In October last year, I wrote that I had finally given up an 18 month battle between me and my beagles over the kingdom of the couch. No matter what I did, nothing could persuade them that the floor was better than a couch.
Behaviourist, Karin Landsberg suggested a truce: one couch (covered) would be allocated to them and the other couch would be mine. One year later we pretty much have reached an understanding. At least I can see that when they venture onto my couch, they look a little bit guilty about encroaching on my territory. A firm word or two (or three) usually rearranges the seating arrangement.
At the recent Beagle Ball, the problem of the colonisation of the coach by dogs came up in conversation and I was surprised to hear a number of owners admit sheepishly or quite openly that they shared couches or chairs with their dogs. Ahem! I was not the only one who had succumbed to colonisation!
However, I have not imposed this rule on visitors. Hasty arrangements are made to ensure my furniture is fur free and the dogs are unceremoniously spirited out of the living room.
But perhaps my most satisfying observation were the pictures sent to me by my beloved brother.
He is not wholly in favour of dogs living inside the house and gets particularly irritated with one of their dogs who profusely sheds white hair all over their home. He has made it very clear that human homes and kennels are two completely separate entities.
But his family has recently acquired a puppy which is a Labrador/Great Dane cross and they have all fallen in love with this pup.
Then I looked more closely at the photos. Rather suspiciously, it looked as if their new pup was sleeping on a couch or a chair of sorts.
Look closely. Is that not the seam of a soft cushion and a comfortable back rest? Is not the colour cream? I have not seen any dog basket that looks quite like this nor is cream the usual practical choice of colour.
Fellow readers, what do you think? Has my brother gone over to the other side? Has this puppy stolen his heart and as a result he has lost his head?
Study the evidence carefully. Your opinion would be most interesting!