A Year Ago This Week


Basil at the rescue centre last year

It was a year ago this week that we re-homed Basil, a handsome little terrier dog. Initially things went well but it became obvious he had some behavioural problems. Basil would be loving and relaxed one minute and then would flip for no apparent reason and become aggressive, unfortunately often targeting our old boy Charlie, they both ended up at the vets a number of times to be stitched up and treated.

We gave Basil second, third, fourth, fifth…. chances and went out of our way to modify his behaviour with training and activities but following yet another unprovoked episode in September where both Charlie and my wife got badly bitten, requiring treatment at A&E, we said enough was enough and sadly had Basil put to sleep.

We made the decision following consultation with the rescue centre and our vet we all came to the sad conclusion that his brain really wasn’t quite wired correctly, or his wiring had been damaged by abuse in his past. We were aware that Basil had been re-homed previous to us taking him on and had been returned due to ‘nervous’ aggression, something I witnessed at our very first meeting, but we thought with our active ‘doggy’ orientated lifestyle and experience that we could cure him of it. Sadly we were wrong.

Despite these episodes Basil had some excellent times with us, visiting the Lake District, the North York Moors he’d been on the mountains, fells, moors and beach as well as attending load of agility and other dog shows. He had a big pile of toys he loved to play with, He really was a sweet, handsome little dog unfortunately with this unpredictable Jekyll and Hyde split personality, we loved him to bits and it was a hard, heart-breaking decision to make.

When I racked with grief and remorse I made this small video to remember him by.

Last year was a horrible year as we also lost our two old dogs Toby (in May) and Fred (in October) to old age and illness. Toby was over 17 years old, he had lived with us for 15 years and Fred was 14, living with us for 11 years.


Toby and Fred asleep in happier times.

Since then we have re-homed another dog who was gifted to us by an old friend. Eddie is a lovely Pembrokeshire Corgi puppy who whilst being a full five-generation pedigree has got an overshot top jaw and has developed a wavy long coat which is not in keeping with his ‘breed standard.’ None of this will prevent us giving him love and an active long life.


Eddie just after we re-homed at the end of October

Basil gets his first rosette!

Boris's Rosette
Before Dog Agility took over our weekends (and pretty much most of our spare time) we used to be active in the Crossbreed and Mongrel Club The CMC was set up by dedicated non-pedigree dog owners who wanted a club that appreciated the uniqueness of their own type of dog and that recognised they are something to be proud of and neither inferior nor superior to pedigrees but equally loving, fun to own and useful in their own right. I created and maintained the original website and also produced the clubs newsletter for many years.

This Sunday we were uncharacteristically free and there was a CMC show on in Tattershall Lincolnshire. So we decided to reacquaint ourselves with old friends and take the dogs out for a bit of fun. Basil the new boy still has many hang-ups and behavioural idiosyncrasies so we thought a bit of socialisation might help him. Last weekend he went to a BAA agility show as a spectator and seemed to enjoy himself.

Central to the CMC is the SCAMPS competition. SCAMPS (Supreme Crossbreed and Mongrel Petdog Show) is held annually where the winners of all ‘SCAMPS’ Heats held around the country that year compete for the title of ‘Crossbreed and Mongrel Club Supreme Champion’. The heats consists of four classes, best dog, best bitch under and over 18 inches in height, the four winners are then judged together to decide on the heat winner.

So anyway, we entered Charlie (handled by the wife, pictured below), Boris (handled by a friend Sue) and Basil (handled by yours truly) in the Best dog under 18 inches class. Charlie won! and to my surprise Basil got 6th (there were about 15 dogs in the heat) Basil was very calm, allowed the judge to examine him without complaint and even made a passable effort to walk around the ring properly (unlike Boris who was a bit of handful for Sue)

Charlie and Ros

Charlie looking pleased with himself
Charlie didn’t get anywhere in the final part of the heat, he is pictured above with the wife (the eagle eyed of you can spot Boris, Basil, Fred and Toby looking on in the back of the Nissan X-Trail in the top left)

The dogs were entered in various classes thoughout the day. Boris got fifth place in “most appealing eyes”, Charlie was second in “best condition coat”, poor old Fred got nothing and Toby spent all day asleep in the back of the car! Charlie and Boris also got places in the fastest recall, Boris impressing everyone by not having someone hold him but sitting and waiting while I walked the 25 yards or so down the course and then recalled him!

