Well I for one am really glad to see to back of last year, what with the draconian measures put in place at work, the lack of get up and go within myself, the seemingly grey and morose weather and the loss of my beloved walking companion ‘Lucy’, the year just went from bad to worse. From personal issues and monetary short comings to no holiday (vacation time) and a sense that every silver lining had a bloody big cloud behind it 2010 really did suck, big time. The events of Lucy’s demise at the end of the year left me and Clare heart broken and possibly at our lowest ebb ever. The house was silent and empty without her grumbling presence and memories passed before us to add to our despair with just the slightest nudge, you know the type; a ball of black fluff drifting from beneath a chair, her empty basket, and word slipped out which brought the pain fresh once more to stab at our hearts, I’d find myself calling her to put her out for her night time pee and then realising what I’d done wiping another tear away. The nights drifted into the days with barely any difference as sleep eluded me, food was only consumed mechanically and the days passed by robotically without taste or enjoyment.
We’d decided on the day of her passing to allow a few months to go by before searching out a new member for our family, but my despair was becoming so deep that Clare suggested that perhaps we ought to start looking sooner rather than later. It was her way to try and shake the melancholy that threatened to drag me down far enough to do some damage to my health and well-being. So we trawled the rescue centres, scanned the ads and asked around but nothing leapt out and called to us that ‘I’m the one’. Now don’t get me wrong ol’ smelly could never be replaced, not in a million years, and we were not looking to fill her paw prints, no, we were hoping for something to follow her lead and take the story on further, to weave the next lines of our lives and yes to help ease the pain as well.
Just when it looked as if this was not to be, at least not for a long time, we came across an ad. There was a grainy picture of a 6 & ½ month old lurcher bitch, she was 105 miles away. With little information other than her age and a phone number something just called out. A phone call later and the owner agreed to hold her till last Friday as long as we met the full asking price if we had her. Thursdays night shift dragged by and after a few hours’ kip I arose to be greeted by a blanket of snow, bugger. Checking the nationwide forecast it was reckoned to be cleared by rain in the afternoon so the decision to chance the trip was made. 2 & ½ hours of driving through some really crap conditions and I’m knocking on a stranger’s door trying to keep expectations low. Another 2 & ½ hours of driving home through even crappier road conditions and I find myself dragging my tired and knackered frame through my own front door.
Oh did I mention
? No? must have slipped my train of thought for a moment. Did you not read the first paragraph fully you know the bit where it says “The house was silent and empty” ah now perhaps the penny is dropping my dear but slow reader. It turns out that the lengthy drive to Willow was not a wasted journey. As I entered the strangers kitchen, prepared to be resolute, subjective and indeed professional when confronted with the lurcher bitch my composure lasted all of 2 seconds as this skinny, scruffy bundle of energy and hair launched her self into my arms with eyes that pleaded with me not to put her down. She had me straight away; hook, line, sinker, rod, reel and copy of the angling times – bugger so much for any idea of negotiation. So folks I guess I’d better show you all a picture of our latest family member, as my description of an Irish Wolf Hound that’s been shrunk (a lot) in a hot wash doesn’t really do the job. Mansfield
a ¾ whippet and ¼ Beddlington terrier cross, and no she’ll never replace Lucy but she’ll never have to live up to or be compared to Lucy. No, Willow is something different and she’ll weave her own story, I just hope that you’ll all stay along for the ride; I’m guessing that she’ll make it an interesting one. Willow
Your friend, and slightly happier bunny,