animals, cat, dogs

Replacements don’t work

When Mum decided to rehome our dog, Izzy, I was devastated. I was going through a grieving process, which I didn’t even realise was possible, considering she was rehomed, not dead, but I found out the fact of never seeing her again hurt just as much as the alternative. Mum couldn’t cope with Izzy. She didn’t like the ‘commitment’ of a dog. She didn’t like the fact she couldn’t go out and do as she pleased whenever she wanted anymore.

Mum’s way of apologising was by getting me a kitten to replace Izzy. I picked out a beautiful calico, which I named Bo. She cried the whole journey home and and was very shy, but she grew to trust us and we loved her.

I still looked out for ‘the yellow van’ that I knew Izzy’s new owner owned, whenever I was out and I decided if I saw him I would confront him and take her back home with me. But I never saw him. Months went by and I learnt to cope without her. The replacement of Bo seemed to work and I forgot about Izzy, or so I thought…

It started at a car boot sale nearly three years later. Everyone was walking around, most of whom had dogs on leads walking next to them. I saw how happy they were and what I was missing out on. I looked down at my own empty hand and felt lost. From then on, I could feel tears prick my eyes every time I walked past a dog. I sunk into grief, would cry all the time. It was like there was a space in my heart needing to be filled.

Today, I still don’t have a dog. I still have that missing piece. But I have learnt a valuable lesson. You can’t just replace something you love.


The Collie on the Block

For the last six years, my cousin has been terrified of walking her dog. She cannot walk him on a country road without any pavement due to safety and the only other ways are all dead ends, so she has to brave it past the collie. It all started when my cousin (Amy’s) Labrador (Ruffy) was two years old. Her dad (Mat) was taking Ruffy for a walk and decided to stop off on a field, which is quarter of the way around the block. The collie ran  over and started ‘playing’ with Ruffy. He latched onto Ruffy’s ankle with his mouth and when Mat threw the ball, Ruffy went to run after it, whereas the collie kept his mouth around Ruffy’s ankle. They then continued on their walk until they reached the house and Ruffy led down on the floor. He hadn’t noticed anything wrong in the field, but now upon closer inspection, the dog had ripped Ruffy’s ankle, which was pouring with blood.

Five years later (a year ago) Mat and Amy once again stopped off at the field, like they used to sometimes do to allow Ruffy to have a run around. They walked right to the far end of the field and before they had time to take his lead off of him, the collie from five years ago was in the field, running across it towards them. He ran straight for Ruffy and was growling at him, so Mat stood in front of Ruffy to protect him. Ruffy obviously remembered the dog, as he was cowering behind Mat’s legs and as Mat tried to protect him, he got a nasty bite on his hand off of the collie. Mat had a go at the owner, whose response was to tell him to let Ruffy off of the lead so the two dogs could fight it out, despite the fact you could clearly see that Ruffy was terrified and it’s a well known fact that he’s never bit anyone or any other animal in his life.

They cannot even get away from the collie, by not entering the field, as the collie lives in a house that is also on the way around the block. His owner always walks him off of the lead, so walking Ruffy can be quite an issue and if you see the other dog you need to quickly run the other way. In the past six months Amy has been confronted by the other dog twice during Ruffy’s walks, by the dog trying to attack Ruffy. The first time she stood in front of Ruffy and nearly got bit and the second time she legged it with Ruffy and managed to get away.

This is clearly a dog that needs to be kept on the lead; I do not know if he’s just terrorising Ruffy, or if he acts up to other dogs too, but it is not right and the owner is not helping. I do not agree with getting the dog put down, as the owner could clearly prevent all of this by keeping the dog on the lead and with a muzzle on. Some owners need to learn to take responsibility for their dogs!