Basil

Basil at Play

Basil (pictured above) really enjoyed and behaved himself and slept like a log when we got home. He was completely at ease and as you can see he is alert but ignores other dogs including a Rhodesian Ridgeback walking close by in the following videos.

Basil back from the vets.

Basil is back from the vets and is a little subdued, the x-rays showed no problems with the joints, no sign of arthritis or cartilage damage so that really only leaves a soft-tissue injury. So Basil is going to have to rest for a month in order to allow it to heal.

As the vet said if a dog is active, running, twisting and turning, playing chase and stopping suddenly and the like, there is always the possibility that these “soft tissue” injuries are going to occur. It can be as simple as a little bruising that has occurred during play. Or, it could be a small tearing in the muscles. It is difficult to make a diagnosis.

So Basil is going to be cage rested for a month, which may actually help in another matter as it may help enforce his place in the pack as we had a bust up last night before going to bed, this is only the second incident but poor old Charlie came off worse again and is going to get known as Scarface if he keeps on starting it!

The vet is doing rather well out of me at the moment

Basil

One of the drawbacks of having five dogs is the cost of veterinary treatment. As well as Fred’s recent treatment for his eyelid tumour we have been having our new dog Basil treated for lameness. He became lame (or was possible already lame) on his front leg almost immediately on coming home. Initially we suspected a simple strain due to over exuberance on meeting Charlie and Boris. He did throw himself around at high speed (and still does) and had difficulty negotiating the vinyl flooring in the kitchen resulting in him colliding with a radiator! He also has a habit of getting under my feet.

Basil has had two courses of anti-inflammatory drugs, the second one being steroid based and it did seem to help, however he is limping again. The vet has decided to have him in to x-ray the leg and to have a good feel and examination while Basil is under. I suspect it will be a case of cage resting him and more drugs, I had been loath to cage rest him while he was settling in to his new home.

So Basil was dropped off at 9am this morning and I will be collecting him at afternoon surgery. I think the other boys enjoyed their relaxing walk when I got back without the manic black and tan terrier!

The 3am Milkman

Basil continues to accept his new surroundings his nervousness has subsided and has started to interact more with the other dogs. Last night he really dropped his guard and spent the best part of 20 minutes playing tag around the garden with Boris and Charlie, each one taking it in turns to be “it”

His second night proved eventful again as he was woken at 3am by the milkman and started barking and took a while to get settled.

The milkman delivers to one the neighbours, we and most others in the neighbourhood get ours from the supermarkets. I appreciate the tradition and hard work of the driver but why does he have to do it so early in the morning? And why has he traded in his near silent electric milk float for a noisy diesel engined one? Traditionally milk floats are very quiet, suiting operations in residential areas during the early hours of the morning or during the night, the only sound being the rattling and clinking of the bottles in the crates. To make matters worse this milkman has a radio in his cab blaring out.

Everyone please meet Basil!

Everyone say hello to Basil!

This is the little rescue dog I have posted about for the last week or so. I collected him yesterday morning and he has settled in rather well. We have decided to call him Basil rather than Jake. He is very nervous and prone to sessions of mania at the moment . The other dogs have accepted him with little complaint that is not to say they don’t have their noses slightly out of joint, they do! Now it is just a matter of patience and letting him and them accept he is here to stay.

It has already been commented on how much he looks like a younger Charlie and just to prove it here is Charlie and Basil together.

some low quality video I captured using my Casio EX-Z120

More videos here