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Pet subject

PUBLISHED: 09:11 10 March 2014

Pets, February, EDP Norfolk

Pets, February, EDP Norfolk

Archant © 2007

I’ve had quite a bit of trouble lately trying to guess the crossbreed names of the new puppies coming in for their first check-ups. It has become quite a challenge to keep up and I find myself asking the owner these days: What breed is it? Puglians, Cockapoo, Huskamutes and Schnoodles . . . the list is endless.

The first crossbreed I met however is the now most popular of all – the Labradoodle. Although I think the idea for creating a cross between the Labrador and a poodle initially was the hypoallergenic coat of the latter, they turned out to be fantastic guide, hearing or assistance dogs. The loyal, quiet and workmanlike attitude of the Labrador mixed with the fast-learning mind of the poodle, seems to have brought of best out of both breeds. It’s humbling to see any such dog at work as they are so dedicated to their owner, and that is possible regardless of their looks or breed. I recently met a very sharp terrier as a hearing dog, and no phone call will ever get missed in that household, of that I’m sure!

Most dogs seem at their happiest when they have some sort of purpose in their daily life, so it’s worthwhile to try to find out what your dog is good at and what they enjoy the most, and tune into that. That for me seems to be the key for an even closer bond between a dog its owner.

The big, black dog I have at home is guarding the house and on our late night walks she would, if ever necessary, defend “her human” at the end of the lead with her life, no questions asked, and I feel honoured to own such a loyal friend.

As for those important first check-ups, as well as vaccinations please remember identichips. It is so nice when a little escapologist gets brought in when we hear the reassuring noise of a chip; we’ll soon have him home again!

We knew of a Haflinger pony called Stanz, but over the years he got nicknamed Stinky.

He was kept at a lovely, small livery yard. The owners poo-picked the fields daily - good advice for any horse owner, to keep the worm burden at bay and grazing in good condition. One normally pays to have the muck removed, but for once the owner had been paid a tenner – probably by a nearby gardener – so she was rather chuffed and hid the £10 note in her packet of cigarettes and then in a bucket with the tools.

When she looked up, Stanz was walking around with the lid of the packet gently between his front teeth, shaking it up and down. After a good run around and just when she nearly cornered him, he swallowed the lot, packet, cigarettes and the tenner! She kept up the poo-picking for days to see if she could retrieve the £10 note . . . and hence his name became Stinky.

All those years ago £10 was a lot of money, especially for muck. Sorry Lynn, I think in hindsight, we should have paid you, as the story still to this day is priceless!

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