Settling In

DSCN1251 (600 x 450) Our internet rescue English Setter Gaspare has been here a week today. He is getting used to our routine and ZsaZsa the lab and Maia the mongrel have more or less accepted him – in fact you can see them holding hands in this picture! He is now known as Gassi and is a real comedian. I have never seen a dog enjoy playing with a ball and toys so much in my life. He throws the ball for himself  – well more of a hurl really – and then races after it and repeats the exercise.He is a dedicated lizard hunter and that is something that needs a serious approach and lots of concentration- you just never know when those lizards might come popping out from under a rock – eternal vigilance is called for. It occurred to me the other day that they may have been all he had to eat when he was abandoned in Avellino, which kind of brought a lump to my throat.

As he gets stronger he is getting more lively. At first taking him for a walk was like having a balloon on the end of the lead, but today we saw a couple of deer and it was all I could do to hold him.

Fortunately there have been no more escape attempts – I think he knows when he is well off – and the cat situation is improving very, very slowly. They will now eat their dinner on the wall looking down at him. As long as I am there and say a hard ‘No’ he just sits and looks back at them, but I know what he is thinking.

I haven’t had such a tall dog before and so that takes a bit of getting used to as he has very long legs and can jump like a gazelle. He leapt onto the wooden table we have upstairs, the one we feed the cats on (or used to feed the cats on), in one bound and has managed the same thing with the wall we now feed the cats on. It wasn’t quite one bound for that one but he hauled himself up onto a stone pillar and then used that to stand on the wall. We have a mountaineering dog!

We managed our first night out with friends on Wednesday, I was hoping he would copy the other two calm dogs, who always sleep patiently until we return. It was with a sense of trepidation that we opened the front door, expecting to see half a house, but everything was in its place although he had managed to get hold of the empty cat food sachets which were all over the floor. It could have been worse…

My technique at the moment is to wear him out with lots of playing, walking and a bit of training and then I can work while he is crashed out on the chair. When he gets fed up of that and thinks I have been at the computer too long he comes over, sits on his haunches and puts both paws on my knees. What a character! I can’t imagine life without him now.



  1. Lucie Storrs says:

    Oooh he sounds adorable, what a great thing you have done! he is so lucky to have you. L x

  2. Giorgia says:

    Oh, Fiona Gus sounds hilarious! You sound like a perfect match for each other, you able to offer lots of gentle (but firm) training, and him needing a lot of it! :)
    I’m really happy for all you guys, what a beautiful family!

  3. Thanks Laurie – he is very special and I think we are the lucky ones.

  4. Gassi’s lucky to have you all….what a beautiful boy….!!

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