I can’t imagine my home without a pet.
Most of my childhood memories involve one or other of the dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs or budgies we owned. We even had a goat and some chickens at one point! But the dogs were always my favourites.
When I grew up and left home, I longed for a dog of my own. My chance came just about the time I got married, when I took in a dog who’s owner couldn’t keep him anymore. He was a Blue Merle Collie, a beautiful dog who needed a lot of exercise, and kept me fit! He was a real character! He lived with us for 15 years, my children grew up with him and loved him. He was very patient with them when they were little, and protective of them as they grew older. He was a real family dog,
Sadly, he grew old, he lost his sight and his hearing, it became hard for him to walk and eventually he went to his final sleep at the grand old age of 16.
My next dog was a Jack Russell Terrier called Candy! She joined us as a puppy and was like a whirlwind in the house! She was very different to Bluey, she was inquisitive, but not so clever so she got cross quite a lot! She wasn’t so patient with the children, she never snapped at them, or growled, but she just wasn’t as loving with them as she was with me.
She was very much my dog and I loved her very much. When she got sick at the age of eight, I was devastated. I knew straight away that it was serious but it took the vet five weeks to diagnose intestinal cancer. She was in so much pain and I suffered with her, I held her when she was put to sleep, and it broke my heart.
I vowed I would never have another dog. I couldn’t go through that again. For a few months the cat got a lot of attention, which annoyed her I think! I was soon missing having a dog around the house though, that rush to the door to greet me when I came home, the happy dance! My children had left home by then, and the house was much too quiet.
One day, when I was at work, I got talking to a customer who owned greyhound kennels. We had a long chat about our dogs, and she told me she had a hound who was looking for a home. Her name was Trash, and she was very sweet. She explained how Trash got her name, and that she had been in the kennels all her life, and that she had been looking for a home for almost a year. Almost immediately I wanted to meet her.
I went home that night and I couldn’t stop thinking about Trash. I had considered a greyhound before, had read up about the care she might need, and the problems she might have, so I thought I knew what to expect.
I was ready for another dog.
I spoke to Liz again a few days later, and agreed to go and see Trash at the weekend.
On Friday, it snowed. And it snowed! We had a foot of snow in a couple of hours and the roads were quickly covered. Everybody went home from work early and prepared for a cold weekend! It continued to snow until it got dark.
The next morning the roads were not looking good. I was supposed to be going to see Trash today, but we were being advised not to travel unless absolutely necessary. But it had stopped snowing and the sun was shining.
I felt that I just had to see Trash that day, I had to go like I had promised. So despite the warnings on the radio, we put a shovel and some blankets in the car, cleared the driveway and set off.
It took us nearly an hour to travel about twelve miles! I had to drive real slow, my husband and my daughter came with me, to help if necessary! But eventually we did get there, got out of the car and walked down to the kennels. We were welcomed by loud howling, lots of hounds were waiting for their breakfast, which was still being prepared. Liz was surprised to see us, she had thought I would cancel!
After a long chat, she went out and brought back three hounds for me to see. There was a brindle and a cream, both bounded over to say hello, their tails wagging and their eyes bright, and there was Trash. She stood quietly with her head down, looking so sad. We fussed all three but my heart was set on the one I had heard so much about. As I stroked her head, she looked up at me hopefully and I fell in love with her on the spot.
We renamed her Bella and took her home with us that very day. After a thorough check up, and a long discussion about care, we put her in the back of my car and drove slowly home. We had a lot of problems with her in the first few weeks, but I can honestly say that she was worth all the trouble. Bella is the best dog I ever had, she is beautiful, loving and gentle. She loves everybody she meets, and yet has character, she makes me laugh!
If anybody is considering adopting a dog, then I would have to recommend a greyhound, you will be rewarded for your efforts, I promise.