She looks like a terrier but barks like a mastiff, my Lola…
In case you haven’t gotten the word elsewise… Penny has a sister. Her name is Lola. She’s not a showgirl. Or a cross dresser, seeing as she is generally pretty naked all the time, being a dog and all.
Penny is pretty all right with it. Lola has the typical terrier smart component (also, she has the terrier “I’m absolutely frickin’ crazy!” component, but turned down a little thanks to age and bulldog mixing in her heritage)… this means she was told on a couple of occasions (the most notable being five minutes after we all came home on Saturday) by Penny that Penny is the lady of the house and she is not to be screwed with. Lola remembers this, usually just in time. Penny has a look that nicely replicates the librarian voice. It’s just a subtle, firm look and suddenly the crazy “I wanna play rough” dog goes and finds someone else to play rough with. So that’s working out, as you can see.
We’d been considering another dog, and had been looking at pugs, pekes and Boston Terriers (I like Brussels Griffons, too, but Mr. Shoe said they really just look too bizarre and wrong.) We actually took Penny to meet a pug that our vet’s assistant has that isn’t quite fitting in her household. We thought he’d be fine with Penny, but he was big. He was about 32 pounds and while he might have been able to lose a few, he wasn’t obese. He was just massive. He also was supposedly arthritic (being a little older than Penny). While he seemed to be getting around okay, we met him on a cold day and I could see him doing a lot of the “cold day” stuff that Penny does when it gets to her knees.
I was less concerned about things like food aggression and stuff, and more concerned about his needing the same kind of lifting sooner or later that Penny needs, and his weighing more and generally his puggishness and how his size might make it hard for me to deal with him and Penny safely (for all of us.)
So it’s kind of funny to say that Lola is a pretty friggin’ huge Boston. She’s 27 pounds, but her center of gravity is higher and she just turned five. She’s got a good tug going when she’s rarin’ to go, but she’s not difficult to handle per se. It is hard getting her in the house with Penny, and it’s hard if she sees something like… a cat. I was just wrapped up like a Maypole out there over an obstinate kitty who just wouldn’t run. Fortunately, she didn’t wrap Penny’s leash up with me. Just me.
So while she’s a little larger than we had planned for too, she’s pretty manageable. She has a trick knee (Penny has two, a grade 2 and 3… Lola’s is a 3.) I expect that will be a problem for her as she gets older, but y’know. Penny is pretty portly, and the worse knee is the problem. I don’t even think it hurts, it just flops out, and she flops it back in, and gets on with it. Except in cold weather, of course.
Lola is a good girl, anyway. She’s gorgeous, and spastic, and bright, and spastic… (I know, that’s not fair.) It’s been a long time since we had a dog that was on the 4-5 year old range. She is slightly more energetic than Norman was back in the day (he was about five when we adopted him) but she’s a lot less neurotic. She was an owner surrender, and has had puppies, but it definitely wasn’t a mill or even, from the sounds of it, an irresponsible backyard breeder. Lola definitely seems to have been well cared for and loved and worked with, and that makes a lot of things easier.
Did I mention she was energetic? Heh. I mean, she is, but she wears out. And she is good at directing her energy, it seems, into the appropriate channels. She loves plush toys, but they last about 30 seconds and they all have squeakers and that scares me. So rope toys and balls or whatever are where she seems to focus her energy, not shoes or wires or anything, so that’s good.
It took about ten minutes for her to get the stuffing out of this nylabone tuggy thing, but it’s still quite serviceable without the stuffing, and that’s good. She whacks it around and Penny just looks at her like she has nine heads. Then she gets tired of looking at her and goes back to staring at mama.
Lola came from Cape Ann Animal Aid, which is also where we got Penny. I mean, Penny’s pretty damn awesome, so why not? And truthfully, I think our house really can only do one pug. You know, THE pug. So anyway, we saw Lola online last Friday and decided she was too good not to check out. Her age was about right (we weren’t going to go younger than that, for sure) and she didn’t seem to have any real issues that sounded worrisome. She’d been with other dogs and kids, and truthfully, her okayness with kids was a plus. I mean, we don’t have any, but Penny is less than fond of them, and having two dogs tends to take the pressure off the less kid-fond one when we are approached. (I hate turning kids away if they’re not completely out of control snotlings, as Penny should at least remain tolerant of the good ones.)
We went up on Saturday, which was rainy and cold, and when Lola approached and shoved her nose in Penny’s eyeball and Penny neither ran nor bit her face off, we figured it was love. Well… Penny would have either cowered or bitten her face off if there were going to be huge problems.
It’s not been quite the shockingly smooth transition in like we had with Penny coming in with Norman, but it’s not been quite the trying experience of Norman coming to live with Monster. Having energy as opposed to psychological trauma and energy is a big, big difference.
So that’s Lola. Careful, she does jump up and try to lick your face. She won’t bite, but she might knock your teeth out.