Monday, 11 July 2011

Canal Dog.

I have just had a couple of days, crewing on a wide beam which has been good fun and the weather has been very good as well which always helps. A part of the crew was Sidney a Spaniel with a very friendly disposition. Sid, had a severe case of selective deafness - you know, ask him to do something and it was 50/50 as to whether it would be done first time. Make a noise like a sweet wrapper and by some miracle he could hear again and had a flare for instant single command obedience. Yes, Sid is a character and my kind of dog.

I have had a dog as a companion just about all my life. For a long period of time I would take on the old dogs that no one would be prepared to re-home. Often they would come with an illness of one kind or another and so present a challenge. The one thing I can say about taking on an older dog is that they seem to accept the change of environment more easily than a younger dog. I have had as many as three dogs at any one moment time. Over the years some 26 dogs were taken in and given a good home for their remaining time. There were one or two memorable dogs in that time. One such dog was Tess she was re homed because she had been ill treated by her previous owners and removed by the courts. It took two years to turn her around and re-build her confidence, but she was well worth the effort.

Other ancient dogs only lasted a few weeks or months and it gave me the opportunity to spoil their last days. Now, I have one dog that I have had from a puppy. Her name is "Lola" or it was, however, since she became my dog, she has been living under the pseudonym of "Poppy" though her posh name is "Sharrowcliffe Ace of Hearts".  A feisty female dog - living up to the name The Bitch!

Poppy was born at an early age into an instant family of five plus mum. She was visited and passed over by several prospective parents. However, she then decided that it was time to play the "sticky lick" card and when the next batch of prospects arrived it was all systems go. As soon as I picked her up, she went for the fastest face lick ever! Needless to say, it was an instant success. The point being proved when, I said to Memsahib "You can choose any puppy you like as long as it's this one" we were all instant friends.

On arrival at her new lodgings she was greeted by a cat called Jasper. Well she decided to give him the standard doggies introduction, by smelling at his rear. The monster insisted on giving her a boxing lesson. Not an auspicious start, I admit. Poppy feels that cats need to know their place in the hierarchy of life! In her opinion this one seemed to have delusions of grandeur about his exact place in the hierarchy.

The rest as they say is history. Now Poppy and Jasper are bed sharing friends.

Now its three years later, we have yet another re-home in the form of Abbey a delightful 12 year old Wire Haired Fox Terrier. Abbey has been a cat hater of some renown, however she is now a cat friendly companion to Poppy. Jasper has seen them come and go in his time (29 years and still counting) and he takes it all in his stride.

Jasper and Abbey recently shared their bed together for the first time. The rest as they say is history

So if you are looking for a companion, don't forget to visit the re-homing centres. There are always a few inmates looking for a new billet in life. Some of the older dogs are less demanding of exercise and would fit into a boating environment just fine. All they need is the second chance.



  1. Hi Guys,
    This is Rusty on NB Shiralee.

    On behalf of my owners Dave, I would like to extend my apologies for calling you two Yorkies. Tsk, Tsk, what a mistake to make. If only we lived in North Yorkshire - is that right? - I would happily spend some time with you when these two wander off for a couple of days.I don't know that 3 feisty dogs on one boat would be such a good mix though.

    As for the book, he's looked at several possibilites but it all comes down to money. He says 'you don't get owt for nowt' and, until he has sold a few on eBay - if he ever finishes it that is - he'll give the alternatives a look see.

    Give us a clue - says he - how the heck does he respond directly to a comment??



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