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This blog was originally started as a thread on the forum pages of an animal rescue site. Now it's here!

The articles you find in here are purely for entertainment (yours and mine) and (with one or two exceptions) are all tongue-in-cheek chronicles of the World (my bit, anyway) as I see it.
No disrespect is intended towards anyone unless I make a mistake and make it too obvious.

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Saturday, 15 September 2012

Sym: Companions

Training progressed in a stop/start, smoochy and cuddly sort of way.

It was playtime.

Every day!

But there was something missing and it took us quite a while to work out exactly what it was ... almost a year ... but it finally dawned.

Sym needed a companion.

So, on a sunny Saturday morning, we all piled into the car and headed towards Cardiff dog pound to find Sym a new friend.

Even before we entered the building we could hear the plaintive whines and desperate barking of the dogs inside and, although we were all rather excited at the prospect of finding a new family pet, we were a little apprehensive about seeing all the poor homeless and unwanted dogs, only one of which would be lucky enough to walk out with us.

A visit to the pound by a dog-loving person can be a heart breaking experience.

We spent quite a while looking around all the cages and, if I’m honest, I wanted to take them all home. There were scared dogs, troubled dogs ... dogs with all kinds of issues ... and there was Sox.

A beautiful black and white Border Collie cross stood in her cage and just looked at us. She was calm and displayed only a passing interest in the people ...us ... looking at her. We managed to coax her to the bars and managed to pat and stroke her. She didn’t become excited at receiving some fuss, as most of the other dogs had, and only a moderate wagging of her tail indicated a change in her demeanour.

It was, due to her gentle nature, a group decision that this little lady should meet Sym.

A lead was hastily sought and we headed off to complete the introduction.

At first, Sym was hesitant and Sox (to be) was cautious.

Noses were touched and bottoms sniffed. Sym seemed quite happy in Sox’s (to be) presence and Sox (to be) remained calm and impassive. At first we thought there would be no interaction between the two, but with Sym bustling around her, Sox (to be) began to slowly show more interest.

After about forty five minutes a decision was reached and Sox (no longer ‘to be’ because we had named her already) joined our pack.

Details were finalised and a fee was paid.

Then we took our dog’s home.

All went well and, after Sox had completed a cursory inspection of her new home (followed by Sym), she laid down the law!

Don’t forget that Sym was only one year old and up to that point had been socialised through puppy training classes and meetings with other dogs in the park. He had never had another dog in his home.

It began with a badly timed sniff.

And it ended with Sym having a respect for Sox that would ALWAYS guarantee that Sox was Top Dog in within our four walls.

She snapped at him as he tried to sniff her backside and he jumped out of his skin. It was the first time he had ever been put in his place by another dog and it gave him quite a shock.

For a long time after that he wouldn’t even attempt to walk past her, seeking instead an alternative route to get to wherever he wanted to be or, which was more often the case, looking at us imploringly for help.

But outside it was different.

In the park Sym would occasionally fall foul of a bad tempered older dog and receive a nip or two only to have Sox immediately step in and return the favour on Sym’s behalf.

She may have set herself up as Top Dog, but she had also adopted Sym as part of her pack.

Over the years they became inseparable, and would follow each other on walks and stand up for each other in times of need.

When one of them was ill, the other always showed concern. When one of them was absent (e.g. at the vet’s), the other would fret and pace until they returned.

Although they had vastly different personalities, they complimented each other perfectly.

They were our pups!

They were part of our family!

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