Happiness in Black and White

The ambient light of town cast a beautiful glow over the landscape as I stepped outside with Oscar at 6:00 this morning. When I focused my flashlight on the front steps, I could see a glaze of ice covering everything. Yesterday’s weather had produced a thin layer of sleet, and overnight freezing fog and drizzle had coated everything. Light raindrops plinked against my jacket fiber, making it apparent we were in for a morning of freezing drizzle and rain. While Oscar nimbly ambled down the steps and darted off to his favorite tree, I waited on the front porch, wondering how I would get Mr. T out into the yard.

After salting the front steps and walkway, I hoisted up all seventeen pounds of Mr. T and carefully carried him to the crunchy grass. I was not as steady and sure-footed as I used to be, so trying to balance my boy on one hip and carefully take steps on the ice, meant being extra cautious. Mr. T has always refused going up and down steps. He has never been comfortable on slick floors either. For years, I kept a rug runway through the house so that he could easily get around. Finally growing weary of cleaning up rugs, FD and I invested in a solution of rubber flooring used for kenneling, weight rooms, and industrial flooring settings. It was actually decent looking and, made from recycled rubber from US tires, it was an environmentally friendly “green” floor.  This new flooring was easy to clean and much wider than Mr. T’s previous walking space. Even Oscar seemed to enjoy the new surface, and it especially served us well while potty training Oscar.

Mr. T, eleven years old, September 2017.
Oscar at three months old, April 2017.

Over the past several months, I must admit I have gotten past my grumpy attitude about Oscar. Reaching his first birthday in January, Oscar has grown into a beautiful, but still rambunctious boy. With Oscar around, twelve-year-old Mr. T has actually improved and been more playful than I have ever seen him. Mr. T’s eyesight has diminished in the last couple of years, but he seems to manage just fine wrestling with Oscar and maintaining his role as the dominant big brother. Over the summer and autumn months, Oscar proved himself to be a decent ranch hand, riding with me in the buggy and behaving, well, generally well. He would occasionally drive me crazy by giving me that “look”, and then run off out to the pasture, refusing to heed to my “HERE” command. He also has a habit of eating yard fungus and gnawing on fox scat. As a result I have to watch him every second that he is outdoors! But in all, he has been a great companion for Mr. T, and hilarious entertainment for FD and I in the evenings. Still, I jokingly reminded FD that Oscar was HIS dog, that I had not wanted another dog, never mind a puppy, and that he had been somewhat of an interruption in my life. But inwardly, I knew I loved that ball of trouble.

The pink hippo is a favorite toy. Mr. T usually wins possession!
Thank goodness for a big back seat in the truck to wrestle around in!
Oscar learned to take naps just like his big brother.
Mr. T was always game to play with Oscar, as long as it was understood that all of the toys were HIS.

And then one recent morning as I was scrolling through Facebook posts, I saw where a JCCARE (Japanese Chin Care and Rescue Effort) member had posted about a one-year-old Chin at an animal shelter in Olathe, Kansas. I saw in the comments where two people posted about acquiring it for JCCARE. Since it was in Kansas, where I have some kin, I thought to myself that I could at least transport and maybe foster it until a permanent home could be found. But then I thought about the age, and suddenly I wanted that dog for myself! I texted FD with the Facebook post. He quickly texted back that, indicated in smaller print, the ad showed the dog had been adopted. With this, I was deflated. FD came home at lunch that day exclaiming he did not know what on earth to think when I shot him the text about another dog. After all, I had been so cranky about Oscar. But then he smiled and told me, “If he had not already been adopted, I would have said yes.”

Giddy and excited, we both admitted that the house just did not seem right with only Mr. T and Oscar. Most of the seventeen years FD and I have been married, we had three to five chin in the house at one time – not to mention a few squirrels, birds, and white-tail fawns. So in the words of Paulo Coelho, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – we got busy looking for another kid.

Lollipop’s ride to her new home with us! It was love at first sight.

Meet five-month-old Bandita Lollipop  –  we call her Lollipop – who has just joined our family. Oscar adores her and she wears him out playing, just like he did with Mr. T when he was a pup. Mr. T shares his food bowl with Lollipop (and growls at Oscar), and lets her snuggle up beside him. She has attitude and she is fearless… well, except for thunder and loud noises, like the vacuum cleaner.  The activity level is at high around here again, and we couldn’t be happier, or more in love with all of our kids.

