Wednesday, 13 February 2008

A new dog

We always like to have 2 dogs, 4 or 5 years apart in age, mainly for company for each other, but also so that, when one dies, it is easier emotionally getting another. With only one dog, it would feel like replacing him or her, which cannot be done.

This would have been particularly the case with Meg, who died last week after 12 years as a member of the family. We knew she was fading, and had already been around the local rescue centres. The difficulty was that we have a cat, and the Rescue centres will not rehome stray dogs, for whom they have no history, into households with cats, in case there a conflict such that the dog has to go through the trauma of being taken back to the centre.

However, one of the centres, Gables Farm Dogs' & Cats' Home also keep a list of owners who need to rehome their dog for various reasons, and they gave us details of Becky, a 4 year old Standard Poodle. Her owner was no longer young, and had recently moved into a mobile home park, and was no longer able to give Becky the exercise she required.

We were originally looking for a German Shepherd, having lost a wonderful old Shepherd
called Jason a few months before moving to Prawle. But the idea of a Standard Poodle appealed instantly. Not everyone appreciates that poodles were originally bred as retrievers, or that their coats were originally cut to make water work easier. They are a very intelligent dog, and can be long lived - 15 years or more which is a very good age for a large dog.

After Meg left us, we phoned Becky's owner, and arranged to go and see her, with our Labrador Sacha (Satch). The 2 dogs were instant friends, and after a cup of tea Becky came home to Prawle with us.

There are a number of girls in the village called Becky, and to avoid any offence, we have started calling her Bessy. On the first night home, we took Bessy and Satch to The Providence Inn, where they were both as good as gold.

The following day, we introduced her to the sea side. Mill Bay at East Portlemouth to be precise. Bessy was in heaven! (Although the water was a little cold in early February for her to be particularly keen on swimming). The tide was out, and it was a fabulous day. We walked up the estuary as far as we could, and then back again. In the course of that wonderful afternoon, Bessy realised that we were her new pack, and that she liked it.

She has attached herself to Mo, which is lovely, because Meg was pretty much my dog. She sleeps in the same bed as Satch, and play fights with him every morning.

She has abit to learn - to come when I call in particular! She's also due a hair cut. Fancy show cuts don't quite look the part in Prawle.

But she'll do. She will definitely do!