Up until recently, Lady Brown has been on her own, hanging out in the garden of what seems to be an abandoned house near an olive grove. The other day we saw her walking about with a handsome male that M has noticed passing by our lane most evenings. We’ve given him the name Hunter, as he seems to have the characteristic physique of one. Like Lady Brown, he doesn’t have a collar and also seems to have been abandoned.
Hunter is quite young, possibly a year old or two. In the beginning, before he met up with Lady Brown, Hunter was very skittish, and wouldn’t eat any food left for him until we had driven away.
Once he began keeping Lady Brown company, she must have convinced him that we are quite all right, and he’s now taken to eating from our hands, just like Lady Brown. Unlike Lady Brown’s delicate way of eating, Hunter wolfs down his food. He seems to have gone hungry most of his young life. Nevertheless his coat is glossy and he seems in very good health.
Trying to entice both of them to make their home with us is proving a challenge. Every day we walk to their hangout and make them follow us home with intermittent offerings of bits of dogfood. They’ll happily eat their fill from the food bowls we set out and drink water, but as soon as they’re sated, Lady Brown heads for the open gate, and Hunter has no choice but to follow. We’ve decided not to close the gate when they’ve followed us home — it’s their choice to leave or stay.
Hunter seems happy enough to stay — the first time both of them walked home with us, he ran excitedly all around the garden. The way to Hunter’s heart has obviously been through his tummy, and now he’s the one that eagerly responds when M whistles. Lady Brown is not her usual self though. In the past her tail used to wag happily when we showed up in the van and gave her food. Yesterday Hunter came bounding out of the woods — not where they usually hang out — when M whistled, but Lady Brown seemed a bit hesitant, taking her time to come, so that Hunter kept running back and checking to see if she was coming. And when she did come, it took her a while to put her head down to eat. I wonder if she’s a tad envious of Hunter?
Lady Brown needs to be seen by a vet asap. Her eyes are obviously infected, but we can’t just force her into the van. Also she’s gone into heat, and that’s probably why Hunter is keeping her company. At her age though, and her state of health, she doesn’t seem ready to have a litter. Any suggestions, anyone?