Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Settling in.....

            Well I suppose I’d better be updating you upon Willow’s progress being as I’ve been a tad remiss with my blogging duties lately. After the initial ‘being held in rapture’ by the little scamps arrival common sense took hold and we have soon come to realise that all is not what I was told about her. For example the seller (name with held to protect the bullsh…r) described her as well looked after and in top condition, comfortable in the house, and reluctantly letting her go as she was absolutely useless as a hunting dog. Mmmmm let me go through these points and reveal my findings.

            ‘Well looked after and in top condition’, now we all know that sight hounds such as greyhounds, whippets and their cross derivatives are on the slender side but Willow arrived as undernourished as I’ve seen this type of dog for a long time. Apparently she was been fed once a day and was in competition with a very large mastiff! The upshot of this was that under her coat her pelvis and ribs felt sharp to the touch with virtually nothing covering them. Also the food that he ‘generously’ provided to help her along was stuff that I would not even give to the mice that are at present infesting that holiest of sanctuaries, the garage!

            ‘Comfortable in the house’, bleedin’ hell she had no idea of finding her way around a house with every item such as television, the fire, stairs, doors etc leaving her bemused and clinging to one or other of our sides at the slightest of movement. The only saving grace for her was, like most of her type, she’s a clean little thing and since her first night has not fouled the house once.

            ‘Useless as a hunting dog’, now knowing me you know that I’m no hunter and her main time outdoors will be spent chasing nothing more than new trails down in the future. But, having said that, I’m not adverse to a little bit of game in the pot therefore a dog which just happened to er, stumble upon something now and then would not be disciplined to harshly. I’ve spent a huge part of my early life around sight hounds, mainly racing greyhounds but hunting whippets and lurchers as well and one thing is for certain about Willow is that she’s an out and out hunter, Mr. BS had as much idea about dogs as I do about oyster farming! At 7 months her hunting education should just be starting not being dismissed. Also from her silky soft pads, long unworn nails and lack of developed muscle it was clear that the little mite had not had the slightest amount of walking or exercise.

            It’s been a little over a week since the warthog arrived here and the difference is quite amazing. She’s been fed top quality food and wormed and she’s filling out rapidly. Already her walking has involved roadwork and yesterday I took her for a short burst up the hills with my heart in my mouth as I had her off the lead for the first time. I needn’t have worried as already her recall is spot on and she walked the trail like an old timer (apart from several mad blasts). She’s got a silky soft action when walking and her perception of the wildlife around her is truly excellent for one so young. Today she met Wayne’s Celt and they got on famously well, Willow surprising us both with her turn of speed being not far behind Celt with more development to come.

Not a hunting dog!!!!!

Willow n Celt 

            So there we have it, young Willow has shoe horned her way into our lives and seems as happy as a pig in shit. She’s already proved herself loving, loyal, gentle though also tenacious, clever and alert to her surroundings and I’m sure that the adventures to come with her are going to be fun in the doing and in the telling. Oh one thing that I’d neglected to mention that once the kitchen door was closed on her at night and we’d just settled our weary heads upon soft pillows the little warthog transformed into a wolf of the hugest size. Well you’d have thought so for her first four nights; the howling, oh the howling…..

         Till the next time thanks for reading,

Your friend, John

Oh and by the way the eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed the new page title up top 'the garage'. I'm afraid there be a tale of woe and neglect to be told upon this page in the future....


Anonymous said...

Well it sure sounds to me like it's a good thing you found Willow and her likewise!

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

I'm sorry Willow had a bit of a rough start in life, but she hit the jackpot when SHE adopted YOU. I always say, when it comes to dogs, "It's not WHAT you've got, but WHAT you do with it." Obviously, you and Clare are exactly what little Willow needed to grow and thrive. Nice going.

Bob Mc said...

John, just offhand I’d say you have had an experience with what we over here call a dog jockey. Knew nothing at all about the dog he was trying to peddle. I’d bet you a shot of brandy against a glass of your cider that he already has 1 or more dogs for sale. At least it seems to be working out well for you and Willow.

Here’s a little story about a fellow I used to hunt with, a dog jockey, and a hound. The fellow was in the neighborhood of the jockey, so he went by to see what he had. The jockey was a well known coon (raccoon) hunter, and entered a lot of competition hunts. He had a good looking hound for sale, and it caught my friend’s eye. The jockey said the hound was for sale because it ran bobcats. It would leave a coon track for a bobcat track, and was useless in the competition hunts. My friend was a cat hunter, not a coon hunter, so he bought the hound. It took only a couple of hunts with my friend’s good cat hounds to find out that the new hound had never run a bobcat in it’s life! It all worked out in the end, as the new hound did develop into a first rate bobcat hound and was soon leading the pack. Moral to the story: never trust a dog jockey. You can’t believe a word they say, and half the time they don’t even know what they have.

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

quick and bright
that what she looks like
I am glad she is bringing you some joy!
best wishes

Gorges Smythe said...

I'd been anxiously awaiting your next post and was pleased to see it. Glad everything is working out.

Le Loup said...

She is a fine looking dog alright. You made a good choice, for more reasons than one.

moschops said...

Well thank goodness you found her, poor little girl!

She is obviously enjoying her new found family.
Thats one very happy looking dog!

megan x

Anonymous said...

John, you and Willow are just beginning a life and time together. Glad to see that you took the concern necessary to get her on track with some plain basics like eating well and getting some exercise. Why does that sound so familiar! Us humans need to follow that example also. Looking forward to more of your posts on time with Willow.

louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife said...

How happy do Willow and Celt look together! Instant best friends :)

I'm fuming that the seller lied to you as he did - but glad that things are working out anyway. Can't wait to hear more about her adventures!

Damn The Broccoli said...

Lets not be too harsh on the seller. If they didn't know what they were talking about in the first place then they could never give an honest appraisal! However, neglect or allowing an animal to be mistreated, even through competition, is a different matter. We used to have to feed our pair separately to make sure they both got fair share. Left overs were fair game.

Glad to hear Willow is working out with you. Seems you both needed one another and found each other at the right time.

Looking forward to many new adventure my friend, and now curious about the Holiest of Places.

Wolfy said...

Thats a good looking dog, John. I'm really looking forward to reading your exploits with Willow

Stephanie and Dustin said...

First off, Willow is a darn charmer, I can tell from your writing. I'm so looking forward to all her adventures.

My parents ran into nearly the same situation with their new adoptee, Beau. He had not the slightest idea about the inside of a house, and he's still apprehensive of hardwood floors. He had only been fed unused deer parts, so getting him on a top quality dog food improved his coat and weight. With that said, he's turning into a top notch dog, much as Willow. Beau is fiercely loyal, rocks on a leash, and is discovering his favorite place is the sofa.

Willow and Celt look like best friends already.