It’s been over a year since I last wrote about the relationship between Lupo and our daughter – who is now nearly 3 and a half years old herself. In the past year, she has finally grown taller than him and wanted to get involved in his care. She will ‘help’ feed him his breakfast, carefully pouring the biscuits into his bowl. It’s also handy for us that she can now open the back door too, as she loves to let him outside if we ask her too.
The copying of phrases I spoke about a year ago, has only increased! I don’t know where she got it from, but everyday when she sees him after nursery it’s “Hello, my darling boy!” It’s not from me as I am guilty of a quick head scratch then getting him and his whip-like tail away from us as we enter the house. She doesn’t like him barking (none of us do!) so will be quick to tell him “no, Lupo” before I get the chance.
The biggest change, and one I hoped to see, was him actually being able to play with her now that she can throw a toy or hold her own against his over-excited natured. He’s no retriever by any means but he will go at his own slow pace and pick up a toy that she’s thrown (not very far away) and she gets so excited at this interaction. I feel more comfortable with them playing together now in the garden whilst I watch from the kitchen preparing her tea (dinner, to those south of Yorkshire), knowing he’s not going to knock her over!
But the best games have come completely unprompted. She was playing in a big cardboard box, as most kids love to do, and as soon as she disappeared from sight, Lupo tried to find her. In the video below she’s saying ‘aww whiskers’ as his nose tickles her. A heart melting moment.
He handles her affection towards him much better now that she’s bigger and knows the right way to stroke his fur – although doesn’t always get it right. There have been some lovely moments I’ve been able to capture between them.
Lupo has had to learn how to fit in to life living with a messy toddler. I felt particularly sorry for him here when he just wanted space to chew his antler.
So we’re in a good place. I feel he’s adjusted really well and reached middle age where he’ll soon have spent more time with kids than without, in his life.
Not ones for keeping it simple, we’re about to turn his world upside down again, as we welcome a new baby any day now. As ever he has been a wonderful bump companion. I just hope he doesn’t hate us too much when the crying baby stage hits us all again. But he’s an old hand now, he’ll know just what to do – we’ll keep his bed in the kitchen, out of the way, as comfortable as possible for when he inevitably retreats!