They’re not just man’s best friend
Georgie Green says making room for a dog in your home is a decision not to be taken lightly, but it can bring so much joy.
Bradford on Avon
Royal W on Basse
WE RECENTLY had to say farewell to our much-loved dog. He had reached the grand old age of 15 and although there is much debate about how to calculate and compare dog years to human years, we believe it works out that he would have been in his eighties. He had slowed up over the past year but
‘Suddenly the dog does not fit in with their lifestyle ’
my goodness he still had a sharp sense of smell, could hear anything that related to food and his stomach. Until the end, he thoroughly enjoyed life.
His name was Mash, and he came from the Dogs Trust at Newton Tony. He was 12 weeks old when we first met him, and he was handed in with Bangers and Beans.
When we look back at his life, he brought so much joy to so many people. Mash was legendary across the Nadder Valley and beyond known for his speed and agility and friendly spirit.
When we first introduced dog racing at the Teffont Village Show, it was Mash who led the way and showed other dogs that the aim of the game was to chase (in his case catch) the sock filled with dog biscuits attached to a rope, and reeled in from the start of the course to the finish line using an upside-down bicycle.
This chaotic and hilarious event often resulted in striking up a conversation and breaking the ice for people new to the village.
In the days following the show I would be out walking him and if I met someone unfamiliar on the route, they would very often ask if it was Mash – then we would start talking. If it had not been for him, I wonder if we would have simply smiled, said ‘hello’ and carried on walking. But through Mash, conversations would would start ‘where was the best place to take their canine pal for dog training classes?’ This I had no experience of because Mash, did not ever need to be sent to classes, he just got it, but I could help with where to buy good local organic vegetables and Wiltshire’s finest sausages or source an electrician or plumber. So, there are many people who have that small dog to thanks for the repair of their burst pipe and, excuse the pun – where to find their bangers and mash.
When we moved house, I can honestly say we met more people through Mash in a matter of days than we would have done had there been not dog in the house.
The house feels very empty without him, and I fear without him my waistline may expand due to lack of exercise.
We know that going forward, we will welcome another dog to join our family, and we also know it will be another rescue dog and is highly likely we will head back to the Dogs Trust.
Dog ownership increased dramatically during the pandemic. A total of 3.2 million households in the UK have acquired a pet since the start of the pandemic, according to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association. When employees returned to their place of work, and in many cases full time, it left them with the dilemma, what to do with the dog during the day?
Suddenly the dog does not fit in with their lifestyle despite forking out several thousand pounds for a Dachshund or Cockapoo, people are handing these unfortunate dogs into their local shelter as they can no longer care for them. Charities like the Dogs Trust, RSPCA are there to pick up the pieces but their are in many cases at capacity.
There are ways that we can help and it can be as easy as offering your time to walk some of their dogs.Not only will you have a few hours out in the fresh air, but you will also enjoy a bit of exercise and who knows, you may just strike up a conversation with someone who is new to the county or looking to make it their home and your conversation could result in making that person feel welcome. WL