Uller was never really a dog who needed a friend. Even as a puppy, she could be pretty aloof with other dogs and, although there were some she got on very well with, she always seemed happy to be a loner. Juta is a completely different kettle of dog. She is a little bit bonkers and always mad to meet any dog we come across, yelping at the top of her voice, tail wagging furiously. We decided she needed a pal.
Meet Gil. He is between six and seven years old and had spent at least five of those years at the dog shelter we volunteer at*. He was very timid and often unwilling to come out of his kennel, although he always had a waggy tail while watching us from the safety of inside. We decided that he looked like he needed a home and that ‘when the time was right’, we would adopt him. Of course, there is always a reason that the time isn’t right, in our case mainly that we hadn’t finished the fence** that we were going to put up when we got Juta six months ago. In the end we decided that none of that mattered, so on David’s birthday at the end of November, we picked him up from the shelter.
He has settled in very well. He is still easily spooked by sudden movements or noises (or if we are carrying something he doesn’t like the look of like a broom or washing basket), but he recovers more quickly now and comes back to investigate, rather than hiding under the desk or in the wood store as he did initially. Juta likes to dominate a bit (they are not called bitches for nothing!), but generally they get on extremely well as long as Gil remembers who is boss.
They are very different characters. Did I mention that Juta is a bit nuts? She is not a calm dog. If she is excited, she bounces and yelps and races around. Gil wags his tail a bit faster and squirms a bit more. I think they will settle on a happy medium – Gil will calm Juta down a bit, she will bring him out of his shell a bit. That is the plan anyway.
They also have very different interests. Juta likes to explore. She’ll sit on a sunny bench with us for about a minute and then get bored and go running off to sniff something or chew something. Gil couldn’t be happier lying in the sun or in his basket, as long as one of us (mostly me as he is a bit of a mummy’s boy) is around.
Juta’s idea of heaven;
Gil’s idea of heaven;
Or if the weather is suitable, which it has been so far this winter;
David imagined himself on the serum run to Nome on this walk. It all went a bit wrong though when Juta went left & Gil went right…
*We started volunteering at a dog shelter! Once a week we go and feed/water the dogs, have a play and a cuddle with them and shovel up piles of dog poo. I’ve also set up a new website to try and help with adoptions, have a look! Pegadas e Bigodes
**We finished the fence! It means the dogs can be out in the Upper Pleasure Garden unsupervised/when we are not here which makes Juta is a happy bunny – she didn’t like being left in her crate one bit. Here are the dogs admiring our handy work;