Archive for June 7th, 2009

A (temporary) farewell to Midge

I have blogged before about our Jack Russell’s history as a naughty little dog who spent most of her waking hours hunting in the fields and woods surrounding my mother’s farm, despite my best efforts to block up any holes in the fence, and how this obviously caused a lot of worry about her safety.

Mum kept threatening to re-home her but as the weeks and months rolled by with no sign of the threats becoming anything more than that, we ignored her.

So it came as a bit of a shock one evening last June when Mum answered the door to someone who had come to meet Midge! The woman had recently lost one of their dogs and was looking for a replacement. Typically, Midge wasn’t off hunting and met the woman with a happy smile and a wagging tail, settling down on her lap as we drank coffee and talked about the little monster.

Within an hour, she had decided that Midge was the dog for her, and to my horror left with the dog.

Midge - 7 June 2008

Midge - 7 June 2008

The house seemed extremely empty without Midge and I confess that I cried as I fed the two Labradors the following morning, Midge’s unused bowl staring at me from the cupboard, where I hid it at the back, out of sight.

The following morning, however, there was good news (for me). Mum got a phone call saying that there were problems. The woman’s other dog was unhappy about his new companion and kept attacking the stranger. She didn’t think it was wise to keep Midge: could we take her back? I grabbed my keys and stayed long enough to get directions!

Midge was pleased to see me, and the two Labs were ecstatic to get their small friend back. If I had supported the idea of Midge going, I would have pointed out that they’d had Midge for less than 48 hours and that it would take time for their dog to accept her presence. They needed to stop interfering and let the pair sort things out.

But I wanted the little dog back, so I kept my mouth shut and muttered something about it being such a shame, wished her luck finding a new companion and drove away without looking back.

However, I needed to do something to stop Midge wandering and took the three dogs to the beach to see if the sea air brought any inspiration. As Midge did her best to avoid the water and the two Labradors raced in and out of the waves, the sea air worked its magic.

Midge sometimes went missing during the day, but only if I took the dogs out of the yard and into the fields and then didn’t keep both eyes firmly fixed on the Jack Russell, or if I went into the fields but left Midge loose in the yard. If I was in the house (or rather, in the kitchen where she could see me), Midge stayed put. But when B and I went to work in the evenings… Yup, that was her favourite time for hunting and Mum’s greeting on our return home was usually a comment that Midge had only just come in as well.

So if I took Midge to work with us and left her in the car, she couldn’t go anywhere. No hunting, no giving away.

It worked like a charm and Midge loved it. As soon as she saw B or I start getting ready for work, she was ready to go and would sit by the door, her whole body shaking with excitement. In fact, she hated it when we had the day off and would hang around us, just in case we were trying to sneak off without her.

In some ways, it’s a good thing that Mum did giver her away, as on her return, she became my dog, not Mum’s, and since B and I moved down to south Wales, she’s been a wonderful member of our family and I can’t imagine life without the little beast!