Welcome to Dr Karyn’s Jungle (with Poppy, Bailey, Kodah, Ned & Fred) – Dogster

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If you happen to follow my content on Catster, you will know that I share my home with five cats.  Each week I bring you interesting and entertaining information, stories, and videos about life with my five feline friends, and how they help me to understand feline behavior and health in a way that no textbook could ever convey.

I also talk about how they get along with my five dogs. Yep, that’s:

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  • 10 mouths to feed
  • 40 paws running around the house
  • 10 pet insurance policies
  • 10 lots of flea & worming products each month
  • 100 lbs of food each month
  • a whole lot of poop

…and a really hard-working vacuum cleaner!

As you may have guessed, we don’t have any human children (our cat was allergic to kids, so we had to rehome them)… Just kidding!

I have been having such a great time sharing the weird and wonderful aspects of my life with cats, we decided it was about time for my dogs to share the limelight. So with no further ado, I would like you all to meet:

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Poppy – The Matriarch

Poppy is the OG. My husband, Reece, adopted her as a puppy before he and I got together. In fact, the very first time we met was when he brought Poppy in for an appointment after her front paw had gone under the wheel of a car. She has seen 8 dogs come and go (although four of those are still here of course), and always maintains her position as the calm and graceful leader of the pack.

Poppy is a spayed, female, black Labrador Retriever, and she will be 11 years old in July 2024. As she was from an unplanned litter of farm dogs, she didn’t come with registration papers or ancestry documents, but her working dog lineage has provided her with extremely good health, proving that pedigree isn’t everything!

Bailey and Poppy with our dear, departed RemusBailey and Poppy with our dear, departed Remus
Bailey and Poppy with our dear, departed Remus

Bailey – The Softie

Further proof that pedigree isn’t everything, Bailey came from health-tested, hip-scored, Kennel Club registered ancestral lines. She is of the English/show dog yellow Labrador Retriever lineage, who are unfortunately renowned for hip dysplasia, which is why Bailey has two titanium hips.

We often compare Bailey to Nana, the dog from Peter Pan. Although no dog, however gentle, should ever be left unsupervised with young children, Bailey is the type of dog you would be tempted to hire as your nanny. Only 4 weeks younger than Poppy, she is starting to show her age now, but still enjoys a run on the beach and wrestling with her younger siblings.

Kodah – The Maniac

Kodah is just a big teddy bearKodah is just a big teddy bear
Kodah is just a big teddy bear

When we adopted Kodah, we were told he was a German Shepherd. However, as he grew, we began to suspect that the Malinois we saw at the property may have had a secret tryst with Kodah’s mother, resulting in a dog that looks very much like a cross of the two breeds; a German Malinois. And it’s not just Kodah’s appearance that resembles the famous military and police dogs. His high energy, hyperfixation, hypervigilance, and love of jumping are all very characteristic of the Malinois breed. Fortunately, he is also remarkably gentle when playing, particularly when playing tug-o-war with his tiny Chihuahua brothers.

Kodah is an excellent ‘alert’ dog, but I don’t think he’d make the best guard dog. He’s always the first to loudly let us know when the neighbor’s cat walks over the back fence, a car drives down the street, or a leaf blows past the window. However, when faced with any frightening sounds he tends to hide behind me, and any strangers entering our home are immediately pounced on and covered in Kodah kisses. He loves his food, but has learned not to touch the Chihuahua’s food bowl – they keep him very much in line. Turning three this year, we’re hoping he’ll finally emerge from his crazy adolescent phase!

Me receiving some Kodah KissesMe receiving some Kodah Kisses
Me receiving some Kodah Kisses

Ned & Fred – The Troublemakers

Why is it always the smallest dogs that are the biggest trouble? And the problem is that even when they’re being naughty, they’re so damned cute that you can’t stay mad, or even keep a straight face! Poor Kodah probably feels very hard done by when he’s not allowed to do half the things that Ned & Fred get away with.

Ned and Fred share a deep love of food.Ned and Fred share a deep love of food.
Ned and Fred share a deep love of food.

Neither my husband nor I had ever thought we would have tiny dogs; we previously had an Irish Wolfhound, but after we rescued an older Chihuahua called Potato a few years ago, we fell in love with these tiny dogs with giant personalities, and we were absolutely devastated when we lost Tate.

Ned, who is almost 18 months old, is actually the cousin of 15 month-old Fred, and from the moment they entered our home, they have not stopped. You might have heard the quote:

Silence is golden. Unless you have puppies…then it’s very, very suspicious.

This is absolutely the case with this pair. I always say that they have three settings: Eating, Sleeping, and Up to Something. They love to run and play and wrestle, and when they sleep, they sleep hard! Weighing around 4 lbs, Ned is proof that it’s all about the size of the attitude, not the size of the dog, which he proves by keeping Kodah in line!

Ned likes to make sure Kodah knows who's boss!Ned likes to make sure Kodah knows who's boss!
Ned likes to make sure Kodah knows who’s boss!

Until next week….

I can’t wait to share all the ups, downs, and hilarious in-betweens that come from living in our happy chaos, so stay tuned for next week’s installment: Bailey’s Bionic Hips.

Dr Karyn signatureDr Karyn signature

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