Friday, 14 September 2012

Settling In

This week, Chris found a coke with his name on it!!
Chris and Mila are settling into a nice little routine at our place. We have rearranged the furniture a little bit so that they have their own bedroom to share at night when it is time for sleep (which keeps them out of the hallway where they risk being kicked in the middle of the night when someone gets up to stumble to the toilet) and they seem to be getting on with each other better and better each day. 

As Chris gets used to our house and his housemates, he has started to test Mila's patience a tiny bit to see what he can get away with. Sometimes he will sneak on to her precious green couch or wander off with one of the squeaky toys and pretend he doesn't know what's wrong when she looks at him accusingly. The other day, he peed on her leg outside when he got a little close to her and she was mortified!! And he thinks that no one notices when he wiggles his hips to barge Mila a bit to the side to get in a little closer for a pat (...I'm on to you buddy).

Chris also has some interesting little character traits that we have noticed coming out as he becomes more comfortable with us. Some of them I think are in keeping with his status as a dottery old man. Others are just plain weird - for example, 'if I don't look at Rachel sitting there watching TV as I sneak up on to the human couch, she won't see me doing it.' Nice try - but wrong! Or - 'you might have just fed me dinner and given me a nice long pat, but if you leave the room and come back again, I will have no idea who you are or what you are doing here and I will think that you are a complete stranger'

Chris' new bed
Chris is also quite "vocal" when he wants to be and we are developing quite a good list of random and hilarious things that make Old Man Chris bark:

 1. Dancing. Chris is the canine equivalent of the town in the movie Footloose. Any attempt to move in time with any type of music will be met with disapproval. Young people these days...
2. Whispering. Old men like Chris need hearing aids at the best of times so it is incredibly rude when someone is speaking quietly on purpose. And Chris would like to make sure that you know when he thinks you are being rude. 

3. Pretending to throw something. This is a game that Mila LOVES. Her face lights up and she is never quite sure if you actually did throw something, where that something went, or even if you had anything in your hand to start with. Of course, the fun for Mila is in trying to work out whether we really are playing fetch, or just acting. Chris on the other hand, will not have any of it. His bark says 'What, do you think I'm stupid?! Come back to me when you have something in your hand that you are actually willing to let go of.'

4. Changing clothes without warning so he thinks you're a different person. If you are suddenly wearing track pants instead of jeans, there is no way in the world that you are the person who was here just before. 'Who let this stranger into my house? How do they know my name? I can't work it out...I'm going to lie down now and go to sleep. Wake me up when that other lady in the jeans comes back to give me a pat.'

5. Coming home. Our house/section is set up in such a way that you can see the car pull into the driveway from where you are sleeping in the lounge - and we tend to get home at about the same time every day during the week. I'm fairly certain that this one is a bark to say hello - as it accompanied by a waggy tail and a greeting at the door - and is never more than one or two short barks. 

To be fair to Chris, he is very good at stopping his barking when he is told to be quiet and he is learning that having a bit of fun about the house isn't as bad as he might think. Every couple of days we discover something new that he would like to have a word with us about - and he barks out his thoughts very politely. He never barks aggressively and he has never snarled or lunged at any of us. Like any grumpy old man, he would just like you to know what he thinks about what you are doing at any given time. Fair enough too.

Hanging out with my best friend, Mila


  1. I love it! Mynx is a barker too, only she's a bossy barker. Arriving home it means 'hurry up and open the door'. By the ranchslider it means 'let me out to go toilet'. And if we stay at the table to chat for more than 20 minutes after eating dinner, it means 'I've waited long enough - get into that kitchen and feed me NOW'. I love the interactions between them when you have two dogs. They can be like little kids sometimes - there might be 15 or so toys in the toy box, but as soon as one of them picks one out, that's the toy the other one wants. It sounds like a lot of fun at your place :-)sall

  2. Hearing what Chris gets up to makes me laugh straight away. I loved the bit when he got too close to Mila and peed on her. I understand how you feel, my dogs are like that aswell!

  3. "Wow" what a dog! Reading this fabulous story made me think about when I had my dog. When you were talking about the stick game it made me laugh.

  4. Ha! I love it. Chris seems like quite the character, has a brain of a grandad. Very human like. The bit about when he barks, it's genuis. He loves to express himself. Soon he will be settled in. Grandpa Chris sounds like a awesome dog.

  5. Wow love it. Chris has obviously got used to being around you guys. The part that I loved about this story was the way that he might sneek out of the room with one of Mila's toys. Though I am happy to hear that Mila and Chris are not fightng with each other like my dogs. I can't wait to hear one of your next stories.

  6. I love it.Chris sounds like an interesting dog with human abilities like dancing.I enjoyed the part when he barks,he obviously loves expressing his feelings.I'm sure he will settle in quickly.Your place sounds fun!

  7. It sounds like your having a great time with Chris and Mila. Do Chris and Mila like playing around? It's good to hear that Chris is settling in well.

  8. "Wow"Chris can be a grumpy old man sometimes. I love how you added the 5 things that make him bark. The photo is so cute especially with the coke bottle with his name on it. It is hilarious how Chris annoys Mila sometimes.

  9. Ha hearing your story it sounds like Chris alwas has to have his say in whats going on.
    I like how Chris tests Mila's patients sometimes.
    I understand that Chris can be a hand full some of the time,but he means well.
    Did Chris chew the Coke bottle?

    1. Wow what a dog! I bet Chris always barks and wakes you up in the morning. It would be funny if Chris peed on Mila right in front of me. Awesome blog post

  10. Rachel,Chris and Mila settling in is my favourite piece so far from you guys.

    The paragraph where you tell us about Chris's barking tones and old man flaws (even though there funny to us) is my favourite.

    It sounds like Chris and Mila are pretty close now. Chris sounds a lot more comfortable now that he is able to pee on Mila!

  11. I hope Chris is settling well with Mila .your dogs sound interesting together. It would of been funny when Chris peed on mila.

  12. WOW sounds like fun at your house. I've aways wanted a dog but Dad won't let me. I Like how you said Chris and Mila aways go for the same toy. Sounds a lot like my two chickens Bevan and Chip. last night they were having a tug of war over a bit of bacon.

  13. Oh my gosh,they are adorable. It's funny how Chris likes to go and steal Mila's toys.I could just see him getting into mischeif. What a cheeky dog! Chris seems to have an intresting personality and I like it!

  14. Listening to that makes me laugh. Chris is abit like my dog barks alot thinks she's the woman of the house the differenceis that Chris is a boy and my dog is a girl.

  15. Chris and Mila sounds like fun. I have watched a dog do that. I want to go to your house to see what Chris and Mila do in the day time.

  16. Well your pretty lucky I guess.Chris would be a fantastic at being
    a security dog.My dogs would be useless at it .They would just slobber all over you and lick you to death.

  17. Hi Rachel,
    Chris is so like my dog because he's old,fast and is so the king of the house.
    He barks at people and eats shoes. He's so annoying.

  18. Hi Rachel,Chris and Mila

    I like how you wrote about Chris settling in. My Nana had trouble with her dog too. How do you keep up with two dogs