Not a Good Groundhog Day


We have five pets. One dog (a sweet female labradoodle named Koda), two cats (striped female Sassy and black male Freddy) and two leopard geckos. But the geckos are irrelevant for this story. And most stories, for that matter. I’m not a fan of reptile pets.

Sassy was a kitten and Koda a puppy when they met six years ago. They’re like so many siblings: they tolerate each other but don’t hang out together.

We adopted Freddy as a kitten over a year ago. Freddy and Koda love each other and can play all day long. They play catch, with Koda always being “it” and Freddy flying from couch to couch to chair to couch again, never getting caught. When he needs a break from tearing around the house, he lies on his back on the couch and lets Koda mouth his paws and tickle his tummy while he meows loudly in mock protest.

We have Koda trimmed at Petsmart about twice a year. We should do it more often, but we usually don’t get round to it. When Freddy first met Koda, Koda was in need of a trim. She was a big, wild and woolly, apricot-colored teddy bear of a dog.

When Freddy first saw Koda after a shave, he was scared out of his mind. He hissed at her for days before things got back to normal. We assumed that he had figured out that it was Koda after all, and not some strange new dog.

Two weekends ago Freddy experienced for the third time Koda’s transformation into a dog a third of her previous size, smooth and silky, with eyes, teeth and poodle-pointy noggin all quite visible. And he still hisses. It’s been ten days now and they still haven’t played. Freddy comes up to us, meowing loudly as if something’s missing, but he totally ignores his best friend.

We are beginning to think that Freddy never does figure it out. That maybe he believes that the first Koda left, and he gradually became friends with the new dog who just happened to have the same name, and then that one left, and he had to make friends with a third dog, and now it’s happened again. Maybe he thinks he’s lost his best friend every time Koda goes for a trim, and he’s had enough.

It’s heartbreaking to think of, but quite possible.

10 responses to “Not a Good Groundhog Day

  1. Oh dear, I hope he figures it out soon!

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  2. OMG that’s really sad! We come from a household of pet/animal lovers, and how sad to think that Freddy thinks he’s lost his friend. But even more so for Koda – is he affected by this “rejection”?

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  3. I think you should keep some of Koda’s fur in future and rub him with that before he gets home, the shaving and perhaps washing gives Koda not just a different look, but also a different smell!

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  4. The same thing happened when one of our cats went in for surgery. Jazz came home looking the same . . . but he smelled different. Cayenne hissed for a day or two until the normal smells returned.

    Hope Freddy and Koda are playing together again soon.

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  5. I love pet stories! 😀

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  6. Awww – I can’t help but giggle, though, because (as you know) we have a labradoodle, too, and when he gets a haircut it’s almost that shocking to US! Honestly, the first time I picked him up from the groomer, I said, out loud, “That’s not my dog.”

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    • The first time we got her back from the groomer’s, I just laughed and laughed. But now I’m used to it. I actually like how soft and silky she feels when she’s shorn. It took Freddie about six weeks to get back to playing this time, though, so we have to take her a bit more often. If only so Freddie doesn’t gain too much weight!

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