Our pets have a weird relationship. Right now, we have a Jack Russell/Rat Terrier mix that someone abandoned in our neighborhood, a cat that someone abandoned, a Shih Tzu/Lhasa Apso mix that someone abandoned, and a Coton de Tulear that we actually purchased.

The Jack Russell/Rat Terrier mix was wandering around the neighborhood very, very pregnant, and would not allow anyone to get near her. She decided to have her puppies in our landscaping, so we raised them and found them homes. We adopted the mother, who we named (appropriately) Mama.

Here is Mama with her puppies a few days after we adopted her.

Mama was house broken, leash trained and very obedient, as well as being a good mother. At the time we adopted her, we had an elderly Havanese (who was almost 17 years old), our Coton de Tulear (Lucy), and the cat (who we called Mr. Kitty).

Mama got along great with the cat and actually played with it. They have some kind of strange body language that only the two of them know. Unfortunately, she wanted to be the alpha dog and once went after our Havanese. We grabbed her, put her on her back and had the Havanese hover over her. This was a technique we got from the “Dog Whisperer” and it worked out very well. We also had our Coton, Lucy, hover over her as well, so Mama knew her place in the hierarchy.

Unfortunately, our Havanese died shortly after Mama arrived, but, as luck would have it, someone abandoned a Shih Tzu/Lhasa Apso mix in the neighborhood. We adopted him as well and named him Boo Boo. Because he was a male, Mama immediately deferred to him on everything. Boo Boo, by the way, is the friendliest, most calm dog you could ever meet. He, too, loved the cat and actually lets the cat walk under his face and rub up against him.

So, we now have Lucy, Mama, Boo Boo and the cat.

So here is the strange relationship – we believe that Mama thinks that Lucy is a puppy. If we tell Mama to “get Lucy” she races off and, a minute or so later, returns with Lucy following her. She also stays close to Lucy at all times, even sharing a crate, bed or blanket with her.

On the other hand, when it comes to feeding time, she circles around Lucy and snips at the air. She never snips Lucy, but just at the air. Lucy tolerates it for the most part, but on occasion gets annoyed and yaps at Mama. Mama will then tuck her tail and skulk away, so no harm done. The other day, though, Boo Boo seemed to get annoyed with Mama as well. When Lucy yapped at her, Boo Boo went after Mama, growling and chasing her off. He has NEVER done that before. It was like he was protecting Lucy.

So, that is the strange relationship between our dogs and our cat.

I would love to hear comments about this, especially about Mama’s relationship with Lucy.

If you are interested in Lucy’s collar, you can get it here: