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Lucy With Her Puppies and My Randy Dandie…

Many of you have expressed an interest in my little Dandie Dinmont Terrier bitch, Lucy, and her three new puppies.

So, here she and they are at one week old as of yesterday. They were born on Monday, November 22.

Proud mummy and her pups…

My breeder sent this over with the following update:

“The puppies are filling out with lovely big tummies. Lucy gets three meals a day plus any dry food she wants to eat, which she did at first, but now she seems to have enough food to satisfy her.

“The girl is the most orange of the three … one boy is bigger than the other two. Lucy seems proud in this photo, doesn’t she? She is very relaxed with them now.”

I thought you might like seeing Lucy’s consort and the father of these puppies.

I couldn’t stop my randy Dandie…

Riley is my first Dandie and a Canadian Champion. He just turned seven ~ Lucy was five in May.

As they are first cousins on his father’s and her mother’s side, they were not meant to be bred to each other, but I guess you can’t stop Mother Nature and a randy Dandie.

In March 2005, he sired a litter of three puppies ~ Diana, Camilla and Charlie.

Charlie is now not only a Canadian, but a British champion and currently the top Dandie sire in Britain. A few weeks ago, my breeder asked me if I would take Riley to a big national grooming show in Oakville, Ontario called Canada Grooms. One of the country’s leading groomers, Nancy Bryson, now grooming Dandies, wanted to use him in a demonstration.

The Daddy of Lucy’s three puppies…

Here’s Riley on the grooming table after a bath, being groomed for a show.Grooming Riley

He’s a spectacular example of this rare and endangered breed.

I could go on and show you a picture of Riley’s son, Charlie, too, if you wish, but because I don’t own Charlie, I’m going to respect his lovely owner’s privacy and resist.

But Riley won’t mind making an appearance here. He’s a delightful pet but also a show dog who loves to “show.”

Why do so many of us live with animals?

I’ve often wondered. They have no idea if we have a psychiatric diagnosis. They cannot fathom what “normal” is. They don’t sit in judgment of us. They don’t compare us to other humans. Their world revolves around us.

They love us no matter what. Unconditionally. All their lives.

For our pets, we are their lifeline…

They need us to live, to eat and to care for. They make us feel special. As our pets, whether they’re cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, goldfish, turtles or any “being” ~ they need our care to survival.

They need us, when no one else does. They want us, always. We may not be “well, enough” to work, to live “independently,” and no one may want to love us or cohabit with us, but our animals don’t care about any of that. They adore us.

I’ve never mattered to anyone like I do to my dogs…

Not in the same way.

My husband tells me that when I’m away, he lies at the door, looking out the window until I drive into the driveway. Then he goes bonkers and I live for his welcomes.

There have been times in my life when I felt utterly abandoned by every human being on earth, except my dogs. (I’ve had six since I was 17, but only three in my adulthood. Riley and Lucy are two of them.

Almost all my friends living with psychiatric or mental health challenges live with at least one animal ~ mostly cats and/or dogs.

Our pets listen actively, empathetically

Researchers have proven that other mammals can empathize, but empathy is hard to measure in mammals other than humans because we communicate in spoken language.

Frankly, I don’t need scientific data to prove that my dogs empathize. I know they do.

And I’m sure you do, too.

They certainly help us immeasurably. They’re therapeutic to touch. They have the ability, the power, the magic to perform remarkable feats of emotional healing in people who are suffering or need help like an extra set of eyes, ears and a soul-mate.

Meg Daley Olmert has been researching “the biology of the Human-Animal Bond” for years. Her book, Made for Each Other, is a stunning, satisfying scientific account of how and why we love our animals and how and why they love us. (I heard her speak and interviewed her a few years ago. She is an exquisite person and her work is most compelling.)

Will you share your animal stories…

Now, that Lucy is up at her breeders for months whelping her puppies, I miss her desperately. I’d love to hear your accounts of how your animals listen and hear you. How sensitive they are to your feelings and what’s happening in your life. How they react to you. How they know you like no one else.

How they empathize with you and why you need them as much as they need you.

You’ll certainly help me fill the hole in my life that Lucy usually occupies. And maybe you’ll help each other, too. It’s December, a stressful time of year. There’s nothing like patting your pet, whatever species it happens to be. Even goldfish and turtles need to be loved.

Hugs and speak soon ~ to each other…


Lucy With Her Puppies and My Randy Dandie…

Sandy Naiman

Sandy Naiman is a Toronto freelance journalist.

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APA Reference
Naiman, S. (2019). Lucy With Her Puppies and My Randy Dandie…. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 3, 2020, from


Last updated: 26 Mar 2019
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