Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Kipling's Second Anniversary



"Are they buddies now? Because they look like they are." I paused before replying to my Sister's question, "Kiiiind of." But I thought about it afterwards as well as the iphone photo that I had sent her. Certainly, they were practically snuggled up together in it. Could my long held wishes be finally coming true? 


It has been two years since we adopted Kipling. And amazingly - at least to me - his relationship to Remi and I as well as with our other dog Ben is still evolving. Two years is a long time and we certainly have had some surprising setbacks since moving to this tiny village as it has brought out in Kipling an even more aggressive attitude towards outsiders (dogs, cats and humans included) that we had seen in Arles. We have had some harrowing moments, I will admit. But gentle Ben, ever the ambassador of Good Hearts, has been utterly determined to reassure Kip and to teach him the one factor to being "a happy and healthy" dog that has been missing from the list: to play. I have seen it over and over these past few months, Ben will shake his toys in Kipling's face and do everything within his ken to initiate a bit of rough and tumble. And Ben is the farthest thing from a rough and tumble dog! He is clearly doing it out of love and concern for his companion.

Remi has been telling me that it is starting to catch on but I wanted to have so some sort of photographic proof before talking about this with you all. So imagine my delight upon re-entering the courtyard the other day (luckily with camera in hand) to find Ben pointedly staring at me as if to say, "Watch this!" 


Ben barely knows how to fake growl - bless his heart - but apparently it is enough to get Kipling worked up into a round of whoofs and whoos. 


And then, it began. Ben pulled his signature move of throwing the front half of his body down to the ground while Kipling shook his head with joy (something he picked up from Ben) and excitement.


I wish you could know how incredibly happy these photos make me. 


For Remi was right. Kip clearly has a few moves of his own. Such as sitting on your opponent...


...and something that he has done to me: gently gnawing on my arm as if to chase away fleas! Gnar, gnar, gnar, gnar...


Can you see Ben looking up at me during a pause in the action? He is clearly so proud of himself. As he should be.


And so, it is a start. It has been fascinating to see how these two adult male dogs inform each other - Kipling encouraging Ben to be more of a "guy guy" and Ben coaching Kip to be more trusting. And I am sure that this evolution isn't over yet...



...but one thing that I do know is that I am glad that you are here Kip.
We love you, crazy rascal! Petit fripouille!


Kipling's story is quite something and for all of the new folks here (Thank you!), you might want to take a look at:
and

Sending out wishes of Love, Health and Safety for all of our four-legged friends around the world.
What would our lives be like without them? 


46 comments:

robin said...

Look at those sweeties playing!! Of course they are buddies! I think they are buddies in the way that Lucy and Tennyson are; not doting buddies, but, yeah-I-guess-I-love-you buddies. You realize that I can totally relate to this since Lucy is my "troubled child" who couldn't even be around other dogs, and now she has such a friend and playmate in Tennyson! Like you, it brings me HUGE joy when they play. And I think Lucy, like Kipling, has warmed up as she has felt safe in this loving surrounding, with another patient pup to show her the ropes. I'm so glad you have stuck with him - I know he brings you all a lot of love! The 4th picture down is my favorite - Ben bowing and Kipling shaking his head - adorable!! Happy Anniversary, Kipling, and to those who love you! I look forward to meeting you one day!

Karena Albert said...

Heather, it is so interesting to hear about the differences in Ben and Kipling's personalities!
These images of their friendship and playfulness are wonderful! Happy Anniversary to Kipling!

xoxo
Karena
The Arts by Karena

I Dream Of said...

My heart is thoroughly warm now, Heather. It makes me smile to think of how much Kipling has learned from you all - and how much you have learned from him and what you've brought to each others lives. Lucky dogs all around. They are both so beautiful and it will be interesting to see how they continue to influence one and other - and you, too! Happy Anniversary Kipling!

BTW, I know you've been a big advocate for us getting a dog - sadly I had a talk with Will about it yesterday because I just don't think it's the right thing at this point. My mom and dad's little sweet fox terrier has required a series of vet appointments, nothing serious but she's been going weekly for checks to make sure an scratched cornea and eye infection is healing. It's challenging to make sure I'm taking care of all my parents' needs on my weekly visits and add the dog into the mix and it gets even more complicated. As much as I would love the joy of a dog of our own, I have nothing left over in terms of the care and responsibility right now... So best to let it go for awhile and enjoy little Lila while she's still with Mom and Dad. Our dog days will come when it's the right thing :-)

Until then, I'll take joy in your gorgeous boys! XOXO

Jackie and Joel Smith said...

Great post, Heather. I've missed the updates on your four-footed family members!

donna baker said...

Love the dogs and pics.

