Since moving to our home in the country on the outskirts of a small village in Scotland, Heather and I had wanted a dog. Despite the assurances from our two boys that they would look after the dog, we realised that, while both of us were working, it would be unfair on the dog to leave him/her locked up in the house for most of the day. Time went by - our boys grew up and left home and eventually Heather and I both retired. When the Covid pandemic was in full swing, a friend of Heather’s told us of a litter of Working Cocker Spaniels for sale in Omagh, Northern Ireland. We decided that now was the time to get a dog!
Prudie, was born on St Patrick’s day 2020. Because of travel restrictions at the time, a puppy transporter was contracted to bring her and one of her sisters, Ellie, to Scotland. Ellie now lives with friends in a neighbouring village. Both puppies tumbled out of the van into our garden on 11th May 2020 in a glorious fur bundle, exuding happiness and excitement. They immediately and totally stole the hearts of their waiting humans.
Preparations for Prudie’s arrival had been made weeks in advance so she had several S&D collars, leads, beds, cages and toys waiting for her. She even had a toy bear with a thumping heart to snuggle up to so that she wouldn’t miss her mummy too much when she went to bed on her first night. Nonetheless she was lonely that first night and Heather lay beside her on the floor with her fingers through the bars of Prudie’s cage. It was a fairly sleepless night but it didn’t need to be repeated – Prudie settled into her new home very quickly.
A Working Cocker Spaniel, with her need for a huge amount of exercise and mental stimulation, might be an odd choice for a couple of auld ones! We made the choice because we both love spaniels and because we both felt that exercise would be good for us too. Walks were of course limited in length at first but they have now become a regular daily occurrence lasting 1½ to 2 hours. That seems to be enough for Prudie and is certainly enough for us, even though we are both a lot fitter now than before her arrival. Prudie also has the run of our garden which, with her ‘help’, is now Prudie-proof. Fencing the garden was fairly arduous - every time I thought I had made it secure, Prudie would ‘help’ by showing me it wasn’t. I never thought that dogs can actually climb wire fences!
Training of Prudie, and her humans, has not been a huge success so far but we are all managing to keep ourselves more or less on the straight and narrow. We went to puppy training classes for a week which helped but, without treats, Prudie didn’t think much of them. A bag of treats is now an essential part of any walks we have together! Now, when she jumps into the river after a stick or goes off hunting pheasants she will come back to her humans when called or whistled. But only when she is ready!
Evenings on the sofa, now include our little fur ball (no serious attempt to keep her off the furniture has ever been made) and she generally comes looking for a cuddle. There is some jealousy here between her humans because, although Heather cuddles her in the mornings and gives her treats whenever she may look ‘unsettled or upset’, Prudie normally comes to me for her evening cuddles.
We both love Prudie immensely and are really proud of her. We are very happy that she came to live with us and that we share our lives together.