Monday, 9 February 2009

Nice Things and Small Packages

My Mum always said that if you have nothing nice to say, then don't say anything at all. So I am not going to tell you about the new temp who started today, who is probably very nice but very physical manly men with a dark and slightly predatory cast don't make me feel comfortable, even if I am not anywhere near their sights. I think it is more about me than about him. I also shan't tell you about the dream I had where I had a beautiful horse all my own and saw a weasel while out riding or about the rat I saw filching food dcraps from under cars at the supermarket.

So I am going to tell you about my favourite little package, and that's one of the nice things I call her...

Once upon a time, F had a job that required him to visit people at their homes. One day he went to a house and met a little dog and fell in love with it. It just so happened that this little dog was about to become homeless as the lady owner was going to have trouble looking after her shortly.

Now F had fallen very heavily for this little lady and knew he would have to plot mightily in order to bring his new love home. He started by making sure I knew how lovely she was and how fantastic a second dog would be for big dog as company.

Then he dropped the first bombshell: She was a collie greyhound cross. Now he knew there was no problem with the greyhound bit but he knew how I would feel about the Collie bit... I love Collies but they are such clever active dogs. I have come across collie greyhound crosses before and this particular mix can be troublesome depending on how exactly they mix... Greyhound speed and reflexes with collie brains and stamina? That's one hell of a combination...

Every so often F decides he wants something and he gets this glint in his eye. I know that no matter my opinions on the matter, it is best to grit my teeth and hold on tight... So I said yes. By this time Little Dog had been sent to a home and we had to have a homecheck. This was arranged for the Saturday morning while F was working and then when he finished at lunch we would go pick her up.

So the lady comes and does the homecheck and providing Big Dog likes her, Little Dog will be coming to live with us. At this point the lady drops in that little dog is seven months old. I contain my horror and mounting fear and bite back my screams. F can't have just forgotten to mention this...

Big Dog liked Little Dog immediately. This is unusual for Big Dog who seems to have a slightly pathological hatred towards most dogs. So Little Dog came home with us. And was very, very quiet, at least for the first day...

It later emerged from F that Little Dog had had five homes in her short seven months, including the breeder and the rescue home. It became obvious to me that the lady who owned her when F met her might have been using her life alterations as a polite fiction... Little Dog was a very different rescue dog from the terrified Big Dog. I knew how to build up such dogs. What I had no experience of, was how to take overbearing, excitable, dominant dogs like Little Dog down a peg or two.

There were many times when Little Dog found herself nearly moving to her seventh home. These were times when I would be in tears and at my wits end. Little Dog remains a very physical dog, what would be pain to most dogs is an invitation for a play fight to her. no polite tap on the nose or raised voice was ever going to convince her that she wasn't the leader of the pack.

We sought advice from anyone we spoke to. We read books on dog psychology. Eventually someone put us in touch with someone who sorts out troubled dogs for the RSPCA. His advice was to exclude her whenever she was behaving in ways unacceptable to our pack. Simple, clear and easy to follow advice. And do you know what? It worked. Although our doors didn't like the way they were treated much.

To cut a long story short, she is much older now. She is still horrid in many ways. She harasses anyone she doesn't like the look of or who has a dog that walks past our house. She regularly sends our cactuses tumbling to the floor. She is so enthusiastic in her greetings that she comes close to doing people a mischief. If you can catch her at these times, excluding works, but believe me she can move fast!

She has more good points than I can list here. She is an adorable companion. I love playing games with her and she knows exactly how rough she can be before she causes me pain and I get cross and stop playing. As soon as dark comes she transforms into super sleeping hound (which she is much of the day to but always with an ear cocked for an invader). She crawls onto my lap and transforms herself into a fluffy blanket. If I wish to move some part of her for a more comfortable fit, I simply lift that part and no other part moves, they just stay comfortably drapped where they are. Sometimes I let her sneak up on the bed and she can curl up in a small enough ball that, unlike Big Dog, she can get away with it.

She is in short a wonderfuly sweet and caring dog. Did I mention her good looks? Collie coat on smaller, slightly stockier hound frame with a strange corkscrew tail, oversized ears and a fluffy beard... Did I mention her incredible intelligence? Once a ball rolled under the Tv rack and everytime she went to touch the wires to get it, we said no. She stood and thought for a moment before pulling out the newspaper the ball was on, so that it came out inbetween the wires.

This will be her last home (unless we move house). Did I ever mention our two hounds are unique dogs no one else would have had the patience to cope with, who bring us endless rewards, while also being a little embarassing?


  1. Oh but that just made me laugh!! She sounds like a lovely little terror....

    It made me think of our Tyler in his younger days..his breed has been renamed -Jerk Russell Terrier, or sometimes Jack Ass Terrier....come to think of it, he's still a little sod a lot of the time...:)

  2. I am glad others are subjected to the horrors of owning such unique dogs! *laugh* I do adore her though. Next time I am going to choose something calm and elderly that likes other dogs and can go out for responsible adult walks *sigh*