The Vizsla Newzsletter (Oct / Nov 1998)
Image: Kura, Ochre & Shiloh on the agility table.
A BROTHER FOR OCHRE
- now there are threeBy Sue Mckee
Well it had to happen. Someone once said "you can't just have one Vizsla" and I smugly thought "no, we can only have two dogs at any given time (in our case a GSP and a Vizsla), it won't happen to us." Well it did, and not only that but we also said we'd never get a boy dog, and guess what?! Never say "never"! It all came about when we heard of a six year old male Vizsla that needed a new home. His owners were overseas and had decided to make it permanent. This left Shiloh needing a more permanent arrangement. Shiloh was not completely unknown to us, I had even done an article for the Newzsletter in December 1996 about Vizslas at the NDOA, in which he featured. So it seemed "right" that we should adopt Shi. Not only that, he is a fully trained agility dog and my husband Rob was without a dog to run in agility since our 11 year old GSP retired last year.
He arrived one stormy night off the plane. Not a very auspicious start, coming into a home where the two incumbent dogs were settled down for a quiet evening in front of the fire. But Shiloh coped amazingly well, just looking to Rob for a little reassurance from time to time - this reassurance manifested itself in getting onto his knee of course! Since then he has settled in completely, the other two dogs just seemed to have "moved over" to let him in to their lives and Ochre, our four year old Vizsla, and he are the best of friends.
Coming from a town environment he has had to get used to all sorts of strange things like tractors and row upon row of apple trees. Ochre is the hunter of the family especially now that Kura is slowing down, and spends her days out in the orchard with Rob when I am at work, hunting for mice or rabbits or anything she can find. Shiloh is not quite so dedicated and heads home at the slightest cool breeze or spot of rain. However Ochre is slowly teaching him how to hunt efficiently. She found a hedgehog the other day under a shelter tree but Shiloh decided he wanted it for himself and took off home. Rob saw him go, with a determined stride no amount of calling would deter him from his mission. When I arrived home from work I found a hedgehog in the family room, still alive, curled up with Shiloh sitting beside it as proud as can be! Thanks Shi...
His foster mother tells us the story of how he was shut out of the house one day. Imagine her surprise to find him climbing in through the toilet window. When she yelled out "What are you doing??!" he lost his footing and almost fell in the loo!
When we lit the fire to burn the tree prunings, we didn't realise Shiloh had never come across a bonfire before. When Rob threw a stick into the fire, Shiloh chased after it and stood in the hot embers, wondering why Rob was frantically calling him. When his feet got hot he did a huge leap in the air and jumped clear! Luckily just a few singed feet hairs.
He is a great agility dog, a springy fast mover, although a little inclined to miss contacts.
When we come home from being out he jumps up in the air from all four feet, and lands again, so happy to see us as all the dogs are. A real jumping bean.
Typical of Vizslas, he is super affectionate. It is so nice to have two! Now, about that clone of Ochre I wanted ....
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