Arnside and beyond

By gladders

Reunion

Gus hasn't seen his brother Rocky for nine years, but here they are today with their favourite people in Redhills Wood.  Steve and Julie brought Rocky for a reunion this afternoon.

I said in Gus's ninth year celebratory blip on 27 December that Steve and Julie gave us the most precious Christmas present ever.  They made two people and a dog very happy indeed.  

Their original intention had been to rehome both dogs, but like Gus, Rocky decided he preferred a domestic life to working with sheep on a farm.  So they kept him themselves, and everyone lived happily afterwards.

Gus and Rocky were two of four brother dogs from the same litter that a shepherd at Myerscough College kept as working dogs.  When he finished work at the college and moved to a tied cottage, he could only keep two dogs.  It must have been a hard choice, Gus had no interest in working with sheep, so he couldn't keep him, though Rocky did and that would have been the harder choice.  In turn, Julie and Steve who were later looking after the two brothers, had to make a tough decision to rehome them.  They tried to place them with a man who ran sheepdog experience days in the Lyth Valley.  He wasn't impressed by Gus's sheep handling skills.  Disconsolate, they went for a walk over Arnside Knott on the way home, and by one of those miracles of fate, Gus met Caroline on top of the hill. 

It was quite an emotional meeting for the humans today, while the dogs were very calm about it all.  They are old boys now, Steve and Julie have pieced together that they were 7 years old when Gus came to us, so they are 16 now.  They both look well, they have each had episodes that they nearly died from in 2021, Rocky is weak on his back legs, and Gus is limping from his arthritic shoulder.  But we managed a short walk with them to the wood and back.

A very good day indeed.  Thanks again Steve and Julie, it was so lovely to see you again.

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