Faithful Friend-Tom On Tuesday has a Dog!

You may have guessed by now that Tom On Tuesday is a cat person. I definitely don’t like big scary looking dogs, also known as “big headed dogs”. I don’t care how cute and harmless their owners SAY they are, I don’t even like going past big headed dogs even if there is a fence between me and them. As for smaller and less scary dogs, I still prefer cats for practical reasons. Cats are self-cleaning, easier to keep inside or in a small area, can be left on their own overnight (or at a pinch two nights) and are mostly calm and easy to cuddle. Dogs however smell, drool, require way more attention and are really better as outside pets. As for leaving them to their own devices for 24 hours or more, not likely!

This is where my opinions stood around five years ago. The woman I had met and was soon to marry not only came with two teenage daughters but also a DOG! It was a couple of years before I realised that the handsome lad to the right was not actually a dog. This Jack Russell cross is a Bruno. And it turns out that I am a Bruno person…after five years, some days I am actually more of a Bruno person than a cat person. Ssshhh – don’t let The Empress know!

So Bruno, or to give him his full title, Lord Bruno of Bentley, has one of the sunniest personalities I know. Jack Russell’s are well known for this. However Bruno is ALWAYS EXCITED when his humans come home, whether they have been gone an hour, a work day or a whole week. Even so for the first couple of years, Bruno was the lone outside pet, with only occasional excursions inside. Jacinta and Marmie (the cats) were allowed to come and go via the front door and to spend as much time inside as they liked.

So what changed? After those couple of years, the previously mentioned step-daughter #1, the dog lover, who had chosen Marmie the kitten as her pet, ONE DAY REALLY WANTED A DOG. I wasn’t keen. But I relented. It turns out the dog was still a puppy but nevertheless was a BIG HEADED DOG! She was already bigger than Bruno. Nevertheless they seemed to get on well and they were somewhat companions for each other. Domestic bliss seemed to reign for some time, somehow with the two dogs and the two cats. The cats though sure steered clear of the backyard with the new dog in residence.

The new dog grew and grew and for a while this didn’t seem to be a problem. Occasionally she would turn around and at snap at Bruno but nothing untoward. Until, one afternoon when the new dog was around four times Bruno’s size, she got ticked off with Bruno, grabbed him by the throat and while locked on thrashed him from side to side. It took two of us to separate her jaws from Bruno’s throat and only then after several minutes. We bundled Bruno down to the vet. I had thought to wrap him in a towel and cuddle him while my wife drove. It was alm0st instinctive. I knew humans could go into shock after such trauma, I figured that dogs could be the same. It was some time before the vet could operate. Bruno seemed in the clear as far as still being alive but the vet could not promise that he wouldn’t be disfigured with such a deep wound to the neck. At best his head would look a bit lopsided. Well, it was the best $1,000 we ever spent. In time miraculously Bruno was as good as new, not even a lopsided head! BUT…

THAT was when Bruno became an inside dog. He slept and ate inside and he was only allowed out in the back yard under human supervision. And you also may have guessed. As I cradled Bruno in that towel and as I spent more time with him in the ensuing months, I became a Bruno person!

Now that I am on my own, human wise, the other dog has long gone. I am here with Jacinta, Marmie and Bruno. Marmie and Bruno have become best mates. They even alternate as to who chases who! Marmie is a much better pursuer than Bruno. And one more irony. After the cats have eaten for the evening, they are just as happy to go out. Bruno however has a permanent bed inside. After all, he is still convalescing, isn’t he?

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