazing is play and fun that a young ‘un can bring a fully-grown one some joy and exercise in her middle-age? A little lesson for all???

Here’s a little video of Deb’s two dogs enjoying the fall weather. 


  1. I am not an animal lover but I thought this was adorable. Also, am interested in what the blue cover is covering and why does it attract all the leaves? Love the video.

  2. Madge the cover is covering our pool and I don't know why it attracts leaves except that it dips so the wind blows them and they stay. Not an animal lover??? Say it ain't so!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Ah, I think you have explained what happened around here when last summer I brought a female puppy home! She fell in love with our old dog, Casper, just as your Bairn did with Fanny, and Casper turned her nose up and would never have anything to do with her. I assumed it was a female territorial thing, but now it occurs to me that the old girl's arthritis pain might have had something to do with it. Hm, yes; pain does make a being cranky. More baby aspirin may be required.

  4. Wow Kate, we have the same scenario. Just in case this helps, Fanny is on drops for her arthritis and they work wonders. The drops are called Metacam!

  5. I love this post. What a wonderful love story! And the video was a great little treat on a dreay Friday morning. - Anne

  6. Thanks Anne,
    I love a happy ending too. There was a time in the first two weeks where we did not know where to turn.

  7. Awwww! *sniffle* That's like a Disney movie level of happy ending! :)

    Still, when I got to the part about finding the mass in Fanny's mouth, my guts plunged to my toes. Oh, Deb! *hugs, hugs, hugs* The dread, fear, grief, and "hear we go again" that must've washed over you! *extra hugs* Oh, poor Deb! :( You must've been literally shaking. :(

    When I logged onto YouTube a few days ago, that video came up on my front page under new videos from subscriptions. I watched it twice through smiling SO BIG. That video could be entered into court as a numbered and tagged piece of evidence for "Proof of Happy."

  8. I am not much of an animal lover either but we have two dogs and a bunny.Your dogs are so cute and they kind of look like our little Fergus! Except yours are white and our Ferg is brown and black but they have a similar nose. Is it the Terrier in them?
    Anyway, my parents dog Sam, he's a giant long haired German Shepherd, just had mass removed from his mouth too. He will be fine also.
    I am so glad that it all turned out. Fanny was just grumpy with the new puppy because she was in pain, emotionally as well as physically.
    Very nice story today.

  9. So, I'm trying to see if I can see the bend in Bairn's tail . . . but she is wagging it so much, it's hard to catch!

    Nothing beats a happy pup!

  10. yeah Rigel it was awful when we realized her life might be in danger. Couldn't even entertain the thought after losing Frisker. But happy ending for sure! Yeah Mellisa they are terriers! Cairn terriers and our Frisker was black but these two are blondes. Funny about the bend in the tail. It only shows when she is relaxed and plus, she has the longest tail I have every seen in this breed.

  11. What a beautiful story! They are so adorable. What a gift pets are to their humans.

  12. Thanks Lisa! Animals are a gift from God, I agree. Our lives are so much the better for them.

  13. I am an animal lover. I have two dogs myself and they are just as crazy. We have a big yard so when the weather is nice out they love to go outside and chase the soccor ball around. It's our little game together. I will throw the ball and they will chase each other trying to get it away from one another by any means necessery. Love the video. You can tell those dogs are well Loved and are well happy.


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