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Cheryl's Pets

Mini picture of Brandy

Brandy - 1983-2001

In some ways, Brandy was a mistake - or maybe it was fate that brought us together. I had had such good luck with Taco (except for his nipping at people), that I thought about getting another "almost purebreed" dog. I contacted the Humane Society. After a few months - waiting - I decided to contact a breeder. About eight months later, the Humane Society called. They had a baby chihuahua. The problem was that by then I had Thumper and the baby chihuahua was bigger than adult Thumper!

While at the Humane Society, I noticed a gorgeous Pomeranian. He was vicious though and impossible to handle. Still, something drew me to him. I was told that he was 5 years old and had just been brought in and to come back a couple days later; he probably would have calmed down. I did, but he hadn't. You couldn't even touch him!

Small picture of Brandy from the Humane Society

By then, I had fallen in love with Brandy. The Humane Society told me that Brandy had been given up because he demanded a lot of attention, didn't like children, and didn't like other dogs. Of course, I had over 30 piano students at the time, and another dog, so I must have been crazy, but I wanted to give it a try.

On the way home, I kept telling Brandy that "Thumper is number 1; Thumper is number 1". I don't know whether it made any difference, but the two never fought. Of course, Brandy didn't have to. At 10 pounds, all he had to do was lean against poor Thumper and down Thumper would go!

The two dogs got along great. Brandy was a natural born leader and would usually take the initiative in any activity. Thumper was a lot quieter. Sometimes he would get involved (they ate a pound of chocolates they had stolen with no side effects whatsoever!); sometimes he would simply watch Brandy carry on. I think Brandy kept Thumper entertained with his shenanigans.

Small picture of Brandy with Thumper looking on

Brandy was a fiercely independent dog who had a lot of love to share. He was obviously well cared for by his previous owners - he certainly knew all about people food and chocolate! But he must have had some poor treatment somewhere along the line. Lock him in a cage at home - no problem. Lock him in a cage anywhere else and he would turn on you.

I read something about Pomeranians that sums up Brandy very well. A century ago, Pomeranians were large dogs used for carrying things. They've been bred smaller and smaller. Problem is that no one has told them they're small dogs now! Brandy still thought (knew?) he was "King of the Hill"!

Small picture of Brandy, King of the Hill

Small picture of Brandy sleeping

Thumper would follow me around wherever I went. Brandy didn't. Like Thumper, he might sleep in the piano room as long as students were playing well (and leave if they made too many mistakes). Usually, he would do his own thing, but stop by every so often to see what I was doing.

If I was busy on the computer at home, he would be so determined to get me off it that he kept interrupting me. If I ignored him, he would do something destructive to get my attention - like stealing somthing, then deliberately walk past me, making sure I can see what he's taken. It didn't matter if I punish him as long as I got the message.

I think what Brandy really loved was having people wait for him to make up his mind!

Small picture of Brandy thinking

Small picture of an embarassed Brandy

Once, I actually had Brandy shaved. He looked so different that all my students thought I had got a new dog! Brandy was so embarassed that he hid for a while, and wouldn't go out until after dark. After I promised never to do that to him again, he seemed to relax. But he didn't get quite back to normal until his hair had grown in.

Small picture of Brandy in the yard

Small picture of Brandy today

Brandy lived until he was quite old. Towards the end, he was fairly blind and bumped into walls a lot. He also missed the odd step. He would jump to try to come inside, but land in the flower pots by the steps. Other times, he would think he was at the bottom of the staircase when he wasn't then slip down the rest of the steps. He was really getting fed up with steps. Even Picasso could sneak past Brandy without his getting upset or becoming aware that the cat had entered the house.

Brandy also developed a hearing problem. He could hear, but had no idea where the sound comes from. He woouldn't go out for walks any longer. Everytime he heard a plane, he thought it was coming right at him! But he would still run around in the back yard and was still very much aware of who was at the door and what was going on in general.


Gradually, Brandy started to sleep more and more. He became almost completely blind and had trouble hearing. He used to walk along walls just to be sure of where he was and where he was going. Sometimes he fell down the steps. He started to sleep more and more. A little over 18 years old, he began to have some seizures, but afterwards he would be fine. When they started to come more frequently and it was obvious he wasn't enjoy life any more, I had him put down. Brandy was 18 and a few months. I don't think that any dog could ever compare with him.