Once you’ve had a dog, life is very empty without one. So let me introduce you to Charlie.
After Brinny had gone (see my previous post), I searched local dog rescue websites, and a few days later Charlie almost jumped out of the screen! I emailed expressing my interest; had a home check, and then went to see what he was like in real life. Charlie is a small, three-year old black and white terrier cross, with a bit of spaniel. He is very energetic, with an intelligent harlequin face, and a constantly wagging flag of a tail. I was hooked! Charlie sat quite happily with my friend Maureen on the back seat going home, with thankfully no sign of the travel sickness Brinny had had. After showing Charlie around and settling him down, I took a look at the notebook I had been given, with notes and tips from his previous owner. It told how Charlie had been rescued from the streets of Galway, Western Ireland, where he had been found on a busy roundabout; before being re-homed with an Irish family. However, I then discovered that he kept escaping their garden, over five foot walls – surely I should have been told that vital piece of information! My fences were all about five feet high! I couldn’t risk Charlie escaping, so until a good friend had added some trellis to the top of my existing fences, Charlie had to go out in the garden on a lead. (Thank you so much David for all your hard work before Christmas – and what a fantastic job you’ve done!) Now it’s safe to let Charlie run around in the garden, and he can bark madly at squirrels and pigeons, with no risk of him following them over the fence!
Charlie is still frightened of other dogs and barks uncontrollably at any we meet on our daily walks. And he still strains to look round every driveway and gate post, and under every parked car, anticipating the dangers he probably came across while he was on the streets. Indoors during the day, he sits on ‘squirrel patrol’, looking out, and barking at any squirrel who dares to climb through the trees at the end of the garden. He barks when pigeons sit in the trees taunting him, and even barks at trespassing blackbirds and blue tits! He loves playing with his ball, rolling it round with his mouth and cheek; poking it up the wall and catching it; losing it under a low shelf and laying on his side to reach for it with his paws. In the evenings he is just happy lying on my lap while I watch TV. Charlie is a very different dog to Brinny, and he does have some problems, due I’m sure to his time on the streets, but he is already improving; and with time, patience and love, I hope and pray that he will continue to do so. I’ll let you know how he goes!