Tag Archives: Dog

Hagrid’s Holiday

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Hagrid, being the considerate Doggie lad that he is, has just taken us on holiday to the Isle of Arran – which has led to a disagreeable downturn in blog productivity of late.  Many apologies, but the perambulatory requirements of a splendid Saluki/Standard Poodle mix must be taken seriously, I’m sure you’ll agree.

As you can see from the image above, he was very taken with Scotland, this being his first visit since coming to live with us last Spring.   Lots of beaches, very few other dogs out for walks at the same time as him and weather which was mostly on our side – what canine could ask for more?

Hagrid and Mrs Rolling Eyeballs on Kildonan Beach, Isle of Arran, February 2013

Hagrid and Mrs Rolling Eyeballs on Kildonan Beach, Isle of Arran, February 2013

He was very taken with the scampering opportunities offered by the likes of Kildonan beach, Sannox and Blackwaterfoot Beach on Arran – as any doggie of distinction and taste would be.  If your dog likes to stretch their legs and go for a good old run, Arran is a fine place to consider for their next family break – if they are sufficiently generous, they might even allow you to tag along.

Word to the wise - if Hagrid is running like this at you, getting out of the way is a given...

Word to the wise – if Hagrid is running like this at you, getting out of the way is a given…

It was a particularly lovely holiday, especially as living in a city doesn’t allow you to let a big dog like Mr H. off his lead every day – particularly as some of his more challenging behaviour traits mean that he’s on a lead for the vast majority of his time.  It’s inspired us to be braver with him and find places local to us where he can have a run and stretch out his paws to the fullest of their capabilities, as well as investigating dog-appeasing pheramone collars to see if they can stop some of his overly reactive behaviour to every dog he sees.

Wish us luck, won’t you?

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Back to School

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“Education? Me? With my busy schedule?”

Posting has been lighter today than I would have liked and this young fellow is who you should blame/send a bouquet of flowers to.

See, Hagrid is a lovely boy but has some distinct behavioural challenges that we would like to eradicate – pulling on the lead when out walking,  barking lengthily at dogs who walk past his window and his zero tolerance policy on Spaniels are all things which we would like to make a thing of Hagrid’s past.

To this end, we’ve started to see a dog trainer one-to-one and we’ve begun to put a programme in place which should help our slightly Lairy Lurcher become the fine and well-mannered gentlemen that he clearly would like to be.

Just look at that face.  He’s a ruddy delight and no mistake, but that’s no reason to think that he can’t be ruddier and infinitely more delightful.   He’ll make friends with Spaniels yet.

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Meet Hagrid

We said goodbye to our beloved Minnie last Saturday morning and still miss her terribly – anybody who’s ever had a pet become a real part of their family in the same way can appreciate how the sense of loss carries on for weeks and months afterwards when being abruptly reminded of small things which you used to do together.

Time moves on and new dogs come along to do their best to fill the void – to that end, meet the lovely and utterly insane Hagrid, a two-year-old Saluki/Greyhound cross who is best described as a Lurcher who thinks that he’s a lap dog.  It’s not much of an exaggeration to suggest that this dog wouldn’t disgrace his J.K. Rowling created namesake’s bestiary of  unusual creatures – there’s certainly something magical about his ability to stand upright and nearly leap over the garden wall or to displace the water from his bowl everywhere but his mouth…

No, I'm not ready for my close-up - fetch some kibble, if you please...

He’s come to us on a weekend visit, but I’m probably not breaking any family confidences in telling you that he’s hopefully going to be staying put and filling the canine-shaped gap in our life from this point on.

Hagrid is an endlessly curious two-year-old who loves to say hello to any dog that he meets and can currently be seen dragging me around various woodland walks in my city – he seems to know where he’s going and it would be rude to correct him (yes, he and I will be going to training classes – but if you’re in my area for the next few weeks, I apologise in advance for the daft, white furball running amok and sniffing your pooch’s behind without so much as an introduction).

Welcome Hagrid – may your time with us be long and happy.

 

 

 

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My Dog’s Life.

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Minnie, our lovely terrier, had to be put to sleep yesterday.

She had been gamely battling multiple health conditions since the Summer of last year and had finally run up against the limits of treatments which our vet could administer – as her quality of life had deteriorated so much, we took the difficult and absolutely heart-breaking decision to end her life quickly and as peacefully as possible.

A sign of her decline was provided by her last visit to the vet – where the waiting area normally made her tense and eager to get the hell out of there as soon as possible, this time around we couldn’t help but notice that she wasn’t reacting in any way to the place.

We feel that she may have been much older than our best guesses for her age – as she was a rescue dog and previously a stray, there’s so much about her history which we were never privy to, and her previous medical history was a complete blank.

Though we knew little about her, we fell in love with her from our first meeting with her.   She came to us from Rotherham Dog Rescue, an animal charity in the town adjacent to Sheffield, and was the skinniest little thing we had ever seen – one of the first joys of our far too brief time with her was to see her gain weight and muscle tone.

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She loved to run, as all dogs do, and changed so much when out walking with us and our other dog, Golden Retriever and Occasional Diva, Ella.  Initially, Minnie was quite protective of us and herself – when another dog tried to sniff her or play with her, Minnie would give her sternest growl and warn the other pooch off in no uncertain terms.  Over time, she mellowed and allowed other dogs around her and around us.

There is no easy way to approach days like the one we had on Saturday – there’s a little comfort to be taken from knowing that your beloved pet is no longer experiencing pain and is at some kind of peace.  Being an atheist, I can’t really take succour from God or an afterlife, so I have to derive comfort from memories of Minnie at her happiest and from the absolute delight and glee that her simplest sneeze or wag could give me.

I think I will remember her best this way – waiting behind the kitchen door for me when I came home of an evening, her tail zipping rapidly and merrily from side to side, delighted (a little bit) to see me and overjoyed (a lot more) because she knew that she was about to have her tea.

We miss you little girl – but we thank you for the utter happiness that you gave us.

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