a person who wanders from place to place without a home or job.
having no settled home.
wander about as or like a vagabond.
Immediately after Jack's death I was consumed with browsing shelter websites and looking at pictures of the dogs and reading their (sob) stories. I went to visit a couple around Nice, and they are full of big dogs where the owners had thought them sweet as pups but as they grew and needed more food, exercise, vets bills and the like, and had probably been ill disciplined and more difficult to handle, they had been cast aside like a broken toy. Staffordshire Bull Terriers were very well represented in the shelters.
I kept returning to one particular website, and dog, though. Found by the "Fourriere" or pound, he had not been claimed by his owner(s), so he had been taken into a shelter thus avoiding euthanasia. On a whim I drove down, nearly to Toulon, and visited the shelter and was allowed to take Vagabond for a walk. On entering his pen, he grabbed me round the thigh with his front legs and wouldn't let go. On our walk, he pulled and sniffed, sniffed and pulled. Part Spaniel, part setter, part pointer, part something else, the urge to hunt seemed quite strong, but a tug of the lead and he was very willing to come back to heel. At the end of his walk he was very happy to go back into his pen and flop down.
I made a donation to the shelter and discussed adoption procedures. Firstly, the shelter would need to arrange a visit to my home and an interview. Following that, I would retrieve the dog and I would become a foster parent for a month. At the end of the month either party could terminate the arrangement following another site visit and inspection of the animal. I returned home to give the kids and Lucera a hug, to mull things over.
A few days later of living in the Jack-less void (the patter of his feet on the office floor, the minute I switched my pc off at night he would recognise the noise and jump up ready to leave, just going for a run) I brought up the shelter's website again. There were 3 new dogs at the top of the page (Vagabond was almost at the bottom as he had been in the shelter for 5 months). The 3 new dogs were at the pound and had not been claimed. Unless a home could be found they would likely face euthanasia.
The shelter exists purely on donations, and as well as donations, fund raising and adoptions they also accept "sponsors" for their dogs. Vagabond had been sponsored until 5 July, so was safe. The new 3 had no sponsors, but also I kept coming back to one line on the website: if you foster a dog, you save two, because there becomes space for another in the shelter. I made the call....
Pic of Vagabond below:
The site visit passed without incident, and before I knew it the shelter emailed me asking me when (as soon as possible) I could pick up Vagabond. I made the drive back to the shelter, and went to the office to fill out the paperwork. Vagabond was brought in and was super excited, giving me a big cuddle, and then proceeding to make sure no nook and cranny was left unsniffed. The volunteers commented that they had never seen him like that and that he must have known that he was going to a home. I paid the admin fee and covered his vets bills, and also insisted on sponsoring one of the pound dogs for a month.
We left the office and got into the car, Vagabond having a good explore, before settling in the "shotgun" seat. After 5 months in a shelter with limited space and walks, one can only imagine what was going through his mind. Before long we were off in the car. I strapped him in, but he still managed to rest his paw on my leg the whole journey back.
The girls were beside themselves when we got back, Lucera less so. She growled and lunged, and Vagabond rolled over showing complete submission. Lucera was still clearly number one.
Some might say that it was too soon after Jack to get another dog, or perhaps I was trying to replace him. As I told the girls, we now have 3 dogs in the house, Jack, Lucera and Vagabond. Besides which, with Vagabond coming to a nice foster home, Gallopin being sponsored for a month, and space in the shelter for another dog, I like to think that something positive has come from Jack's death, that 3 dogs have in effect been saved.
Vagabond has morphed into "Bundy", as he is no longer a Vagabond.
If you wanted to help sponsor or adopt a dog, the website is below
Sans Collier Provence