A right good catch up…

 

Well hello all.

It has been a very busy few months and I have neglected ‘The Blogwoppit’. So, it is time for a right good catch up. You might want to read previous witterings to understand some of today’s words!

It will delight you to know that my new (ish) mobile phone still lives. It did have a blip though and I had that horrible feeling that the words in my last episode were going to come back and bite me on the bum. It shut down and I could not switch it back on for love nor money. It took my wonderful hubby to do that. I did a factory reset, downloaded all my apps again; I had to reset all the passwords as I could not remember them all. What is it about passwords? We need them for everything and security gurus tells us not to use the same password for different apps. It’s no bloody wonder that an old bird like me forgets them is it? Since resetting my phone, I have forgotten said passwords. So please keep your bits & bobs crossed that my phone lives for a while longer yet.

You will also remember that lovely hubby was so impressed with my new phone that he got one too. Guess what? He got one. It died. I have no words. Well I do, but not ones that I would put on here. At that point, lovely hubby became a really grumpy hubby.
I am happy to inform you all that the death of his phone had bog all to do with me. Result.

In the first episode of The Blogwoppit  I talked about trying out enrichment ideas for my old dog Ben. Sadly, we lost our beautiful boy on Valentine’s Day. He had a massive stroke and we had to have him put to sleep. It was a hard time for hubby and I. We both howled for days. He was such a huge part of our life.

The loss was worse as we realised that we had not grieved when we lost Sophie (Ben’s sister) a couple of years before. When she crossed the Rainbow Bridge, we concentrated on making sure Ben did not become sad at the loss of his litter sister. So, when we lost Ben it was double the grief.

I’d had the twins since they were 10 months old. They both lived to a good old age for big dogs and we were proud of them both. But they had been troublesome pups. They’d had a lot of freedom in Spain running in the mountains chasing (hunting) anything that moved – birds, cats, wild boar. This had made them somewhat wild and they were never especially other dog-friendly. Sophie would get very jealous of other dogs and would goad Ben into a fight. When we lost Sophie, we found that Ben was a gentle dog who, deep down, was a bit of a ladies’ man. He loved his girls but by the time we found this out he was too old to remember what his tackle was for. He became a real doofus dog, full of quirks as he aged. Deaf as a post, stiff as a board, but still had a fun personality. I will always miss him licking my hand gently to get my attention, even when he poked his nose under the duvet to do it.

So, as Sophie met Ben to take him on his final run over the Rainbow Bridge, hubby and I started the process of recovery. We knew we would have another dog when the time was right, and we talked about what breed and size we would look for. Something was to slap us on the rump and take that decision out of our hands.

A few days after we lost Ben, a good friend of ours, who breeds Cocker Spaniels, got in touch. She’d had four Cockers and they had all joined us on holiday last September. Ben fell for the eldest lady, Chance. He followed her around like a lost puppy, nose a twitching, tongue hanging out. She was not in the least bit interested, did not acknowledge him at all; he was bemused, we were most amused. We had a lovely couple of days; three humans and five dogs. I am so thankful that Ben had that experience. A few weeks before we lost Ben, Chance had taken her own journey across the Rainbow Bridge. Our friend got in touch because the pack dynamic had changed since losing Chance. The now elder dog, Dee Dee, was being bullied by the two younger dogs. Our friend wanted our help and was asking us to foster Dee Dee. We knew we had to help our friend – she was distraught that one of her dogs was not enjoying life.

So, two weeks after losing Ben, we were on a journey to pick Dee Dee up. This came as quite a shock. We had not anticipated getting another dog until we had grieved for Ben (and Sophie). But sometimes, these things happen for a reason. Sometimes, something comes along that will help you more than you think.

This was such a hard thing for our friend to do – to give away one of her beloved dogs. At the same time hubby and I were feeling privileged that she chose us to be the new parents. We also knew it was a big responsibility to take on an older dog used to living as part of a larger pack. We were nervous and excited. We had no idea if Dee Dee would remember us from that brief holiday.  We had no idea if she would like us, get in the car with us and not howl her heart out.

Over the weekend we spent some time with our friend and the dogs. We took Dee Dee for a run and she wandered off with hubby without a care in the world.  For the rest of the time Dee Dee was not all that interested in us. Comforting!

On Sunday our friend helped us load Dee Dee into her new cage in our car. We put all her rosettes from her time as a show dog, lots of info, feed bowls and clothes alongside her and set off for home. Our journey began. We will never know what was going through Dee Dee’s mind. Was it an adventure or was she worried at leaving her mum behind? Would she pine for her sisters? Would she settle with us? Would we bond with her?

I have no idea why we worried. Dogs have this way, they need company and if they sense good in you, they will seek out your company and comfort. Dee Dee was obviously a bit confused, but she settled in very well and soon took over the sofa and the bed. She had her own brand-new bed but was determined to sleep on our king size. For a small dog, she takes up a lot of room. Over the next couple of weeks we let her get used to her new surroundings and territory, took her out for some runs. All went very well.

