Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Laughing Labradors and an Avalanche of Afghan Hounds

From July to October 2016 I was in the UK visiting relatives and experiencing an extraordinary Indian Summer. 

Although away I knew canine guests at our outstanding 5* Boutique HOUND DOG HOTEL - a true Pet Resort - would continue to be looked after to the same standout care my many clients have come to expect. This is as in my absence my daughter was there providing continuity and our unique service.

But whilst it’s was good to visit my family, I did miss looking after doggie guests.

So imagine how happy I was to meet two Labs, Libby and Bonnie. They came bounding along the pavement to say hello one day. They had been outside with their owners but on seeing me came to investigate. With broad smiles on their faces as Labs so often have, and furiously wagging their tails, they were irrisistible.

UK dog owners are blessed as you can walk your dogs and let them be leash free almost everywhere. One such place is the outstanding Epping Forest. I enjoy walking there - but no walk is the same without a dog (or two) by your side. So when I heard Libby and Bonnie were alone during the day, I volunteered to take them out.

We’d been out for our first walk and they were good as gold, free and off leash, yet staying close to me the whole time. 
A win, win all round, great for the lovely girls, but equally great for me as I got the doggie fix I was missing!

When you love dogs you’re always on the look out for one to say hello to. And on a trip to Bournemouth on the south coast I came across a rare sight – an Avalanche of Afghan Hounds! Actually I make the Avalanche bit up – but there in the town park were about 10 stunning Afghan Hounds. The owners had come from far and wide for a meet up. As the owners compared notes the dogs behaved with great dignity, all lying calmly on the grass.

My experience of owners of spectacular dogs is that they can be friendly - but some can be standoffish. So I was thrilled to find the owner of Charlie - a superstar stunner of a dog – was more than happy to talk about his white wonder.

Charlie was apparently only two but had already won some best in show awards – hardly surprising.

I joined in as lots of people took photos of his handsome hound. But it wasn’t just that Charlie was such a wonderful canine specimen - his whole manner was regal – like a person born to high birth.

This encounter got me thinking I can’t recall the last time I saw an Afghan Hound in Australia. Maybe this is for practical reasons with their coats being so labour intensive from the grooming point of view. Maybe more of a concern in Oz is the heat and nasty Ticks that could be a problem hiding in such luxuriant coats.

It was enjoyable being bowled over by an Afghan Avalanche, but for an everyday happy and smiling companion you’d go a long way to beat a lovely laughing Lab (or two).

I enjoyed taking out Libby & Bonnie many more times before it was time up and a return to Australia!

Hard to tell apart even though they are a year different, this Libby

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