Canine Central

I’ve mentioned my dogs on the forum before, and there seem to be a good few references, recent and historic, by other contributors to the value of the companionship they can bring to us in our trying times.
So I thought to run up a thread to see what transpires. Other pets (and their humans) welcome, of course !

A few people have mentioned that you’ll always find someone to talk to when dog walking. Well, that’s true for me in more than one sense. Even if I don’t meet anybody else, I have the dogs to talk to - don’t tell me they don’t understand - and I always talk to my lovely wife.
I find that the lonely walks are not always completely happy though, as my mind often re-runs the miseries and sense of loss and I frequently howl with anguish. If the dogs are near me, they show concern and we have a hug and console each other.
We’re fortunate in living in the middle of thousands of acres of military land on Salisbury Plain where isolation to weep loudly without alarming anybody is possible. If I feel the need for human contact there are more popular spots where at certain times of the day it is virtually guaranteed that you’ll bump into at least one other dog walker in the space of an hour.
After our morning walk our usual routine is to call in at the village churchyard and tend Eileen’s grave, change the water in the cut flowers, note if they need changing, and of course have a chat.
The afternoon/evening walk is more trying at the moment, as it gets dark whilst we’re out. Then, even if we have left porch lights on, the house seems dark and unhappy to come home to. Switch on the wireless, get the fire going, give the dogs their regular evening treats, and then examine the contents of the freezer for something microwaveable. Hmmm.

Hello Edwin. I absolutely love all dogs and we have 2. My husband loved dogs too. They are wonderful company and they give us a reason to get up in the morning. I too live close to military land, in Shropshire, so can walk dogs or go for cycle ride in lovely countryside. My husband was never a great walker, but loved cycling, so I’m used to walking the dogs alone.

I agree Edwin, it’s pretty daunting to arrive home to a dark, empty house. I’m fortunate enough to work and my hours are such that I don’t get home until after 8pm. This suits me now as there is less of the evening to spend alone. I always eat a cooked dinner before going to work as I leave the house around 2pm and I don’t like to eat late into the evening. I always try to prepare freshly cooked food - I always cooked for the two of us so I have carried on with that routine. Perhaps you could take up cooking Edwin, a new interest. It would kill some time and can be very therapeutic, you might enjoy it. I know a gentleman who is on his own (divorced not widowed) and he takes great delight in preparing himself a meal, he’s even taken up baking and has just baked his Christmas cake. He’s always trying something new. My husband loved home baked cakes but I don’t bake as much as I used to - there doesn’t seem any point really, no-one here to appreciate it. Talking about appreciation, after every meal, my husband always thanked me. How I miss that.

Anyway, lovely to bring dogs into our grief, thank you Edwin - let’s give them the credit they deserve.


Hello Edwin and Kate
Barry and I had six little dogs …not the most sensible thing to do but it sort of just happened and they became the children we never had ourselves. We only ever rented but in both Spain and France our dogs were always welcome. It was such a shock when Barry died and I returned to the UK to find that dogs are not allowed by the majority of landlords here…however we were so lucky to find an old cottage on the edge of Exmoor and we now live inside our own little bubble…just us while the rest of the world passes by! Sadly, I lost Alfie soon after I got back and I miss him very much (I hope he has found Barry and the two of them are sleeping together) but my five beautiful shi tsus are now my life…I would never have got through the last 29 months without them…they have been there by my side through it all and the loyalty and love they give me every day is Barry’s legacy to me. Like me, they are getting on and I dread the day that I will lose any one of them …I thank God every day that I have them…my family think I am mad but my dogs mean more to me than I can put into words.
I hope that you are both managing to navigate your new existences and that your dogs help you as much as mine do me. Take care x

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How delightful Amelie’sgran, 6 dogs. Oooh, I could so have 6 dogs. I have 2 Shih Tzu’s, brother and sister, they are adorable. We used to have a laborador too, a retired guide dog. So 3 is the most we’ve had. You know where you are with dogs, don’t you? Humans can be a bit tricky at times! I’ve just got in from walking ours, I’m on annual leave this week which has been quite difficult. The days have been so long, I guess I’m fortunate to go out to work.

I’m glad you found somewhere to rent in this country so you could keep your wonderful little family.

Love to you and your little ones. Xx

Dogs are the best, my nickname was “mad dog lady”, my dogs have all gone to doggy heaven so I’m now “sad dog lady”, financial constraints make having a dog impossible at the moment but I have a furry grandson, an 18 month old blonde Labrador who loves to eat pooh, and then sicks up poop all over the house, plus a bout of gastroenteritis that cost hundreds in vet bills, joy of joys…any tips?!..

