He’s three, or is it four? So why the hell does he still find it necessary to disturb our sleep several times during the night? He really should be sleeping through by now, every night! By 5 am I decided that he had to go, that I’d advertise him free to a good home, but just what would the advert look like?
FREE TO LOVING HOME … Miniature(and that’s another story), long-legged, Jack Russell Terrier type. Four years old (I think) neutered and micro chipped. Tail has been (probably illegally) docked and resembles an old and well-used pastry brush. Henry hates most people and every other animal apart from Summer, Pippa and Harvey. He is terrified of his own shadow and thinks manhole covers are the work of the devil and scariest things in the whole world. He dislikes being in the car and shows his displeasure by barfing up his last meal on every journey no matter how short. Don’t think you can con him by not feeding him before a car trip because he has reserves stashed away somewhere in his digestive tract just for such an occasion. He has an insatiable appetite for anything remotely edible and a capacity to seek out food which should have secured him employment with the Food Police. He is an opportunist thief: he snatched a bag of wholemeal bread buns from a fridge opened just long enough to extract a carton of milk whilst making coffee, and can be away with a sandwich if it’s left unguarded for a nanosecond. He’s also particularly adept at removing items from pockets. He’ll snuggle alongside you on a chair or sofa and just moments later he triumphantly leaps off and into the garden with a trophy which just a minute before was secure in the depths of a pocket. One bonus is that he will eat anything although the consequent disruption to his digestive tract when it was something unsuitable can be a little unpleasant!
Despite his displeasure at travelling by car Henry loves to go out: onto the beach or into the countryside. He loves nothing more than being off lead with his brother and sisters, stealing their ball/stick/ring/toy and refusing to return it or to come within 50 metres of a human who might just get it off him. He also has a hobby. Henry is a collector. To date he has “collected” 6 terracotta plant pot feet, a stone otter garden ornament and a grey satin thong from neighbours gardens where he dug an escape tunnel out from ours. Add to that his collections of stones and tarmac from the garden path he’s slowly removing, and the baby birds he’s caught in the garden which he brings into the living room to disembowel then you can see he’s an interesting character.
If you are antisocial, hate people in general and loathe visitors to your house then Henry is your dog. He will bark continually if there is someone in the house other than his immediate family, can push doors shut in the faces of new arrivals (his cage is behind the front door and he extends a paw through the bars to push the door closed) and if you have the temerity to let him out to meet new guests he will growl at them. It’s an entirely different matter with his human family though. Then he demands your total and undivided attention. He’ll ask for this by pawing at your arm, shoulder, face or head until you resume stroking him. And don’t be fooled into thinking this is a gentle paw guiding your hand back to him – oh no! This is a demanding, urgent paw with nails curled to dig into your skin or scalp – Henry means business.
Have I covered all his endearing features? No, not really: because Henry didn’t have the best start in life and that’s why he’s like he is. He’s loveable, cuddly and very funny. He adores his Mummy and is building a fantastically close relationship with Chris. We can cope with the fact he’s “different” and have a muzzle in case things get too much for him when we’re out in the big wide scary world. He’s the only one of the four dogs we have that will lie down and leave his food when told to (he has to look away though because if he makes eye contact he HAS to eat it) he gives a paw and does a “high five” with both front paws. He spends more time rolling around on his back to have a belly tickle than any of the others and is a suitably rough playmate for the boisterous Summer. He’s getting better with the grandkids and can even play gently with Harvey (miniature Yorkie) for a few minutes. You know, all in all, he’s not so bad ….. I think we’ll keep him a bit longer