We had a long journey in the car to where the winds are fresher. It is a new beach for us. The tidal sand is perfect for a sighthound race to the water’s edge.
“I’ve still got it!” says Seamus. He always beats us on the first run. He is more than twelve years old and can still run at forty miles an hour.
Our companion gets my pink Frisbee out. Seamus and Eivor love chasing me for it and always let me win.
We are having so much fun. I carry my Frisbee back to our companion when a man approaches us.
“I love watching your dogs run,” says the man, “they’re just doing it for fun! I nearly adopted a rescue lurcher two years ago.”
“What happened?” asks our companion.
“I had seen this advert on a charity website for a six year old lurcher called Tam. He looked very skinny and his page notes said he was very good with other dogs. I was looking for someone to keep my older dog, Ben, company. So I call them. I explain I have an older dog and that I am looking for a middle-aged dog who is good with other dogs. This woman tells me that Tam is lovely, that he is great with other dogs. She arranges for a home-check before I can meet him. She tells me that it will be done by a new volunteer and asks me to be kind to her.
The next day these two young girls turn up with a clipboard and they haven’t got a clue. It’s just as well I’m a nice guy. They hang around for two hours and in the end I have to fill their papers out for them. I ask them about Tam. They tell me how lovely he is and how good he is with other dogs and how he will be lovely company for Ben. I ask them if they have actually met Tam. They tell me they haven’t, but that they are sure he is lovely.”
Our companion throws the Frisbee again and we’re off!
“I became suspicious,” says the man, “so I drove to the boarding kennels that hold dogs on behalf of several small rehoming charities. I ask if I can see Tam. They ask me why. I tell them I am interested in adopting a companion dog for my older dog. They tell me Tam is not good with other dogs. They tell me he can only be rehomed as an only dog. I was livid. I told them what the charity had told me and they said they weren’t doing Tam or themselves any favours by being so dishonest.”
I drop the Frisbee at our companion’s feet again.
“I’ve become very cynical now,” says the man. “Every time I look at a description on a charity’s website I wonder whether it’s all fake.”
I look at the man and give him one short deep bark.
“Are you telling me off?” he asks.
Look into my eyes. I am not telling you off. I am asking you to wake up! Cynicism is just a dream. Go deeper into your own heart and you will know whether something is true or not.
Cynicism is a human invention which can cast a shadow over all your experiences and prevent you from enjoying your life. We, as dogs, do not do cynicism. We love to keep everything simple and true. We trust our instincts.
The man bends down and strokes me under my chin. “You’re very pretty and very spirited,” he says. “You sound a bit like my mum when she used to tell me off.”
Our companion throws the Frisbee again. Seamus hangs back this time and Eivor and I race for it.
The man gets up and asks our companion: “Is there a rehoming charity you can recommend?”
I send you all so much love,