What is it with me and dogs? Why do I always get the lunatics?
Take the latest little monster, Jack. Jack Russell/Cocker Spaniel cross. White and grey like a lot of Jack Russell's, but soft fur like a spaniel......and the lunacy and energy of both breeds.
I came across Jack on a dog rescue website just before Christmas. I contacted them and woosh! Phone call (interrogation time) & home check one day. Went to see him next day. Third day he was delivered to me.
That was when the problems started. I discovered that the poor lad was scared witless of men especially smokers (which I was at the time). More phone calls and finally I got his full story. He was dumped at the rescue centre because he nipped a 4 year old who was allowed to try hauling him out from under a table by his tail. He was then beaten and, as I've said, dumped at the rescue centre.
The first couple of weeks was a bit of a trial. Trying to get him to trust me, but, as smell is the greatest memory trigger, that didn't go too well. I noticed he was OK with my sons after about half a day, but not me. Then I realised. It was the smoke.
So decision time. Do I let him go to a non smoking home where he wouldn't always be frightened or do I give up smoking myself?
By that stage (3 weeks into our relationship) the little devil had wormed his way into my affections, so that question didn't enter into it and I was down at the stop smoking clinic the next day.
I've tried to give up many times and failed miserably. This time I've been 3 weeks without a smoke, Jack's now willing to play, sit on my lap, come when I call him.
Seems all I needed to give up was the right incentive.