Tuesday 22 August 2017

Canine tornado full of devilment

Marco, Helen Harris, Conor McGregor and Rachel, Dunshaughlin, Co Meath

If ever a dog deserved a blog…it's Hunter. We surrendered ourselves to him in Dog's Trust in March 2013. He was 16 weeks old.

Hunter is a lurcher - a cross between a greyhound and a wolfhound. He's big, has a smooth greyhound head and a hairy body. "Lurcher" - that wonderfully onomatopoeic name - means "thief". Enough said. He was a canine tornado to begin with. Madder than a box of frogs. Bonkers.

I'd be ambushed at high speed in the garden when hanging out the laundry. Dive-bombed! The laundry basket was often abandoned while I ran for cover. He'd eventually calm down but only after performing a magnificent paso doble with all my work blouses.

Hunter?!? More like scavenger. Counter-surfer supreme. Lasagnes have been devoured and toasted sandwiches whipped from under a hot grill. A batch of 24 super-deluxe chocolate brownies was ravished when someone forgot to close the kitchen door. This latter escapade nearly killed him.

He snatched Granddad's chicken drumstick as he watched the Six-One news, plate on knee. Granny, who loves all creatures but fears none, sprung into action. She bravely grappled with bear-trap jaws and against the odds, fished the drumstick out - whole! Hunter had met his match.

That first summer, we invited some friends round for a barbecue. It was a beautiful evening and we sat outside on the patio as the sun went down.

As Hunter had already licked from the mayonnaise jar in front of our guests, we couldn't take any chances with dessert. He was ushered into the kitchen and could only look on from behind the patio doors as we all tucked into Marie's luscious roulade. But he was not going to be outdone. Out he came from the wings on to the lit stage in all his glory, humping his bed from one side of the patio doors to the other. Over and back he went on his hind legs, grinding away. I swear he was grinning. All that was missing was a cane and straw hat. Our very polite guests who had their backs to him, chatted away unaware of the sordid spectacle unfolding behind them while we tried not to choke on our lemon meringue pie. Marco excused himself swiftly to "put the kettle on" and the lewd lurcher was unceremoniously removed by the scruff of the neck.

Nearly four years on, he has calmed down into a sweet, affectionate, mostly well-mannered mutt. But every so often, the tail wags in a certain way and those eyes start to smile and you just know he's up for devilment.

Name: Hunter

Finest hour: Conning that unsuspecting family into adopting him

Likes: The beach - salty air, endless space and ice-cream

Dislikes: Suitcases being packed

n If you would like your pet featured in this column please send a story of 440 words and a photograph to snews@independent.ie clearly labelled MY PET

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