Normally, though, I have four questions:
- If a male, is he castrated?
Who needs a dog who mounts other people’s legs, who masturbates on cushions and who smells? And here at Pension Milou, who marks his territory and who would probably get aggressive with other males too. I explain to owners that the main reason I don’t take uncastrated males is because they pee absolutely everywhere in the house. ‘Oh, but my dog is absolutely clean at home,’ they say, ‘he’d never do that.’ Of course he’s clean at home but put him in an environment with other dogs and it’s his instinct to mark territory, which means peeing on my furniture. He can’t help it and chastising him simply doesn’t work. I once had a Llasa Apso and counted the number of times I cleaned up his little tinkles against a chair, a curtain, a table leg. By the time I got to fourteen and it was only noon, I gave up. So now no uncastrated male gets past the first phone call.
- Does the dog get along well with other dogs?
- Is the dog house-trained?
- Does the dog bark a lot?
Louis was one dog who didn’t come for interview. He couldn’t, as he was at sea with his owners, en route from Australia to the south of France. They needed to fly to the UK soon after mooring in Antibes and so planned his stay with me in advance. Louis couldn’t go to England because he’d not had the necessary blood tests and as he was a Cavalier King Charles spaniel I knew he'd be just fine here. I could have 40 Cavaliers here and not know it. They are probably the easiest dogs to look after. Give them a comfortable chair or a cushion and they’ll lie around looking beautiful. Louis was not only adorable but he was such a good-looking dog with the softest look in his lovely eyes.
Now to make the place as puppy proof as possible (fat chance) and await Beebop’s arrival. Oh dear, perhaps I should have interviewed her first?