enough, in a strange kind of way, we’ve received
a number of comments about Duncan both from those who
have read the story for the first time and others who
suddenly think in a bubble thinking kind of way –
“I wonder how Duncan is doing”?
Duncan is now 3 years old and after the first twelve
months of his life it was, as a number of you know,
all about the vet, operations and physiotherapy and
recuperation following our decision to keep him and
give him a chance in life. And that chance he took –
is the norm in our household Duncan has fitted in well
to the dysfunctional way we live and get on with life.
He has developed his own personality and style and too
be honest is today a wonderful pet and good fun to be
is very loyal, has excellent obedience and he stays and
plays in and around the house and land. When we let him
out with the others Duncan is the one you can guarantee
will be close by if you’re out and about around
is strong, very healthy and unfortunately for me he is also
very fit and is a ball fetcher only second to JJ.
don’t get me wrong, he’s no angel and has
got me into trouble a couple of times (a week) and he
has certainly become the partner in crime to that French
nutter Claude. And in fact those two got me into a heap
of trouble only a couple of weeks ago. But more of that
a big dog now and the issues he faced early on have not
stunted his growth in the least, if anything, he seems to
have grasped that he’s a lucky boy and makes every
day worth his while.
seems motivated to get the most out of life and especially
the runs down onto the beach. He challenges himself more
than us. Duncan is the ultimate in proof that there is
life after the facts.
have to say that for us as his owners; even we had our doubts
at the time about whether we were doing the right thing
and indeed not what you might think? Our concerns were more
to do with the question of his quality of life after the
operations and issues and decisions we would face throughout
his recovery period.
we missed a trick in our thinking??
had not allowed for Duncan himself and his determination
to make good for himself.
surprised us, it surprised everyone
NEVER once gave in
we are rewarded with a fun loving lunatic that fits in
well with us!! Our own determination to give him a chance
has been rewarded tenfold.
for your delectation and delight!! Here is a brief update
on Duncan’s life story……….
upon a time there was a little puppy called Duncan………..SIGH…….Ahhhhhhhhhh
had a poorly leg and a nice vet mended it for him over
a long period of many months.
vet is a hero……Hoorah
above shows Duncan in the early days of both physiotherapy
and his recuperation with a balance of the adventurous
without letting him push it too far.
bindings on his legs were for strengthening areas that
would ultimately give him freedom of movement.
has a slight limp today but you would struggle to notice
it and you can’t see it when he runs.
Duncan runs everywhere!! Whether he’s proving a point
we’ll never know but energetic he is!! And I know…………
the picture also illustrates that he is in every way normal
(Except his brain, which developed like those around him
spent many months in this state and the dressings were maintained
as he was growing and maturing but slowly got less and less
as the strength in his legs increased. Eventually when they
were removed completely he was a free man……
am not a number, I am a free man – sorry, minor
digression. Anyone watch ‘The Prisoner’ –
brilliant series. I loved it
there had always been a part of Duncan with a ‘can
do’ attitude and he went on and ‘did do’
– especially when we went out.
a Disabled Duncan to a Duncan who would be first into the
Landy – and he jumped in!!
he knew the Landy meant VET. At that point he didn’t
jump in and had to be put in!!
those dressings came off, all that changed and he realised
that the Landy meant fun. It was his passage to the beach,
and oh boy does he love the beach……..
and stones and tennis balls, in or out of the sea, across
the river where we walk to and nothing would stop the
march of a Duncan driven by a desire not to be beaten
or to be second.
competitive nature to be first at the pick-up is still amazing
today. Now don’t get wrong he’s not the fastest
of the gang, but he is consistent and when the others give
in…..then Duncan becomes Mr Reliable.
beach is Duncan’s Turf
went through some nerve racking moments with him early on
but the only one’s today are what he will get up to
snow proved a point when I was in the ménage with
some of the dogs and we were playing retrieving the ball
and the other bits I have in there. After it was all over
and I was ‘dog tired’ we all went back up
to the house for munchies and a cup of tea. That’s
bad English isn’t it?
all went back up to the house and they had some munchies
and I had the cup of tea.
night it snowed and still was the following morning when
I took some of them back in the ménage for their
constitutional moments. Once completed, Duncan wanted
play with what?
good are these dogs??
leg may have been a source of disruption to his early
life but none of that dampened his senses.
sniffed around for a while and at one particular point decided
to dig through the snow and recover a ‘thing’
that we had been playing with the day before.
note here is the ‘digging’!!
yes – the Duncan digs with those front legs as well.
