|Fanny and Bairn|
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.