A few days ago I ran into our hosts Adrian and Sarah in town. In the course of conversation I began: ‘You’ll never guess what…’, to be immediately interrupted by Adrian: ‘Yes, we know. You’ve got a new puppy. He’s called Bramble and he’s a Labrador-type.’
Heavens! That was quick… The drums have been pounding.
On 26 June, very early morning, I was walking Lulu and Bruni, and along our little country road some 50 metres I heard some squeaking from the bushes. I called out, and a tiny black puppy crawled out and straight into my arms. What can you do?
The neighbour who lives across the road told me later that he’d witnessed the act of dumping at dusk the evening before, so the pup was alone and terrified for more than eight hours.
A few weeks ago I hardened my heart when a young adult dog presented herself at my gate (intelligent behaviour!) and refused to leave for ten days. Eventually she got the message and headed down to the shops by the Ermones bridge, where she was fed. I believe that someone eventually took her in.
But what can you do when it’s a puppy, not much more than a month old and unable to look after, or even defend, itself? He’s currently lying beside my chair, rolled over on his back and fast asleep.
When I found him (or, better, he found me), he still had the blunt unformed face and slightly blue-filmed eyes of a very young pup (fortunately he was able to eat solids). Now he’s more than doubled in size (but still substantially smaller than even the cats) and his little face is getting more Andrex-puppyish every day. His pure-black coat is dense and silky; it’s rather like stroking a giant-size mole.
Since even now he shouldn’t be away from his mother and siblings, I was rather hoping Lulu would be both motherly and playful, but she was not keen. But at least she doesn’t growl any more (Bruni continues to do so, which is no bad thing as Bramble has to learn his place in the order). I have left them alone in the house together, and therefore know I can trust my two adults not to tear the pup apart. The funniest thing is watching him try to initiate play with the cats, attempts which they look on with horror and disdain, though they will let him lick their noses.
He’s still a little unsteady on his pins, tending to trot crabwise at times, and occasionally misjudges the hop-skip-jump up the steps, but I hope that by the time our walks begin again (20 September) he’ll be able to join us on shorter hikes. By that time we’ll know whether he genuinely is a Labrador – his legs seem a bit stubby as yet, but that may be a developmental thing.
Welcome, our Bramble!