Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The reluctant model.

We've been a one dog family for just over four weeks now. After a difficult first fortnight, in which it was clear that such a thing as canine grief does exist , Wilf has finally settled into a daily routine that he's happy with. He trots alongside us into places that we were never able to go to before when there was a little brother to get him agitated. Restaurants, cafes, shops, markets, museums are all savoured and enjoyed - he's become an almost constant companion - churches and supermarkets being the two areas that are out of bounds. The sight of him under a restaurant table with just his nose and paws sticking out still makes us burst out into laughter - maybe he really does think he's invisible.

There have been some lasting changes in behaviour - probably as a result of not having to constantly remind his little brother who was top dog. Now he rarely barks inside the house but has started to make a dickens of a noise whenever anyone comes to the front gate. Not for nothing are they used as guard dogs on Polish farms - the sound of a PON in alert mode must be heard to be believed. Another change is visible on our morning and evening walks . He will suddenly stop and stand stock still, quite immovable, as only 25 kilos of low slung PON can be. For one or two minutes he looks backwards and forwards along the road as if searching for something, or someone. When he's satisfied that there's nothing to be seen he trots off oblivious to the delay. A more worrying change is his lack of appetite for play. There was a time when he used to be up for a game 24/7. Now he seems to be just as content to sit in the hallway and doze. Guess that's the downside to not having the constant stimulus of a little brother.

Tried to take some photos of him in a red bandana yesterday afternoon - what a reluctant model. He was having none of it. The facial expression was exactly the same as telling a three year old that it's bath time.

The concert is tomorrow night so much activity in arranging seats, music stands, programmes. Thankfully, water has been restored to the rickety old farmhouse.


  1. Well I'm totally with Wilf on the red bandana thing....
    Toodle pip!

  2. My dogs have always settled into being only dogs when one died. It is I, who wanted more. And they adjusted happily to be in a pack.

    Alpha, Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  3. I Think it's the age that is catching up with W. like with the rest of us!!!
    Still, he looks DASHING with the bandana - red suits him well!

  4. So glad you have water now.

    Wilf looks spectacular in his red bandanna. He is such a handsome fellow.

  5. He's such a shaggy fellow, I had to go back and look for the red bandana like "Where's Waldo."

  6. Hey there Mongoose
    Yep, there is definitely something called 'canine' grieF!....and also definitely something resembling 'a human grieving for a canine' too (Perhaps you can invent an expression for this)
    Wilf looks really perky though - despite the changes, but I am sure that our Tammy can identify with the bandanna's totally out of her comfort zone.
    Take least you don't have the buzzing Vuvuzelas as a reminder that tinitus takes all sorts of forms :)
    Tell those Mongeese to enjoy the vibe!

  7. I think Wilf looks very handsome and dapper! I'd be tempted to kiss that furry nose of his if I actually saw him somewhere.

    When Treat died, Blueberry had always been the jester of our house. She was always playing, always into something and we shouted her name a lot! After Treat's passing, Blueberry decided it was time to be Miss Perfect and she changed a great deal. Wilf might be going through something similar.

    I can't wait to hear about that concert!

  8. You're so lucky being able to take Wilf so many places. I'd love to have that luxury, particularly in the summer when it's not safe to leave a dog in a hot car.

    I'm glad to hear that Wilf is settling in, even if his appetite for play hasn't yet fully returned. It's odd - in my experience, a new dog won't necessarily bring out the same traits as Digby brought out. My dogs are always permanently changed in at least some small way when one dog departs, even when another one joins our pack. It's not a bad thing - just a different thing.

    Good luck with the concert. I guess that you resolved the "how to fit 200 guests into 85 chairs problem"!

  9. I forgot to ask: Is Wilf really 25 kg? I visualized him as being much smaller. That's as big as my admittedly small labs!

  10. Wilf is so darn handsome! Wish I could take the dogs everywhere...but with 4 would probably be more aggravation than fun!

  11. You are right, Wilf does not look like he is enjoying his red bandana photo session, but he still is very handsome!

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

  12. So handsome in his kerchief. And believe me, I know what you mean about the decibel level of that bark. Edward actually makes my ears ring with his. Especially in a closed car. We once found ourselves in the middle of a horse-drawn carriage procession in a little mountain town. No way to turn around, horses in the front of us, horses in the back. Believe me, the barks that were heard inside our car that day still make my ears ache.

    I do think Wilf will be ready to play with a puppy, don't you?

  13. Just as you reassured Madame Bay, I think you and the Font have also reassured Wilf that everything is going to be "okay." I'm glad to hear that he's adjusting to being "the star" of the household!

  14. Love the perpetual bad hair and bandanna. Someone asked me how I could keep dogs, then sent them on to new homes. It is because the feedback I get is, while they are noted to be very happy here (by others, not just me), they are even happier in their own families. Personalities change a lot from what I see in the pack and what I hear back from adopters. Enjoy yourself, Wilf - a puppy may still be on the horizon?

  15. Wilf
    You may be weluctant, but i find you incwedibly handsome.
    I'm glad you get to go to so many places wif the hoomans and I believe that when you stop, you awe waiting fow youw little bwuvvew. Only you can feel and see him. I do hope you'll feel like playing mowe, but know the feeling of being and only doggie and just hanging out cause thewe is no one to play wif. I'd come and play if I could get thew, but mommi took my Vespa away and I don't think I can wun that faw
    smoochie kisses

  16. Bandana or not, he is one more handsome puppy!! I'm glad he gets to go places with you. That just makes the places all the more special!

  17. My big chihuahua would probably chew the red bandana off as soon as I got it on him. He's a chewer!

    I'm so glad Wilf has somewhat adjusted to being a lonely only. When my cat died, my big chihuahua would cry and cry and cry when I came home from work at the end of a long day. He hated to have me ever leave the house, even for a few minutes. Now I have a small chihuahua to keep him company. The smaller one tolerates the bigger one but the bigger one is no longer lonely.

  18. Changes bring changes, it's true. Wilf might not be as playful without a little brother, but it sounds like he's having a pretty good time being with you so much. That's what most of us want more than anything. I wish we could all go so many places with our humans. It'd be real nice to take them out to dinner sometimes. At least when they do go out to eat they usually bring something home for me, but would be nice to go along.

    wags, Lola

  19. We wonder if he doesn't hear his brother in the wind when he stops to listen on your walks...

    I'm sure that Wilf is 'finding himself' little by little now that he is living life without Digby. Sometimes we get lost in someone else and forget to remember ourselves.

  20. im with asta you look pretty darn handsome in your red bandana - we are so looking forward to hearing all about the concert have fun! loves and licks

  21. So cute! Happy Red Bandana Day from Max in Arkansas!

  22. hello Wilf, you caught my eye when i was scrolling over the photos of Bandana Day.
    Quite a reluctant model you are but you look adorable anyways. So sorry to hear about Digby.
    Happy Bandana Day from Dommy and PP!

  23. I'm with Wilf.No wearing clothes. Though I find wearing a a banana now and then can earn tons of treats for the cuteness factor. Eric x