It was a lazy Sunday and I was looking out the front window when I was surprised to see Doc’s niece, Sami arrive. I had not seen her since Christmas and I was so overjoyed that she had come to visit, that I met her at the front door. I was so preoccupied that I didn’t even notice that she was holding a tiny fur object in her arms until Doc let out a sigh of delight. Even then I didn’t understand what she was looking at until she took the fur ball from Sami, sat down, put it in her lap and it started moving. Then I became very curious.
Trying to figure out what this little creature was took all of my sniffing power. The poor thing was smaller than my bunny friends that come into the back yard. Finally Doc said to me, ” Grover, its a puppy, now be careful, its just a baby.” When Sami told Doc that it now weighed 2 pounds at the age of three months, I was kind of shocked. I weigh 82 pounds. I probably already weighed two pounds at birth. How was it possible that a dog could be this small? I started feeling skeptical and wondered if it was really a dog. Every time I went near this so-called puppy that was named Twyla, it started to shake. I realized I must look like a giant to her so I was extra gentle. Finally Doc sat down on the floor so I could get a closer look. I tried to engage her by going into the play stance so she would know I was friendly, but when I did that she just crawled back between Doc’s legs and hid. ” What’s wrong with this puppy? ” I asked Doc. “She acts like she doesn’t even understand how dogs communicate. This dog seems broken, if you ask me and frankly she is so boring that I don’t want to play with her.” And with that I went over to my dog bed to lay down.
It was when Doc asked me to come with her into the other room that I knew she was not pleased with what I had just said. ” Grover, we will be kind to every creature that comes into this house. What you didn’t know was that Twyla was born with some joint issues in her legs and will have to have surgery when she is fully grown, so she can’t do all the things regular puppies do right now. I think it would be nice if you acted like a big brother to her and helped her to feel more comfortable around dogs. You could act as her teacher.” As usual Doc was right and I felt bad for not being more patient and understanding. I liked the idea of being Twyla’s teacher. I could teach her all the important dog things that she will need to know, like how to manipulate humans into giving you extra treats.
After I went back out into the family room I approached Twyla and ever so gently gave her a lick on her nose. This seemed to make her feel safe enough that when I laid down on the floor, she came over and cuddled next to me and we stayed that way until it was time for Sami and Twyla to leave.
Later, when I was thinking about the visit with Twyla, I told Doc that I was glad that she let me know that she had some medical problems. ” I never would have know by just looking at her. ” I told Doc. ” Sometimes you just don’t know what a human or a dog could be dealing with.” Doc responded. Because Twyla is a toy breed she will never be bigger that about 5 pounds, so I decided that whenever she is around me I will not only be patient, but protect her. After all, she is family and that’s what family should do.