I’d planned a ‘dog free’ year after losing my beloved pointer cross, but after seeing a photograph of Ricardo I couldn’t stop thinking about him. As he was getting on a bit – 7 or 8 but looked older still – I think he’d been overlooked.
When he arrived, I just melted. He was nervous and over excited. But it was clear he had a very gentle nature. He’d look at me, take a step forward. And wait. I’m not sure what for. Goodness knows what he’d endured in his life.
We are now inseparable. I live near the sea and we often have a beach walk. I take lessons to help with his recall which are great until he spots a seagull – then we end up in a tangled heap amongst the seaweed! Ricardo is a very funny dog. He likes doing his business in dense thickets of nettles, so I now carry marigold gloves with me when we go off for the day.
And in the evening, after dinner, he just snuggles up to me, his big old orange and white head resting on my lap while I rub coconut oil into the callouses on his elbows. I think he’s happy.
It can be daunting to take on a dog you’ve never met, and especially an older one. But it’s not their fault – they are just desperate for a home and stability. At some point I think you just have to take a leap of faith. I’m so glad I did.