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Happy Tail: Bonded Pairs

Dogs bond with humansm of course. They also form inseparable friendships with each other. Today's column is about several of those special dog friendships.
The next earlier Happy Tail: Carol Perkins: Working with Santa Claus Posted Sunday, December 15, 2013

By Peg Schaeffer

Do dogs have feelings and emotions like people do? This question has been debated time and time again and it has been proven that they do. Anyone who owns a pet knows their best friend understands when you're sad and they try to comfort you. I know it firsthand but I also see how the dogs bond with another dog. Here are some short stories about bonded pairs.

TROUT & NELLIE - Nellie is an Australian Cattle Dog mix that looks like a coyote. Nellie came to us from the shelter with her brother, Maxwell and her sister, Tina. Tina was adopted but from the start Nellie and Maxwell have been afraid of people. After I had them for a few weeks I realized that they are both deaf. They will take treats from my hand but other than that I can't touch them. Nellie had a litter of puppies when I first got her. That was the only time she ever let me touch her. She wouldn't leave her puppies and tolerated my petting but once the pups got older that was the end. She has since been spayed.

The love of her life is Trout. Trout is a German Shepherd/Golden Retriever mix that has been with us for a long time. He is very outgoing and loves to carry things in his mouth. No matter where he is Nellie is close by. It's funny to see her sitting on the rocking chair on the porch watching him. When he comes into the house she will lie no far from him but keeps her eyes open in case I might try to touch her. Yet when I hand out cookies she's glad to take one.

Trout was adopted and Nellie was broken hearted. She would lie on the lawn with the saddest look on her face. She only ate a little and started losing weight. Trout's owner became sick and he had to return Trout. You never saw a happier dog. So Trout will remain here so Nellie won't have a broken heart.

CALLIE & CASSIE - Callie and Cassie are sisters. Callie is black and Cassie is white. And they are as different as black and white. Callie is the extrovert. If there's trouble to be found she finds it. If she can't find trouble she makes it. Cassie follows in her footsteps only because Callie is her idol. They hang out in my bedroom and hide under the bed. That way if another dog comes in they can fly out and bark at them. Most of the dogs just ignore them but they feel they're being very scary.

They work together as a team. One day a dog brought a bone into the bedroom. Of course everyone wanted it. Callie and Cassie came up with a plan. Callie ran out from under the bed and distracted the dog and Cassie snatched it up and dragged it under the bed. The poor dog had no idea she had been setup.

RAGS & SNOOKIE - Rags and Snookie came to me with some other dogs. Their owner was murdered in the morning and weren't found until the afternoon. When the police arrived the dogs were in the bed with the bodies. When they were brought here all of the dogs were scared but Rags and Snookie were terrified. They were two cute little terrier mixes. Rags would snap at me whenever I tried to touch him. Snookie just cowered in a corner. I managed to get them into a crate and brought them into the house. I put them in an empty room and left them alone. Every day I would feed them and sit and talk to them. I never made an attempt to touch them. After a while they looked forward to my company. Gradually they would come to me and put their paws on my knees. Rags was the first to jump into my lap. It took me two weeks to earn their confidence. Soon after that Snookie had puppies. She had two that I named Jack & Jill. Jack and Jill were adopted and I then had Rags and Snookie spayed and neutered. In the meantime they became very attached to me.

People always want small dogs and someone came to adopt Snookie. She took her home but after a few days she brought her back. Snookie would not eat and she just shivered all the time. When she brought her back Snookie gave me a big kiss and ate some food. I thought that she must have missed Rags. So the next time someone came for a small dog I told them that Rags and Snookie had to go as a pair. The new owners had them for over a week but again Snookie refused to eat. She said Rags was still timid but he would eat. Her fear was that Snookie would starve herself to death. So Rags and Snookie are here to stay. Rags will let strangers pet him and even give them a lick. Not Snookie - she always comes to me to be picked up. Sometimes I'll bring her to bed with me. She just sits there watching me sleep. If I wake up I give her a pet and she relaxes but I don't think she sleeps the entire time.

McKENZIE & KAYLEE - McKenzie and KayLee are sisters. They came here with their brother, Dylan. McKenzie and KayLee are black and tan and almost identical. Their brother is black and white with blue eyes. The only way to tell the difference between the girls is that KayLee has dew claws on her hind legs and McKenzie doesn't. Other than that they are two peas in a pod. When they were puppies they had a skin problem so they needed frequent baths. McKenzie earned the name "wild child". She would scream and flail about in the tub. You would think she was being murdered. Only KayLee has a collar because McKenzie won't let you put one on her. KayLee loves me the most. If I feel a dogs' paws on my back I know it's KayLee. If a dog knocks something off the counter I know it's McKenzie.

They are great hunters and work together as a team. There was a time that they were killing a rat a day. They knew where to find them and one would flush the prey out and the other would snag it. Then they would proudly bring it to me to see so I could make a big deal of it.

BROOKE & THUMBELINA - Brooke was at the shelter. She was a Jack Russell Terrier/Beagle mix and she had four puppies. Two of the puppies succumbed to Parvo and two survived. Thumbelina was one that survived. You will always hear me talking about Thumbelina. If you've met her you know she's a little dog that looks like a Chihuahua. You would never believe she's Brooke's daughter. Unless you see them together at home. Brooke knows that Thumbelina is her daughter and she still cares for her. If I go anywhere and leave Thumbelina at home she immediately seeks out her Mom. She'll stay with Brooke until I come home then it's all over. I've told Brooke that she doesn't have to worry about leaving here. She gave me the best present in the world - Thumbelina - and for that I'll always be grateful.

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and thank you again for all your support and generosity throughout the year. Peg Schaeffer, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY 42728 Telephone: home 270-378-4521 or cell 270-634-4675 email:

This story was posted on 2013-12-22 04:53:03
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