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Rest in peace on your last dog bed, Alice.

Last Wednesday Alice’s rich life came to an end. Alice, my Hungarian Vizsla, was 12 years old and had a fantastic life full of events. She was such a wanted puppy and I remember being very impatient for her mother coming in to season so that the mating could happen. I think I was almost becoming a bit of a pest to the owners of Alice’s mum, but at last the litter was born and there were only two bitches. I was allowed to pick my one and I will never forget when I brought home the little puppy. We had been on holiday and driven all night, so my husband went straight to bed, while I went straight over to collect Alice. We didn’t even have any dog beds ready for her to sleep on as we had been away. But this was at the infancy of the company, so I soon made one for the little puppy. I remember showing the sleeping other half and as he opened one eye and saw this little bundle, a warm smile spread over his face.

I did everything one should do to get the best out of my dog. Alice was socialised to perfection and I took her into town to meet everyone I could think of, such as women and men that looked different. I remember seeking out men with beards or with a helmet on and asking them to stroke the puppy so that she would become familiar and happy with these strange humans. I was not too busy with the dog beds back then, so I was able to pay all the attention possible to the dog. We went to gun dog classes and I trained her to do all the working test things, but Alice was always a bit of a timid nature and as she developed, she was happy to do all this and we progressed into the shooting. She was lovely on grouse and was shot over for a whole season, when in her second season must have go some fright, so she became gun nervous. Well, I would certainly call it gun shy, because she was utterly petrified. I remember opening the back of the car to find a shivering dog trying to hide under the dog beds in order to avoid coming out as she knew this was going to be a shooting day. If I got her out from the dog beds, she would immediately run under the car and hide. It was hideous. I was in a state of despair as I had trained this dog to perfection and she was lovely till it suddenly went so wrong.

However, I worked hard on it, helped by some calming medication and it only took one season till she was back as an enthusiastic gun dog.

I will tell a bit more next week, but I have to get back to my dog beds as it’s late and there is lots to do as always.