Saturday, 28 May 2016


It seems that we have accidentally become four.
Say hello to ?TheDog.

?theDog was stinking and shedding on the trip home in the ManTruck.
By the time we got back Dawn and I were wearing most of him and we needed a shower.

We have wanted to get a mutt for some years now but circumstances have always conspired against us. We've looked at rescue dogs online now and then and seen many we love the look of... then weighed-up our options and decided against it with a tear in our collective eye.

But usually unbeknown to Dawn I've dipped in and out of the myriad pet adoption websites from time-to-time, just "idly looking to see what's around" (my lame excuse when I've been caught), then closed them down and carried on with life.

But a fortnight ago I was rumbled again.
There I was, just idly looking to see what was around, when Dawn caught sight of my laptop. I was looking at a big lump of a dog called Kan, when: "Oooh, I like him," came the voice from beside me in bed. Perhaps that's why I was caught - I wasn't being very subtle about it.

Known as 'Kan' back in Croatia, where we think this nervous-looking pic was taken, he was very close to being sent to
the big kennel in the sky before he was rescued by Action Aid for Animals

Talking then happened.

I'm at home all day.
We enjoy going for walks but need an excuse to do more.
We live in the woods.
We love dogs and I grew up with them, so we've got an idea of what to do.
I'm a non-practicing part-qualified dog groomer. Yes, really. Don't ask.

We live in a shed.
We're renovating a house.
We've got SausageTheCat, who has been our only pet for a number of years.

This led to a visit to meet Kan in 'person', which was followed a week later by a home-check, and yesterday we became the proud - but nervous - owners of a stinky, shedding, two-year-old Irish Wolfhound with German Shepherd legs from Croatia whose breath could knock out a squirrel at 50 paces.

Family portrait minus SausageTheCat, who was somewhat reluctant to join in

And he's lush. Proper lush.
Despite only having had him for 31 hours he is showing all the signs of being ideal for us - he's delighted when we walk in to the room; slept soundly all last night; lies elsewhere when the Humans are eating and doesn't give The Eyes; is bouncy and happy; doesn't misbehave too much when on the lead (which he will be for a month or two at least); seems to get on fine with other dogs and loves a good brushing.

The only downside so far is the whole SausageTheCat situation.
When we first warily introduced them there was barking from one and hissing from the other, and there has been very little contact since then.
Having said that, StC was sleeping in the house last night (which he occasionally does anyway) and ?tD was in the shed with us in his new bed, but at 5.15am during a heavy rain storm, Dawn and I were woken by pathetic meowing from outside, which also occasionally happens anyway.
I popped our new family member's lead on and trapped the end under a heavy piece of stored furniture then carried StC in without fuss from any quarter. And it stayed like that for the rest of the night, although I'm not sure ?tD really woke up during the whole episode.

I don't claim to be anything like a pro groomer, but ?tD was bathed and had a haircut today.
He doesn't like the bath/shower, the electric clippers, the hair blaster, his head trimmed or his paws messed with, but it was still a partial success although he still whiffs a bit.

As I type we're trying to get them used to at least being in the same room as one another.
I had to go and find StC because we've barely seen him all day, and he's now ensconced in his basket on the Living Room windowsill with ?tD fast asleep on the floor with his head on Dawn's foot. He's snoring.
The past hour-and-a-half has been a mixed bag though with ?tD alternating between sleep and barking and StC alternating between sleep and growling.
Who knew that cats can growl? Mad.

The barking is so sudden and sporadic that I'm now making an attempt at isolation training, but only time will tell how that works out.

We've had friends over so we set the TV up temporarily a couple of days ago.
Our new mate appears to approve.

Finally, his name.
We can't call him ? forever and Kan is a bit rubbish, but we're at a loss about what it should be.

We'd ideally like something so uncommon that nobody has ever heard of a dog called that before, and I also like normal human names, but what should it be?

Here are some of our musings so far

Chops (we're almost set on this, but keep getting swayed)
Buggerlugs (which I love because one of his ears is a bit duff, but Dawn mistakenly thinks it's a mild swear word)
Dave Growl (only people with a decent taste in music will get it)
Charlie (too common?)
Grumble / Mister Grumble

There have been many more names mooted but the last two are based on an adorable habit that ? seems to have.
Whenever he lies down on the floor to rest his eyes for a few minutes he makes a surprisingly-loud, deep, rumbling grumble like an old man easing himself in to a chair. It almost sounds like he's deflating, thankfully from the front end.

Two hours of this...

...leads to many hours of this

On a personal note - rescue pets all the way.
Why anyone would be shallow enough to want to pay many hundreds, or even thousands, of pounds for a pedigree animal with potential future health problems from a breeder (who is only in it for the money) when untold numbers of amazing animals are sitting unloved in shelters or about to be put to sleep is beyond me. It makes me mad, it does.

Utter, utter shame on those people.


  1. 'Chops the dog should be called Watson' has just been hollered across the room. I reckon that or Charlie ;-)

  2. I think we're close to settling on a comparative newcomer... Grumble.

  3. The problem is you've made the common mistake of thinking it 'the' dog. It isn't, the is for cats, it's "de" for dogs e.g. I am currently sat here with 'Sheba de dog'. Try that when trying to think of a name.

  4. Well we are one of the horrid peoples who went for a pup rather than rescue... We had been looking for a long time and what we wanted (with undocked tail) rarely came up for rescue without significant issues... Our pup is awesome so I don't regret it, but definitely will rescue the next one... Am working on t'other half to make it sooner rather than later. And I must say, your dog is definitely gorgeous!


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