Lemon

The blog has been rather quiet on the dogs front recently, this for a specific reason – Lemon and Dylan have not been getting on. There has always been at least an undercurrent of tension between them that I have never mentioned on here in the hope that it would resolve itself and cease, but the short version of events is that Dylan – having never really been able to establish a packing order that says unequivocally to Lemon, ‘I am above you’ – is essentially fearful of Lemon. In the house this has manifested itself in aggression from Dylan towards Lemon (they will not share the same room). Since Lemon has been back fit from injury, on our walks Dylan simply runs behind me with his spine up and his tail between his legs whenever Lemon approaches – he is unrecognisable from the happy animal he used to be, or reverts to being when he is out on his own or with his canine mates, George, Milla, Diddley etc. Over the past few weeks we have had lengthy discussions about what to do. Fortunately, we bumped into fellow walker, Samantha, who has two existing greyhounds – Juno and Lexi – already in her family. Samantha was looking for a third, and she gallantly volunteered to take Lemon on. Even after making the informal arrangement to do this (in consultation with Erin Hounds from where Lemon came) I kept taking the two of them out together in the hope that there would be a miracle improvement. But in truth, not only was there no miracle improvement, it was getting worse and worse. I handed Lemon over today. Though I had a heavy heart and though I left with a tear in my eye, I do not have any particular worries about him, he is an immensely adaptable animal and I could not wish for a better person than Samantha to take him on. I am hoping that this time it will work out for him; he is a great dog and I will miss him plenty, though Dylan most certainly will not. Lemon was the third go we had at finding Dylan a friend and companion (the first two, one of whom was a bitch, didn’t work out before they even got here) – I think we are accepting for now that Dylan can only live in a one-dog house, that from his point of view there is no ‘replacement Ollie.’ I feel quite flat about the whole episode, but I imagine these things do happen, and at least with him staying local we will be able to keep up with his progress and bump into him once in a while. That that will be nice.

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From the back: Juno, Lexi, Lemon, this morning

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Image received by email four hours after he left. Looks like he’ll struggle to settle in to his new home…

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7 Responses to Lemon

  1. makemeadiva says:

    I had to rehome Billy (who I had had for 7 years from a pup) when my eldest started toddling. Fortunately he now lives the life of an elderly and somewhat portly stockbroking collie-cross in the Home Counties with das pudel Rafa (of which I say nothing).

    I missed him and worried about the other remaining dog doing likewise but despite their spending 7 years together, largely amicably, he seemed greatly relieved at no longer having to assert his top doggery. So a rather long point to say – you have done right and Dylan will be happier.

    Cheerio Lemon, may the wind always be at your back!

  2. Stephen Foster says:

    Thanks Diva, that message is a tonic. x

  3. OS says:

    Sometimes we forget the doggie place in the world and start to think of them as we would humans. They’re not. Yes, we love them to bits but all a dog needs is a good home, plenty of affection and they’re happy wherever they are. Of course, that dents our own ego because we think we’re the centre of their universe. We are…but only in a transient way sometimes. He’ll be fine, winger. Here’s my own experience. I shed a tear (or two) too.

    http://www.oldstokie.com/fred.htm

    OS.

  4. Stephen Foster says:

    Cheers OS, you are right, in part. It’s not my ego really. I love him but the situation just didn’t work. It makes me a bit sad, that’s all.

  5. Geraldine says:

    It’s a shame Stephen but you did give Lemon a very good home for the months that he was with you and sometimes these things just don’t work out; the pecking order might be easier to establish in a home with two girls (they’ll be the bosses!) I hope he will be happy there. My two will never be described as the best of friends but most of the time they are okay, so we are sticking with it.

    As for Dylan, I hope that he will be back to his beautiful, confident, happy self soon.

    OS, I haven’t dipped into your website for a while so it was nice to do so again this evening!

  6. Patty says:

    You know you did the right thing for both Lemon and Dylan. I’m sure you feel sad about having to place Lemon in another home….that’s only normal. He’ll be just fine! Now it’s time for you to cheer up….and remember you will see him from time to time. You’re a good guy, Stephen.

  7. Julie Hill says:

    Only just caught up with your blog – been busy & got behind with my blog reading!
    So sorry to hear about Lemon, but don’t beat yourself up. You did you best in the situation you found yourself in – and you did the right thing by both dogs.

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