Today we are having to face up to the fact that our beautiful dog, Harry, will probably never come home.
Harry came into our lives as a crazy little pup 6 years ago. The first night we brought him home, he was so tiny, but boy could he howl! He was suddenly on his own for the first time in his life, and he did not like it. We ended up taking him to bed with us to stop the howling!!!!
Next day, we rang Alison and John, who we had got him from and asked if there was another one left. Madness, but we just knew he wasn’t going to do well on his own. Alison and John delivered Winnie to us the next day.
We went through the chewed shoes (Harry), gloves (Winnie), and doorframes (both), and kept hoping they would ‘grow up’. Grow out of the ‘puppy’ stage. They never did. They were the best at playing hide and seek, and kept each other totally amused. Six years on, and they have never been apart.
Last Tuesday they both disappeared. We had been keeping them confined as this had happened a couple of times. However, they both managed to escape without our noticing. We waited for a while and headed to where we thought they had gone. No sign of them.
Back at home, we waited and waited. They always came back for dinner.
I don’t know how many times we got up during the night to see if they were back, and to call them. By 6.30 am we were up and on the road again searching for them.
There is over 1,000 acres of bog not far from us, and this is where we started our search. We called and called, and walked and drove miles. Nothing.
Back at home at 9 am I sent a text to all our neighbours asking them to keep an eye out. Within seconds I had a call saying one neighbour thought they had Winnie. We jumped in car, and found her in their calving shed. She was covered in blood. It was impossible to tell if she’d been attacked by an animal or shot. We brought her home and cleaned her up. Then Alfie went and walked more land and searched other sheds and buildings to see if there was any sign of Harry.
A visit to the vet with Winnie confirmed she has about 30 pellets imbedded in her face, including in her eye.
Each day since we have spent hours searching for Harry to no avail.
We know they should not have strayed. They should not have been on the bog without us. (The area they went to, they knew as Alfie used to keep bees there.) There were no animals in any field near where they were.
They did not chase animals (other than each other). They were chasers of birds – crows, swifts, swallows, wagtails… all had to be chased off the lawn.
They are both gentle friendly dogs. Winnie is a carer… babies of any breed…. she would babysit baby pigs for hours. Harry was a big softie… he would greet you wildly in the morning, but would not go outside until he had his hug.
It sickens me to think that some cold, calculating, evil b****** shot them when a warning shot would have sufficed to send them scurrying home. We both pray that he was killed instantly. We don’t want to think of him in a ditch injured, and having a slow death. He did not deserve that.
Thank you to the literally hundreds of friends, family and kind strangers who have sent messages, have shared his photo… we really do appreciate your kindness.
RIP Harry – the kindest, gentlest, most loyal of dogs, you are missed.