In July 2006, Dominique told me she wanted something special for her birthday. She had seen this programme on TV about Viszla’s. Apparently they are very kind and loyal dogs and she wanted one.
On the internet, I found the website from The Hungarian Welfare Club as it was in those days before they became a Charity. And during my second visit to the site I noticed a message saying-Urgent help required in rehoming of a Vizsla.
That is how it started, we drove off to Kent and when we saw Flame and his mate Jimmy we fell in love with both dogs.
The beginning was difficult, they were not house trained and didn’t listen to their names. As stray dogs, they had been given their new names by Vizsla Welfare.
But after two weeks, Flame started settling in and started obeying, Jimmy was another matter, it took months for him to respond to us !
Very quickly everybody knew Flame. When we went for a walk in Westonbirt Arboretum, we noticed people on the terraces pointing at Flame.
Suddenly a man came our way and said that they were all admiring our dog and they wanted to know what breed it was.
Even Henry Berkeley, the master of the Berkeley Hunt, came by to visit Flame and said what a handsome dog he was.
He was ideal with our children too. Although not always the case I believe. All three of our dogs were careful with children.
He also looked really aristocratic, this earned him the nick name “James”.
All our visitors loved Flame and nearly all of them had their photo taken with him.
So It came as a big shock to our friends and family when we told them Flame was ill.
It was as if a person had died. Letters with photos and emails came in from all over the place to tell us how sorry they were that Flame had passed away.
He died on Remembrance Day so we enjoyed his company for more than 9 years.
The vet cardiologist, who treated Flame said that he estimated Flame to be older than 13 years when he died.
That is the only consolation that he had a long and happy life.
Jimmy was very down when Flame died and howled for several days, he went looking for him everywhere.
Now, he is enjoying the company of his new friend Merlin another Welfare boy. Another story in the making!

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