Enter The VIP (Very Important Puffball)
So, here it is. The big scoop. The headline story. All the goss.
Friday night came. The Princess and I were very excited. Who was this new stranger in our midst? Would she turn out to be friend or foe?
Would she snub us like Prissy Paws?
Had she charmed Prissy Paws where we had failed?
Was he in love?
All these questions filled our minds and as the time got nearer for Team Leader’s arrival the tension mounted.
I always know when we are about to have visitors because Beloved lays the big table. Then I wait at the window.
It was Friday night so I guessed it would be Team Leader and knowing that there was a new addition to our extended pack made it more exciting.
Drama was in the air. We were about to meet The VIP, The Very Important Puffball.
When they arrived I was allowed to say hello first whilst The Princess was cuddled so we wouldn’t overwhelm Mimi.
I have to say straight away I was smitten. She is very, very cute. Her hair is cut a little short for a Bichon but it will grow and she will be even more cute. In fact as I write this I realise that we have a real rival in the cuteness stakes. It doesn’t bother me, there is room in this world for more cuteness.
The Princess was pretty taken with her too but despite our friendly overtures of delight that first introduction didn’t go so well.
We did try not to crowd her, but we wanted to find out a lot of stuff all at once and she is a little timid.
When we tried to say a quiet hello and sniff her nose she growled at us. We tried to give her the friendly wag and show her that although we were bigger than her we were gentle, but she was too panicky to read our messages. I understood. I live with The Princess. I’ve seen her panic often enough.
Inwardly I groaned. Not another one? What was wrong with us? We seemed to be able to get on with the dogs in the park, but our own family hated us? I was very sad.
Being a very wise and polite Tibbie I understood that she was overwhelmed and feeling very strange so I left her alone. The Princess kept going back to her even though I told her to come away and in the end Beloved ordered her to leave her alone and she sadly moved off.
And what was Prissy Paws doing you ask? He was sitting in the middle of the floor with a grumpy face and a look on his face that I recognised.
It was that ‘Oh no what have they done to me now?’ look. Definitely not amused, not happy, not going to make it easy.
He told me later that he doesn’t let her near him.
Yes, I know. I was shocked too. Not shocked that he doesn’t let her near him, shocked that he talked to me.
He actually sat on the settee with me so it shows you how disturbed he was. I wouldn’t say that we bonded over the guy/gal problem talk, but he definitely didn’t see me as his arch enemy. He has a new arch enemy now and her name is Mimi!
I have to say at this point I was a little glum. My imagination took me to future visits where we would have to tiptoe around two visitors trying not to upset their delicate little egos. The idea of ever sharing a kennel together seemed remote to which was sad because when we all go as a larger pack we get the big room with it’s own garden, sofas and television!
I would love to be one big happy extended pack and here we were perfectly willing to open our doors and our grass, even our treat cupboard to these guys and they shunned us. It was disheartening. I felt useless and rejected. I was clearly a very unlovable Tibbie.
I could see double the trouble when they came to visit. We are only able to go within a metre of Prissy Paws before he moves away in a huff, and that is in our own house, now we had a second dog who didn’t like us. I was afraid to move in case I offended one or the other.
My own red settee was commandeered at one point until I decided that a dog has certain rights in his own home and jumped up anyway. Imagine my amazement when Prissy Paws didn’t immediately leap down, that’s when we had The Talk.
In all these years we have never growled at him, snapped at him, pushed him, rolled him or done anything to him which would make him afraid or dislike us but whatever we do or don’t do we cannot break through the trust barrier.
Then here comes the Puffball and the same thing happens. What is wrong with us?
When I looked into her face I could see that same expression I see so often in eyes of The Princess. It is the frantic ‘Love me’ look. The slightly empty brained, ditzy look which says if you do anything unexpected I will panic, if you leave me I will panic, if it hurts I will panic.
Basically the look is one of ‘PANIC!’
I keep The Princess grounded, I know that. Without me Beloved would have problems. I have always been there for The Princess and that is why sometimes I am weary. It is a responsibility.
I tried to tell Prissy Paws this when we had our guys chat but he just didn’t want to know. He’d been comfortable. He had missed Bella when she went, his big Standard Poodle mate, but it had been years since she’d gone and he thought after the awful Pug experience that he was safe from another dog being brought in. He was happy being an only pet. No competition, everything his own way and now everything is turned upside down.
He is shattered. He is not amused and he is not going to make it easy for them.
I listened to his grumbling and I tried to give him a sense of responsibility. I pointed out that the Puffball was afraid, she’d been separated from her best doggy friend, had lost her Beloved and needed our understanding but Prissy Paws just glared and moved closer to Team Leader. So I gave up.
We went into dinner and I lay under the table as usual and napped.
I was disturbed by the antics of The Princess and I have to take my collar off to her. She worked so hard.
The first I knew was when I saw her squiggling on her tummy across the carpet. I raised my head in amazement, what on earth was she up to?
Then I noticed that the Puffball was watching her. She was ready to run, but she was in part fascinated and also hopeful. The Princess is three times her size but somehow she had made herself lower than the Puffball so that she understood there was nothing to be afraid of.
This went on for five or ten minutes. The Princess would lie and squiggle and wag her tail and whine. Puffball would stand for a moment and then run to Team Leader and scrabble to be picked up.
Funny thing is. She wasn’t really serious about wanting to be picked up. She actually wanted to make friends.
I was amazed and impressed that The Princess had the staying power.
In ten minutes she and Puffball had a good run around the room playing tag. I wanted to join in but as usual I was brushed aside so I watched.
Prissy Paws turned his nose up as high as it would go and stared at them in absolute disgust. His big eyes popping. He was not amused at this turn of events at all so I think I can kiss any further guy-chats goodbye.
After a short time The Princess and Puffball lay down. The ice had been broken, honour had been served and The Princess had made a friend.
I have warned her that it may take a few more visits before Mimi the Puffball feels really comfortable with us, but I am confident it will happen.
I should feel triumphant. I should feel vindicated. We are not the social pariahs that Prissy Paws makes us out to be.
However I don’t. I am a generous Tibbie and I am left feeling sorry that he cannot see that in fact in Mimi the Puffball he has a very gentle, loving mate who he could be comfortable with.
Okay so like The Princess she is a bit ditzy and liable to panic. Like The Princess she will try and absorb all the laps and cuddles available. Like The Princess she will act before thinking, but it could be worse.
The last attempt Team Leader made to find another pal for Prissy Paws was Paris the Pug. Within 24 hours she had flung him on his back and was going in for the kill. Needless to say Team Leader decided she wasn’t the one for Prissy Paws.
Mimi the Puffball will certainly not behave in such a feral manner. She has been well brought up and has a sweet nature.
However, Beloved is going to have to be a bit quicker with her photographic skills if she is going to get any pictures to post, so far The Puffball hasn’t demonstrated a liking for sitting still.
If only Prissy Paws could see beyond his own fear he could get more fun out of life. It is to be hoped that in time he will at least allow Mimi to lie close to him. Her behaviour with The Princess only proved that she just needs to know she is safe and loved and she will be a good pal. Maybe Prissy Paws will see that, but I for one am not holding my breath.
So that was my evening. For us a great success.
I will now nap, just in case The Puffball comes to call later.