Winifred arrived somewhat unexpectedly; a tiny black and silver schnauzer in need of her forever home, following her rescue from a puppy farm by Friends of Animals Wales. We were anticipating that she would be a bit like Mungo, and take time to come out of her shell - but after 36 hours she has already learned her name, how to do the stairs, emptied the toy box to discover the ones at the bottom, and which ones she likes best (the crinkly octopus, for sure), bounced Mungo out of bed so that she can play with him, and showed that she loves to chase a ball in the garden. In fact, she's discovering her delayed puppyhood, and she loves it!
Winifred is only two... she'd clearly had a litter not long before she was rescued, and we don't know the reason why she was surrendered for rescue at this point - but we are very glad that she was. Being so young, she doesn't seem anywhere near as traumatised as Mungo; just a bit wary of us to begin with, but it didn't take long before her innate joyfulness and lightness of spirit shone through.
We chose her name because she needed something that suited her grace and delicacy, and Winifred seemed to suit her. The name means 'joy and peace', and St Winifred is also the patron saint of protection from unwanted advances, so it's doubly perfect for a little ex-puppy farm girlie who is reclaiming her joyful birthright.
So Luna caught a mole yesterday evening… I’ve no idea where she found it, as there are no evident mole hills in the garden, but she was exceptionally pleased with herself. She refused to relinquish her prize in the garden, and carried it triumphantly into the house, where she was eventually persuaded to part with it in exchange for three biscuits – a deal which she subsequently regretted, if her disappointed searching was anything to go by…
The mole was, sadly, deceased by this point and was decently interred under the hedgerow across the lane. Cat families will often be distressingly familiar with this scenario, but with our dogs it is not so frequent (although certainly not unheard of!).
We somehow forget, when we are throwing the fluffy, squeaky toy in a fun game of chase, fetch and throw-in-the-air before chasing again, that in addition to the joyful interaction we are both having, we are also assisting our little hairy friends to hone their hunting skills…
Dogs are natural predators – it is their essential nature to hunt small, squeaky, furry or feathered things. Why should we expect them to be less dog, and more human, just because we choose to share our lives, our homes and our sofas with them?
...and the Canine Members of Staff