What I See with Peter Fiorenza: Puppy love’s a tail of devotion and patience

Peter FiorenzaGeraldton Guardian
Billie and Joel, Peter Fiorenza's dogs.
Camera IconBillie and Joel, Peter Fiorenza's dogs. Credit: Peter Fiorenza

My dogs are more than six months old now.

Time has flown, but the past six months have been an interesting period, to say the least.

For those who don’t know, I adopted a couple of border collie pups, Billie and Joel, at the beginning of the year.

To say it has changed my life is an understatement.

Early on, I certainly had a baptism of fire. I suppose taking on two pups at once was a big ask, and those first couple of weeks had me questioning the whole venture.

Have I fed them enough? Gee, they cry a lot. Should I leave them in the crate? Will they ever learn to go to the toilet outside?

And three months of Parvo quarantine without my fences up yet did make it a bit hard to handle.


As the pups continued to grow rapidly, amid hugs and kisses from me and every human who came into contact with them, they started to develop their own personalities.

According to the internet, having a brother and sister does sometimes lead to some social problems and the dominance factor.

Despite being paranoid about canine sibling rivalry, things seemed to have turned out OK. The boy is a bit bossy, especially around food, but when I secretly watch them play, I think the girl might have a few good cards in her deck.

Like people, dogs don’t always get along.

Next was sterilisation. After some veterinary advice, I decided to get the boy sorted out as soon as possible. A couple of tricky weeks there, but right now I believe things have plateaued.

Billie and Joel have daily walks with their dad, and infinity car driving adventures. Billie likes to sit closely with the driver, while Joel stays transfixed, looking out the back window, taking everything in.

The other day, while on a trip with them both, I decided to go through the car wash.

A little apprehensive, we waited patiently in line before taking the plunge into the big shower.

Things started off relatively well with both darting their heads around in response to the action outside the vehicle.

But when the motor started up and the washers went into overdrive, there was a stark change in behaviour. Billie dived straight onto the floor and curled up, looking back at me in a concerned manner, while Joel leapt straight onto my lap and put his legs and paws tightly around my neck.

“What the hell was going on?”

Eventually things settled down as we emerged from the wash and Billie and Joel resumed their regular positions in the car.

Doggy bliss ….

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