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Thursday, 1 December 2011

Dear Dearg II - Stinky Husky

The little stinker......
We first met Orsin in a hotel car park. From a distance, cute as a button and good as gold. Then we got closer and.....sweet Jesus he was HONKING! I noticed the lovely transport lady and her two kids looked a little queasy after driving him from Dublin and we were hastily given his vaccination card, told he was a good boy and then they scarpered, leaving us with a very smiley husky who smelt powerfully of socks, Parmesan and something indefinably awful. Possibly badgers.

Anyway, he really was good as advertised and hopped into the back of the car without demur. Five minutes into the journey I pleaded with Mark to crack a window. Big mistake, that just pulled the smell right through the car. Honestly, you could have made sandwiches out of it, it was so thick.

I called a few dozen dog groomers on the way back up to Belfast, but it was lunchtime on Saturday and my opening line of "I wonder could I get a rescue dog washed this afternoon? It's a bit of an emergency..." probably wasn't calculated for success. Our only option was to invest in a few rubber mats and hope he didn't destroy our bath. To be fair he was perfectly behaved throughout his soapy ordeal, standing quietly and looking up occasionally with that pained look dogs feel duty bound to do when being bathed, even when secretly they are quite enjoying the attention.

So far, so well mannered. But I'm no dozer, my rescue Saluki was a little lady until we got home, where she swore emphatically at my dogs for four days solid (and indeed still sometimes throws a casual little snarl out when a dog passes by). My three were dispatched out the back with marrow bones to distract them from the newcomer, giving him an hour which he put to good use snuffling round the house, shaking water out of his coat and on to us, rolling around on Sheba's rug (hell to pay for that later) and looking for cuddles from us (which would have been far more charming if he wasn't so wet and smelly). The orange blossom shampoo and evening primrose oil conditioner were certainly effective, but there was still a lingering cheesiness about him....

After an hour the inevitable scraping at the back door started, leaving us with no option but to do the introductions. Amazingly, after a few brief scuffles and awkward dances, everyone seemed to accept him remarkably quickly. Maybe because he's a husky. Maybe because he showed due deference to everyone. I
neither knew nor cared - by that stage we were so knackered we just took it as a blessing and started to walk all the dogs. Yet again the little man impressed, walking quietly (for a husky) on the lead. Was there no end to his talents? I was getting a bit worried as we had agreed beforehand he was Strictly Temporary and already I could see my husband falling for his not inconsiderable charms.

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