From being small enough to snuggle inside my gilet, Bramble has expanded to around a metre in length when he lies frog-wise. I can barely lift him into the car now.
I acquired a document about ‘milestones in a puppy’s life’, which listed all the things he should be doing at certain weeks and months, and either he is older than I think (doubtful) or he is very very bright. He knew his name within an hour, sat the second time I asked (at six weeks!), comes when he’s called (it’s not occurred to him that he doesn’t have to; I’m sure it will one day!), was housetrained in a week. He now asks to be let out in the middle of the night if need be.
Unfortunately, he’s a Black Lab gone wonky, which presumably was the reason he was dumped. Despite a very faint down of coffee hairs around his ears, he looks like a labrador APART from his knobbly knees and stubby legs. But his front paws are labrador – enormous and fully webbed for swimming – and his appetite is gargantuan, as a lab’s should be.
One of his most endearing characteristics is his vocal range – chuffs and squeaks and (still) yelps when Bruni puts him in his place. But there is also his deep adult-style bark (‘Mum, listen to me – I can do a big-dog woof!’), and ‘AOOW’ when he wants attention; and best of all a growly, rumbly, groany sound when he is stroked, just like a doggie version of a cat’s purr.
Lulu is very good with him, and within a few days she had coaxed him into the ‘wrestle’ game. Remarkably for such a small pup, Bramble joined in enthusiastically, even though Lulu is VERY ruff; Bruni will not play ‘wrestle’ with her any more, only ‘chase’. Bruni, however, beats him up when the pup encroaches too much on his space, though less than he did at first. They are all getting on quite well, considering Lulu and Bruni have been ‘only dogs’ for seven years. I think this is because L&B’s routine is unchanged so they’ve got nothing to get jealous about.
Bramble’s privilege, though, is to come with me to cafes and tavernas, mainly to get him used to people, feet, noise, other dogs etc. From Day One he has accompanied me for ouzo and internet at the 19th Hole Bar, where he just lies in a corner and keeps quiet. He also has been twice to Nausicaa Restaurant on Ermones Beach, where he adores being cooed at by staff and customers. Three little Austrian boys went away with good memories on photos and video, and one young lady, whilst stroking him, looked up at her husband and said plaintively: ‘I want a dog…’ Back in England, cue black lab…
You can meet Bramble on Saturday, 20 September, after the first of our Saturday Walks. The event will be more in the way of a reorientation than a serious hike – mainly catching up with friends and getting back into our weekly routine. We meet for coffee at the 19th Hole Bar at Vatos (near the entrance to the Golf Club) at 10.30 for coffee. The walk is easy and on the flat, with space for dogs to run freely. It consists of two loops of about 45 minutes each, forming a figure of eight with the crossover point at the Golf Club entrance. That means the second loop is optional, and walkers who wish to have another drink or head down to the beach at Ermones early are welcome to leave us here. After the walk, we are eating at Nausicaa on Ermones Beach, so that everyone will have the chance to swim/sunbathe before or after the meal. Any friends who don’t come on the walk are welcome to join us to eat, but please let me know so I can give numbers on Saturday morning. I shall take Lulu and Bruni home and swap them for Bramble as he can’t manage a long walk yet, but LOVES Nausicaa. Meet the Gang!Return To Hilary’s Blog Main Page