It’s A Dog’s Life – And It’s Not Always Good
It is oftensaid that cats choose their owners, which if true, would render most of my dogsspecies-confused because at least three of my pack very definitely chose me.
WhileBlister and Alfie both came from shelters and Disco came via a woman I onceknew, the rest made their way into my life of their own accord.
Bonniejoined my pack four years ago after she was dumped in the hills where I walkmost mornings, along with her brother. The puppies were barely three months oldat the time. (Bonnie’s brother now has a loving home in the UK).
My formerstreet dog, Target, actually jumped into the front seat of my car after anotherdog savaged his ear and he decided enough was enough.
But Pickle– my little Walter Pickle – he didn’t just choose me; he saved his life byfinding me.
It was fiveyears ago this month that this tiny, half-starved little dog stepped into theroad in front of me and collapsed.
I rememberthe weather had been pretty bad for Cyprus, cold and wet, and it was clear thisdog was on his last legs. So, I grabbed the towel from the back of the car –because in those days I didn’t have an Aqueos drying shammy to wipe down thepack – and I took him straight to the vet.
Underneaththe mud and the grime, they found a little pocket beagle. He was barely 9kg andyou could count his ribs. His front legs were wonky, he was missing a toe nailand he was partially sighted in his right eye. There was evidence of an old headwound above the eye socket, but the X-rays gave no further clue as to what thispoor dog had been through. Walter also had Ehrlichia, a tick-borne disease thatcan cause a host of problems, but one which is easily treatable withantibiotics.
Anyway,once he’d been washed and de-ticked, I took him home.
At thatpoint, I only had three dogs and, to be honest, I wasn’t in the market for more,so I put the feelers out to find Walter a place to go to. In turn, Walterpretty much slept and slept and slept that first day at mine. He was tooexhausted to even be frightened anymore.
That night,I took his box up to my bedroom, to better keep an eye on him.
In thedistance I could hear another storm rolling in over the sea. An hour later, theheavens opened, the thunder cracked and the rain hammered down. There was noway, Walter would have survived another night in the open, not in that kind ofweather, and I think he knew it too. In the middle of the night, I felt the bottomof the bed move slightly, and this skin-and-bone dog quietly inched his way upto lie by my side. That’s when I knew he wasn’t going anywhere else.