'What big ears you have'
'All the better to hear you with.'
Except that Gus's hearing seems to have disappeared almost completely. This has its plus points: he doesn't hear fireworks exploding, nor other dogs barking. His vision is not so good either, particularly at night when he sometimes bumps into street lamps. On the other hand, his sense of smell is more acute than ever, and he can unerringly sniff out a tiny dog treat dropped on the woodland floor.
I am hoping that Wilson may see this blip. He's not a blipper, but we were told by Julie that he has been given a link to this website. He was a shepherd employed by Myerscough College, and his collie had a litter of four dog puppies. They were taught the skills of a sheepdog, and he worked them with the college sheep flock. But when he left Myerscough and went to a tied cottage elsewhere, he could only take two of his dogs. It seems obvious that he would have taken the two that were the best workers. The two others were Gus and Rocky, and they found their way to Julie and Steve. How Gus came to us is well known to regular readers of this journal.
If Wilson is reading this, I hope I have got that story right. What I would like to do is to thank him for his role in making Gus the dog he is. Although Gus lacked any interest in sheep herding, he was nevertheless very well trained. It sounds odd to say a dog has good manners, but Gus does. We have never had to tell him off for anything. He always walked well on the lead without pulling. When off the lead, he always stays close, constantly checking in to make sure he knows where you are. If left in a room with food on a table, even a low table at his level, he would never help himself. He has never shown the slightest hint of aggression, he is the most gentle animal that we could ever have hoped for. I could go on.
We don't know where Wilson is now, we have no way of contacting him. It would be good to thank him in person one day, and to find out a bit more about Gus's early years. But in the meantime, thank you Wilson, we have been so blessed to have shared the last nine years of our lives with Gus.