I’m the BOSS around here!
The little sister.
“Mama”, says Oscar, “Lollipop’s trying to boss me around!”
A pile of Chindren!
Lollipop does not like the thunder… or any loud noises, so my lap is her place of refuge.
Safe and sound with big brother Oscar.

© 2018 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…



48 thoughts on “Happiness in Black and White

  1. She’s so tiny! She looks like she could be one of those adorable critters in Star Wars. Re: Mr. T’s rubber flooring – Isn’t it funny the concessions we make for our fur babies! I have had to apologize for things in the house… “well, we put that down for [insert pet’s name].”


    1. Ha ha! Yes, Ellen, I find myself explaining that flooring any time we have guests. The thing is, with animal rehab and elderly dogs, we make all sorts of concessions… and sometimes they just become permanent. I sometimes wish that flooring went through the entire house from front door to back. It’s so easy to clean and the dog hair seems to cling to it! No more airborne hair!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The new baby is- adorable and I love her markings. I am much like you. I can not do with out dogs and I need a pack around me or I am not happy nor secure. I love the chins but never had an opportunity to rescue one. That is the only way I get my dogs. I recently adopted one from out local shelter. She was owner surrendered by her humans because of a new baby. That broke my heart when I read about why she was surrendered. I had gone for a BC X Aussie cross but it was not there. The postings were mixed up and it turned out the dog was a lovely black and white pit. If I were younger I would have taken the pit but the bred is too strong for me to handle at my age.

    Anyway you had me fooled by your title. I thought I was going to see photos in B & W. But I was not disappointed since I got to see your three beautiful dogs.


    1. You made a very good point, Yvonne. I really only want to deal with small dogs at this point in my life. Mr. T is plenty big to hoist around, and has been since we got him seven years ago. While I have a real love for elderly dogs, I also knew at this point I was tuckered out from doling out meds, cooking and assisting Zoe and Bear as they aged. It’s hard work, and with all else that I do here, it was becoming increasingly taxing.

      I am always appalled at some of the reasons people surrender pets. Being responsible by researching a pet’s needs and tendencies and considering every aspect of life should be the first thoughts when taking on a pet. If there is any part of that animal’s life that one cannot possibly serve well, then it’s best not to take on that kind of responsibility.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess I must admit now that I’m most happy with a herd of chin!! Ha ha!You are right!! She DOES have Amy Winehouse eyes! Lollipop should only be about five pounds as an adult. Oscar was supposed to be that size too, but he’s more like nine pounds. We are watching his diet these days… I think he likes food a little too much!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Puppies and kittens bring such joy to our lives and now you have three sizes of Chin 😄. Our dog Melody is thirteen and healthy, but I find I’m increasingly thinking about puppies. On the one hand I don’t really want the work of bringing up and educating a puppy, but on the other hand I can’t imagine not having a dog. Bises XX.


    1. Ha ha! You’re right about that. I was so grumpy about FD bringing Oscar home, but really, the house still seemed so quiet. Mr. T sleeps a lot and Oscar needed more stimulation and seemed bored. I wasn’t even thinking about another chin until I saw that shelter ad on Facebook. Boy, did that start a fire to find a new kid!


  4. Aww, those dogs are all adorable! We had two dogs for a very long time – an Irish terrier and a mini dachshund. The terrier passed a little over a year ago at the age of 14. The doxie, who is nearly 11, has generally liked becoming queen of the house. I think sometimes about getting another dog…..:-) Pups of any kind are awfully hard to resist.


    1. I’m sorry about your little terrier passing. For me it always takes a bit of time to adjust. Mr. T seemed to do well by himself, but I saw him really perk up when we introduced Oscar. But then Oscar got to be too much for Mr. T, and Oscar became bored. It’s really worked out well to take on Lollipop. She loves to cuddle next to big Mr. T in the evenings.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. They are so sweet together. I love how Oscar is perking up Mr. T. That happened with one of my really older rottie and a younger Bubba that we rescued. He annoyed her, she being the prima donna of the family for so long because she didn’t like other dogs. But in her older, slowing down days we figured what’s the harm. It worked out in reverse. She perked up to growl at the ever annoying curious Bubba. Give your two a hug from me. My nickname is Paw-wet.


    1. Hey Paulette – oh yes, Paw-wet!! Ha ha! One never knows how the oldsters will take to the youngsters. Oscar has taken on the role of groomer now. Each day he cleans Mr. T’s eyes and ears, which Mr. T puts up with and doesn’t really care for, and Lollipop seems to enjoy the attention. I see her with ears slicked back all of the time! Oscar does the same to us in the evening if he gets a chance – FD sits back and gets face and ears cleaned too! Mr. T has lost most of his sight by now, so he doesn’t get up and around much. But occasionally he jumps up when Oscar and Lollipop whiz by him, jolting him from a nice snooze!


