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Kathy Tofflemire, Published April 26 2011

Parenting Perspectives: Tiny grandpup makes big impression

The likelihood of my having more grandchildren is iffy at this point in time. But I do have a new grandpuppy, and he’s the cutest thing on four legs.

My daughter and I took a quick trip to Minneapolis last month to pick him up at the airport. He seemed quite delighted to meet us, though, no doubt, he would have been excited to see anyone after three-plus hours in the belly of an airplane.

He rode most of the way back to Fargo nestled on the back of my neck.

My grandsons delayed their bedtime to see him, and they all bonded immediately.

My daughter was sure that he would also quickly make friends with her other dog. Hmm, at first, not so much. If you’re already spoiled rotten, you’re not very likely to want to share or possibly give up your rank

in the pack.

It didn’t help that the youngster thought maybe his new roommate was a

mother dog with corresponding “equipment.” If the older dog could have said “ouch,” he would have.

The “firstborn,” a Shi Tzu/Pekingese crossbred, has a look of perpetual sadness that seemed to take on new meaning with the addition of a rambunctious pup.

But things get better with time, and all the human family members involved are trying to share the love equally between the two canines – if one’s in your lap, might as well have two. I followed that same theory when my two grandsons were younger.

But my daughter remains the “alpha dog,” and both dogs want to share her bed with her.

The warmer relationship between the two dogs seems to have now expanded beyond the sleeping arrangements. They get along as well as most young “siblings.”

The youngster tugs on his “brother’s” cheek fur until the older dog has had enough and jumps up on the couch to escape. I don’t know if anybody has told the little guy – a teacup Shih Tzu – that’s he’s unlikely to ever grow big enough to make that leap himself.

My daughter says the older dog has actually been better behaved since the arrival of the puppy. I wonder: Is he is trying to train the youngster, or does he think if he makes improvements for the family, the little one could be sent back?

I hate to tell him, but the pudgy pup has wiggled his way into the hearts of all the human members of the family. He’s a keeper.

Kathy Tofflemire is a copy editor at The Forum. Readers can reach her

at (701) 241-5514, or ktofflemire@forumcom.com