Pups D'Arcy and Destiny seemed lost in the days after 'Aunty Flossie' joined her sister Fenella.
They looked and sniffed in all the old places: her day-bed by the French windows, the vet-bed in the sitting room and
in the kitchen by the Aga. Then they would look up with a sad expression as though to say: 'where has she gone?'
Destiny particularly began to lose out, left with two bossy boys and no older female to take her part.
She became jumpy, over-active and - as though to impress the boys - naughtier than ever. Everything was fair game.
If it couldn't be pinched and eaten, it could be stolen and chewed! Chairs (and my beloved chaise longe) were
demolished daily, stuffing filled the rooms and the walls were plastered with mud! Difficult days!
I had to keep reminding myself of the reason behind her extreme behaviour and reassure her with a cuddle.
However it was Ben who really suffered. When Flossie went he was 'one on his own' - something he had never been used to.
The pups were too young to be his companions. In any case they had each other, and though not as settled as before, were soon
once more racketing their way thro' life together. From the day Flossie died Ben slid slowly downhill, sad, lonely and
unable to settle. His coat became coarse and he looked thinner, sadder and suddenly - heartbreakingly older.
It was an awful time. My days were filled with grief over Flossie, (and it also brought back sadness for Fenella: both my girls had now gone), and deep concern for Ben. We paid several visits to Ian, our
vet, but no physical cause for Ben's distress could be found. At last I began to wonder if it it wasn't wrong of me
to keep him; maybe he would be happier back with his old pack. I was gutted by this prospect.
Somehow we had to overcome this.
Even if he recovered eventually, he would still be far from happy; and there was also the problem of Destiny
(who was still being 'difficult') and this would get worse as she matured and came into season.
To accommodate her during these times, Jim built a fully insulated 'pup house' with attached run that we
christened 'Destiny's Des. Res.' It has a proper tiled roof, windows and rendered walls and the wood supports
are stained forget-me-not blue! But how could we put her in there alone for three weeks when she came into season?
It would be cruel - on a par with solitary confinement. So, I reasoned, we need a companion for Ben - and a kind,
mature female to look after Destiny. That was it; the decision was made. And I reckoned I knew just the candidate!
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