Ever since Katie and I bonded deeply while she was still a little puppy I have considered her to be one of my very best and most faithful friends. For the first five years of her life we were inseparable almost every moment that I wasn't at work. Katie gave me so much comfort during the long wait for Natalie. I think I would have lost a bit of my sanity back then if it wasn't for her.
Katie, like the rest of our family, has had quite a life changing year. Since Natalie joined our family she has required most of my time and energy during my hours at home (many of those hours being in the middle of the night, leaving me exhausted the next day). Gary, Katie and Louie have unfortunately been stuck with the remnants of me. I have managed to keep everyone well fed, dogs groomed, and I do walk Katie and Louie every day at 5:30 while Natalie is still sleeping, but there just hasn't been much time for long bouts of Newf petting and loving.
I have been as protective as a mother bear over Natalie and honestly have not trusted Katie completely with her. Since the beginning I have trusted our giant teddy bear Louie with our daughter. His laid back and sweet tempered personality makes him the perfect dog for a child (as you may have noticed in the many photos of Natalie and Louie together). Katie is a bit more sensitive and nervous. She was frightened in the beginning by Natalie's lurching, clumsy walk and shrill voice. I know enough about dogs to know that fear equates to danger. Because of this we have kept the girls separated unless we were right beside them supervising their interaction. This has meant that Katie and I have often been in different rooms of the house - something that rarely occurred prior to Natalie's arrival.
The good news is that Natalie's gross motor coordination is much improved so she isn't stumbling around like she used to. She also has better doggie manners than she did a year ago. For her part, Katie has become much more comfortable around her little sister and seems to accept her fully as part of the pack. Natalie is also becoming more independent and is sleeping better, so she doesn't need quite as much of my attention. I am feeling like I can breathe a little easier and relax a bit now and then. I've noticed just in the past month that Katie and I are starting to regain our close relationship. It feels so good to have my best Newf girl by my side again.
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"Welcome home to the Happy Haus" is the greeting I used to receive from Gary when we arrived home from work each day. Gary and I brought our daughter Natalie home from China in November 2011 to live with us in our cozy cottage. In October of 2013, we unexpectedly lost Gary, our dear husband, father and friend.
Our family includes our two sweet Newfoundland dogs, Katie and Louie. Newfoundlands are working dogs, so we make sure our two always have a job to do. Katie and Louie are both certified therapy dogs and bring lots of joy to people who are in need of some Newfie love. They have also competed in Rally Obedience. Katie has earned a Rally Advanced title and Louie has earned a Rally Excellent title. In keeping with Newf tradition, Katie has become a proficient draft dog while Louie prefers practicing water rescue whenever he gets an opportunity. They are also both protectors of their little sister, Natalie.