When we first learnt that Poppy, our lovely Labrador, had cancer we said that when her time came we would look for another dog as Saari would be so miserable without her best of best friends. After all, Saari had been with Poppy ever since she was 7 weeks old and they had never had a day apart. So when that awful day came on New Year's Eve when we buried Poppy under the Mulberry tree, Saari immediately started looking for her friend and the sadness in her eyes said it all. She was so miserable. She only plodded on her walks and with no canine companion to play with she really was a very sad dog.
So we started our search. We remembered it had taken us several months to find Poppy (who came from Battersea) and we had always said that any new dog would be a rescue dog. Simon searched a few fairly local centres and then called me over. He had found a site nearby (ish) with a 3 month old Black Lab puppy. It was evening time so we rang and left a message and sent an email. We then held our breath.
The day after the owner of the refuge (they are often privately owned in France) rang us to say the puppy had gone.
BUT she did have a 2 year old Black Lab boy who was in need of a home. He had been dumped at her last February and re-homed with a man in a local town. However he had recently got a new girlfriend who was moving in and did not like dogs. She had won his affections and the owner brought the dog back to the refuge just before Christmas.
It turned out that the refuge was only a few hundred metres away from a holiday home of friends which Simon needed to visit for his monthly maintenance check, so we felt it wouldn't be a wasted journey if he were to do the maintenance check and we could see the dog on the same day. We took Saari with us to confirm they would fine together and headed off, repeatedly telling the boys that we may not come home with a dog if he was not right for us.
Was he right? Yes he was!!
And that is how we came home with Harry, the 2 year old double-rescue Labrador. There was no fisticuffs (pawsicuffs?) between Saari and him and he just shouted "Take me home!" to us. A case of when Harry met Saari he found himself a new home!
He is different to her in both looks and character. At the moment Saari is a little distant with him (and she was very unsettled being at the refuge, which itself may have brought back bad memories back for her) ... but they have had long walks together and walked side by side on the leads as well as played together a bit out in our field. Hopefully at some point soon she'll share her large bed with him as she did with Poppy and he will come to fill the huge gap that her best friend has left behind.
Time then to say: "Welcome to Eco-Gites of Lenault, Harry", as we start the next chapter of our canine tales.