Without wanting to sound crass, all of our pets have been ‘fixer-uperers’. Pound pooches. Preloved. RSPCA rescues. You get the picture. The thing with second-hand pets is they come with quirks.
Our first pet was a former (we prefer not to use the term ‘washed up’) show cat called Wilbur who won ribbons for having the longest whiskers. When Wilbur first arrived he fled to the safety of underneath my parents’ bed in terror, where I, by all means a relatively stupid four-year-old tried to coax him out with his kitty litter tray. I think I thought it was his food. Needless to say it didn’t work. Eventually Wilbur rediscovered his feline aloofness and allowed us to love him for the next 14 or so years.
Lexie, our first dog, was a Whippet Dalmatian cross from the RSPCA. Lexie was as clever as she was disobedient. She loved running away and would often turn and watch you chasing after her with a glint of glee in her beady eyeball before tearing off again. One time she ate an entire side of smoked salmon and another time an entire bag of ratsak, and survived. We eventually got a dog trainer in to sort her out and she magically transformed into Lassie for an hour, before turning back into her ratbag self as soon as the Bark Busters van backed out of our driveway.
Then there was Jack, the geriatric Jack Russel who adored Mum and nobody else, probably because she fed him bacon. He was a sweet but slightly cranky old man.
Anyway, all of these much loved pets eventually passed away (poor Lexi, who couldn’t be done in by poison, died of cancer). Mum swore she couldn’t have another pet for a while but then heard the plight of Charlie.
Charlie was owned by a family who kept him alone in a dark windowless shed. He was fed, but not loved. His fur was left to grow to the point where his paws were completely encased by matted hair and he could barely see. She scooped him up, flicked his former family the bird (that part is a lie) and took him home.
He was so scared he wouldn’t go near Mum and she had to chase him and earn his trust with food. Charlie has an intense fear of scissors, no doubt from being roughly clipped in the dark shed, and had to be sedated for his first haircut.
By the time I met Charlie, he had a clipped ‘do, happier outlook and a rather dapper hoodie:
He hesitated for a moment before leaping into my lap and wagging his fluffy little tail hard (notice how it’s out of focus in the above photo?).
Charlie loves going for rides in the car:
And having good nap on the arm chair:
He loves baths:
He doesn’t like having to jostle for space at the foot of Mum’s bed:
And having been photographed by me for much of his short life, he also seems to have started hating cameras:
Charlie is by no means perfect, but he has come so far in such a short time. I hate to think where he’d be if Mum hadn’t rescued him. He’s the sweetest little hound. You should certainly consider a pound pooch for your next pet, they are a bit more work but so worth it.
Do you have a dog or cat? New or fixer-uperer?