Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .

Friday, September 27, 2013

Muffy, Too

Muffy the First. With our eldest son, Mark
For over thirty years, our family raised Old English Sheepdogs.
We love them.
They come as little, furry puppies.
And turn into big, furry dogs.
Gentle. Affectionate. Protective.
Have I mentioned that we love them?
Several of our dogs stand out in my memory.
One is Muffy the Second.
Not to be confused with Muffy the First.
Okay, so imaginative, we weren't.
Muffy lived to eat.
And receive affection.
But mostly to eat.
Our youngest son, Tristan had an ice cream cone.
And an audience.
Muffy was sitting nearby, keeping what she hoped was anunobtrusive eye on his actions.
I should point out that in our house, the dogs weren't allowed anywhere near the dining room.
Tristan was in the living room.
The rules were a bit more blurry there . . .
He had taken a couple of licks.
With the third lick, his little scoop of ice cream vacated the cone and headed for the floor.
It never landed.
In a blur of motion, Muffy was across the room. She had that ice cream downed before Tristan had even realized he had lost it.
Tears ensued.
Tristan, not Muffy.
Another scoop, and all was well.
After Muffy had also been banned from the living room.
Sigh. People, make up your minds . . .
Another time, rawhide bones had been issued to all three dogs currently residing in the house.
They retreated to favourite corners to chew.
Or so it seemed.
Muffy was again keeping an unobtrusive (she was getting good at it) eye on the other two.
Biding her time.
When one of them got distracted, she would sneak in and snatch their bone.
Whereupon (good word) the offended party would look around in confusion, sigh and close their eyes for a nap.
Have I mentioned that they weren't always the brightest bulb in the chandelier?
Finally, Muffy had cornered all of the bones. Happily, she cradled them between her front legs and proceeded to chew, first one, then another.
But that is where her bliss ended.
Oh, not because the other two figured it out.
That would be stretching things.
No. Because the kids came home from school.
Now it was the usual scenario in the Tolley household, that the kids be met at the door by All. Three. Dogs.
They would jump around and make general nuisances of themselves in their excitement and enthusiasm.
The dogs, that is.
Ahem . . .
We heard the bus.
Panda and Chief headed for the door, wiggling happily.
I should also mention that an Old English Sheepdog has no tail. Thus, when excited, they wag their entire rear end.
Just FYI . . .
There was much wiggling and snuffling and vying for attention as eight kids came through the door.
And Muffy was missing it.
She whined and cried and fidgeted as she stood over her ill gotten gains, not wanting to leave them for fear of losing them, but sad to be missing all of the excitement.
Finally, it was too much for her.
In a flurry of movement, she joined the others.
Whereupon (that word again) the other two left the melee and dashed over to the bones, each snatching one and heading to their respective corners to resume their interrupted afternoon chew.
Maybe that was their plot all along.
Muffy finished greeting the kids and ran back to her spot.
To find just one bone.
She sighed and laid down.
But kept one eye on the other two.
And their bones.
Down, but definitely not defeated.


  1. At least the other two were nice about it and left Muffy one bone!!

    It's terrible to live for food alone. Don't ask me how I (and my 20 pound cat) know. Sigh.

    1. Yep. Fortunately, Muffy was the only greedy one . . .
      My sister had a 20 pound cat! She called it Speedbump.

  2. Oh that Muffy was a sneaky one!
    We weren't imaginative with naming our dogs either. We had Mad Max 1st, Mad Max 2nd, Mad Max 3rd. Then we moved to a rental where pets were not allowed.

  3. I am so smiling on this one. I think dogs are very smart. I loved this fun story.


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