20 September 2006

A Day in the Life

Beau, formerly known as Bimbo

‘I’d love to run a dog hotel like you,’ they say. I smile and nod. ‘Just feed the dogs twice a day and then play with them – nothing else to do.’ I nod. ‘You’re so lucky,’ they say. ’What you do is my idea of heaven – you spend all day long with dogs and you get paid for it.’

Beau in the garden

It’s six in the morning, still dark: I let the dogs out. Beau won’t go down to the garden. It’s raining, the third day of rain. The garden is grateful but I’m not sure I am. Beau, the Bruno de Jura who came to live here from the refuge doesn’t ‘do’ rain. Here is a dog who has had four homes before coming to me, who lived for several years in a run-down refuge and who is now living in the lap of luxury. The biggest decision in his day is whether to sleep in my chair or make a mammoth effort and move to the sofa, and now I discover he doesn’t do rain. I try to understand him: after all, he lived in dreadful conditions in the refuge, but Beau, this is not a dog kennel and you don’t pee in the house! But I can’t get mad at this dog – he’s obviously been beaten. If I pick up a broom to sweep the floor, he cringes. I’ll need to put on my dog psychology hat but for the moment, there isn’t time.

Maddie & Zak on the daybed

I go into the study. Zak, one of the Hungarian Vizlas who is staying has peed on the daybed. Zak and his sister, Maddie, always sleep on the daybed so what’s this? I strip the bed – fortunately there is a rubberised sheet underneath but the replacement protective bedding still isn’t dry as this is a repeat performance of yesterday morning. The study smells like a pissoir: a combination of Zak’s pee and bad smells from Rox, the old crossbreed, who has cystitis. The room smells of rotten fish: quite appetising just before breakfast. He’s on antibiotics so the cystitis should clear up shortly. So, that’s good, then.


I check out the bathroom: Happy, the young Lakeland terrier, has chewed a lump out of the wooden doorframe. She has Nylabones, toys galore, she plays with Digby, the dachshund all day but of course, chewing a doorframe is far more interesting.

‘I’d love to run a dog hotel like you,’ they say. I smile and nod.



angela said...

I see what you mean about Bruno's long ears, Jilly.

Love your blog. May i put a link to it in my South of France blog?
Angela(Shaken-not-Stirred) from Anglo Info

Anonymous said...

Jilly, I know how hard you work and how dedicated you are to the care and service you give. You really have to love your work to do as you do.



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