13 January 2016

Getting to know Archie!

I wrote last week about how hard it has been to leave our family pets behind in Malaysia for a few months while we get the bureaucracy sorted to bring them to our new posting.

In the interim and while we are getting visa paperwork sorted out we are visiting our families in the UK.  My sister was married between Christmas and New Year and is spending the first few weeks of 2016 on honeymoon with her lovely new husband.  This has given me an opportunity to care for my lovely canine 'nephew' Archie - we simply moved into their  house for the duration of their holiday.

Getting to know a new family member
He is a huge black lab, only 11/2 and full of beans.   Our family have always adopted a rather communal attitude to our pets - my father's pets have often stayed with us while when we both worked Bessie would spend her days with my parents and their dog. Bessie would also  happily spend time with my sister (who is allowed to have dogs in work) particularly when she had busy weeks and needed some extra company.  One of the most heartening facets of family visits to our homes abroad has been to see how the pets react.  The pets seem to get just as much pleasure from seeing family as the humans do, in fact I recall the first time my father came to Kazakhstan, Bessie had not seen him in 3 years and spent the whole visit sleeping on his bed at night. Up until now I had only ever 'met' Archie over skype so their holiday gave us a wonderful opportunity to get to know him properly.

Being a lab Archie is very different to Bessie and Perdie - he is food motivated whereas they are affection and play motivated.  This means I can't take a walk without a box full of cheese cubes to make sure that he comes back to the whistle.  He likes a few walks a day but once he has been out he just sleeps.  Don't get me wrong Bessie and Perdie can sleep for England (and Kazakhstan) but I have never yet had a dog who sleeps quite as much as Archie. He is not keen on walking on the lead but has fantastic recall (Perdie does and Bessie did but she can't hear now and relies on Perdie to tell her to go back).

He loves the children, from the moment they met him they have become thick as thieves and will spend most of his walk running and playing together.  As soon as Mini EE wakes up Archie is there looking for his cuddle - he stands taller than her and it is adorable to watch her launch her arms round his neck and he loves to help put the older two to bed.

We miss our doggie daughters and feline family member to distraction - in some ways having Archie around underscores exactly how much we miss them but it is nice to have a dog in the house and lovely to really get to know him.  I will find it a real wrench to hand him back.



  1. Hi Archie looks lovely and what is it with Labs and food, my Uncle had one that was built like a tank (overweight rather than muscular!). It's nice that your family are happy to look after each others dogs and that the dogs are happy to be with other family.

    Your sister must work somewhere special to be able to take her dog in. Having dogs around must make it more homely.

    I hope you get your fur babies back soon as I have no doubt they are missing you too.


    1. Thanks Debbie - yes looking after a lab is certainly a completely different experience. We are very lucky in our family. My father and stepmother are due to get another dog soon and I can't wait to meet him. We are counting down the days to getting our own pets back though.

  2. Archie is gorgeous and I do so miss both Poppy and Harry. Have you any idea how long it will be before you see your pets again? And when do we get to know where you are going?
    Many thanks for adding the lovely Archie to #AnimalTales :)

    1. The children and I are in the UK for a while yet - Mr EE goes to the new home shortly and we can get the moving process started. Not sure when the pets will be able to be with us.

  3. looks like a very strong dog, good job he walks so nicely off lead, i wouldn't fancy my chances with him pulling me while pushing a pushchair

    1. He is hugely powerful - the strongest dog I have ever walked. Luckily the older children are able to help me with the pushchair so I can handle him when he needs to be on the lead but I have been choosing walks that keep that requirement to a minimum!