Not all the time of course, but the snow had covered thepotential
to have some fun and he had found it.
funny part was that he brought me his ‘find’
and of course I threw it for him. Which disappeared into
the snow again, which then set off the cycle of events
– find it, dig it up, give it back to the idiot
to throw and off we go again……..well you try
saying no after he’s done all that work!!
now to bring you up to date with his latest little set back
that cost me dearly??
financially you understand, although I had to appease
The Dearest One with a meal one night just to stop her
it’s not my fault, how the hell was I to know what
they were doing”
being Duncan AND Claude. Starsky and Hutch, Kirk and Spock,
Tom and Jerry, Laurel and Hardy, all of them rolled into
Dearest One asked me, that if I was working outside could
I take a few of the dogs out with me.
yes of course I will you’re fabulousness”
let out a ‘few’ of the dogs inclusive of murky
and lurky – AKA Duncan and Claude
keep an eye on them” “Don’t let them
get muddy or dirty, I’m cleaning up”
just knew this was a disaster in waiting
was time to go indoors and finish for the day. The dogs
were all suitably exercised and had had a good few hours
outside with me.
around the corner came Duncan and Claude
weren’t muddy nor were they dirty??
they were covered in a dark grey shade of black in places
and all the white bits weren’t white anymore. Claude
you could not distinguish between his colours and Duncan
was a disaster on legs.
both stopped and looked at me as if to say “Yea, so
we’ve changed colour, so what”
was clearly in BIG trouble and I would get the blame for
not ‘keeping an eye’ on them
then came up with an ingenious plan!! (Oh Oh)
plan was more cunning than a cunning thing in a cunning
would simply brush in the white bits using talcum powder
and flour. Brilliant
part of this cunning plan was to hide Claude and start
on Duncan. I would investigate this colouring later on
because the emphasis was to return these two idiots back
to their normal state.
this was and wherever they had been it was weird because
they were not wet, not even damp, but whatever this stuff
was then it had changed their colouring like a dye in clothing.
It wouldn’t wash out (I tried) and yet had somehow
made their white coats a dark grey and in patches black.
got a paint brush and set to work on my ingenious plan
and ‘She’ would never know the difference
unless I got caught or she found Claude??
was far from amusing and would take time to complete without
raising suspicion. It was also a real pain trying to cover
up the chaos on Duncan and with him being the bigger of
the two dogs it looked even worse. So far so good…………
worked slowly on his head, neck and over the shoulders and
gradually his coat was returning to a sort of creamy colour,
close enough and if I kept him at a distance ‘She’
would just think all was OK.
was far from impressed!!
he could have grinned he would have no doubt just ‘grin
and bear’ with it.
it was taking too much time and with Claude still to do
this was slowly heading to the time when I would be in
the dog house. And how the hell would I explain what I
was torn between finishing Duncan and investigating the
cause when ‘She’ found Claude
knew she had found Claude??
was an almighty scream and words to the effect of “What
have you done to my little doggy”? And “Gosh”
is The French thing brown and grey”?
were you thinking letting him get like this”?
that didn’t go down well did it?
came out into the conservatory where I was ‘painting’
no” “Not him as well”
then spent what felt like an eternity trying to explain
that I had no idea why they were this colour, where they
had been and why I was trying to return them ‘back
this time I had completed most of Duncan’s head
although it was tricky to say the least. And it was obvious
some parts were not quite going to be the same!!!
Claude was as bad.
took me several cups of tea and a small set of step ladders
to get The Dearest One off the ceiling where she had spent
the time clung to it in a reasonable state of anger, confusion
and shock at my minor discretion with two of the dogs.
noted earlier, Duncan isn’t perfect (well he’s
not now) but he is after all just like the rest and although
not in any way mischievous he does have his moments –
and this was one of them.
is another story for another day…….but because
of his coat he will stay brown and grey for some time yet!!!!
such joy ensued around the house once ‘She’
knew the colouring wouldn’t come out. Claude was
going nowhere in that state. How embarrassing it would
be and what will people think of us?
Blah blah blah………..
the cause of all this trouble??
earlier in the day The Dearest One asked me to take the
‘mats’ outside and give them a shaking and
a bashing to get the dust off them.
These mats are a rubber backed carpet type of thing and
large enough for two or three of our dogs to lay on. The
mats are good at drying them out before they go any further
into the inner sanctum of the house. After a while they
need a good hose down and/or a brushing off - in this case
got the mats outside hung them over a fence and proceeded
to beat the living daylights out of them and stood proudly
back to admire my artistry in having them once again looking
somehow managed to pull one off the fence and ‘somehow’
turned it rubber side up.
both Claude and ‘HIM’ lay on it, and then
decided to roll around on it to make it their own.
was during the ‘roll around on it’ stage that
the rubber transferred over to their coats and hence the
how do we know this? Because the mole hunter in the cottage
watched them do it and this spectacle of the two dogs
kept them amused for some time.
was not amused at not being told and there will be repercussions.
for Duncan and Claude – well they are slowly but
surely returning to normal.
what normal is in our home is up for debate.
so there you have it. Duncan is fit and well and for a
time was the UKs only grey and white Spinone!! He has
never been to the vet since and is nothing more than a
big lump of a dog that enjoys his fuss and being part
of our family. Duncan loves life, and it’s been
good to him so far.
come a long way since that cute little puppy climbing onto
the patio and today he enjoys just being normal
we all are………….??