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My first pet dog

June 2023 Dave, PinkUk

Part one | Part two | Part three.


So, I decided a wanted a dog and in mind it had it had to be in my mind a Cocker Spaniel plus it would be a great friend for my Baby Lady, Lady Madonna earlier article.

Stanley close up
Stanley when I adopted him, he looks so small

This was about the time the Covid pandemic started. I thought that I would get a rescue dog. As I did not want to encourage breading. Then the prices had stated to go silly because of the pandemic. I ended up going to a Spaniel rescue home Spaniel Assist, as they seemed the best one. I was surprised when all they seemed interested in was the dog, not me. Which looking back was the right thing to do. They don't just forget about you when you re-home him, there are FaceBook support groups that give amazing personal advise. You have to adopt the dog for three months, then after that it is up you when you re-home them permanently.

Stanley

I end up with Stanley a Sprocker (Springer mixed with a Cocker). OMG he’s fucking nuts! A Springer is maddest of all the Spaniels. If I had known that at the time, I would not have taken him, God I'm so glad I did not. I was the fourth one to adopt him as he had biting issues and resource guarding. The last people that had him, as I picked him up said, they had to give him up because they bit his 18-year-old son. I was thinking, well you keep him and I will adopt your son.

He came bounding over to us tail going like mad, rolled over on he’s side wanted bell rubs. Then I heard ‘he’s is very friendly and very excitable’. Not realising I would be repeating this many, many times in the future. I jumped in the car and as we drove off I was thinking, ‘he’s going to be easy to steel’, I could see the lady who currently had him crying and upset as she wont she him again, so very sad.

Stanley playing rugby
Stanley learning how to play rugby

I was told by Spaniel Assist, that it would be three months before the bond starts. When we got home, he just sat by the front door for two days.

I must admit he was a nightmare (putting it mildly) to start with. Having no previous experience with dogs I soon came to the conclusion that to build good relationship, we have to have trust, and that goes both ways. He would steel food; I saw him come flying past a few times with someone’s picnic in his mouth. He would jump at strangers in the street, if there were edible food to steal. I went to a friend’s house and he stole their flat mate’s meat off the work top. He would be a resourceful guard. If you went near him when he had a toy or some food, he would give you the white eye, growl then bite you. I was bitten four times, one was quite saw and drew blood. The first time I tried to shower him, he bit me, the wee fucker.

I must admit he was a nightmare (putting it mildly) to start with. Having no previous experience with dogs I soon came to the conclusion that to build good relationship, we have to have trust, and that goes both ways. He would steel food; I saw him come flying past a few times with someone’s picnic in his mouth. He would jump at strangers in the street, if there were edible food to steal. I went to a friend’s house and he stole their flat mate’s meat off the work top. He would be a resourceful guard. If you went near him when he had a toy or some food, he would give you the white eye, growl then bite you. I was bitten four times, one was quite saw and drew blood. The first time I tried to shower him, he bit me, the wee fucker.

Stanley close up
Stanley in the wind

He would pull like mad on a lead, this was not only really annoying but quite uncomfortable too.

I was walking along the beach, saw only one person, a woman, on it and checked they was no food about. So I let him off. He bolted 200m straight to her, stole one of her shoes and ran off. He had a killing streak, mainly squirrels, pigeons and seagulls and they are massive in Brighton, half the size of him. He even caught a seagull in mid-flight jumping four foot off the ground, I could not believe it. We were walking on a narrow lane in Devon, he heard a pheasant in a field. He jumped clean over a farm gate and was off (I now know why they call them Springers). I put two Falcon bells on his lead now, so I can hear where he is. This is really good, not only can I hear where he is, I can hear what he’s going, i.e. if he’s getting closer or further away. If they are ringing, I know he’s not up to no good or having a poo. I have also been told they are good in preventing Adder bites, as they won't startle the snakes and they go away when they hear them.

Stanley in the ivy
Stanley in the ivy

Everyone loves him now, he’s so friendly and is very excitable. Loads of people look at him seeing him walking with the lead in his mouth and the two bells clanging along, and just smile. He does not pull now (unless he sees a cat or fox, then he goes crazy); he walks in front of me with the lead taught and 85% of the time will have the lead in his mouth. I even hear groups of people walking and say to each other ‘now there a happy dog’ and he runs past them. He also amuses people when he sees a pigeon in town. He gets right down and starts to stalk it like a cat.

In the park other dogs charge at a squirrel. Stan does not, he creeps slowly towards it being a low and still as he can, the when it starts to run off, he bolts towards it. It was very embarrassing when he caught something and run round the park with in his mouth around young kids. He would not let me take it from him. He would stop, let me put his collar on, but no way was he giving it up. He caught a pheasant and it was two miles later before I could get it from him. After he caught a seagull in the park, would not let go and I had to lull it apart while it was in his mouth, wing, then pull its head off (and it was still warm), I knew I had to sort this out. I did this by getting a good grip of the poor animal and slowly twist Stans head till it got soar for him and he would let go. To my amazement this also seemed to have stopped him killing. He still chases and stalks them; this makes me so happy as he does not kill them

A couple of days ago one of my neighbours who lives in a block opposite me, came up to me and said “Your dog is the happiest dog I have ever come across”

When I went to pick Stanley up, I was thinking ’he’s just a dog’ and looked OK, Rob who dove us, loved him more than me. Now he is the most important thing in my life.

The moral of this story
You should never criticise something unless you know both sides of the story, thus can see it from different points of view. See part one ‘homeless person with a dog…’


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