After a day at the beach and subsequent discussion session it’s been concluded, we need a dog for new year. Mrs S would like a house dog for company. I would like a companion for when I’m working up the fields and come back to the house knackered. ‘North’ also wants us to have a dog so she has someone else to play with when she comes visiting. Said dog will also occasionally travel with us.
Oh by the way, here’s a picture of our two little fields taken from the back of the house (See below). We’re still waiting on final completion, but we and our money are committed and probably should be, but what the hell, you go nowhere in this life if you don’t take the occasional leap of faith.
My previous pooch was a much loved family member. And I’m not sure who picked whom at the shelter I got him from. All the other dogs didn’t make an impression, but when I first saw him he cocked his head expectantly and looked directly at me as if to say “Is it you?” He’d have loved our new place. A complete slut when it came to fuss and treats, and his loss still grieves me after almost seven years. I’d have loved to have gone straight out and found another to replace him, but circumstances and landlords forbade, so we went dogless. Which has left me feeling a little empty at times.
If there’s one thing that can break my heart, wound me to my very soul, it’s losing a family pet. Because deep down I’m a big old softy. Even if I put on a stern face toward the world and can be quite implacable to humans. Pups and kittens? There lies my Achilles heel. Mrs S knows, ‘North’ and ‘South’ know. Anyone even briefly acquainted with me knows. So now we are putting down roots (Finally!) and have something to put roots into, a dog comes as part of the package.
My own preference is for a modest dog. Not a miniature or ‘toy’, nor a purebreed. A mutt or mongrel is my choice. Spaniel / Collie size. Short haired and under 6 months old. Said pooch will have the run of our 5 acres plot and a loving home. As well as the pick of my leftovers and it’s own specially brewed batches of ‘Stoo‘. No one goes hungry on my watch.
However, lockdowns and fashion have inflated the market for house dogs out of all recognition. No doubt when the fad ends the shelters will be swamped with some animals turfed out simply because they are ‘inconvenient’ or ‘unfashionable’. Which is sad for the dogs. They are pack animals and to simply oust them because they are no longer part of a ‘lifestyle package’ must be like throwing a child out of the family home for no good reason.
Dogs, for all their other faults, are loyal, and a good family pet is just that, an inseparable part of your little tribe. To cast them off like so many are is cruelty personified. At least from the dogs perspective. Abandonment from the pack is worse than death because to canines, that is death. A pack is a voluntary co-operative tied by bloodline and preference. Each member has a purpose and to lose that raison d’etre must be agony for them. It’s bad enough for humans. I speak from experience.
Better not to take them into your home in the first place, because the bond between human and dog should be ‘until death do you part’. But that’s just me. A dog is part of your life, not simply a lifestyle ‘choice’. If all you want something just to cuddle or show off to the neighbours, buy yourself a Teddy bear.
It is said you can always tell the measure of a man (or woman) by the way he or she treats his dog (or cat, or whatever). There the matter stands. I may be a while choosing. So may the dog.