A doggone shoe thief

DESPITE being perhaps the ugliest dog I've ever seen, Floss was a great mother and companion.

We never knew her breeding, but from her shape and colouring, she may have been part dachshund, part whippet and part kelpie.

If you're going for appearance, it's not a promising combination.

Together with the multiple road traumas she experienced from chasing vehicles (described last week), the end result was not pretty.

But she was a brilliant mother. She had 13 pups in her first litter and never had fewer than that.

It was a mad scramble for them all to get fed but, ugly as she was, Floss was also perhaps the most patient mother I've seen.

It was a bit of a struggle giving that first litter away, but after that we had no problems. They were in demand.

She produced terrific working dogs, which, happily, looked very little like their mother.

But finding homes for the pups created a few problems of its own.

When the last of the pups from that first litter was rehomed, my mother started losing shoes.

My mother initially thought she was just being careless but as more went missing, she investigated.

And she found Floss had commandeered the lot and taken them back to her den.

She was only interested in my mother's shoes - they had become her surrogate litter.

Topics:  columns, farm dogs, farm life, humour, rural lifestyle



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