Thursday, 3 June 2010

North Yorkshire Village Dogs - Katie

One look at Katie and you know she loves to run; she has just the legs for it. It must be her Saluki blood. Katie is a two-year old black and white Saluki/Spaniel cross with her colour and the look in her eyes suggesting that the Spaniel was a Springer. There is no mistaking that her ears are from the ancient Saluki stock.

Katie came to her present home from the Greyhounds Galore rescue centre when she was four months old. She is a timid dog who will back away and bark as you approach. A ladies’ dog, she dislikes men especially those wearing a cap. Even if you offer her a treat she is not easily won over.

She is full of life and will run and run, jumping up at birds and chasing hares. We have to wait and see what happens if she ever succeeds in catching them. On the beach Katie will run for miles chasing any seagulls that are around. She enjoys running on the lead with her owners and their children when they are out training. The only problem they have is keeping up with her to avoid being pulled over.

There are at least two walks each day, the first in the village early in the morning and then a two to three mile evening walk. At the weekends she is treated to a five-mile outing. She still has enough energy left to race around the garden to which she has free access through a dog-flap in the door.

In the summer she sunbathes on the trampoline but her favourite spot is on top of the patio table. There she can sit or stand to look out over the fields behind the house. Katie is pampered to the extent that she has her own room where she is fed, usually the Pets at Home adult complete dry mix. She sleeps on her sofa in this room too. She is not allowed on other furniture and knows she may not go upstairs. Treats consist of pieces of chicken and occasional biscuits; she knows she may also get special treats in the form of illicit sausages slipped to her by grandparents on a visit.

She enjoys chewing squeaky toys and tug of war with anyone who will play. On canal-boat holidays Katie will jump on and off at bridges and locks; she is quite happy to walk on the towpath on her own alongside the boat.

Katie is covered by pet insurance with visits to the vet so far only being for routine checks. Her owners are hoping that she will grow out of her habit of barking at strangers and dogs. They believe that her slightly timid nature was possibly caused by ill treatment when she was a puppy. Although she barks she never bites but a careful watch is kept on her with children just in case. If a man she doesn’t know comes into the house, after a time, she will sidle slyly up to lick his hand and even offer a paw to shake.