Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Along comes Oscar

Well, what a couple of months it’s been! Having lost my lovely Charlie I decided we had room for one more at Houndhead Towers. I wanted a large dog this time so that Fargo could pass on some of his lovely sunny big-dog ways. But I suspected that introducing a big grown-up might freak the Whippets out a bit so I decided a puppy would be best. I kept an eye on the rescues to see if the right dog would turn up.

I’ve always liked Southern Lurcher Rescue. I’ve met their volunteers at various shows and they’re a really friendly bunch of people. So I was delighted to find that they had three possibly-Deerhound-Saluki-cross Lurcher puppies in need of a home. I applied for the boy, passed the homecheck and a few weeks later took Fargo, Billy and Stanley to Colchester to meet Oscar.

Oscar is big floppy Lurcher pup – now maturing into a big, floppy Lurcher teenager. I think he was from a litter bred by someone who couldn’t sell the pups – one of the reasons why there are so many dogs in rescues now. Oscar had been in a foster home since then, so he was already being socialised with people and dogs, and he had a head start on his training. It was the best start he could have had, as a rescue dog.

Oscar is one of those dogs who seems to take everything in his stride. The first thing he did when we got him home was to collect all the dog toys from inside the house and put them in a pile in the garden. Though no one is 100% sure about his age, I think he was about four months old. He was smaller than the whippets and spent a lot of time chasing Stanley around, biting his legs.

That was a couple of months ago. Now Oscar is taller than the whippets and still growing. All his adult teeth have come through and he’s finished his first course of puppy classes, in which he’s been an absolute star (apart from weeing on the floor every week for the first three classes!). He gets on really well with all the other dogs and he doesn’t bite Stanley’s legs as much as he used to.

As he’s growing up it’s important not to over-exercise Oscar and put too much strain on his joints, so he often goes for walks with Fargo, who needs a more sedate walk because of his arthritis. Fargo is a very sociable dog, so Oscar gets to meet a lot of other people and dogs on those walks. I also sometimes take him out for a run about with Billy and Stanley and, when he isn’t too busy chasing Stan, he’s even started bringing toys back to me so I can throw them again. In the evenings we all go out together and he’s learned to walk very nicely on the lead with the other dogs.

I love having Oscar around, he was exactly the right dog to bring into our house and he reminds me a bit of Charlie at that age. He’s very beautiful and, although he can be a cheeky monkey, he’s generally well behaved. He loves a game with the other dogs and he doesn’t leave anyone out. But he loves to sleep too, and in the evenings he settles down really well and I don’t hear a peep out of him (apart from some comedy snoring) until the morning.

I’m so glad I was able to give Oscar a home, and that rescues like Southern Lurcher Rescue are there to make sure other dogs like him have a home to call their own.

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