Mum, Barney the Westie & I drove 3 hours to meet Storm. Nervous? Yes! Excited? You bet! Was I disappointed? ‘Course not! Storm is a Samoyed & they are many things but NEVER a disappointment.
Storm is a 9-year old big hairy mass of love. At first, he was quiet & seemed scared, terribly camera-shy. He lay in the corner or under a table, didn’t really want to know anybody as we sat chatting with Brenda & Sue. (Sue had been looking after him & performed a heroic grooming job on him). When it was time to go, Stormy came out for treats & happily waddled into the car, settling down to watch the world go by. The first dinner at home was interesting – he decided the strict calorie-controlled diet wasn’t enough: barking, barking, barking to protest the measly portion size. After a couple of hours, he gave up & has never complained again. Meal times are now joyous – he pirouettes & prances just like a circus pony! Lately, we have concluded that Stormy has magical properties. The odd item has ‘disappeared’ – banana, bagel, tomato or sausage – he’s not fussy. Now we’ve storm-proofed the kitchen bin & don’t leave food out on the kitchen counters or in the car as I really can’t live with a fat canine Paul Daniels…
Storm loves to be outside, day & night, sunshine or howling gale. Bringing him in when it was raining was a challenge –cured with treats (so much for the diet). Within a month, this all changed – one day I heard him barking, so went out to tell him to hush & discovered it was raining. The not-so-little monster was complaining that I hadn’t called him in! Bad Mummy!
Storm is fat & unfit while I’m fat but fit. At first, he was out of breath after 10 minutes easy walking, but a careful programme of 2-3 daily walks have increased his fitness & built some muscle. He loves his walks, tackles hills with gusto, & never pulls on the lead so Mum can walk him too. He ignores cyclists & runners, but firmly believes he’s entitled to the middle of the trail. I decided to let him off the lead very early on – knowing I would definitely out-run him if he did attempt to take off! Four months later, I doubt I could catch him now but he’s so good, it’s a moot point. He loves a trip to the beach best, to canter on the sand or paddle in the water; loves trips to the moors & hills, slowly building up enough stamina to enjoy proper hill-walks.
Sadly, Storm doesn’t play with people or dogs (poor Barney) or toys. He’s not usually interested in the people or the dogs we meet on a walk but does greet visitors to the house. He loves regular visitors: our neighbour Nicole always makes a big fuss of both Storm & Barney, so has become a firm favourite.
He rarely gets upset with me going to work – Mum is home all day – but oh! what a welcome I get when I come home – such bustle to reach me & tell me all about his day. Cuddles are absolutely required & it’s precious to be so important to him. He loves Mum & spends all day with her, but somehow he decided he was my dog. I get snuggled up to, licked so much that I must surely be shrinking & made a fuss of by this big-hearted boy. In truth, cuddles are required at any time or place by this cuddle-monster. He is still somewhat camera-shy, but his true nature shines through his actions. His bravery at coping with a complete loss of all that was familiar is astounding & I hope his original Mummy is comforted to know that he is a happy boy once again.
Thank-you Brenda for giving me this opportunity to help this magnificent boy a new home. And thank-you Barney for putting up with a dog that ignores you unless it’s a peeing contest!