Saturday, October 15, 2005


At lunchtime today we met the boxer dog looking for a home that I mentioned the other day. It’s taken so long to get this far because his owner’s partner had a baby last Sunday and they are in the midst of having their lives blown apart in that cutesy way babies have.

With me I had J, as we had arrived straight from ballet class but I managed to leave all the other noisy creatures at home with the BH.

It started well. The owners were really nice, though tired, and Saffron (the dog) bounded about chewing the cuffs of his master’s jeans in a most endearing fashion.

After telling them a little about where we live and how our household functions, we discussed Saffron’s history and habits. It turns out he’s five and spent his first couple of years in France where he was born, before arriving in the island with his first owner. But that chap got an offer of work overseas and Saffron was given to a family. Unfortunately the mom and dad broke up and moved to rented accommodation, as did their three sons and only one lived in a place where pets are allowed. But now he has had a baby and is moving again, and so Saffron has to go.

Half an hour later we loaded up the car with the bed, bowls, favourite toys and dog.

It was agreed that we would have Saffron till Tuesday to see how we got on, and then I’d return him for a final week with his owner, who, even though it was only for a couple of days, had tears in his eyes as we drove off.

I should possibly have prepped the kids not to all rush out to meet us, but hey, that’s my kids and Saffron would have to get used to it. Ryker (my Labrador) didn’t bother, until he saw Saffron getting out of the boot. Then he ambled down and gave a customary sniff, and decided Saffron wasn’t worth getting his hackles up over.

Great! I was pleased and let P and S work up to their normal volumes.

Saffron ran around enjoying our big lawn, and made the kids happy by actually chasing a ball. Ryker stood around waiting for them to remember he was there.

Eventually most of them got bored and went inside, but S stayed and continued to throw the ball (all of two feet at a time!). I was walking towards them when S threw the ball towards Ryker and he jumped for it. At the same moment Saffron jumped for Ryker and held on.

S immediately started screaming, I started running, R watching from the balcony started shouting his dad, P and J arrived and both became hysterical within a second, and the BH stepped out the far door looking irritated that his family are forever screaming at him for something.

I reached the dogs and shouted S to get out the way. But then I didn’t know what to do. Ryker was half pinned on the floor yowling, while Saffron sunk his teeth into Ryker’s head and tried to shake!

I was too damn scared to grab the beast! I know Boxers are supposed to be good family dogs, but they are big, and strong, with huge teeth! I just screamed and threw the poopa-scoopa (I was holding) at Saffron.

Eventually the BH got close and obviously appeared more threatening than me because Saffron stepped back and so I edged forward trying to get in front of my cowering Ryker.

There were a couple of seconds of me and the BH trying to work out if Saffron was finished or about to go completely ballistic because of all the screaming all the children were still doing. Then Ryker got up and ran for the stairs, with me stepping in front of Saffron as he went to follow.

Once Ryker was inside and the children shut up as they ran to comfort him, the BH looked at me and shook his head. But I didn’t need persuading.

That dog stood taller than S and was twice as powerful as me, and I was never going to relax having seen how he was fine one minute and a raving brute the next.

I felt a right useless wuss when I called his owner. It seems so feeble to decide after an hour that he couldn’t stay. I don’t feel guilty as such, because I have to do what’s right for my family, but I feel bad about it all.

On the upside this experience has shown me that while the kids are young, I will only consider getting another Labrador, and probably a puppy.

And I’m also thinking that maybe for Ryker’s sake, we should wait until he’s gone. Ryker looks so old today, and he’s acting all sorry for himself still. He’s too old for this shit and it isn’t fair on him.

We live and learn.


Blogger Huw said...

Gosh, how awful. Pass my best wishes on to Ryker.

Saturday, October 15, 2005 6:33:00 pm  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

About the dog: No good deed goes unpunished.

We have a post office within a mile of the 45th parallel. Isn't that exciting?

Saturday, October 15, 2005 11:39:00 pm  
Blogger Anduin said...

Awww, poor doggie. I hope he'll be okay. It's too bad about Saffron too, but thank God that it wasn't your child he was chewing on.

Sunday, October 16, 2005 9:54:00 am  
Blogger MarkD60 said...

Nice to make be able to make an easy, quick decision.
Hope Ryker's OK.

Sunday, October 16, 2005 4:14:00 pm  

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