We've had three dogs, the first a male Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever named Jake, chosen and named by our son for his 10th birthday. Jake was a fine big puppy, the kids all loved him but he was Ole Rascal's dog, no doubt about it.
Jake picked up a virus from standing water, became ill and died within 24 hours, he was only a few months old.
We were so devastated for our pup and for our son, we could barely function for several days.
In desperation we phoned the breeder to talk about replacing Jake as soon as possible. He told us there was a six month old female named Pick who was meant for breeding but in the end her stature wasn't quite right for creating the ideal shape of a Duck Toller, would we like to have her?
We drove out and picked her up and she became part of the family.
|Our old girl Pick|
We eventually adjusted to her needs and I really enjoyed walking her, she was one of those dogs that was great on her leash, didn't bark at other dogs or lunge at them. She was lovely!
Six years after she came to live with us our youngest daughter became ill, and with the illness came many, many visits to the paediatrician. Dr. Laszlo was a gentle doctor with the children, very caring and he was also an expert with allergies. Every week he would ask me about the "allergy in the house" and if we had "dealt with it". Little Rascal consistently showed signs of an allergy, mostly by way of a stuffy nose.
Finally he said to me "there's nothing for it, that dog is going to have to be put down."
So we dealt with it, but of course we knew that she didn't actually have to die!
We phoned the breeder and quickly found a kind couple who had a love of Duck Tolling Retrievers. They had a male Duck Toller, I think Reggie was 10 at the time, and they thought Pick would be a wonderful companion for him.
So we very sadly said goodbye to Pick but we were fortunate enough to get regular updates from her new owners.
Pick and Reggie became best mates and loved to run and play together. Reggie was quite a bit bigger than Pick and he loved to look out the window. Pick was too short to reach the window so her new owner made her a little bench to stand on so they could look out together. They would wander the fields and chase after birds and squirrels, all in all they were having a blast.
Then after 10 months or so their relationship changed. Pick became very protective and almost maternal towards Reggie. This was a puzzle to them and of course I put it down to the fact that Pick never did get to be a mother, a role I was so sure was her true calling. Then Pick started growling at other dogs in the parks and on walks and wouldn't let them near Reggie. Then she started sleeping right next to him, nearly on top of him, covering his body with hers.
The owners were suspicious and took Pick and Reggie to the veterinarian.
Reggie was sick with cancer and he only lived a short time after that.
|Pick in our garden last summer.|
He must have been in pain, and she knew it.
Well, obviously after losing Reggie to the horrible cancer Pick became precious as gold to her new owners, her loyalty to their beloved Reggie, the comfort she provided, and now of course she was the only dog left to them.
Our old girl has been very loved!
Seeing Pick last summer brought tears to me eyes. She's such a smart, gentle animal who is still a bit anxious. She had no time for Scout who is about four times the size of her and barked at her from the corner of the garden trying to get her to play. She was having none of it!
Pick turned 14 last week and so she is having a long life. We had an email from the owner and she is doing just fine. Bless you Pick Old Girl and may you have many more years.
Next week our Scout will be three years old and while she is a completely different sort of dog she has the same loyalty that our Pick does.
|Definitely tall enough to look out the window.|
She is a "hypo-allergenic" dog which is the reason we chose this breed, though seeing our Little Rascal around other dogs I think our daughter has in fact out-grown her allergy.
We've been fortunate to have these dogs in our life, they are truly a gift to the home, they ask for so little and yet give so much.