Saturday, October 31, 2009

A fairytale friendship in the 'hood

Lily dressed up for Halloween as Little Red Riding Hood, with Mungo as her sidekicka dog in wolf's clothing.

One of the best parts about having a sibling when you’re a kid is that a brother or sister provides a convenient scapegoat, someone to finger-point and blame bad deeds on. An only child doesn’t have such luxuries.

Unless you have a Mungo.

Lily and her Sheltie Mungo get up to all the usual sibling hijinks—sharing food, laying claim to each other’s belongings. And then there’s the mischief-making.

“Lily likes to ensure that the dog is nearby whenever she is up to no good in the hopes that Mum and Dad will fall for the-dog-did-it defense,” said Lily’s mum Nancy MacKinnon, whom I attended Carleton University School of Journalism with back in the late 1980s.

“They’re a really funny pair, as sometimes it seems they merely tolerate each other, yet they are acutely aware of the other and how he/she is doing.”

Particularly in the last little while, when three-year-old Lily came down with a bad bout of the flu.

“Mungo has been her shadow, keeping an eye on her, and if she fusses, coughs or cries, he comes over and pokes me on the leg with his muzzle, then walks back to her and waits for me to see to her.”

Mungo’s playing nurse now, but in the past, that’s been Lily’s role.

“She will use him as her patient when playing with her doctor’s kit. He lets her, but gives me a look that I interpret as “why, why???”

Mungo has been intrigued by baby Lily since her first day home from hospital, showing acceptance into his pack by bringing his toys to her.


Tamara Vukusic said...

I love this story! It is always a pleasure to see a couple awestruck with their new baby go the extra mile to include their pet in the wonder (and mayhem) of the new addition right from the get-go. This child will develop a lifelong appreciation and respect for animals.

Carreen Maloney said...

Tamara, you are so right. A little effort spent will pay dividends over a lifetime. Animals teach children compassion and humanity in the liveliest format.