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The House of the White Dogs

In January my little building of four apartments became the house of the white dogs. Our neighbors across the hall were dog sitting for two little white fluff balls. They were both smaller than Cricket, about the same size as Butterfly, and pure white rather than apricot laced. I first saw them out the window on a walk and my heart felt them right away. Two little white dogs! Two happy, skippy, barky dogs tangling their leashes and going in opposite directions. I felt like I knew them already.

Cricket hears something in the hall and must investigate.

Cricket hears something in the hall and must investigate.

We didn’t know their names at first, but we knew they were boys, because their pee was more decorative and higher up on the snow. Cricket and Butterfly would butt heads trying to be closest to the pee, to sniff deeply of their new friends.

Cricket takes a deep sniff of the new pee.

Cricket examines the new pee.

Dual sniffing

Dual sniffing

            The girls finally got to meet the boys in person after a few weeks. Their names were Abu and Fritz, and once they could see each other it was a sniff fest with no barking. When I’d met them the day before, Abu had bared his teeth at me and did not want to be friends, but when it was dog to dog, they were fine.

This guy looks a bit like Abu. (not my picture)

This guy looks a bit like Abu. (not my picture)

This one could be Fritz. (not my picture)

This one could be Fritz. (not my picture)

            The boys barked almost as much as Cricket, which was an incredible relief. From downstairs, it was hard to tell which apartment was full of barking. I liked feeling welcomed each time we came and went from the apartment, as if the boys were saying that they wished they could go with us, and visit with Cricket and Butterfly, and enjoy our company. It was really just nice to know someone was there. Dogs are generous about noticing people, and making sure you don’t feel invisible or alone.

            There are other dogs in our complex. There’s Maxine, the pug, who is very busy taking care of her new human brother. There’s Delilah, the beagle, who likes to hike up the hill but hates the snow. There are Chihuahuas and Cocker Spaniels, and other smallish dogs. I don’t know if there’s an official ban on bigger dogs, but I think it would be hard for a Great Dane to manage all of the stairs and small spaces.

            I feel such a pull to see the other dogs who live here, especially when I can hear them barking from inside of their apartments when I take the girls out during the day. I dream of running around and opening all of the doors so we can have a puppy party in the backyard. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

            I think the boys have gone now, because there is no more barking across the hall. I listen closely for a stray bark or growl, but I can’t hear anything.

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About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

58 responses »

  1. Puppy-party sounds awesome. 😀

    My Boo gets along with other dogs brilliantly… but my eldest, Pot, gets way over-excited and ends up alienating the dogs she’s so desperately trying to befriend… leaving her felling left out. She looks so forlorn when other dogs are about… I always end up scooping her up in my arms and telling her how much I love her.

    Reply
    • Cricket has a similar problem. Butterfly can go up to any dog and get into a sniffing conversation, but Cricket is awkward and easily aggravated. Butterfly gives her classes in social graces every day. We’ll see how that goes.

      Reply
  2. I think you should send invitations and have a puppy party….your neighbors would be thrilled if you took the dogs out to play. My daughter lives in a apt where the landlord requires you to have a dog (that must be screened for manners) before you can move in. Clementine, their basset, is such a charmer, she forgoed further screening once she met her!! Laughing. She has framed photos of all the former dog residents by each apt door!

    Reply
  3. We three get along great with Lilly, the rescue greyhound next door. We’re all rescues and we have different needs. Lilly needs running space-I don’t know why because she was last in all three races she walked (I couldn’t say ran). We do fine with dogs in the neighborhood, and we like to communicate often. They complain about the noise, but we’re not allowed to use the phone and those cheapie peeps won’t sprint for a smartphone.

    Reply
  4. They came, they saw, they conquered…your hearts. Good friends are hard to find these days. 🙂 I have missed the Cricket and Butterfly stories…for some reason, I no longer get emails from your posts.
    This week i discovered the WordPress Reader after 3 years. Duh.

