The Move – Gemma the dog

As I said… we got a dog with our new house.

The second or third time that we visited the house, I made a comment that I hoped we could find a little dog that was as well behaved as Gemma.

Isabella, the daughter of the house and owner of Gemma, perked up her ears.

But Gemma needs a forever home!” she exclaimed. She was not able to take Gemma to New Zealand and was looking for a nice home for her.

I said I’d think about it. Fudges had been gone for a few months but I was not necessarily ready to have a new doglet quite yet.

However, we had a family conference and the verdict was that we would happily have Gemma along with the house.

Turns out we adopted a little doglet that is seriously full of quiddities and quibbles. When she was a puppy, her male “parental agent” was somewhat nasty and took it out on her often. She has a memory as long as her little brown body.

Chris gave her a neck rub and it would appear that he did something she does not like… so she shrieked at him. Very disconcerting because you are not sure what it is you’ve done. Or if you’ve hurt her or not?

I picked her up to put her on my lap (which she was asking for) and she shrieked at me. Still not sure which bit of her I offended.

Luan went out of the front door to go to varsity the other morning and stood totally bemused on the outside whilst Gemma howled and shrieked at him from the inside. He had visions that he’d accidentally shut a bit of her into the door (which he knew he hadn’t) but it turned out she just wanted to go outside too. The sliding door was open – but she wanted to go out of the front door.

Whilst she does not run out of the gate onto the road, she has a horrible habit of coming precariously close to the car wheels, and seeing as she has been run over before and has a gait like a drunken sailor sometimes; I am totally neurotic about scrunching her.

She is damn tiny – a little brown mouse.

A pile of rather odious bedding was left in our room – Gemma’s baskie. I was tempted to immediately wash it on the hottest setting possible, but was vetoed. Shame… they said. It’s the only thing that still smells familiar to her. After the second day Chris wrinkled his nose and remarked that I should feel free to wash it anytime I felt like it.

She puts herself to bed. Burrows under her duvet like a little groundhog, into the depths of her “baskie” and slumbers peacefully. But if she even has a whisper of a thought that she’s been locked into the house alone, she howls in her high pitched little voice.

Yesterday morning there was a yelping from our bedroom (Chris and I were sorting out the office). Ralph had meanly positioned himself in the middle of the passage – a few feet from the bedroom door – and Gemma was too scared to charge past him. Every time she ventured out, Ralphie would haughtily flick his head around and glare at her. I swear that cat was laughing his whiskers off on the inside. He also likes to stalk up to her food bowl at breakfast and snarf a few pellets down first – simply to tease her. I’m figuring they must fight their own battles.

She fancies Edge too. Sometimes looks a bit like she’s trying to hump him – but I think she just likes how he feels – all soft and cuddly. Edge is a tad more forgiving and does not mind having his butt sniffed whilst he waddles around the garden.

Gemma has the habit of doing a very hard-done-by act. She puts her head down and trudges sadly off into the garden/house/front yard, as though nobody in the world loves her.

Then just around the corner you’ll find her happily crunching on a pecan nut.

Sometimes she goes completely doolally. Does laps around the house and then leaps into the nearest flower bed panting frantically. Luckily she is so light she does no damage. She was engaging in this unladylike behaviour last week when Edge clearly thought she has overstepped the mark and chased after her. Gemma accelerated, fuelled by fear her yappy siren going full blast at the same time. Emma and I fell about laughing at their antics. Ralph looked very disapproving.

Airy fairy Gemma is obviously very different from my lovely solid, sturdy Fudges. She would stay with me – glued to my side. Gemma has no such alliance. She goes where ever the comfy spot is – and often that’s on the couch, snuggled into a Winnie the Pooh blanket, in Em and Charl’s flatlet.

She’s not a ball fan either. I rolled a tennis ball at her and she looked totally horrified and leapt out of the way. She likes a nice stick though.

She’s inordinately fond of tummy rubs and frequently hurls herself down at your feet, smiles and demands a belly scratch.

She’s also figured out that 4pm is dinner time and she comes and fetches me in my office, then does a little tap dance on the kitchen floor, eagerly waiting for her food to be dished.

All in all she’s a very cutie little woof and she’s adjusted to her new life with us very well, but sometimes I spot her lying in the sun in the driveway, watching the gate and I wonder what the little furry sausage is thinking, and whether she’s patiently waiting for her “real” family to come back home.

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