THEY’RE not really my dogs. They’re rescue dogs living at Woodlands Farm Strays in Bridport. I just take them for walks.
They vary in size, shape and number. Sometimes there are many, sometimes few, depending on how many dogs have been lost, abandoned, or picked up by the dog warden. Less often, they are taken home by relieved owners, or people willing to give them a forever home. Here are a few who have been re-homed.
Today, there are eight dogs in residence – that’s the most I’ve ever known. They tend to be male Staffies and whippets. They all like to lick my face!
I always walk Bing first, because he’s been there the longest.
I can pick him out by the sound of his bark. He’s perhaps four years old, with a handsome, black, triangular-shaped head. He loves to get up on his hind legs for cuddles (although I’m sure this looks a bit strange to other humans). Bing is a Staffie and is a very dark brown with a fetching white flash on his tummy. He is a big softie who likes lots of tickles. He doesn’t like staying away from the kennels for very long.
Katie the Kangaroo makes me laugh.
She is a very young whippet type who bounces everywhere she goes. She is always prancing, dancing, leaping, quivering, and loves to play by ripping up the grass with her teeth and throwing it around, and then jumping up and down some more. Her tongue hangs out the corner of her mouth (making her look a bit demented) and she likes weaving ahead of me and zig-zagging across my path.
Tex is a hairy little black and white bundle, with a big foxy smile and stumpy little tail.
He’s a terrier with some Patterdale thrown in. He ambles and shambles his way around and absolutely adores badger poo (he could roll in it all day if I let him). My favourite thing about Tex is the number of burrs that get stuck in his face fur. We normally have a five minute de-fuzzing session after each walk, where I tease out the little green balls clinging to his nose, ears, beard, head, back, legs and tummy.
Chunky is a proper little monkey.
This brown and white Staffie might be ever so slightly tubby, but he’s got bags of personality and snorts his way through field and forest like a truffling pig. Chunky gets into all sorts of scrapes, including chewing through his nylon lead. He barrels his way through anything in his path. Where other dogs leap over the big log in the woods, Chunky has to heave himself over with a wiggle and a skip. He’s the only dog that has tried to get into the pond. Chunky grins fatly at everything I say, and has to be manhandled back into his kennel. Then he wails loudly, like a girl.
Dudey has a sad face that melts my heart. He’s quite a recent addition to the strays and is a brown Staffie with a long, noble nose that puts me in mind of a Labrador. He puts his ears back when we go for walks (this means he’s happy) and is often looking back to make sure I’m behind him. He’s quiet and well-behaved and has a puzzled air about him. I think he misses his owner, whoever that is. Or was.
There are two more whippets who have not been named yet. One is creamy yellow, very skinny and mild-mannered. He’s only been in a couple of days and had two people to look at him already, so I’m sure he will find a home soon. There’s another whippet, who is dark brown with Staffie markings on him, and three white socks. He’s also got a scratched nose, which makes me sad to look at. He is very silky to touch and I love playing with his ears.
Plus: there’s a new Staffie, who only came in today so I won’t get to meet him properly until later in the week. Loud bark though!
I love coming home and smelling of dogs. I would give them all a home, if I could.