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Spring is in the air!

by Gayle Haarr

Ulff's got a dogfriend!

Ulff, my 19 month old St. Bernard, met a dog in the neighborhood and now she has a dogfriend. Her dogfriend's name is Alex and he is significantly older. Alex is a 6 year old, 90 pound, Chocolate Lab. He comes over to play at our house constantly, they walk together, they hike together, and this summer they are going on weekend trips together.

Alex was a bit overweight when they met, but he has managed to loose 18 pounds in the last few months, and only has 5 more pounds to loose. He is looking quite buff thanks to Ulff. She keeps him looking young now, she chases him all around the house and up and down the stairs. They also play hide and go seek. The truth is Alex is trying to do hide while he catches his breath and Ulff and is doing all the seeking. She is sniffing him out to play some more. When they play in the house, they manage to move one of the sofas completely into the next room by constantly bumping and pushing it. Together they equal well over 200 pounds of dog, and that is a lot of dog!

Ulff's favorite game is dragging Alex around the room by the head or collar. Also, she loves to nonchalantly grab his leg every time he walks by her. Alex enjoys teasing Ulff with her own toys. He'll walk around her squeaking her little soccer ball toy in his mouth and refusing to let it go. Talk about puppy love!

When they hike off leash, Ulff will follow Alex to the ends of the earth. If Alex runs one way she must follow him. When Alex stops to sniff something, she has to stop and sniff also. If Alex has a stick in his mouth, she must help to carry that same stick in her mouth. It is sort of nauseatingly cute.

When they are alone they love to get into mischief together. They enjoyed shredding an entire futon mattress all over the basement floor within 2 hours once while home alone. They've also managed to take Alex's collar off and eat all but the 3 metal pieces. We gave Alex a collar that won't go over his head anymore. We're not sure if that is good or bad. God know what else goes on that we haven't found out about while they are home alone together.

Well, that is it for now. To anybody who owns a dog, my suggestion is get two dogs or find a neighborhood playmate for your four legged friend. It makes life a million times easier and they have such a great time together. Ulff is happier since she has her buddy Alex to beat on. Alex is enjoying life a lot more since he lost that extra 18 pounds and has been running around with Ulff.

Ed Note - Tune in next week when Ulff meets the debonaire Basset Hound from the city. Will Ulff be swayed by the smooth growlings of Rufus, or will she remain true to her love. Tune in next week for "As the Dog Drools."

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