That’s my wife in the Avatar photo I have added, with her little dog shaking hands. The path behind her leads down to the village churchyard where she now lies.

Of course you dread losing any of your dogs amgran, me too, but I do hope that I can live long enough to see my two through to the end of happy normal, doggy-long lives, and hopefully be with them as they finally slip away.

That made me smile . Dogs are so disgusting but we love them. Our lab used to eat poo too. Labs will eat absolutely anything. No tips I’m afraid, we just had to make sure we picked up straight away. What a conversation. Xx

Thankyou Edwin…my sentiments entirely and I rather like being rechristened
amgran! The photo of your wife is lovely and thank you for sharing it…perhaps we should all add a photo as it somehow adds to our humanity! Do tell us more about your dogs and please keep posting…you are a breath of fresh air!
Take care x

I had a demented boy greyhound I nearly sent back after a week, the first thing he did when we brought him home was pee all over the side of my settee quickly followed by an enormous poop on my oatmeal coloured carpet…after a couple of weeks the poo stained carpet was gone but I spent the next 5 years regularly cleaning the floorboards of poop and pee…I never cared, he was my baby, I miss him.

Labs are a stomach on legs!! Xx

They certainly are, I’ve got a chocolate lab named Lillie who will eat anything (thankfully not poo), she loves her walk on Saturday and Sunday morning when if I’m not keeping an eye on her, she will feast on any discarded takeaway.
When my wife Ange used to pull on the drive I’d go out and open the garage door and lil would follow me out, anyone walking past must have thought what a loving couple with the conversation off Ange going along the lines of “hello sweetheart, have you had a good day? I love you so much” yes you’ve guessed she was talking to Lillie xx

Ah, that made me smile Pete. We’re all the same, soft as muck when it comes to our puppy dogs. Xx

The old girls coming up to twelve next March, I can’t say she’s slowed down any because she’s always been totally bone idle,
Just had an expensive week and a half of visiting the vets with bills of £92, £142 and £52 she’s worth it though xx

As I write I am pinned down by 42 kg of muscle and bone in the person of a kind and gentle Rottweiler, who seeks the comfort of my lap.

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Best not to argue with her !

You make me smile Edwin. I have conjured up a picture of you beneath your ‘puppy’. Xx

I have my daughter’s pug Winston every day she’s at work, we lost his brother, Henry (litter brother) at 13 months old, we’d planned to get a playmate for Winston, then 2 weeks before my husband was admitted to hospital, he became poorly, so getting a pup wasn’t practical, is had lots of notifications from the kennel club and champdogs, but I couldn’t commit to choosing one because we didn’t know what changes we’d need to make at home for my husband. Just after he passed away I received notification of a litter being available for their first viewing the day after my husband’s funeral, I decided to go and it was there that I chose Ada, my pug, she’s adorable, a little ********* at times but adorable and gives me a reason to get up in the mornings, a reason to go on walks, she depends on me for her food and more besides. I still have my daughter’s pug Winston when she’s working and between the 3 of us (Me, Winston and Ada) I have reasons to live. Ada has been my saviour, and is helping me through the most traumatic tine in my entire life. ☆

I wonder if it’s a chocolate lab thing, my brother got one about 18 months before he got ill, the intention was a walking buddy but she is the laziest dog I’ve ever known, some days almost as soon as we’d leave the house she’ll just lie down and refuse to walk!! I lost my beautiful greyhound girl very suddenly and traumatically 9 weeks after my brother died, she broke her leg at the shoulder out walking, as she was old and the only option was to amputate it was decided the kindest thing was to let her go, that’s when I went to pieces, everything came crashing down on me, I hadn’t realised how much she was helping me cope until she was gone… but my daughters dog is a great tonic, he’s hilarious and now I get my doggy fix without the expense, my dogs cost me a fortune in vets bills, I was the unluckiest dog owner I know, it was one thing after another, but worth every penny… xxxx

Mmm. I got my big girl aged 13 weeks at Christmas 2014. Since then she’s had cruciate ligament failure on both back legs, fortunately not at the same time but a year apart. Veterinary science is wonderful now, and they have repaired her by changing the shape of her shin bones, TTA they call it, Tibial Tuberosity Advancement, improving on nature really, but post-op recovery took a long time.
My little fellow is a street dog rescued from Cyprus and, touch wood, he seems very robust.
And greedy ! He is almost exactly twice the weight he was when we got him, and would be three times if he had his own way.