HOBBES

Around the middle of August I received a fateful phone call from my wife Joanne. At the time I was walking our two dogs with a friend round Potterhanworth woods. Jo said that Chaz had just rung her up and told her that he knew of a black and white English Springer Spaniel that was in need of rehoming. If this were not possible he would be destroyed within the week. Chaz knew that I liked Springer's as we had one previously, she was also from MBF.

At present we have two dogs, Maxwell a 9 year old Dalmatian and Millie a 3 year old Labrador. Earlier this year we had discussed getting another dog, but because of the large amount of time I spend away from home due to work commitments and Jo's heavy work schedule, we decided to stick with the two for the near future. However Jo's soft side was instantly open to taking on this dog and it was decided that we would have him provided that he got on with Max and Millie.

The first time that we met him, we were both surprised at how big, and also how emaciated he was. Jo and I started our walk with the now renamed Hobbes. After an hour, one of the reasons his previous family had put him up for re-homing was evident. I had developed a left arm like Popeye, all Hobbes did for the whole walk was pull. He was totally untrained; he didn’t even know his first name.

We retired to that well known area for discussing dogs and life, which is of course the Cafe at Hartsholme Park, where Chaz was sitting in the corner. Jo had already unilaterally decided that we were having him, so all that was left was to sort out his rehabilitation. Fortunately I was at home for a longish period, which would make his training easier and more consistent. We did decide however that we would not rush him straight into the family home.

Chaz and I started his training the following Monday, going right back to basics, the first few days he was relegated to a short lead and even on this he still tried to carry on with his old habits. Happily progress was much swifter than I had thought it would be and soon he even knew his new name, and would carry out basic commands. Most of his training was carried out with our two dogs present and luckily both Max and Millie seemed to get on quite well with him. The acid test to this would be how our two dogs would react to him both in my vehicle and in our home.

After a few weeks of very intensive training Chaz and I decided to try and introduce Hobbes to the Land Rover, complete with Max and Millie. We opened the door and told Hobbes to get in; Max and Millie were more than happy to have him in their domain. We had to stop training for a short while whilst Jo and I were on holiday; once we were back we introduced Hobbes to our home.

After a couple of sleepovers and more training Hobbes moved in with us in October. On the whole it has been very gratifying to see the change in Hobbes, and my great thanks go to Chaz, who has made this possible.

Written by Pete
(Hobbes new dad)