Meet the new member of the family: ten week old Ruffin, here seen showing Smidgeon who’s boss.
I didn’t plan for another puppy. We signed up with several pet rescue charities, but as soon as we mention grandchildren and family dog-sitting, it seems none of their charges are suitable.
I’ve always kept two or three dogs. I must have been lucky, because in fifty years of adult dog-owning, neither rehomed rescues nor canine hand-me-downs have failed to get on together. When the grandchildren came along, Pickle – who died recently in her seventeenth year – was already an old dog with no experience of children. She took to them like a duck to ducklings.
We share a gated drive with our neighbour who also has dogs. Our dogs share both gardens. The one rescue kennel that visited has decreed that the low fence along the dyke bordering our property is inadequate.
The dyke on the other side of the fence is a sheer drop. Next door’s bull mastiff cross, who once cleared a six foot wall in a single bound, has never dared to try jumping it. Neither did my daughter’s ex-racing greyhounds, who predated the fence.
The terrier Houdini for whom the fence was installed, never managed to dig under it or hop over it either. I’m not sure what other kind of canine escape artist the charity was hoping to rehome.
So it’s back to puppy pads and sheets of newspaper across the floors.