Cotswold Life

An ad­di­tion to the fam­ily

‘A ball of fluff called Pip means that we have a dog in the house once more’

- Con­tact @joethevet

With lock­down fi­nally eas­ing, it’s been a month of new ar­rivals in the Inglis house­hold. First up has been Pip the pup, who bounded, licked, and yapped her way into the house a cou­ple of weeks ago. We’d been on the look out for a new dog ever since old Jack passed away a cou­ple of years ago, but what with mov­ing and then ren­o­vat­ing an old house, the time was never quite right un­til now. And then, as luck would have it, a friend of a neigh­bour who knew some­one who knew some­one else had heard of a puppy in need of a home, and be­fore we knew what was hap­pen­ing, we were in a gar­den in Bris­tol be­ing licked en­thu­si­as­ti­cally by a very cute ball of black fur.

Pip, as this ball of fur was called, was the last re­main­ing pup from a small ac­ci­den­tal lit­ter. Her mum was a shaggy lit­tle dog who’d es­caped and spent five days on the run in the wilds of Bris­tol, be­fore com­ing back preg­nant by an un­known fa­ther (or fa­thers, as it is pos­si­ble for lit­ters of pups to have more than one fa­ther!) A cou­ple of months and one dif­fi­cult Cae­sarean sec­tion later, three pups were born, each with dif­fer­ent vari­a­tions on a small, cute and fluffy theme. Two had quickly found new homes, as had Pip be­fore she’d been re­turned by the new own­ers who found her too full of beans for their lit­tle city flat. And that’s when we found her, and im­me­di­ately fell in love with her goofy mon­grel looks, one ear up and one ear down, and ea­ger-to-please na­ture.

A few weeks have passed since Pip ar­rived, and she’s turned out to be an ab­so­lute cracker of a pup, full of ev­ery­thing you’d ex­pect in a young pup - en­ergy, mis­chief, cute­ness, and af­fec­tion. She’s quickly set­tled in, pick­ing up the ba­sics of train­ing re­mark­ably quickly, and en­joy­ing ex­plor­ing the over­grown wilder­ness we call a gar­den.

One de­ci­sion we made when she ar­rived was that we were go­ing to feed her on home-cooked food, and this is work­ing out re­ally well. Al­though I’ve been in­volved in var­i­ous com­mer­cial pet food brands over the years, in­clud­ing and Vet’s Kitchen, I’ve re­cently be­come a con­vert to the ben­e­fits of feed­ing real food made from fresh in­gre­di­ents – and there’s no doubt that Pip is thriv­ing on it, wolf­ing down de­lights such as chicken breast with car­rot and sweet potato, and cod fillets with rice and cour­gette! It’s sur­pris­ingly easy and cheap to do as well, so I’d def­i­nitely rec­om­mend giv­ing it a try, and my new Vetchef web­site give you loads of free ad­vice and recipes tai­lored to your dogs so take a look at that if you’re in­ter­ested.

And then, as if one ball of furry cute­ness wasn’t enough for one house, a week or so af­ter Pip ar­rived, we also wel­comed two new kit­tens into the house (in for a penny…) Jasper and Tau­riel have taken Pip’s en­ergy lev­els and di­alled them up to 11, rac­ing around the liv­ing room, taunt­ing the dog and gen­er­ally caus­ing may­hem – al­beit, very cute and adorable may­hem.

The only mem­ber of the house­hold who’s not too im­pressed with this sud­den in­flux of cute­ness has been our older cat Cud­dles. She’s re­mained aloof, stay­ing well out of the way of the younger an­i­mals, and oc­ca­sion­ally glar­ing at us with her steely yel­low eyes as if to say how unim­pressed she is by the new ar­rivals.

Cud­dles aside, the rest of us have found hav­ing a house­ful of lit­tle an­i­mals an ab­so­lute joy, and a great tonic af­ter the long months of lock­down. It’s so good to have a dog in the house once again, and I’m very much look­ing for­ward to many happy years with Pip, Jasper and Tau­riel enriching our lives.

 ??  ?? Pip, on her first day chez Inglis
Pip, on her first day chez Inglis
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