Dr. Karyn Joins the Pack – Dogster

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Hi, I’m Dr. Karyn. Read my introduction to learn more about me and my five funny dogs, Poppy, Bailey, Kodah, Ned, and Fred.

Have you ever felt like the third wheel in a relationship? Surplus to requirement? An unwelcome addition? Well, that’s exactly how I felt when my (now) husband and I first got together. Poppy and Reece had been together for almost two years when I moved in on her territory, and in the early days, she made it pretty clear that she still considered herself to be the number one lady of the house. Don’t get me wrong, Poppy was always warm and friendly, and never showed any form of rudeness or anger, but there was definitely a vibe.

At this point, it’s probably important to note that Poppy is a black Labrador, not an ex-girlfriend.

Still Daddy's GirlStill Daddy's Girl
Still Daddy’s Girl

As Reece’s first dog, Poppy will always hold a very special place in his heart and home, and she has been a patient and gentle leader to an ever-changing number of dogs in our household. These days, she and I are closer than ever, but it wasn’t always the case.

Oh, You’re Still Here?

Poppy loves a cuddle. She loves to be close to you, and I think that if she could wriggle inside you, she would. When Reece and I tried to have a cuddle of our own, we would invariably end up with a black, furry body wedged in between us, tail wagging madly. Even if we were standing up having a hug, she would squeeze in between us and stand on her hind legs, making sure that every cuddle was a group event.

Tate was actually a welcome addition to Poppy.Tate was actually a welcome addition to Poppy.
Tate was actually a welcome addition to Poppy.

There were many evenings when she would saunter into the lounge, heading for her usual spot beside Reece, only to pause and give me a look that said “oh, you’re still here.”

What made it worse was that she was so loving and affectionate to everyone else, making it very clear that I was the only one she wasn’t overjoyed to see. Fortunately, it wasn’t long before this icy relationship started to thaw.

A New Friendship

As the months went by, Poppy seemed to realize that my presence in her home was becoming permanent. She also came to realize that we had quite a lot in common. We both enjoyed food, naps, exploring the woods, and sleeping in on weekends, plus we were both extremely fond of my white cat, Clutch.

Poppy loves a snuggle with Clutch.Poppy loves a snuggle with Clutch.
Poppy loves a snuggle with Clutch.

I was delighted when she started to seek out my company, sometimes choosing to sit beside me rather than her number one man.

Over the years, my work pattern allowed me to spend more time with the dogs, taking them on long walks and spending hours watching television together. While it was gratifying to have Poppy’s tick of approval, I did not anticipate the next stage in our relationship.

Is this love? I think so!Is this love? I think so!
Is this love? I think so!

It was wonderful to have been accepted into Poppy’s pack, and no longer be pushed out of the way, but I hadn’t expected her to grow to favor me over Reece. I swear it wasn’t deliberate, and I take no pleasure in seeing how she prefers to lean on me, cuddle me, and sometimes pushes Reece away if he tries to join in. But it is nice that, after 8 years, I no longer feel like ‘the other woman’.

Dr Karyn signatureDr Karyn signature

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