Monday, 9 January 2012

When Millie met Goofy

It was a scorching hot Friday in July, when we went to Battersea Dogs Home to introduce Millie our Labrador, to Goofy the cocker spaniel we were hoping to adopt.  Feeling positive that the two dogs would get on, we optimistically bought a bed, crate and food bowl for Goofy.

It was a long hot car journey, down to London and I was worried that the hot weather was going to make Millie grumpy and in the wrong frame of mind to meet a new dog. I felt even more edgy walking  Millie into Battersea, in case people thought we were giving her up for adoption. 

The sound of hundreds of dogs barking, all waiting to find a new home, broke my heart, as we walked through the kennels to meet Goofy. When David had first met Goofy he had fallen in love with him, so we had set our hearts on taking him home.  It would be soul destroying if Millie decided she didn’t like this bouncy little spaniel. 

A lady who was the rehomer looking after the pups, called our names, and asked “are you here to meet Goofy the springer spaniel?” My heart sank, springer spaniels are larger than a cocker spaniels and known for their bouncy, lively behaviour;  would a young Labrador and a springer spaniel puppy be far too much for me to cope with?

Luckily it was just a slip of the tongue the little dog, which was lead out to meet us, was definitely a cocker spaniel. We walked round to the training and exercise areas, to introduce Millie and Goofy. I asked if I could hold Goofy to see how he walked on the lead.  He skipped, danced and pulled in every direction.  The rehomer explained that Goofy and his littermates, had never worn a collar or a lead, and never been outside of their garden. It was thought the plan was to train the litter up as gun dogs, but they were all a bit too loopy to work (18 months later I can testify this is the case), so they were given up for adoption.

We walked into the training area to face the moment of truth; it was time for Millie to meet Goofy.

I am not an expert in dog behaviour, rehoming or health issues. These are my own views.  Please talk to your vet or experts such as the Kennel Club, Dogs Trust or Battersea Dogs Home to find out more about any of the above issues.

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