Thursday, 10 January 2013

The year of 3 dogs!

In the summer of 1999 we acquired a small, young terrier from the Dogs Trust, they had called her 'Gypsy' as she had been found wandering at a site in Manchester after some gypsies had been moved on by the police.
We called her 'Sioni' (short for Sioned, not the masculine version, for those who speak Welsh!) and she shared our lives and our travels, our tribulations and triumphs, until June 2012.

By this time she was grey haired, and getting a bit stiff, but seemed ok otherwise, until she started having 'accidents'. She had always been a fastidious kind of dog - almost like a cat, and this clearly distressed her, and we realised something serious was wrong. After consulting our vet, she was put to sleep, and a post mortem revealed it had been the right thing, at the right time. We decided to be dogless for awhile, but fate had other ideas! Our landlord's sister in law, who worked with the RSPCA, asked us to give a little rescue dog a chance. She was a Shi Tzu/Poodle cross who had been returned to them for the 2nd time as a biter, but was young and pretty - maybe we could turn her around? I'm a sucker for a sob story.
 Peta/Martha came to stay for a while, 2 months or so later, she went back. She was indeed 'a biter'! She bit me at least twice a week over that period, without warning, and several times to the bone! This one was not going to be suitable for any domestic environment. Sadly, after a long period of assessment, she was put down. In a way, I'm glad for her, because, like most creatures who are not sane, she was very unhappy, and only getting more so.  Yet again, we decided on a dog free period!

We have a habit, when we have the time and the diesel, of making occasional trips to Burnham on Sea, in Somerset, for a walk along the beach and a good, old fashioned fry up at the Beach View Cafe (recommended, proper seaside cafe!) At the end of October we took our first dogless walk - and felt bereft, surrounded by happy dogs belonging to other people.  We talked - and talked, and finally agreed that we would be open to the idea of letting the right sort of dog into our lives, a small, older dog, in need of a caring home, that wouldn't need too much exercise etc.  The very next day a Twitter friend posted a picture of an elderly Yorkshire terrier whose mistress had died, and was pining in kennels. This seemed extraordinary to me, as she rarely retweets anything that isn't about sewing!! Having looked into it, we went to pick him up from Porthcawl the next weekend.
He is called 'charlie', though he doesn't appear to recognise this! Neither has he been trained to the lead or even think he's a dog! Dog food is an alien concept to which he turns up his nose, and his legs are very weak, we had to carry him alot at first! His skin was a mess, very infected, and he had to have infected lumps and his upper incisors removed shortly after he came to us, poor chap.
He's still got a way to go, but now he scampers up the steps into the caravan, and knows we are his people and that this is home! His digestion is still pretty erratic, and he's a plodder, rather than a marcher, let alone a runner! However, he is losing weight and getting healthier, let's hope this summer sees him enjoying life as he should!
Charlie came to us from they are struggling for funds at the moment, and they are very dedicated in their care for abandoned animals, so if you feel like it, please go to their site and donate, even a little bit!