Mike Flanagan’s choice to bring home a Rottweiler puppy was not well received by one crucial person in his life: his mother-in-law, Peggy Allen.
“She adores all dogs,” Flanagan told The Dodo, “but at 80 years old and being fairly petite herself, huge dogs are a knockout danger.”
And when Grammy learned about Gus, the family’s newest member, she expressed her displeasure: “A Rottweiler?” “To be honest, I’ve always favored lapdogs,” she said.
Flanagan, on the other hand, was cautiously optimistic that the two would get along. And, based on Grammy’s initial visit, it appears that his intuition was true.
“Grammy appreciates her peace and quiet, as well as her personal space,” Flanagan explained. “They didn’t appear to be the best match, but we were all shocked at how soon they warmed up to one other.” Gus quickly learned that he could only come up if Grammy asked him.”
After a few months, Grammy returned, and everything had changed. The once-tiny puppy has grown into a robust 9-month-old canine weighing in at around 100 pounds.
Grammy’s life had also been changed by her husband’s death.
Gus had no idea Grammy was coming to see him for a memorial ceremony, but he sensed she needed something. And whatever that something was, the enormous dog appeared adamant on becoming it.
“Gus never left her side during the whole stay,” Flanagan claimed. “He snoozed next to her bed. He stood outside the restroom door, waiting. When she went and returned, he let out a ‘AROOOOOOOO’ of joy because Grammy had returned.”
Grammy appeared unmoved by the attention, which some may describe as clinging.
“When my wife whispered to me, ‘Mom, Gus loves you.’ “We have a thing,” Grammy said nonchalantly, according to Flanagan.
While Gus and Grammy share a particular relationship, Gus’ devotion is universal. He’s even been dubbed “Certified Loverbutt” for his propensity to cuddle.
“Gus is a fantastic match,” Flanagan added. “We are a fairly outdoorsy family, going on hikes in the Catskills or sticking close to home for picnics and excursions to the pond.” Gus is always up for a good adventure.”
Gus has a different, particular bond with each family member, just as he could tune into what Grammy needed.
“He’s one of my sons’ playmates. With my daughter, a cuddler. His vigilance has proven to be the most effective way of relieving my wife’s worry. “She just feels safer in the house with Gus around,” Flanagan explained. “He is always there, always ready for love,” she says.
It’s safe to say that the enormous dog has won the family’s favor, particularly Grammy’s.
Grammy now expresses her sentiments to Gus everytime she sees him.
“They’re connected,” Flanagan explained. “Grammy talks to Gus all the time and tells him what a nice boy he is.”