It was New Year's Day 2013, just over four weeks since we'd lost The Hound. We'd got through Christmas without him (just) and had agreed that we would wait a while before thinking about getting another dog. We still felt too raw, we missed him too much, and it was going to be a very busy year. Maybe we'd adopt a new hound in the autumn. But definitely not yet (although I had started browsing rescue sites – just looking, you understand).
In the early hours of that morning, I had an unusually vivid dream. My husband, D, and I had adopted a medium-sized black greyhound with white paws and a white splodge on his chest which tapered down to his belly in a lightning-bolt shape. He was quite at home, sprawled on a dog bed in our living room. Not surprisingly, when I woke up, I couldn't stop thinking about him. Later that morning, I had a quick browse of the website of the rescue which we adopted The Hound from: Crossing Cottage, the East Midlands and Nottinghamshire branch of the Retired Greyhound Trust (again, just looking).
And saw this little face looking back at me.
|© J. Croft, used with permission|
I showed D, almost speechless. This was the dog from my dream. 'Email them,' D said. 'Do it now.'
'But it's New Year's Day,' I said. 'What if there's no one there?'
'Email them,' he said again.
So I did, and an hour later, I had a reply. Apparently, the dog's markings were just as I'd dreamt them, even down to the white lightning-bolt on his belly, and even more spookily, he had only gone up on the site the night before. We were the first people to enquire about him.
We got in touch with the owners, and arrangements were made for them to visit us a couple of weeks later. It went brilliantly – the owners were lovely, and clearly very sad about having to rehome G-Dog (as he's now known for online purposes!), who walked straight in, jumped up, put his paws on D's shoulders and washed his face.
By the time the visit was over, we knew our wait for another hound was over almost before it had begun. On the 26th January 2013, G-Dog came home, and as I type this he's stretched out on the sofa beside me, paws gently twitching. I wonder what he's dreaming about…?
|My writing assistant, hard at work|
|Oh I do like to be beside the seaside…|
|A noble countenance|
|Hogging the cushions (but we don't mind)|