Last year my sister and her partner got a rescue dog. As a young pup, Riddler used to be somewhat excitable. The first few times Cheeky Chap met him I think he was quite taken aback by him. With time and training, Riddler has calmed down a little but is still definitely a character. For around six months, the husband walked Riddler twice a week when both my sister and her partner worked. During the school holidays, Cheeky Chap would join him.
In July, when my sister and her partner went on holiday for two weeks, we offered to house/dog sit for them. While I’ve understood the idea of a pet, dogs in particular, being a part of a family on an intellectual level, I think those two weeks helped me to actually get it. I saw Riddler pine for his owners for the first couple of days and then the transformation once he had adjusted to our being there and our routine. I suspect it really helped that the husband was off work recovering from surgery so we were always at the house, bar the school runs.
The first few days Cheeky Chap got a bit frustrated with Riddler, who kept knocking over his characters while he was playing Lego Dimensions or his Lego constructions. Soon though, Riddler was Cheeky Chap’s best friend!
Those two weeks were fun. Tiring but fun. But they did make me realise just how much care a dog needs, particularly one of the breed (or cross of breeds!) that Riddler is. The first few weeks after my sister returned from holiday took time for Cheeky Chap to adjust. He was really sad and desperately missed Riddler. I honestly thought at one point that he was going to cry because he missed him so much!
A few weeks ago my sister, Cheeky Chap and I took a recent day trip to Bournemouth and Riddler came along too. It was the first time that Cheeky Chap and Riddler had the chance to spend any real time together since we looked after him. There was something magical about watching the two of them playing together in the sun.
At six years old Cheeky Chap knows that Riddler isn’t his dog and understands that we simply don’t have the space for one as we live in a flat. From looking at photos of them together you wouldn’t know that until we looked after him, Cheeky Chap was really quite wary of him!