As time has gone on, Dee Dee seems to have taken up residence very nicely.  We have found out a lot about her but no doubt there is more to learn.  She has had to get used to how hubby and I speak and behave. It is a very different home to her previous one. We use the same command words as her mum, but we have a different accent to her and it took a while for it to click with her. There were a good few blank doggy looks to start with followed by no response. No cocking of the head to indicate the cogs were turning in the right direction. As hubby left for work, ‘got to go to work’ initially resulted in Dee Dee running around looking for where he had vanished to and some associated whining. I could have been upset by that as I was still very much in view.  Conversely, she could not give a hoot when I ‘have to go to work’. No whining, no running around to find where I have gone.  HMPH. Needless to say hubby is delighted with that.  He is firmly of the opinion that Dee Dee is his dog – that he is her Alpha. Well we shall see. We are now slowly learning each other’s language. We now get the cocked head in recognition that words and phrases are being recognised.

We found out immediately that Dee Dee loves cars and has a habit of making a bee line for any parked car in the hope the door will magically open so she can hop in. Obviously she will get in anyone’s car! Actually, it is a bit of a worry in case she does a bunk with the Amazon delivery man. She loves everyone. Her tail does not stop wagging, ever. She loves to run, ears flying and flapping as she races around. In fact, Dee Dee has a huge amount of energy for a 9-year-old and she is fast. She does not like being on her own. We have yet to conquer that. She will position herself by the front door so we can’t go out without her – ‘you shall not pass’. She does howl but only as we have a singsong with her. We howl, she howls, we all howl. It’s a pack thing!  I’m sure the neighbours love us. Now, when I say to her ‘shall we have a sing song’, she cocks her head showing she now understands what I’m saying. New language learning.

She sometimes goes to work with hubby and has the odd day at doggy daycare, both of which she loves. We’ve taken her to some cafes and bars. She is getting used to that but has yet to learn that the table or chair is not her bed for the evening or her viewing platform. Luckily she does not drink beer or eat crisps, but she will have a good sniff, just in case it is something she might like. She is a nosy little pup.

Talking of food, Dee Dee can be a greedy little munchkin. But she can be quite picky about her food – probably trying it on with us. At first, we gave her what she was used to but for a few days she didn’t eat much at all. All part of the settling in process. She had times for eating, but what we have found is, that how much she eats depends on how many runs she has had. She will eat only when she is hungry. She can do that – she no longer has to compete with her sisters. When she likes a food, she wolfs the lot down. She will sit and watch as we eat our dinner, waiting to see what scraps she might get. But she does not beg. Much. I love that if she has a treat, a biscuit or duck fillet, she takes it to her little blanket in front of the fire – that’s her treat place. Unless it’s cheese or a piece of meat. She will not risk taking that to her blanket.

She has the biggest paws we’ve ever seen for a small dog – they are like bear paws. Huge. Not at all like many other dog breed paws. When she stands on her back legs wanting her back scratched, you feel every little bit of those bear paws. Or when she stands on your leg to get a view of something in the rest of the house. Very heavy and sturdy for her size. She does a dance to try to get on the bed or sofa and when she wants or needs something. If she wants to wake you up, she dances on your chest. She spins in circles with excitement when it is going out time or dinner time. It is really funny to watch and because of this, has earned herself the nickname ‘Michael’, as in Michael Flatley (Lord of the Dance).

She has the most disdainful look at times. If any dog could look down their nose at you, it would be a Cocker. Dee Dee is a real diva. She can look at you as if you are her staff and tries to treat us like that – we are there for her service. Dee has a purpose for both of us; hubby is the taker-outer most of the time, I am the cushion for lying on in the evening and in bed. She loves a nice pillow – usually belly or legs, or both! She knows exactly how to wrap us around those bear paws.

As a retired show dog, she is used to being groomed and has no issue with me cleaning her ears and mouth (and bum). She sleeps through being brushed, so it’s done one side at a time.

Funniest of all is when she’s had a big poo in the garden.  She flies back into the house as though it is chasing her, from the bottom of the garden (pardon the pun), through the doors and sliding across the laminate floor into the lounge. She is hilarious. I will capture that on video one day (minus the big poo).

But Dee Dee is very cute. When she cocks her head when she is listening to you, as all dogs do – those ears, those eyes! She is very loving and licks us at the nicest times and snuggles up. Hubby and I have found her a great comfort after losing Ben. She has given us love, snuggles, licks and laughs that we lost when we lost Ben. She has filled a huge hole but in no way is she a replacement. She has healed by simply giving the things that all dogs give; unconditional love.

Dee Dee, aka Miska Kay Sera Sera, you are a joy. You have created your very own place in our hearts. We cannot thank Chrissie ‘Miska’ Pearce enough for trusting us to care for her.

Much love
The Blogwoppit xx

PS: I cried buckets whilst writing this. 

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