And they all lived happily ever after....
Mollie & Patches
We've now got the garden in order & cats go on manoeuvres between potted plants checking who is going where looking through the small gaps between the fence boards.
The other day Eddie had bought a 2nd hand armchair so put the old one outside ready to be taken away. Guess who decided it was fine for them? A few minutes after chair went outside I looked out & saw these two. A good photo opportunity.
Eddie is building a hutch with small front bit open so cats can go in it. Our neighbours have a rabbit hutch with the door taken off & just after we moved in our neighbours went on holiday. Patches was first to discover the cat sleeping place & a few days later Mollie found it too. They kindly looked after this place for neighbours' cats until they came back from holiday. Ours will be put behind the shed in the corner with back towards the west facing fence. So when the winds come from the west it will be at the back of the hutch. The cats sleep in that corner anyway as they often come from behind the shed when called.
Mollie is as lovely as ever & both know the car now. Patches is becoming more loving & rubs round me sometimes. He still purrs & kneads when he hears me walk up the hall into the bedroom but the last couple of weeks has started head butting me & loving round me. Occasionally they wander into the kitchen to find me, another recent development. Patches made me laugh as I went to take some milk out of the fridge/freezer to make a cup of tea, he sat right underneath looking up at it. I said to Eddie I think they have started remembering things from when they lived in an ordinary home although we know how much they were loved & made a fuss of when with you all. Patches still tolerates me combing him briefly each day as he loves the cat treats they get afterwards. Mollie would have me comb her all day I think. She loves the attention & I tell her I have to do things. She is so tactile - certainly lets us know when she wants to be stroked.
I can't thank you enough for keeping the cats for us to rehome. I am sure it was meant to be.
They send love, purrs & nudges
Ann & Eddie W
When I first saw Gunner on the AAA site, it seemed like fate.
I have lived with bull terriers all my life. I had my mini girl Billie from a puppy and I wanted to rescue as well but I thought I might have a problem.
Many breed rescues operate out of houses not kennels. People foster with a view to adopting if all goes well and happily a dog’s foster home often becomes the forever home
. But Billie was badly frightened in a dog attack when she was 1 and is nervous of dogs, particularly if they are young and lively and jump around her. I knew an older dog would be best - (also my old girl Bella was 16 when I lost her and I have a soft spot for the older ones)- and I needed a situation near enough for us to visit a few times so I wasn’t bringing a totally strange dog into Billie's home.
And here was Gunner, older at 8 1/2 and only an hour’s drive away.
Well, Billie and I visited Gunner half a dozen or so times and came the Friday when I brought him home, with dog gates in place so they could get used to each other. Which really meant Billie getting used to him as Gunner seemed a very laid back guy, mildly interested in her but no more than that which was perfect.
I have to say though, he wasn’t the perfect gentleman at first. He belched and farted and scratched himself. He performed intimate hygiene with noise and enthusiasm. He gobbed in her water bowl. She went to put her dainty nose in and withdrew it immediately, casting me an eloquent look of mingled reproach and disgust. “Eeeuuuw Mum, gross!”
Actually mini bull terriers are not themselves the daintiest of dogs. They have all the bull-in-a-china-shop, go-through rather-than-round, characteristics of their big cousins. But, compared to Gunner, Billie is a ballerina!
We are making good progress. Billie has gone from being nervous of Gunner to being excited by his presence and once she takes him more for granted we will be there. Meanwhile Gunner already takes her for granted and is making himself at home.
He loves the couch in the conservatory which gets whatever sun is around and will always take his treats and toys there if he can. He loves his big Kong smeared with sardines or peanut butter and will persevere for ages. He is very greedy and loves his Saturday morning breakfast of scrambled eggs with sweet potato (he is allergic to grains so can’t have toast like Billie). When we go over to the family he loves his Sunday roast dinner. He loves cuddles on the sofa in the evening and asks to get up by putting his head on and looking pathetic which always works.
He has destroyed a pouffe with one chomp of those mighty jaws releasing polystyrene balls everywhere to his obvious satisfaction. Billie stood watching him with a shocked but smug expression - “He’s being so naughty isn’t he Mum?"
He has silently - bull terriers are only ever silent in deceit! - gnawed the leg of a side table and was caught trying to drag it into his crate to dismember at his leisure. He was outraged when I objected to this and took it away, giving a great huff and flouncing down in his crate where he lay with his back to me for half an hour, indignation in every line.
He was apparently a model patient at the vet’s where he had to have 16 teeth out, poor boy, but his main preoccupation as soon as he got home was to make up for the food I had wilfully deprived him of prior to the anaesthetic.
A few days ago, like much of the country, we had fearsome winds. At night they roared round the house, overturning flower pots, setting trees creaking ominously and making the fence panels shudder. Billie headed for the house as soon as it started but it inspired Gunner to do his first full on bully run. At 11 o clock at night in the garden, in the dark, a blurred white figure became one with the maelstrom - crashing joyfully through the rhododendrons, turning some shrubs into unique ground-covering varieties, pruning others with a careless chomp en passant.
Safely shielded by something more solid than a bull terrier’s head I watched his happy, noisy, destructive progress and felt a glow of satisfaction.
Gunner was feeling at home!