It was a different dog Jenny and Scott had gone to visit the day of the Meet and Greet. Still recovering from the loss of their Daschund, Tony, they were only just starting to consider adding a third to their family again. It was Penny from the Victoria Humane Society who suggested a rescue she had from Alert Bay and described the abuse the little Plott Hound had endured at such a young fragile age. This newly engaged couple knew they had more than enough love to give and after a few weeks Hamish came home.
"...he is a shining example of forgiveness"
I heard him before I met him, a long howl coming from inside their beautiful West Coast home in desirable Dean Park. It was his glossy red brindle coat that stood out to me as he approached with his extra long tail wagging. He didn't bark and he showed no fear of me, the stranger in his yard. "He has never shied away from people" Jenny writes to me "despite his cruel start to life- he is a shining example of forgiveness".
Jen greets me from the steps fitting into the scene perfectly in her Cowichan sweater. I'm invited in and offered coffee. I decline though, no photographer needs shaking hands especially with the flat grey cloud covered hue of this day. We are in the kitchen and the first thing I notice is the giant skylight casting beautiful light onto marble countertops. Ideas begin to form and images are being created in my mind. We toured the house with Hamish at our heels and I'm amazed at all the space, the woodwork and the interesting layout. A character home perfect for raising a family but for now it will serve as a great playground for an energetic hound dog.
"...Hamish wakes up and then his tail wakes up"
For the next hour and a half the two of us wind that puppy up into an over-excited, barking, drooling, jumping fever much like a child on Christmas morning. We tease him with food, yarn and his favourite toys. This level of excitement is the norm here at home "He's excited to start every day! First Hamish wakes up and then his tail wakes up its like every day is Christmas day for him"
"...I have never once thought of him as limited"
Spending time with Hamish takes a lot of energy, he's young and agile completely motivated by food and especially the chicken strips I had in my pocket! He bowled me over a couple of times as he quickly learned that the snap of the camera shutter meant he got a treat. I was hard pressed to even notice his missing limb during our time together. After my own dog was hit by a car a few years ago there was a decision to be made - save the leg- or lose it. I was bent on saving it because I was afraid. I was afraid her quality of life would fail, that she wouldn't be able to live the life she deserved but mostly- I was afraid that she might be too much for us- a learning curve that I wasn't open to. I didn't think a disabled dog was something I could handle. Hamish has taught me that my fear was unnecessary and I understand when Jenny said "I have never once thought of him as limited, to be honest we forget that he is missing anything."
As I was packing up to leave, I asked Jenny if there was anything else she needed. Any other images we missed or she had hoped for. She looked at me her face fell serious and she said "Wendhi...you have to see him run"