Gaspare arrived on Friday after a four and a half hour trip from Milan. His ‘foster parents’ Daria and Alessandro drove him down and he arrived about midday. Alan and I were a bit nervous about how the first meeting with our two would go but apart from a lot of barking from Maia and a little bit of growling initially they have settled down fine.
Despite the heat we took him on a walk around the garden and the first thing he did was jump in the fishpond! Daria was mortified and I thought it was hilarious!
After the emotional goodbyes, lots of tears as they had looked after him for two months, we were on our own with him. He ate well but was a bit scared of the massive thunderstorms in the night. He slept under the bed, poverino. He also encountered the cats and was a bit shellshocked but didn’t really do anything. But that was just the first day…
‘He does everything with gusto, doen’t he?’ said Alan the next day after we had seen him emerge from the pond for the third time and then throw himself at the water bowl. He drinks lying down with his huge paws either side of the dish and I seem to remember reading somewhere that strays do this to protect their food or drink. He discovered cat chasing with a vengeance – the prey drive is strong when something runs away – and also jumped over our wooden gate and went loping down the drive. I grabbed the lead and went after him and he was easy enough to catch having just stopped at the bottom of the drive on the other side of the road. We knew the gates were jumpable, although our two girlies have never attempted it, and so I resorted to my faithful friend the internet for a solution. I quickly found a site detailing a dog proof method of DIY fencing involving angling an extra piece of netting at the top of the existing fence, and then spent Saturday morning sorting that.
I guess any thoughts of having a grateful stray leap into your arms as violins play and the sun sets is a bit romantic. The reality is that he is a lively dog who needs training and must be very confused, having been from the streets near Avellino, to the volunteer’s vet surgery, to Milan for one night in his first attempt at rehoming, to Daria and Alessandro’s and now to us in the space of about three months. I am taking things slowly and quietly and he is gradually learning our routine. I did another round of fence checking and closing yesterday as he got out again but guess he is just curious as I caught him easily the second time too.The cat thing is a bit of an issue as we have three tame strays who virtually live in the house and they are currently all terrified. We are managing to feed them and they will get used to him and vice versa gradually.
He is now lying on the chair in the office as I work,fast asleep – for now ! He is a lovely, scatty, lolloping loon and we love him to bits although it is going to be no picnic.