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My New Nephew


I finally got to meet my new canine nephew last week. His name is Coby and he’s an eight month old Husky. He came home five or six months ago, but this was my first chance to meet him in person. When I entered my brother’s house, Coby and his canine sister, Lilah, a black Lab, fought for the right to hug me first. I have the black and blue marks on my arm to prove it. I pity any burglar who tries to enter their house, because he won’t know what hit him with all of those kisses.


“You let other dogs kiss you?”

We didn’t bring Cricket and Ellie with us for the visit because Cricket has had trouble with visits when there was only Lilah to contend with; two big dogs would have given her a heart attack. I think Ellie would have liked to meet Lilah and Coby, and maybe even enjoyed running through the back yard with them, but Cricket would never have forgiven me for leaving her home and taking Ellie out for the day. And, when Ellie inevitably peed on my sister-in-law’s rugs, family violence would have ensued, so we were better off leaving her at home as well. It was actually Ellie’s longest stay at home with just Cricket for company. The evidence of her anxiety was left on the living room rug, because Miss Ellie is not clear on the difference between rugs and wee wee pads, and will pee and rest on both. So now we have a new, indoor/outdoor, easy to clean, living room rug, and I’m hoping that Ellie will figure out that rugs are not for peeing on.


Ellie getting cozy on the wee wee pad.

Back at my brother’s house, we spent some time out in the Sukkah, getting to know Coby, and catching up with my other canine and human nephews and nieces. Miss Lilah, the black Lab, has that long suffering big sister look that Cricket wears constantly, but she made sure to bring me both her leash and Coby’s when she wanted to go for a walk. Cricket would never have been able to relate to such a thing.

koby sept 2018.JPG

This is Coby, in the Sukkah, sitting on his human sister’s lap.

lila sept 2018.JPG

Sweet Lilah.

My second oldest nephew is the dog whisperer of the house. He willingly wakes up in the middle of the night when Coby, still not quite potty-trained, asks to go out, and Lilah has a huge dog bed that fills most of his floor, but she still prefers to sleep in his bed, leaving my nephew two or three inches to stretch out in. He doesn’t seem to mind sharing his space with the dogs, or allowing the housekeeper to come in and clean, but he’s building a fingerprint lock to keep out the other members of the family. He hasn’t figured out how to add a paw print censor to the lock, but I’m sure that will come next, or else the dogs will just break down the door. He even has a 3D printer of his own, to build new parts for his fingerprint lock and other creations, and he made me a name plate as a gift, to show me how it works. It’s nice to have geniuses in the family, but it’s even better when they are also sweet, and kind and good people (or dogs).

When we finally got home, Cricket and Ellie were wild-eyed, as if they’d spent most of the day convincing each other that we were never going to return. They’d probably also been talking to their canine neighbor across the hall, Oliver, a black haired Shih-Tzu/Bichon mix, about the horrors of being left behind by their humans. He’s their size, and therefore manageable, even for Cricket. If only we could temporarily miniaturize Lilah and Coby, maybe they could spend a day visiting with Cricket and Ellie, just like Oliver does sometimes. I’ll have to discuss this with my second oldest nephew, he’ll be the one to know where to start.


This is Oliver, carrying one of Cricket and Ellie’s toys on his walk.

About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

55 responses »

  1. Beautiful doggies but Cricket & Ellie will always be no. 1!

  2. Beautiful canine family! Glad that all got to meet you!

  3. Instead of using a paw print to enter his room your nephew should work on using their nose prints. I believe the nose prints are as unique as finger prints.


  4. They are adorable❤️❤️❤️❤️ Rachel you are so lucky!

  5. This post left me with a smile on my face. 🙂

  6. What cute dogs! Lovely post.

  7. theseniorclaycrafter

    Very sweet! ❤

  8. They’re all so cute!

  9. Happy dogs with you around.

  10. A wise decision to keep the pairs apart, I think

  11. A canine family indeed. I hope they can all meet and get along, one day.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  12. Your nephew sounds like a very interesting boy. And so much the better that he is the dog whisperer!

  13. Great photos!! Coby and Lilah are adorable, your nephew is brilliant, and I totally get the anxiety of Ellie and Cricket…Charly has the same fear of abandonment whether we are gone for an hour or two days.
    What I don’t know about is a Sukkah – what is that?

  14. Hello Coby. What a handsome dog you are, and Lilah is such a sweetie. I know what you men about sharing the bed with the dog and only having a few inches to call your own! Maggie starts curled up at the bottom, but by morning she is diagonally across the bed at full stretch snoring her head off!

  15. I loved seeing the picture of the Sukkah! What cute dogs 🙂

  16. Oh look at Lilah. She is beautiful. I can’t help it. I

  17. Always fall in love with black labs! X

  18. Nephews – and great nephews – are pretty much the best part of life. I have a couple who are geniuses meself. 🙂 We have a mutual adoration thing going on – they think I’m amazing, and I think they’re handsome and funny and incredibly smart. Also – do you have crates for the puppies for when you’re gone or would they totally freak out? Maverick (aka Tiny Terror) would destroy the house if left uncrated for more than 10 minutes!

  19. Lovely! I wanted to read about your family, because I seriously love my nephews. But finding out that you were talking about doggos made my day!! I love people who love animals.

  20. “I pity any burglar who tries to enter their house, because he won’t know what hit him with all of those kisses.” 😁 Congratulations to you and your family on the new addition!

  21. Furry friends are just the best!

  22. Lovely to hear your furry family is extending 🙂

  23. They all are very good looking dogs Rachel, but I have to admit that Cricket and Ellie are my favorites. I like big dogs but the little toe-lickers are just too cute!! 🙂


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