Judith Ross said...

He is a mystery that Ben is doing his best to unravel. Two years seems like such a short time, yet with a dog, it can feel like so much longer. We brought Karina home just four short years ago this past January -- yet she is so much a part of our daily life. Our joy.

Indeed, "What would our lives be without them?"

Bill Facker said...

Kids 'n Pets 'n Pets 'n Kids ..... Innocence 'n Love 'n Love 'n Innocence ..... bless those who understand this ..... like You 'n Remi 'n Remi 'n You. I believe the Aussies express this one perfectly .. "Good on ya!"

Aloha,
Bill

www.Kauai-to-Paris.com

Meredith said...

Oh, my - those photos are too sweet! Happy two years with your sweet Kipling!

Lisa Southard said...

Buddies or not, there's a bond, more like family than friend :-) Sorry that Kipling still has a nervous aggressive problem- so glad you have been able to stick by him.
One tip I have recently learnt- nose licking can be a sign of insecurity, yawning is the appropriate relaxation signal. We always yawn at our spaniel if she seems stressed and either it works or she is wondering what on earth we are doing and forgets to be worried!
Happy Anniversary Kipling xx

La Contessa said...

YOU CAUGHT some precious moments!That's for certain!HOW SMART is that BEN!!!!!LOve that you were able to capture a moment! I raise my glass tonight TOO MANY MORE times like this....................XOXO

vsperry said...

Looks like they are playing the "snap face" game that my two goldens (sisters) play. It involves snapping jaws at each other and nibbling at each other ears and legs combined with some licking and cleaning...it's so much fun to watch! Dogs are great teachers when it comes to interpersonal dynamics.

Maywyn Studio said...

Happy Anniversary Kipling! Great photos

Reading into the pets we see online is an interesting aspect of blog reading I didn't expect. Dog whispering without a dog or a good whisper. I may be wrong, but I see them feeling the blues as they adjust to the absence of all their favorite sniffing places, and, the vibes of the old hood/city their alpha dogness thrives on. Their home isn't the same as the human home they share. I'm glad to see Ben is helping Kipling cheer up. The change in location might be bringing memories back that Kipling has to adjust to much like a person with PTSD does. Showing support by having a beer, pizza, and a long talk would be a human thing. I'd try it anyway giving the pets sausage instead of pepperoni. I'd also give the home a good cleansing prayer or blessing.

silkannthreades said...

Your puppers are special. :) They will continue to delight and intrigue you and us. And as they mellow and adapt to each other so will you.

Silke Bauer said...

Wow, so wild and fun! If I look at Ben I start believing in rebirth. Is he a dog? Or simply the most gentle and wise kind of a creature! And the best companion for Kipling who has a courtyard to defend now! He'll still find his balance, for sure! Bonne anniversaire, Kipling

Great photos of the two dogs in motion you shot here! (Bens signature move is so amazing...)

PS: I loved the colours and patterns and your thoughts about possibilities of the last post.

PPS: Spring is coming (; Bisous

Heather Robinson said...

Oh my, "yeah I guess I love you buddies" is great! I think that is what is happening. :) And there are times when I still can't believe that we just happened to have the perfect dog to be a companion for Kipling. Mom asked me the other day about if Kip and Sweetie would get along and I said that I just can't even fathom the possibility!

edgar said...

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY KIPLING. You are a good dog and companion.
You are giving Kipling all the loving and Ben does too.
They look wonderful together.

La Petite Gallery said...

Thank God for giving us Dogs. That Ben is a super guy. Wish I had one of them. Waiting to see if Cancer came back, when I know if the answer is good I'll get a love bunny dog of my very own. Enjoy the days with them.
yvonne

ourfrenchoasis.com said...

I loved reading this and seeing the photos. Our Australian Jack Russell, Bentley, is 8 and he is not the playful type at all. Last autumn we got two young kittens, one of them and Bentley have become the best of buddies, now he even instigates the play himself. Then a few days ago we were walking on the beach and Bentley actually went up to another dog and started playing, we were amazed!

George Snyder said...

Such beautiful beasts, meant the world to meet them in Arles a year ago. Miss them, miss you. XXXX G

Michel said...

Congratulations to Ben, well done! Getting dogs to cohabitate peacefully and tolerate each other's quirks is a big job. So well done! Life may well be a little easier for you from here on out.

Marsha Splenderosa said...

This makes me SO happy, Heather !!!
You know I'm a total dog-person, cannot live without dogs, and love all dogs...so this really touched my heart. Bravo Ben! And, big huge congrats to you and Remi for taking Kipling in, he has the best home on Earth.
xx's

The Auntie Times Online said...

As you know I'm a big fan of Ben. He's all dog. Please give him a big scratch for me. And some strawberries.

Heather Robinson said...

Merci Karena! And thank you so much for being here too. :)

Heather Robinson said...

Oh my goodness, of course sweet Lila should absolutely be the priority right now. And yes, when it is the right moment, it will all just fall into place. Sending you Love and Strength, Jeanne. I don't need to send you any Grace as you already have plenty of it. xo

Heather Robinson said...

Jackie, I know that you are one of a small band that insist on pupper posts from time to time. :)

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you, Donna. I hope that you have had a nice weekend!

Heather Robinson said...

Yes, beautiful Karina. I see her as you must see Kip and Ben! I get it! I have so many happy photos of her in my head...

Heather Robinson said...

I love your comments, Bill. :)

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you, Meredith...I know you understand. :) And I swear these photos crack me up every time that I look at them...still!

Heather Robinson said...

Lisa, I can't wait to try this out!! Kip doesn't lick his nose but I do usually know when he is stressed. And I bet it feels good to let out a big 'ol yawn (Remi was horrified the first time that he heard me make a loud yawn and I had to just shrug and say "oops") too.

Heather Robinson said...

I really hope that you get to meet them someday.

Heather Robinson said...

Yes! That is the perfect description! Two Golden Sisters?! In my family we have never had two girls...I am so curious what the dynamic must be like...my favorite is to watch Ben play with a really TINY dog. He does mini snapface!

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you for this really interesting insight. And it is such a good reminder on several points - including that human space and time is not the same thing as doggy space and time. And that we always, always need to keep in mind that Kip was so horribly abandoned for so long. There is one important difference spatially here too in that there is the walled in front courtyard before the house. Quite a huge difference from living in an apartment with no exterior! So for him, he definitely starts guarding at the gate not at our front door. That we have learned to work with but yes, there is a lot about living in the country that could be bringing up not so great things for him based on what we have been able to unravel about his previous life...

Heather Robinson said...

Ben is honestly as mellow as they come but if Kip could mellow just a bit with time...I would breathe a lot easier!

Heather Robinson said...

Silke! I have been missing you! And was about to send out Ben as a search party. :) I have to say - and I am totally not the only one - that he doesn't and never has ever seemed really like a "dog." He sits straight up on the couch like a human, he listens back and forth to conversations between people, he uses reasoning and can string words together to understand sentences and emotionally he is a lot wiser than (ahem) some humans I know! He makes me laugh everyday (on purpose) too. It has been beautiful to watch him work so hard and yet so effortlessly to help Kipling. Yes, maybe angels do exist!

Heather Robinson said...

Don't they Edgar? People always, always think that they are related.

Heather Robinson said...

Oh Yvonne, I hope so much that the Cancer is gone for good! Keeping you in my thoughts...and if you do get a lovebug of your own, of course I am going to suggest that you get a Golden!!
Bisous,
H

Heather Robinson said...

How I do love that story. You must have been so thrilled! Hooray for the kitties and Bentley! I will have to look out for him now on your ig feed. :)

Heather Robinson said...

I miss you too, George. But I am so incredibly grateful that I was able to spend an afternoon with you and your wonderful friends...and yes, that you got to meet the furry ones that mean so much to me.
Sending Love,
H

Heather Robinson said...

MIchel, these two have always gotten along. We wouldn't have brought Kip into our household if we weren't sure that would be the case. Now, Kipling with every other dog or cat in the world? Aiiy, that is the problem we are working on...

Heather Robinson said...

We are trying, Marsha! He certainly doesn't lack for love!! And I know how much you love dogs...and that we both share a soft spot for Goldens too. :)

Heather Robinson said...

Dear Auntie,

Thank you for your consideration. However, as he is a French doggie, he will only steal strawberries when they are...in peak season.
Cordially,
The People That Take Care of Ben and Kipling

Silke Bauer said...

So the search party was successful, they both found me (;

Unknown said...

Heather, very little makes me happier than playing with, or at least seeing, creatures at play (dogs, children, dogs and children, and so on), and I am so happy that Kipling has reached the point where he can play (again, as he must have as a wee puppy) with Ben. Ben, you and Rémi are wise, loving, playful souls, and you have brought Kipling fully into your family and toward his own wisdom, love and playfulness. These photographs of him and Ben are going to be printed and posted on my walls...they are treasures! Love, Leslie P.S. I believe that Henry and Bob must be related to both Ben and Kipling.

Gustia said...

Oops! Auntie's losing her mind. I meant Kipling! Dear me.

Stephen Andrew said...

so very precious. Love these two and so glad K has his big brother to teach him how to behave! Can't wait to read those posts