A dedicated reader (there might be prizes and badges...) may remember earlier posts about our adopted greyhound Sooty and the others that we have fostered until good homes were found for them (-after they were rescued by the organisation that we volunteer with).
Well here are two of them. Lazing laconically, cranked loosely towards the kitchen in the picture above, our Sooty (top) and Tippy, our latest foster are recovering from a bone idle, lazy day, waiting for some serious sniffing, and the business of decorating posts and bushes - checking their p-mails is what we sometimes call it. I don't mean to be indelicate here, it is just that the things these boy dogs do are done so artfully and with such consideration, to say simply that they are going for a walk is to sell them short. A walk for dogs is a sensory symphony. It places them in the scheme of things, the politics of local wildlife and the maintenance of spheres of influence when the hounds are walking the bounds.
Well, Tippy has been with us for two and a half months, and that is a long time to foster a dog. We have become a more powerful influence in his life as a consequence, and he also, in ours. He is a big boy and big boys are hard to find homes for. His becoming such a beautiful family member makes the inevitable more difficult to face.
Sooty is even more gentle and affectionate as he has become accustomed to safety and security. Whereas, last year a houseful of family and guests for a week would have sent him to his 'cave' often, for peace, he now engages fully and happily with all the people in the house. And wiggles doing it.
Tippy is naturally affectionate, and has a boofy quality I find hard to describe, but if I said that he has no agenda, limited expectations and just wants an easy life and lots of touching, you'd get a bit of the picture. He has begun to play with soft toys, to be exuberant and express opinions on life. He is inquisitive, hungry and very gentle. We are told he won more than $50,000 before being retired and given up, but he has none of the arrogance one might expect of a champion.
He is our eleventh foster, so I've met a few. For what it is worth, the three dogs that have been most temperamentally matched to my worldview have been Sooty, Smiling Bill and Tippy. They are all big and dark and neutered male, and while each has had his own troubles, needs, strengths and anxieties when we took them on, they all just somehow reached into me more deeply than most.