I saw his picture on the RSPCA Little Valley Animal Shelter Exeter website, with this write-up: “Eight-month-old lurcher, boisterous, playful, needs lots of exercise.”
I thought: “That’s my dog!”
He’s only been with us six weeks but he’s had a huge impact on our life already with antics aplenty.
Standing almost five feet tall on his hind legs he can reach any worktop or desk.
Garlic breadsticks, half a bound of butter, cake, my GPS watch, glasses, pens, paperwork – he’s appeared with all of these dangling from his mouth.
Closer to ground level he’s also keen on devouring every toilet roll in reach, grabbing any shoe or slipper he finds, spreading dog toys throughout the house and garden, digging holes under the shed, demolishing the water garden and rolling in anything smelly – sometimes all simultaneously.
He uses the tubs and shrubs as his own personal obstacle course, often whilst throwing one of his toys in the air and catching it.
On walks he has inbuilt turbo charge, and can suddenly bound along at high speed with explosive powerful force – as I know to my cost. He managed to crash into my leg within the first week, I had a bruise the diameter of an orange and couldn’t walk properly for days.
He has a lovely nature and is desperate to be friendly and to please, but he doesn’t understand that it’s not everyone who wants a wet slobbery lurcher in their face, or jumping up to in welcome.
His favourite trick when bored is to chew his lead or more usually my hand. He’s also a bit of a drama queen and likes to throw a temper tantrum every now and then. I’m learning at dog training how appealing and distracting treats are at such times.
We’ve been to three dog training classes now. He’s come on leaps and bounds, or thankfully – more accurately – he’s beginning to calm down and pay attention.
I’m trying to socialise him – as recommended – and give him different experiences all the time. So the last few weekends have been trips to the beach, to the donkey sanctuary, to Dartmoor, even to Sidmouth Folk Festival and catching the bus home.
His favourite place though is the large open fields down by the river, close by to where we live, and where I walk him most often. Here he finds a new scent and rabbit hole to explore on every visit, careers madly around in circles, chases after tennis balls and then drops them in the river to float downstream, splashes in the water and shakes himself all over me. Of course!
He does rest sometimes, usually lying stretched out, body and head twisted – looking like some kind of long, hairy lizard.
He and our terrier Archie are getting along fine, having settled on who’s the boss. Freddie may tower over Archie, but seniority and bagging the most elevated spot in the house have it over leg length every time.
Watching the two of them together is like having our own personal cabaret show – John and I just sit back and enjoy.
It was the morning of Father’s Day when I suddenly had the bright idea of checking out the RSPCA website and seeing if they had any dogs we may like.
“You are not having another dog,” said John firmly.
He can’t imagine being without him now.
One of my friends messaged when she saw his picture: “You’ll have lots of fun and frolics.”
Despite the chaos, we definitely are.
I really feel we were meant to be – Freddie was born just a few days after our last dog Bella was put down, I hadn’t thought about getting another until that morning of Father’s Day, when it seemed a good way to remember dad.
He’s been not so much a rescue dog, more a gift.
Thank you RSPCA Little Valley Animal Shelter – thank you for Freddie.
If you’re interested in adopting a dog here’s the link…….