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Vena McGrath

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Member Since: Feb, 2004

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Featured Book
Les merveilleuses chroniques d'un étranger, livre 1
by Antoine Raphael

C'est la version française de "A stranger's wonderful chronicle"...  
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What can I say about my beautiful 4 legged hairy mate except words of admiration and love.

Shaye is asleep, lying not far from where my desk is.  I wonder how pets can sleep as much as they do but I suppose when you work out how many years (7) of ours they use up in 12 months, no wonder they are tired.

Shaye has turned out to be the most beautiful of animals and every day I love him more (if possible) and every day he makes me smile more often than the day before.  Petting him is so calming and he loves me to stroke his coat.  Should I stop, he nudges me to continue.  Yes, I know who is boss and it's not me!

He is loved by everyone and admired by strangers.  There is never any fear about allowing anyone at all to pat him as he has a wonderful friendly nature.  He is also a great guard dog - well his bark is ferocious but if anyone gets in the front door he licks them to death.  People approach the door and there he is on the other side of the wire acting like some kind of a man eater.  I go to see who is at the door and unless it's someone I know, they are usually heading (even running) down the driveway and away from the house.  He saves me having to put up with pesky door to door sales people and that's great.  His hearing is just amazing, but then I know all dogs are like that. 

When I sit down in front of the TV for instance, he lies in front of me across my feet. That way he can relax and go to sleep because he knows that the moment I move he will feel me move and he is up and behind me as fast as I get up and move.  It's rare for him not to be on my heels.  I have my shower at night and he goes to bed and waits for me to crawl in and get comfy.  Then he sighs and goes off to sleep.  Mind you he is a bit of a bed hog and often I wake up in the most uncomfortable positions because he has pushed me over onto the edge of the bed or I'm lying across the bed so I can fit my legs down the bed.

His skin irritation or whatever it is hasn't gone since the cooler weather arrived.  I've had him to the vets a few times now trying to solve the riddle.  He has a bath every two weeks in a pet mobile bath and we use special shampoo from the vet for the itch.  There doesn't seem to be an answer to the problem as it's not fleas and I'm sure it's not food related because I've been cooking for him since he was 7 weeks old and the itch isn't around all the time.  I wonder about grasses in the back yard, weeds etc., and that's about all I can put it down to.  Other than hoping it's about to disappear for the winter, I will have to think seriously about him having blood tests.  I hate to see him itchy/scratchy and it's also annoying when he lays in the hallway at night and bangs his feet on the wall as he scratches.  And boy, do vets know how to charge.  Last week he had an injection and 10 days' supply of antibiotics and it cost me $111.  But if you take on the responsibility of looking after a pet then you have to do the right thing and go the full yard with their care.

As I have said many times before, I wouldn't hesitate in recommending a Golden Retriever to anyone as a loving, loyal and devoted pet.  The hair of course is a problem as they do shed quite a bit all the time and they are not a dog you can happily shut out in the yard and just throw a bone to and maybe pat a few times a day.  They are companions and they want to be with their family as much as possible.  I hate having to leave him of a morning and go to work, but that's life.  He knows when it's time to go outside of a morning and I have no trouble with him going out.  He is so happy when I arrive home and let him inside, so happy.  And I am happy too :)

There is also the problem of bathing them.  As they are a large dog (Shaye weighs 42kgs) and they love water, bath time outside with a hose is bedlam and you might as well wear swimmers because you end up as wet as the dog.  Drying their coats is difficult too.  Shaye has a very bad reaction to hair dryers and won't tolerate one on or blowing on him.  The guy who baths him in the mobile bath has a blower that makes a hell of a noise and I listen to his little mobile trailer rocking and rolling out on the driveway as he tries to dry Shaye off.  He mostly resorts to towel drying now but that doesn't work so well as they have a very thick coat. 

So there are a couple of maybe negatives but the positives far outweigh them as far as I am concerned.  I loved my cattledog Scrubber totally and still think about him often.  Shaye isn't a replacement for Scrubber;  he is his own dog and unique in his own way.  And yet there are many similarities and I sometimes think that I found him on the internet because Scrubber led me to him.  I look into Shaye's eyes and I think I see Scrubby in there looking back at me.  I'm not beyond believing in reincarnation and it makes me feel at peace to think that maybe, just maybe, I have my darling dog back in a different coat.

Vena McGrath

June 2008






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