Simply put, our friends determined we’d struck the mother lode of brain gaps, as none could fathom inviting seven dogs for a long week end! Mention of dinner parties, including additional Löwchen and their owners, left no doubt in many minds that we’d lost ours!

Yes, we were still lucid and aware that we live in the city, and no, we weren’t planning any sheepherding events, nor would prizes be awarded to the captor of the most vermin! Our securely fenced urban garden would suffice.

Now, I must confess, our guests weren’t strangers; in fact, Donalen Löwchen became extended family when a member of their lion pride commenced sharing her life with us. And yes, their breeder, Donna Cullen, had become a very close friend and was included in this visit! Aware that neighbours might be alarmed by the sudden, yet temporary, change in our household, all were forewarned. On arrival day, some gathered as the van pulled into our driveway. Who couldn’t fall in love with the seven beaming faces, each Löwchen in its travel crate, as they quietly greeted my neighbours? You could sense relief that these dogs all just looked like our Nala, the lovely Löwchen next door.

“Happy, exuberant, outgoing, curious and stubborn,” are used to describe typical Löwchen. All traits were instantly displayed the minute their paws entered our garden! With gay abandon, the lions raced about, sometimes stopping to do a little playful “boxing” with their front paws, all the while smiling from ear to ear. Quickly, one noticed the pool and jumped in. Of course, the swimmer sported a full show coat! Yes, this Löwchen came complete with that expected curiosity and stubborn streak; the grinning little devil remained determined to give that pool another try. Next, the pride discovered tender and tasty ornamental grasses; what a feast! While a stern reproach usually brought the offender dancing over to find out the nature of “our problem,” these temptations were irresistible! A hastily erected barricade was required to outsmart the rascals.

With the arrival of Nala’s mother and her chosen family, we now had nine Löwchen, all in party mode, dancing, giggling and flirting with our guests. While Nala and her mother initially played happily with their kin, these two eventually insisted upon sitting beside their owners, only to be joined by more Löwchen than a lap can possibly support. Contentedly, all snuggled in for as long as the humans could bear. Yes, Löwchen are definitely “sociable, affectionate and abhor an empty lap!” Too soon our full house emptied, as our guests headed back to Windsor. Seldom is one blessed with visitors who come so well prepared for a good time and maintain that equilibrium throughout their stay. Of course, they’re all invited back. In fact, we can’t wait to scream, upon the return of these wee lions: “Here Comes the Pride!”