The local dog shelter (SPACA) contacted me about Dino. His owners were moving. Classic story - they were giving up their villa to go and live in an appartment and the gentleman wanted reassurance on Dino's ability to adapt to his new surroundings. Easy, I think. I've know several dogs do this transition and in my experience they were all successful: dogs adapt very easily to new situations. I had all the arguments ready, so I rang the man. Well, at first we tend to think things are straightforward, don't we? ....
It's true, they were moving but that was not the problem. The problem was that Madam no longer liked Dino (had she ever?) Madam is expecting a baby, madam no longer wants Dino in the house. I listened to the man, politely, then cheekily asked if his wife was suffering from pre-natal depression (does that exist?). Anyway, he told me that, alas, no. This had been "coming on" for a while now and she really did not want Dino around any more. I asked him what the date limit was for "getting the dog out"? He said he'd like the weekend to try and convince his wife to change her mind.
In the meantime, I rang the vice president of our newly formed Basset Rescue organisation, here in France, "Un Coeur sous l'Oreille", and it just so happened that there was a family about 2 hours drive from here, in Marseille, that was wanting to adopt a basset. The age of the basset was not a problem.
What suspense throughout the weekend. Would the man be able to convince his wife?... The reply was NO! So, we decided on a time and day for him to bring Dino to my house (I did not particularly want to meet the wife). Then my mind started to race: I'd never seen the dog (pet shop aquisition), was it really a basset hound? Was he really the owner? The people adopting Dino - were they nice people, did they know anything about dogs? etc etc ....
Anyway, the day arrived and so did Dino and his soon to be ex-owner. Dino was gorgeous. There was only one slight hic - he was supposed to be 6 but he was 7 years old. Never mind, he's a nice tri and he took to me immediately (okay, maybe a couple of biscuits did help). The man was very upset and cried most of the time, hugging Dino and finding it difficult to walk away. He even offered to finance part of my trip to take Dino to his new owners.
Anecdote : When the man was in my house he wanted to go and stroke Penny and Polly, my bassets. Penny growled at him. I honestly believe she understood what was happening and was telling him that she did not approve!
Then, bye bye Sir, and off we go to Marseille. Dino was an angel in the car, no whining, no barking. I don't know my way around Marseille so I stopped off in a near-by town and "kidnapped" a friend of mine who knows the place well. It was a brilliant idea. Marseille is in the same mess as Nice - they are building a new tramway and trying to get anywhere is an absolute nightmare. Had I been on my own, I'd probably still be driving round in circles. We managed to find Dino's new owners, Sonia and her partner. They were so excited at meeting Dino at last. They seem perfect for him. Dino trotted off alongside them as if he had always known them! When I got home I rang Sonia to see if everything was okay - Dino was on the couch demanding belly rubs!
What a journey - from the bottom of the garden to the depths of the couch. I think Dino has at last landed on all four paws!
ps - 2008 : Dino now lives in Guyane (South America!) He moved there with his owners and is living the life of luxury on a farm!
Dino's adventure in pictures:
Arriving at our home and meeting Penny
Penny and Polly accompany Dino to his new home (just to make sure he goes there!)
Our friend who we kidnapped, to show us the way!
Dino with his new mistress