Born 3 July 1999 Adopted- December 2001 Died-22 June 2010)
Fudge came into our lives one December afternoon in 2001. The unfortunate by-product of a marriage break-up, he had not been coping well with his prolonged stay in kennels, so his owners had decided to put him up for adoption for his own good. For this reason, we came to pick him up on the very day that he had been handed in to the Vizsla Welfare.
My husband fell in love with Fudge from the moment he saw him on his hind legs – he was quite tall – looking anxiously through Clare Aldridge’s window. It was obvious from the start that he had been a well-loved dog. Once he settled in with us, we quickly tuned in to one another and he became an integral part of our lives. He had a generally calm, laid back and amenable temperament but could get very excited when we played hide-and-seek or tug-of-war with him, which he seemed to enjoy as much as we did.
As with all vizslas, there were, of course, non-negotiables. On his first night, he made it clear that sleeping in the utility room would not do but the hall-way was more acceptable (although he really would have preferred to be upstairs with us!). In his first week, he helped himself to a chicken which we had left to thaw on the worktop – well away from his reach, or so we thought. One morning, we also found a box of empty egg shells on the floor, still neatly arranged and with no trace of any mess. So we learnt not to leave food within paw’s reach.
We had been told that Fudge was a good traveller, an important factor for us as we had a holiday home in the south of France. He was in fact truly exceptional, settling quietly in the back of the car for the 650 mile journey as soon as we started, only to make an appearance when we stopped at motorway services to give him a quick run around.
As one would expect, Fudge liked to follow interesting scents and chase the pheasants, deer, rabbits or other wildlife he came across during the many long walks we had together. He never caught anything – to be fair, we did not encourage him to develop his natural instinct – except once in Provence, when he delicately deposited a Hermann tortoise at my feet so that it did not get hurt!
The years with Fudge flew by and came to an end all too quickly. He was a happy dog who brought us immense joy and enriched our lives beyond all expectations. He had the rare ability to be both demonstrative and yet discreet in his affection. Although he spent many hours during the day on his bed, or on a carpet near a sunny window, or curled up in my husband’s office chair, he would appear at regular intervals to have a quick cuddle or if he sensed that we were feeling low. We still miss him terribly but we are thankful for the unique bond we were able to form with such a wonderful companion.