My Mum & Dad heard the first cuckoo of Spring yesterday in the woods, while walking their dogs. Mum sent me an excited text straight away, as they always listen for it...and this year it was especially early. In fact, everything is early here it seems...the garden is a few weeks ahead of schedule and the warm sunshine is making it burst into life at such an amazing rate that I can hardly keep up! Every spare moment is spent pulling the weeds that seem to appear in seconds...and I'm having to water every other day (just the pots & new seedlings) as we haven't had rain for a few weeks and all is dry.
Cuckoos, as you know, lay their eggs in other bird's nests. When the giant cuckoo baby emerges, he isn't happy until he has kicked the other occupants out of his adopted home and he can be alone to be pampered by the poor parents who must wonder what they've bred and where the other eggs went! It's a good subject for today...as this is quite a difficult post for me to write. I so hope that you'll understand when I tell you that we are, once again, an only dog household. I took Charlie to his new - and final - home yesterday and, as you can imagine, I'm feeling sad today. Maybe melancholy is a better description. And I'm not sad on Charlie's behalf at all...his new family are wonderful, warm people who've always had wire fox terriers and lost their last (much loved) boy 9 weeks ago. They were in tears of happiness when they saw Charlie! He's now living as the only dog, on a large farm with it's own wood and acres to play in. He's sleeping on their bed at night, and eating chicken that's been especially cooked for him at dinnertime. I'm glad that Alice wasn't with me when I met them as she may have decided to go with him on hearing all that! My last view of him was such a happy one...after a long cuddle and a good drink of water, he bounced off with them for their first walk...and he didn't look back at all. I know he'll be more than fine.
The truth we've had to face is that Alice wants & needs to be an only dog. In the 6 weeks we had Charlie, she was never really happy...and she made his life very difficult. However much attention we lavished on her, she couldn't take the fact that, as she saw it, our love was divided. And she made it very plain that he wasn't welcome. We've had far too many nasty fights...and I mean real ones where blood was involved. They were all started by Alice, and Charlie did his best to avoid them...but if he was cornered he fought back. And he was much bigger & stronger than her. She has a big puncture wound on her head, a scar on her shoulder....we couldn't allow it to continue for either of their sakes. We took advice and decided that we had to put our own feelings aside and think of both dogs. We'd never been able to walk them together, which was time consuming and annoying. Fights would start over the smallest thing (never food, funnily enough!) and neither of them really relaxed. So a couple of weeks ago we decided that we should get in touch with the lady who found him for us and see if there was a better home for him. Amazingly, and so happily, there was!
We'll never regret having him for those weeks, despite the difficulties and stress. He's shown us that, even with the easiest and nicest natured dog, it's not the right thing for Alice to have another dog permanently in the house. And if we hadn't taken him in, he never would have found what I believe are his true family..as they weren't ready for him when we first got him. So I like to think that we took care of him for them.
This morning, I took Alice for our walk on the hill. All was calm & quiet. She's happy and content again knowing that she has pride of place in our hearts. Number one. Our little cuckoo!
Dorothy Malone and The Big Sleep - I learned something quite sad yesterday: Dorothy Malone passed away. I only knew her from a single scene in *The Big Sleep*, where she played the geeky yet...
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