I didn’t want it to happen, I really did not foresee the possibility, I had never envisaged the prospect, had no desire to be adopted, but it has happened. It came as a shock and happened in an instant, well almost!
On Thursday of last week I was driving home from Gubbio, and had just stopped to chat to Dino when I was spotted for the second time. Timidly walking along the road looking sad and somewhat dejected, but, at the same time with just the merest a glint of hope was a dog. I asked Dino if he knew anything about her. He said that he had not seen her before. I had, maybe three weeks ago, the same sad, rejected dog but again with a seemingly hopeful look.
That time I had stopped the car and timidly she came towards me and looked for affection. Sad but alive eyes, coat in bad condition, but not overly thin. She was obviously living rough but finding a source of food. I made enquiries of another neighbour, one who is always in his car, shotgun or truffle spade on the passenger seat. He told me that she had been wandering the valley for over a month. I learnt that Massimo further down the valley when he fed his dogs he was also giving her food. I later learnt that Dino casts dog food around for his many dogs and cats, and it was obviously this that drew her to the place where we first met.
Having lost both my dogs early last year, I had decided not to take a new dog. Except for a brief period I have lived with dogs all my life, and I rather relished my dogless freedom. Yes, it is true that my guests missed the dogs being around. One of the many questions asked by returning guests; ‘have you got a new dog yet?’ My guests are really important to me but I decided that even with their pleading a new dog was not going to enter my home. Having no dog meant I could be more just me. Of course there are downsides to not having dogs.
In this past year deer have slowly been encroaching ever more courageously into the garden at Bellaugello Gay Guest House. At first their playground was below the swimming pool and down by the sauna, near the the greppo. But a few weeks ago on going down for breakfasts I noticed that the Lobelia had been completely chewed in the vases on the main terrace. Had to be deer. Deer in the garden are just about ok, but if the damage is to get more widespread and frequent preventative measures will have to be taken. I also did not want to think that deer are the precursor to wild boar feasting on my roses.. I stopped my daily walk round the valley, and have not replaced the exercise with another.
Anyway I digress. back to the prologue. The second encounter had me convinced. The dog was so seemingly friendly and in need of a home that I scooped her up, and put her in the back of the car. Once at Bellaugello she jumped out of the car and circled round me looking so happy. She smelt – badly – obviously and had a skin problem, so I attempted to keep a distance. Persistent little thing. Of course I had no dog food so boiled up some pasta and found the remnants of some left over supper and gave it to her. Soon scoffed, she looked for more. I dug out Bobby’s old bed and put it in my porch. As guests know I am asthmatic and allergic to dog hair so no way was she ever to be coming into my house. The porch is a great space, amazing views and delicious with the wisteria and jasmine growing outside the windows. Ideal for a dog room.
The next day I decided to head down to Perugia to the vet. Of course no lead, so tied by a shoelace I popped said dog into car and headed down the road. As I suspected she did not have a microchip. The vet thinks she is about 2 or 3 years old and obviously abandoned by a hunter. What callous bastards hunters are. She was given a treatment for eradicating fleas and ticks and a huge pill for evacuating any worms. I was told she was part Breton part English Setter. We headed home with instructions to let the flea treatment work and so not to wash her for two days. Last Sunday l dug out the old dog shampoo and gave her a jolly good wash. She was quite accepting and did not struggle. Now smelling nice I had to make the decision would I adopt her?
It took me to Thursday to make up my mind. In the end I took her back to the vet and we had her microchipped and registered in my name. “Vita Allegra” is her official name, but of course she does not respond to that. The vet had said he thought it too long so registered it as name and surname. Why did I adopt her when she will only be a complication in my life? Because I cannot bear the thought of a dog being abandoned. It is cruelty beyond belief. I also thought that the inconvenience to me pales into insignificance related to a life for a dog on the street or in the dog pound.
She medium small size, is super affectionate, and clearly has been a hunting dog. Obviously abandoned because she is scared of gunfire, so no use to a hunter, she is very intelligent. If I tell her not to come into a room she stays on the threshold. Naturally if I tell her not to chase deer she does exactly what she pleases! Now being regularly fed and with a stable home she is looking healthier and happier. Best of all she has got me back to going for a daily walk.
She might not yet have a daily name but I have been adopted 🙂