  6. Not a breed I have much experience with but I feel like an excited child reading about your new baby in the house. My husband so wants another dog but my cats are not so keen because they did not grow up with dogs. They came along after our two dogs went to heaven. But I also want a horse again so there may have to be some comprises! Loved your photos – captures their personality so well.


    1. Hmm, you and your husband might look into the Japanese chin breed. They’re often called a cat dog. They have many of the same mannerisms and tendencies of a cat. They are not a very common breed in the US. We are the only chin people that our veterinarian has dealt with I believe. As long as you don’t mind a little brushing and vacuuming (they shed a good bit) it might be worth looking into this breed as a companion for your cats.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve often wondered what to call a group of chins. They do love to be together and snug with their humans. A good friend had 3 chins and everyone was happy. However, now there are two and it just doesn’t seem right. The little poodle pup who has moved in is sweet, but she has a just is a milder and quieter personality

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ve described them perfectly. I’ve had anywhere from three to five in the house. I know of a few people with more chin than that in their home! They’re often referred to as cat dog’s in that they have many mannerisms like a cat. I generally find the cat toys are preferable to this breed. They do chin spins, the Chindy 500, and they’ll talk, some sing and woo. What entertainers they are! And then when they’re tuckered out, they love to curl up on or next to a human and be pampered.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The cat in my friend’s house generally prefers to semi-tolerant the chins. The girl likes to lick so much that there is a sign by the door “Beware, this dog cannot hold her licker”. Definitely the Chindy 500, that is a perfect name for their exuberance. Thank you.


    1. They are a very sweet breed. Mr. T came to us with the name of Tori, which sounded girly to me. For a while we called him Brutus T, but finally Mr. T just seemed to fit. Now that he’s mostly blind and somewhat deaf we just say, “T” really loud! The one sense that does work is his nose – he can locate food anywhere! Ha ha!


  8. Even though I’ve seen photos of your dogs, I missed one connection. An acquaintance of mine has a cute little dog that I now recognize as a Chin. In fact, I think I remember her using that name, but it went right over my head. I think you’d enjoy her household. She has five little dogs, all rescues and different breeds or mixes. I admire her dedication to them, but honestly? It’s hard to enjoy time at her place because not one of them has been disciplined: what a racket, and what jumping and nipping!

    But your crew is unbelievably cute, and they obviously are going to get along well with one another: at least, most of the time.You’re the sort of people who should have multiple dogs; they bring you pleasure, and you’re willing to do what it takes to give them a good homoe.

    I smiled at your comment about using extra caution on those icy steps, too. There are some tasks I won’t do on boats now, like working from a bosn’s chair, and there are a couple of boats where I sub-contract small portions because I just don’t trust my balance as I used to. If I had a third hand, I’d be all set, but I don’t — and using my legs to balance while working over my head isn’t as easy as it used to be. There are a lot of things that can throw us off: like carrying a seventeen pound dog!


    1. I will go to the ground myself to save two things – my dogs and my camera! I try to be careful at all times, but that added weight on one side sure can throw a person unbalanced in slick conditions.

      We have pretty iron gates that keep the dogs from the living room, and our bedroom. Most of that is about hair shedding control.Of course that new rubber tire flooring acctually helps hair cling to it so life is much easier keeping clean and sanitary around here. The laundry room also has a gate in case I need to keep them from the rest of the house in case someone comes over or we have a repairman – mostly so that they are not a nuisance as you mentioned is the case in your friend’s home. Puppies are famous for jumping on folks. Oscar is finally out of that stage, but Lollipop is not. As for noise, none of our chin have ever been noise makers. Mr. T. occasionally barks when my mother-in-law comes over (he does not like her at all!) or hears a strange voice. Usually that is short lived, thank goodness.

      I suppose it took a bit for me to realize I do best with a family of chindrin around! I know I’ve missed having a little girl in the house since Zoe passed.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Lori, I know you adore your dogs but, I have to admit the Chin are among the weirdest looking breeds I have seen. The only Chin I have seen are the ones in your photos.
    I hope Lollipop soon joins Oscar as you do your rounds around the property.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do not think they are a very well-known breed, Margaret. Lollipop looks different than any of the chin I’ve raised. A friend in JCCARE recently mentioned that she was a “clown face” chin. That sounds about right noting her eye markings!


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