A Random Blended Family Dog Tale

I’d dreamed of  having my own Cavalier King Charles Spaniel ever since art history classes when their adorable little faces peeked out from behind skirts of royals in masterpieces. Huckle had me bewitched at once. He was spoiled and not impressed with boys and men. He wanted to be man of the house.

In the tumult of a divorce which soon followed Huckle matured into a sex-crazed teenager. My second husband was not impressed. He had him immediately fixed but his Napoleonic temperament remained (which endeared him to me even more). There’s something impressive about an eleven pound dog who makes people heel. Our boys were afraid of him because he growled at them over throw blankets on the couch.

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The Cavalier Escapes!

One Sunday as we were getting ready for church, our son (who back then in the blended family was my husband’s son) let the dog out by mistake — and stood there gaping. My daughter and son had a special attachment to Huckle because it was their dog from before. They started berating my husband’s son and then pushed  past him along with my husband to chase the tiny king down the three acre field that led to a frothing spring river.

For most of this time I was blissfully unaware in the shower.  By the time I entered the kitchen I could see through the glass doors far in the distance the family slowly returning up the go-cart path. Yes, we had a go-cart. It was embarrassing to my city slicker kids for about ten minutes until they had their go on it.

Turns out Huckle had jumped into the river. My husband had too. The girls waded in but my husband yelled to get back ashore. By the time they made it to the house they were all muddy and sweaty except or Huckle who had been carried in triumph by his servants.

I wondered if it was a Cavalier trait to kick and stomp with his back legs when he wanted something. My husband and Huckle found common ground that day. Timothy kicked and stomped in his mud-stained yellow shirt as we called one of the few family meetings we’ve ever attempted to have.

100_2464Family Meeting and a Solution to the Cavalier Problem

My kids rolled their eyes at the family sitcom notion of civilized meetings. Timothy’s kids were frightened by the looks my kids were sending them when they thought I wasn’t looking. Timothy stormed on. “Huckle is part of this family and there’s no excuse for letting down Huckle. He doesn’t know any better, but you kids do know better.”

My daughter grumbled. “It was your kid who let the dog loose.”

My son signaled for her to shut up.

Timothy took an impatient breath but  let the comment go.  “So, because Huckle is an important part of the family we will have to adjust our budget to buy Huckle a shock collar.” He waited for the looks of horror around the table to subside. “It’s either that or Huckle’s gonna die.”

Another gasp.

“It wasn’t that long ago that Huckle ran unto the highway and you all followed …” he reminded us.

I was one of those crazed lunatics, by the way.

Huckle escaped death on many occasions even with the collar. He got Lyme and a lung infection but charmed even the most hardcore anti-purebred vet who ran out on several occasions to bribe Huckle to eat by offering McDonalds.

As the vet never failed to remind me, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are susceptible to heart problems. He died a few years back but had lived a full and pampered life until the very last day. I was home alone and was glad about it. He was my special sweetheart.

What’s your favorite dog breed? This is a no judgment zone as far as dogs go. We have rescues and purebred critters. A true blended situation. Have you noticed certain endearing things about a favorite breed? Has your dog ever caused conflict (or resolved conflict)? Let me know in the comments!

 

11 Comments Add yours

  1. A telling take on the struggles of reconstituted families. I don’t have a favourite dog breed

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    1. I love Cavaliers but then I also love dogs in general. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. PJR says:

    Irresistibly charming – all of you. Inspiring joy and affection is a sacred gift. Huckle had it.

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    1. Pippa~
      Your reaction to the story brought a big smile to my face this morning.

      xxoo
      A

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  3. What a wonderful tribute to a loving dog – and a great breed !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! They are little creatures of joy. But then our big dogs bring a different sort of comfort. There’s nothing like a Golden Retriever leaning into you as you cook dinner. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 Hahahahaha — yes, a very sweet breed to be sure ! 🙂

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  4. Luanne says:

    My favorites are mutts! Scary and heartwarming story.

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    1. I love them too. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. carlamcgill says:

    My husband and I LOVE dogs, but I am allergic to them, so the only ones we have had are the ones that don’t agitate allergies. We had a standard poodle for many years, and then our little bichon frise, who died in 2015. They have similar fur, which does not provoke those who might be allergic to dogs. Love the photos here! Glad your Cavalier had a happy home!

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  6. My Jess I call a Ratskie: a Rat Terrier/Dachsie mix 🙂 I love this mix, but I have to admit I love German Shepherds and each time after I have lost a dog and feel ready for a new one, I go to the shelter and a small dog wins my heart. Maybe next time I should just go to a GS rescue?

    I love your experience with Huckle. One thing people who only have big dogs probably don’t realize is how little dogs can totally rule the roost!

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