We have just inherited a rag, tag and bobtail of a dog called ’Footsie’. She was found three weeks ago wandering around outside a local restaurant for a couple of days looking for food. Paula, a woman who takes responsibility for stray animals in this part of the island, took her in and started to look after her. She soon found that, Footsie has such a quiet, loving nature but is definitely not a ‘looker’. She wouldn’t win any awards at Crufts. Pure white coat, almost albino type eyes but a protruding bottom set of teeth which means she always has the canine tooth on the left and several of her other teeth showing. But, as we said, a lovely temperament. Very playful, loving and peaceful.

Paula took her to the local vet for a check up and found that Footsie is about 12 to 13 months old and had recently, within the last three weeks or so, had puppies. The vet gave the appropriate medicines to help her during the whelping period. But otherwise was in good health. She also had a chip in her ear but when they checked the computer system found that the registration had not been completed properly and only an out of use phone number was registered. So: no chance of finding the original owner.

For the next few days you could see Paula and Footsie walking around the village and after a couple of days it became more and more obvious that Paula was getting very attached to ‘Footsie and Footsie to her. After all, Paula had taken her off the street and shown her a lot of love and affection. The only problem is that Paula specialises in cats. Wild street cats; and so there was no room in the apartment for Footsie. The result: Footsie spent the nights in Paula’s car and the days in her office.

It wasn’t long, no more than a couple of days before people in the village began to notice Footsie. About a week later a young guy approached Paula and asked if he could take her for his parents. Their dog had recently died and so he thought she would be an ideal replacement. An ideal loving dog, especially for an older couple. Footsie loves sitting on people’s laps!

The deal was done. Paula agreed and Footsie was taken by the young man, placed in his car and taken on the local ferry to the next island where his parents live. Unfortunately his father did not like Footsie. For whatever reason he said he did not want her in the house. Although his mother quite liked her it was an impossible situation. So she had to make the return journey.

All was not lost though because the young man had fallen in love with Footsie and decided to keep him. He took Footsie home and he and his wife immediately fell in love with her. Unfortunately their female dog didn’t. She played hell. She gave Footsie a very hard time and did not like the invasion of her space and territory. So after a night of constant fighting and quarrelling between the dogs the young couple decided, regrettably, Footsie had to go back to Paula.

So, four days and many experiences later, Footsie returned to Paula. She was so happy to see her and back to the office and the car at night.

When Paula was explaining the experience to Julie on the telephone, guess what! Julie said, Oh! She’s such a sweet thing, we’ll have her.

We have had her for all of 18 hours now and what an animal. She walked in as if she had always lived here, put her footmarks everywhere, ate some supper, watched the football match whilst sitting on my foot cushion and has carried on as though she has always been here.

This made us think of us human beings. Would we have behaved in this way? Or would we be bitching and slating people and telling everyone what a bad world it was and how terrible people are.

Footsie taught us three things:

1. how important it is to keep your self respect, no matter what, and respect others, no matter what.

2. live in the present. It’s no good being wedded to what you told yourself you were going to do at the beginning of the day.

3. the way to people hearts is through giving. In her case, giving love. Just give love and don’t expect anything in return and you will gain all the benefits.

It’s a Doggy story but Footsie has taught us all, and we’re sure there’s more to come.

Good Luck

Graham and Julie

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