    Reply
  5. Your posts bring instant smiles here! We had a visit the other day from our neighbor’s giant shephard, Tiger, who broke free from her chain. We (our Max and Allie too) enjoyed this wild and crazy girl until her owner arrived! 🙂

    Reply
    • A lot of times the bigger dogs are the sweetest and think they are the smallest. My black lab mix used to be a lap dog, even though she was bigger than the laps she had to choose from.

      Reply
      • lol! Couldn’t agree with you more! Our Allie (white girlie) still thinks she’s a lap dog, not matter how big! 🙂 She cracks us up! Enjoy those puppers!!!

  6. I love finding out what dogs are at my apartment complex. 🙂 I agree, it would be fun to let them all run around!

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  7. A puppy party sounds fantastic! May Bailey join in on the festivities?? 🙂

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  8. Lovely tail (I mean tale). I love to see dogs playing together. Maggie has suddenly become playful again with certain dogs when Hubby’s taken her out recently. (Methinks it’s them hormones and for playful read tarty!) She’s only interested in toy boys though, as those she’s showing interest in are very young and don’t know what it’s all about yet! 🙂

    Reply
  9. I love the notion that “Dogs are generous about noticing people, and making sure you don’t feel invisible or alone.” My dog loves to sit at the front window and bark when people walk by, as if she is just letting people she notices them.

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    • There’s something so sad about living near people you never see. Dogs don’t like that feeling any more than I do. In my old neighborhood we would get a good solid hello from every dog we passed, even if they were behind closed doors and invisible to me. They wanted to make sure they were seen and heard and never forgotten.

      Reply
  10. We call the wee from other dogs pee-mail. The longer a dog sniffs it, the longer the message must be. Sometimes our reply, but not always. I wonder what they say? 🙂

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  11. so you had a lot of pee mail to sniff. I will find out next Thursday how I feel around other dogs we are going back to obedience training to see if I socialize better. We were suppose to do it this past week but we had a storm…

    Reply
  12. I honestly wish I got along better with smaller dogs. But even through Obedience School and Boot Camp, it doesn’t seem to happen. Mom would like to get a companion for me but I am so frisky and play so rough she is worried. But she is thinking about it. I hope the boys do come back. Maybe in doggie daycare during the day? Woof! Love, Maggie

    Reply
  13. That’s amazing!!!!!!! sincerely Alla

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  14. A puppy party would be amazing! Thank you for sharing 🙂

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  15. The first one looks just like our Chicki!
    Thanks for sharing another delightful post. 🙂

    Reply
  16. Oh, this site is so cool. I hang with “cat people” so to see “dog people” do what “cat people” are tickles my heart. Great blog you have and I totally enjoyed reading this post! xxoo, Amy

    Reply
  17. Cute post – we are huge fans of the little white dogs at our house as well! Thanks for checking out my blog post!

    Reply
  18. hello rachel its dennis the vizsla dog hay dada sez the howse of the white dogs is a better playse to be then the lair of the white worm i hav no ideea wot he is tawking abowt but aparently it has sumthing to do with a buk he read wunse!!! ok bye

    Reply
  19. Thanks fo a fellow dog-lover for the “like”!

    Reply
  20. Yes!!!! A puppy party, definitely!!!! That would be such a blast!!!! Hugs

    Reply
  21. Your little cricket reminds me very much of my little white/apricot laced fluff ball, Bria. I will put a picture of her on my blog pretty soon. Sadly, in November 2012, I was at my brothers for Thanksgiving and there were a lot of other dogs there and one of his dogs bit her in the eye and she lost that eye.

    Reply
    • Oh no! I’m so sorry. I hope she’s still enjoying her life as much as possible, and maybe using some very fashionable eye patches to let everyone know she’s got it all in hand.

      Reply
  22. “Dogs are generous about noticing people, and making sure you don’t feel invisible or alone.”
    SO TRUE! And just one of the many reasons to love them.

    Reply

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