I’ve just spent my birthday weekend enjoying the company of no less than nine dogs…not all at the same time I hasten to add!
On Saturday I visited my friend who has three Shetland Sheepdogs. I saw them all on their first day home, all gorgeous pups who are now handsome, majestic dogs. Benji, the older and most sedate of the three shattered his femur two years ago. He endured many months of treatment, there were times when we thought he might lose the leg, but amazingly he doesn’t even have a limp now.
My daughter’s dogs Rosie and Luca came to see me yesterday, which was my actual birthday. They came bounding in, straight past me and out to the garden, to see if everything is just as they left it. After a good few minutes sniffing around and saying hi to their furry relations they remembered me an came for a fuss!
My sister’s dogs Charlie and Joe always give me a warm welcome when I visit. Joe is always happy to see me and gives wonderful bear hugs. Charlie tries to act cool but he is a softy who loves nothing more than a good old tummy rub.
Then there are my two dogs who are my constant companions. Holly has been by my side for over fifteen years now, I can honestly say that I appreciate every single day with her. She inspires me with her happy attitude and love for life.
I am trying to prepare myself for losing her. I feel guilty for this, but I do it anyway. There is no way you can prepare yourself for losing a dog, it will come one day, raw pain and devastation, just like before. Imagining life without her is so painful. Then I see her bouncing off the sofa, and first in line for a treat and it’s as if she is saying to me “I ain’t goin anywhere yet mum!”
Then there is Darcy…
How is it possible to love a dog so much it hurts, and yet…
Every single day is a trial with Darcy.
If he is not outside terrorising the birds he is inside cocking his leg up my clean bed linen. I can’t take him for a walk alone because he refuses to leave without my husband and Holly. Some days if I ask for a kiss on the cheek, he looks away in disgust, other days he smothers me in affection. I can’t give him a toy, he has no idea how to play with it, but he will guard that toy with his life! He is the snuggliest dog on this planet, insisting on sleeping inside my jumpers whilst I am wearing them. Over and over I have to remove him from my clothing so that I can just get on with my day. And yet, there is no sound nicer than his contented sigh, when he finally gets himself in just the right spot,
These are the quirks of living with a rescue dog. Every single bizarre behaviour he demonstrates daily comes from deep-rooted insecurity, fear, self-preservation, anxiety, and lack of trust. Although this dog has lived a life of luxury and has been adored daily, he would bite in a heartbeat, even after four years!
Whoever did this to this wonderful, amazing dog….shame on you!